"Church" and "Marketing" in the Same Sentence?

Some quotes here from Rob Bell in Velvet Elvis that really got my attention.
"The thought of the word church and the word marketing in the same sentence makes me sick"
"I remember being told that a sign had been rented with the church name on it to go in front of the building where we were meeting. I was mortified and had them get rid of it. You can't put a sign out front, I argued; people have to want to find us. And so there were no advertisements, no flyers, no promotions, and no signs...There were well over 1,000 people there the first Sunday."
Now, all of you purpose-driven folks out there, what do you think about them apples?

Let me say that I am not against advertising. I think it is good to let people know what you have to offer them. And in one way that is what the preacher does every Sunday, he speaks to people to tell them what God has for them, and how what they have can be used for God. I just found it very interesting that this "Mega-Church" (I'm sure Rob Bell would hate that term being used in the same sentence with Mars Hill) was started without any advertising at all. Hmmm...

Makes you think doesn't it?

How about this...
"We had no five year plan. We had no vision statement. We had no goals. We had no 'demographic'. All we cared about was trying to teach and live the way of Jesus."
I wonder if they have a five year plan now?


Jason said…
What's the story behind the start of Mars Hill? That's what I want to know. Did he just wake up and find 1,000 people at his doorstep? How many were in an actual "core" before the first day? What kind of legwork was done before hand? DId him and his wife just move into a city and then 1,000 people show up? How many were unchurched? I believe there's a story behind every church plant start big or small. What's the story? By the way, word of mouth is marketing!
Jason said…
Here is all I could find on the history. Which tells me that they just didn't open up one day and 1,000 people came. Whether you call it marketing or not, they created a buzz long before the opening day. They also had a mother church:
"Founded in February 1999, services, or "gatherings" were originally housed in a school gym in Wyoming, Michigan. Based on the idea that worship could be stripped down to its simplest form, it quickly grew in popularity. Through word-of-mouth and the launch support of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the church attracted about 1,000 visitors to their first gathering. Within a year the church had the defunct Grand Village Mall donated to them, and purchased the land it is located on in Grandville, Michigan. After some remodeling, the 3,500 seat facility opened its doors in July 2000. They have recently added 300-400 chairs. As of 2005, the church attracts over 10,000 churchgoers to its three Sunday services and up to 50,000 downloads per week. They are now offering weekly podcasts so that the teachings can be automatically downloaded to your computer."

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