The Agency Record Blog

Should Churches Pay To Advertise Themselves?

My sister-in-law called me today with a question about Facebook. Should her church spend money to advertise itself on Facebook? My gut reaction was absolutely not. I am not comfortable with a church spending it’s tithes and offerings on advertising. Shouldn’t that money go to social services like housing the homeless or feeding the needy? However, I have to be careful not to let that reaction become dogma. This issue, like most in life, does not have a simple yes or no answer.

Here in Nashville, we have multiple mega-churches. You will see billboards all over town advertising these churches as if they were a company advertising it’s services. Now, I understand that it would be foolish to think these churches aren’t run like a corporation at times. Honestly, that’s not entirely a bad thing. A well-run church will be efficient, and will use it’s resources wisely.

However, some part of me feels that free services like Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages or Squidoo are better for churches to use. The resources that would be spent on advertising could then be spent on programs like Room In The Inn, food banks and counseling services. These are the types of things I have always felt were the Church’s true calling. After all, Christ implored his followers to help the “least of these”.

In the end, I can’t say whether or not it is a waste of church resources to pay for an advertising campaign. It is up to the individual churches to decide if that is part of God’s mission for them. Nevertheless, I think they would do well to make sure they are fulfilling their core mission. What do you think?

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