Tuesday, January 24, 2012
First it was the Evangelicals,
then the Mormons and now the Catholics. I don't ever remember seeing so many ads on TV for church in my life. It is getting kind of crazy. Growing up in the 80s in northern Iowa, religion really wasn't a hot topic. Most of the area was Lutheran. So much so, that this Catholic girl had NO IDEA that Catholicism was so huge until I moved to St. Louis. There was only one Catholic church in the area, but several Lutheran ones. We were considered in the minority to be Catholic! (so different in St. Louis...). Not until I moved down here did I see my first "Jesus" billboard. Once again my limited worldview came into play and I thought, "how interesting that they would make a billboard out of the Iowa license plate with the word Jesus." Yes, when I was growing up the Iowa license plates were green and white. I totally missed that most highway signs were also that color. It is fascinating to see church marketing evolve from word of mouth/tradition, to billboards, TV, internet, and phone apps. Does this really work? It seems to me that even with all the new ways to reach out, the one that still really brings people in the door is face to face contact. To me, word of mouth will always be the best marketing tool. I have had people come up to me after seeing my UU paraphenalia, but actually talking to me is what gets them in the door. There is a place for all of it, but seeing a friendly face and welcoming smile will always be the best way. Afterall, church is about building real community and relationships.