Last October I launched Ministry Pass, a company for churches who value excellent media but have a limited budget.

We are now six months into this adventure and one thing has become crystal clear.

The church is like a business. And running a business is like leading a church.

Now hear me out. The church is not a business.


The tensions you face as a pastor are the same tensions I face as a business owner.

Your role as pastor is similar to that of an entrepreneur.

Darren Hardy, recently said “66% of entrepreneurs fail.” The stats on churches aren’t much different either.  4,000 churches are planted each year but over 7,000 churches shut down during that same period.

The struggle is real for churches and small businesses.

Six months in to being a new business owner and pastor I realized there are things we can learn from the business sector.

We can learn from our mistakes but also the mistakes of others.

One of the biggest mistakes we see small businesses make is thinking a great product will make them successful. These businesses will dedicate most of their time to make an incredible product.

The problem.

The product is great but no one knows about it.

They spent so much money and focus on product development. They have nothing left for the marketing of it.

Most businesses don’t fail because of a bad product. They fail because they weren’t able to get the product in the hands of customers.

Churches do the same thing.

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We spend a TON of time, money and focus improving our products.

In today’s consumer culture here are a few of your products:

1. Preaching

This is a big one. You spend countless hours building and crafting a sermon that will connect with your people. Because you want this to be as good as it can be you buy different things to help you improve as a preacher.

2. Worship

You can be a great preacher but if the band is terrible it doesn’t matter. The reality is, music matters to people.  Everyone has style preferences but no one likes a bad band.

3. Facilities

It’s hard to overcome the stigma of a dated building so churches fight to improve their facilities.

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I could go on but you get the point.

It’s not enough to just work on the product. You must have outreach systems in place to connect the product/ your church to the people who need the Gospel the most.

Here are 4 outreach ideas we can leverage to connect more people to our churches:

1. Facebook advertising

Simply put, Facebook is the most powerful marketing platform in the world. There is a difference in having a Facebook page and creating an ad campaign to reach people in your backyard.

2. Follow Up

In marketing we call this, nurturing. Is there a system in place that continues to warm people to your church after they visit. This commands a high touch process.

3. Events

The catalyst for momentum at your church can start with a great event. Events should not be stand alone silos but a bridge to whats next at your church.

4. Email

Lost in the buzz of social media is email. It is still the single most powerful way to connect with people online. It’s personal and intimate. Integrate this into your follow up, event registrations and facebook advertising.

Improving our preaching, worship, facilities isn’t enough. There also has to be a strategic marketing outreach system in place to connect your church to your community.

If you haven’t heard of Ministry Pass, here is a free sermon series on me. If you like it, use the promo code “blog” to get $50 OFF.  Click HERE to sign up now

^ See what I did there 🙂

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Justin Trapp

Founder at Ministry Pass
Husband to Tisha, Father to Shiloh and founder of Ministry Pass.
Justin Trapp