Communicating Any and Every Which Way Possible

Editor’s Note: Welcome to the latest installment in our ‘heart and soul’ series. Last week we dreamed big. This time around we invited DJ Chuang–the executive director of the L2 Foundation, manager of online strategies and tactics for the American Bible Society and editor of Asian American Youth Ministry–to share his thoughts on the Center for Church Communication and Church Marketing Sucks. Thanks for helping us celebrate two years, DJ.

Communicating Any and Every Which Way Possible

by DJ Chuang

The Internet has so much potential for ministry! Hundreds of web sites and a handful of Christian books and conferences have called attention to the potential of the Internet for ministry. Indeed, there is a lot of potential and tons of opportunity for connecting people through the Internet. The word “ministry” can refer to a wide range of things, but essentially it is about communicating effectively with a kingdom purpose in mind.

When I first stumbled onto Church Marketing Sucks, I had my reservations.

Was this yet another slick advertising company putting out a few articles as bait so that they could sell their products and services? Not that there’s anything wrong with getting a fair compensation for services rendered or earning a living. But when the only agenda is to profit blatantly or covertly, it can leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Around the time when Church Marketing Sucks launched, I had been working as a web coach for the now-dormant ForMinistry eQuip channel. I blogged every business day about ideas and tips for online ministry. I accumulated a couple dozen of faithful, regular readers. It was a good run.

In hindsight, I think online ministry makes up only a part of the whole. Ministry communication, especially for a local church, has to happen both online and offline. One survey found that only 52% say their church maintains a web site of any kind. And according to a CFCC survey, 59% of churches were dissatisfied or ambivalent about their web sites. Yet, it’s been my experience as I talk with numerous churches, they tell me that most people find their church in one of two ways: (1) word of mouth, and (2) a church web site. Of course, just because you build a web site doesn’t mean people will come. You have to tell others about the web site through promotions through traditional means, online ads, or have lots of people who’ll be happy to spread the word. Yes, my commentary here is more web-centric, but here’s where CMS shines–they’re holistic and integrated in using any and every means to communicate.

Now that Church Marketing Sucks celebrates its second birthday, I love how they’ve freely given as they’ve freely received. Not only articles and blog posts about communication tips, they’ve also opened up a place to share examples of marketing pieces. Creativity begets creativity; very few of us (except God?) can create ex nihilo. This collection of examples helps churches get their most important message to the people who need to hear it. This shows me their heart for God’s kingdom and commitment to help churches communicate well.

Happy birthday, CMS, and may you have many more years ahead!