When You Have Only $500 for Marketing

Church Planting / April 12, 2008

I’m not one of those Donald Miller wannabes who believes that marketing is from Satan himself. So, if you’re only willing to spend $500 on a marketing campaign, then your church is clearly in one of three places:

Prelaunch and Invincible

When you’re in prelaunch you’ll spend $500 multiple times to try and gain traction.

So, relax and spend the money! (We all know you will anyway.) Go ahead and drop 50,000 pennies on your elementary school sidewalk and make the news. Dream about handing out child ID kits and drop your Easter eggs.

Post-launch and Broke

Listen, I know you’re looking for the silver bullet. It’s a scary time. You have secret dreams of $500 launching your church into the stratosphere; that Sunday morning chaos will ensue the moment you hand out a zillion Frisbees with your church logo.

But right now, your church is struggling to just stay viable. If you’re honest with yourself, any marketing you do at this point is driven by fear. After all, if you don’t get more people in the door, your church could die!

Hear me now, Mr. Broke Church Planter: whenever marketing is driven by panic, it fails!

Save your money and pay your flipp’n bills. Instead, work to make your church the best place it can be. As novel as it may sound, let your people become the evangelists for the church, not the postcards.

Planted and Progressing

If your church has reached the level where you can say that everything is going well, and you’re only willing to spend $500, then you need to lay off the weed for a while.

You guys didn’t get to this place by playing it safe, right? After all, you are a church planter, so make it huge and up the ante.

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Dave Milam
Dave Milam is a pastor, communicator and the founder of One Life Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a a gifted communicator Dave's right brained style of delivery helps his listener connect and remember God's truth in a uniquely visual way. Connect with Dave on Google+

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on April 14, 2008

Hey thanks for the props on your blog. I agree week one was a little crappy, though relevant. Week 2 was far from crappy. If you remember the question was marketing/outreach. What new church doesn’t do those two things? The reason for the $500 limit was that anyone can do marketing and outreach on $20,000. Its the $500 ideas that cause you to get creative and actually spend time with people rather than count on money to attract. Would you say that Jake’s idea to spend $100 bucks on pumpkins and paint and then going down to the Salvation Army to hang with kids is crappy?

Anyway, not mad. You’re Dave Milam and I love your whacked out for Jesus mind too much. I hope the vacation was actually refreshing. I’m sure things have been a bit crazy the past month or so. Stop by the booth at Exponential so I can say hi.

on April 14, 2008


on April 15, 2008

yes, awkward.

you whacked out for jesus (mentally) kind of guy, you…


on April 15, 2008

oh, if i can weigh on the discussion regarding the $500, i would get the following:

1. new tape for my handlebars on the FELT
2. this pair of boots i saw in little 5 the other day
3. REM’s new record…man, it sounds totally boss
4. this overhead paper lamp from IKEA to go in our lobby at the shop
5. everything else i would give to kinetic to help their recovery efforts


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