Advertising is Spiritual

Rob Bell doesn’t like marketing and advertising.  His doesn’t do mailouts or invite cards or billboards.  On more than one occasion, I’ve heard Rob talk about his distaste for advertising and marketing, as it’s lumped in with the commercialization of Christianity.  He’s pretty down on the subject.

These words come from the same guy that talk about how everything is spritual.  How the secular and spiritual divide wasn’t existent in Hebrew culture.  How art and music and culture are spiritual, and how the secular label falls so far short.

If art or music can be spiritual, than so can marketing.  I’m not saying that advertising is required.  But I believe it can be a form of advertising.  Equipping our people with invite cards and doing some targeted direct mail and putting out signs on the weekends are just some of the ways that we do outreach.  Personal invitations are fueled by some of these other methods.  And as Rob Bell might say, they are all spiritual.


6 comments so far

  1. Matthew Starner on


    How effective have you found the road signs? Do you have a standard/general sign that you use or do you have different ones for series? Do you see many guests as a result or is it more of an awareness tool?

    We’re always looking for new ways to reach out and stimulate awareness of our church and I’d love to know how effective you’ve found the signs to be.


  2. Suzan on

    All I know is that I attended the preview services, was here on the first Sunday, and have been attending ever since because of a card that was sent in the mail.

  3. Mike on

    I consider our advertising/marketing expenses as part of our evangelism budget. I have found that personal invitations carry more weight and are more effective when supplemented with a mailer, yard sign, TV commercial, or invite card. Jesus Christ through the local church is the hope of the world…I’m gonna use whatever creative resources that God has given us to bring people into our doors to experience life change!

  4. bradruggles on

    I agree completely. I love Rob Bell and think he’s so right on but that doesn’t mean that their style of church is the only way to do things.

    You have to know what God wants you to do. I personally love marketing and think that, when used correctly, it can be a tremendous tool to reach people outside of the church.

    Brad Ruggles

  5. Greg Stielstra on

    I know that Rob allows and even encourages marketing for his books and Nooma videos. Aren’t these an extension of his ministry in other formats?

    When it’s done right, marketing is simply honest communication connecting needs to solutions. We all need salvation. Why eliminate postcards, or doorknob hangers as means of connecting churches to people who need their message? Spread the fire. GS

  6. Alex Botez on

    They are spiritual all right, but annoying and disturbing as hell. Rob talks about a pure cultural religious surrounding where religion and spirituality blends in with art, music, culture, to form an inteconected humanity which lives for the joy of God. But that’s not the case nowadays. The human beings have lost their way and their connection with the Divine. My personal advice: stick to the good old school mouth to mouth ‘spreading of fire’. Direct marketing strategies that are based on direct communication are not always easy to understand and to digest, more likely when coming from the hands of the church and it’s peeps. The church should not bother of conducting campaigns for atracting people, because if the people need faith, then they will look for it, they will search for it, in the church or in other places. You shouldn’t force faith into peoples lives, but faith should come spontanously and naturaly like an emotional need which needs fulfillment. And for that it’s nothing that you can do. Stick a 40 feet billboard onto the streets saying that “church will save you”, all useless. The need of God is like the need of a little child for his mother’s touch and security. Conducting a campaign for God? Does God need campaigning in this century? Are the churches desperate? Because they are getting emptier and emptier each week? Why? Because maybe they don’t deliver the truth anymore? People have lost faith in the power of the church and it’s representatives. I’m not saying that you’re not honest, but so many others are not. Anyway. Everybody has aknowledged the presence of the church in their lives, from small children to grown individuals, they pass by a church everyday. They know it’s there. It’s in their eyes, it’s visible, it needs no more advertising. It’s the most powerful institution on earth. It’s not like a small unknown cult which needs publicity. But some prefer to ignore this and put themselves in FRONT by means of comercial spreading. Like TV ADS which are gross and ignorant to the sensibility of a real seeker of truth. Why? I personally dislike some ways of intruding into my life and mailbox (real or email), because I consider it to be private and intimate and I find it rather agressive to be assaulted with advertisments when I come home, mail or doorknobs, signs or good hearted people that are trying to convert me to follow their faith and religion on my doorway. It’s my personal opinion, maybe it works for different kinds of people. Also, I believe that a real seeker of God is bound by searching the light individually, in his own soul with his own means. If his real desire is God, he shall find Him, wherever and whenever. Be it on the mountain tops of Himalaya, in the crowded urban megalopolis, or in his confortable apartment. My relationship with God is perfect only because I’ve “lost” my traditional faith in order to get the pure unblemished faith. What the church needs is not quantity but quality. What’s the use of having millions of christians when the most agressive and violent countries are the christian ones? Where is Jesus Christ there? Apply the same fact to the muslim world, and hindu world, where is Mohammad or Shiva? How many followers actually have true faith? How many believers would sacrifice themselves and surrender completely to God? The churches (arabic, jewish or christian) are full of people who need things, who lack things, who pray for happyness, material well being, luck and success and other such things, but won’t move a finger if it comes to do a good thing for others or for the church and their comunity. They use the church just like they use God, for their own benefit and gains until their desires are fulfilled, after that, they put God on a timeout until the next calamity or downfall. Between two saintly sundays their lives is full of hipocrisy and forgetness. Not forgivness. We should wake up and realise that God lies inside each one of us and we should recognize our own divinity so that we can get our own capacity to heal, to guide, and to clean ourselves completely without the aid of anyone outside. To do that we should unify and connect with the real God, the real power of truth, the real strength which is our spiritual essence, our spirit, our desire to ascend, to evolve, to be free of bonds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: