In this article Pastor Bill Harrel warns that the Church should not be marketed:
“The world is common, but Jesus Christ is superior. … The message of Jesus calls the people of this world to a different standard, and it’s a standard that they don’t want. It calls them to a different standard bearer. And they don’t want the standard bearer. … They want to make it common so the masses of society can find it acceptable to themselves,” he said.
In this process, the Bible becomes a “how-to-book” for success, worship is barely acceptable, and numbers become the main goal. The world would love this church, he said, but they would not hear the gospel in this church. “The church is not a marketable item,” Harrell said.
I agree that the Church must have a message that is clear, distinct from what the world has to offer, and true to the Gospel. But when you are communicating this message you are participating in the marketing process. I understand Harrel's point- he is concerned with psychology lessons disguised as sermons. My only disagreement with the pastor is in the use of terminology.
Bottom line: Churches are already using marketing, my goal is to get them to understand the best way to do so in order to reach more people for Christ while staying true to the Gospel.