Of Numbers and Budgets

[This originally appeared as my comment on a Pulse blog post regarding marketing for Frontline.]

I agree with Ryan. Measuring the reaction of the community to our marketing efforts is going to be really difficult (and not really worthwhile). It’s not our creative marketing that changes people’s souls, but God’s good pleasure. If we’re going to measure anything, it should be stuff that we can actually control. Like participation.

It’s not our job to make society think highly of the church. Or for us to be popular with any demographic. If anything, I gather from the Bible that, if the world loves the church, then something’s wrong with the church.

If we concentrate on simply doing what God tells us to do: sharing the Gospel, helping others in the community, and individually living holy lives, then we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, regardless of what effect it has on our society.

We can’t control effect. Only God can influence the hearts of fallen men.

As a marketing group for Frontline, I think we should use media to 1) communicate the Gospel, 2) cover Frontline-related acts of service in the community, and 3) provide an “insider’s” look at what it means to live a holy life (e.g., from a personal perspective, like a blog)—struggles and all.

Some ideas that just popped into my head are…

Make sure we recruit at least one person on each Global Impact trip to write a daily blog on what they’re doing over there. As a natural skeptic, I myself wonder whether my money is going to send a bunch of folks on vacation.

Get other insiders to provide their thoughts on their respective ministry. Like a Frontline Athletics blog, an Evangelism team blog, etc. And unite all of these bloggers into one community—Pulse.

I’m personally interested in writing a “how to” blog on Evangelism. It would provide actual training on how to talk to complete strangers, as well as an insider’s look at actual evangelism outreaches (Christ on the Mall, etc.).

Basically, I think we should feature the work of the Frontline community. And the only measurement that would actually be useful is how much involvement we have from our own community. Then we can know if Frontline is doing a good job of training and equipping Frontliners to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.

The reaction of the community is beyond our control, and we really shouldn’t be worried about making us or God seem more attractive to them. We can’t convince people to turn to God. We can only show them the way.

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