Marketing in Ministry – Storytelling

Chris Miller, President of Miller Management, is the guest host of this week’s episode. He is joined by his colleague, Dave Gordon, station manager at Life 88.5.

Marketing in Ministry – part two

This month we will dive into marketing basics for churches. What it is? Should the church use it? And when and how do you use marketing? Last week we defined Marketing vs. Advertising and our guest gave his top 8 tips for good marketing practices. This week they discuss the 7 steps for storytelling

Our Brains Love Stories

Our brains love stories; and when we hear one, we are already relating it to our own stories. Stories pull you in. So how can we as churches utilize that? First, we can use it to tell our testimony. How did Jesus find you? Or how did you “find religion” as they say? Or tell the story of the church.

Second, use it to tell your congregation’s stories. This could be as big as a commercial, or as small as the start of your Sunday message. Here is a story of what happened with one of our members this week...

Seven Steps to a Successful Story

Today we will walk you through how to tell a good story. We are using Donald Miller’s book, “Building a StoryBrand,” where he gives 7 steps to a successful story.

  1. There is a main Character.
  2. The main character has a problem.
  3. Someone comes along and walks with them to address the problem.
  4. Together they formulate a plan.
  5. The secondary character calls the main character to action.
  6. The plan ends in success.
  7. And they avoid failure.

Or, for time or space constraints, you can utilize a shorter version: Headline – Meat – Punch Line. The punch line doesn’t have to be funny, could just be your call to action.

Some Examples:

When your first impressions team knows the topic of the sermon and finds a natural way to bring it up when meeting new people on a Sunday morning. To connect the dots for people – warm smile, friendly handshake, inviting presence. They may use the headline or punch line in conversation.

Mass media or digital marketing is another way to use these ideas. Why do most people use a picture of a person in these types of displays? It naturally draws us in – starts that story with a picture. Probably using the headline for these.

Print marketing – utilizing two sentences to draw people in. Use all 7 steps, or at least the 3 shorter version, here. Marketing an event – via direct mail – should also use this formula.

Ambassadors, those people that are networking for your church not just on a Sunday morning, are great at using these tactics. Telling the story for you. Those really connect with people, because it’s their own story they are telling. Oftentimes all seven steps are used here.

All of these examples are the the perfect combo of Reach, Frequency, and Message. (If you missed those headlines – go back to the first week in this series.)

In Conclusion

We encourage you to take this a few steps at a time to help develop a plan for your church. And then come back to listen again to pick up a few more steps. Alternatively, you could find someone in your ministry who IS passionate about communication/telling stories. And they may take it and run with it.

Join us next week as we continue in our conversation about Church Marketing by listing mistakes to avoid.

Join the conversation, see behind the scenes, and learn more on our Instagram and Twitter.

Special thanks to our guest, Dave Gordon, and our masters of all things Podcasting, Chris and Lauren Miller, for this second episode in our Marketing in Ministry series.