I know I shouldn't have taken it personally. But when we had planned a program for the community, distributed posters all over town, made weekly announcements in the worship bulletin, mailed personal letters to the prospects, ran an advertisement in the local paper, even devoted extra prayer time to the success of the event, and people still didn't come, I was more than a little distressed.
The next morning, I stared out my office window, wondering why our message didn't connect with our prospects. I knew we were addressing genuine and expressed needs. What else could we have done?
Some time later, I took a leave of absence from pastoral ministry and became involved in business marketing and management. What I learned both in the classroom and on the job opened my eyes to what had gone wrong in my previous attempt to attract people to the church. Although I had previously been suspicious of "marketing" the church, I discovered how to 'sell' what we have to offer without 'selling out.'1