I’m a lover of
all most things marketing.Â It is the way I’m wired.Â Heck, if it weren’t for my high ethical standards, I might could “sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.”Â I’m certainly no expert, but I have thoughts….
That being said, THE MOST STRATEGIC MARKETING plan isn’t enough to make a product (or a church) a hot commodity in and of itself.Â For that to happen, there needs to be some BUZZ.Â Ah, BUZZ: That hard to define, but easy to recognize quality that accompanies, even defines the latest, greatest thing.
In business its impossible to “guarantee” buzz.Â It could be your product being used in a series of popular YouTube clips or TV shows.Â It could be that a year after you wanted (and desperately needed) buzz, your product gets it because some celeb or athlete decided they suddenly liked it.Â It could just be that it serves a double purpose you never intended for it.Â The source, the final buzz generator,Â could be anything – or it just might not happen.
In church planting buzz is equally unpredictable.Â However, the source in this case is the favor of God.Â There are churches all over the country that are doing amazing things for God’s Kingdom by fusing creativity, innovation, authenticity, (insert your favorite church planting watchword here), etc.Â
These are the churches whose blogs I subscribe to, whose pastors speak at all the big conferences, and whose unfathomable numbers reports baffle/inspire/disgust/overwhelm church planters nationwide each Monday morning.Â They have – for whatever reason -Â found FAVOR with God and He is showing off through their ministries on a grand scale.
There is really no other explanation for it.Â Meanwhile there are untold thousands of church plants and planters laboring away in anonymity — many doing a lot of the very same things that these other churches are doing, just without the astonishing fruitfulness.
What do we need to learn from this?Â I think it was a Dwight Moody quote: we need to work like it all depends on us, and pray like it all depends on God.Â
This is the prayer I’ve been praying for over a month now for Iron City Church (and especially this last week): That we would find favor with God.Â That we would be faithful to do what He’s calling us to do and that He would reward that faithfulness with His incomparable favor – numerous lives throughout the Pittsburgh metro area transformed through the ministry of ICC – not for the sake of this church or me, but for the glory of Jesus Christ and for His Kingdom.Â
I don’t know what it looks like, and I don’t want to share too much too soon, but I can already begin to see some possible signs that He’s doing His thing.Â Hold on, join me in praying, and let’s see what happens….