Marketing and Multi-ethnicity



This post is the seventh post in a nine part Series: On Marketing and Ministry. For more posts in this series, check out the series frontpage.

We live in a world that is rapidly becoming both more diverse and more segmented.

We long for a world that is integrated, multi-ethnic, truly global.  But increasing diversity hasn't led to integration.  People push back.  Push hard.  Laws and walls emerge that would have looked silly thirty years ago.  What does this mean for us?

This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for ministry and marketing.

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"How do you know that Jesus accomplished something real on the cross?"

I love to ask this question to students.  Evidence of the gospel's power is so encouraging, but so often ignored.

When I ask this question, I often hear stories of personal transformation.  "God changed my life."  And these are true signs that Jesus accomplished something real.  But changed lives weren't the primary evidence of the gospel's power ... at least ... they aren't what Paul reached for most often or with the most force.

"Look at the multi-ethnic community of Christians."  This was Paul's emphasis.

Only God could create something like that.  People from every tribe and tongue and nation, gathered together at the foot of the cross.  One new body.  Destroyed barriers and walls of hostility.  Evidence.

Where is this in our ministry?
Where is this in our marketing?

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Market segmentation is not a new trend in ministry.  Although Paul tried to be "all things to all people," most of us have accepted that we are called to be "something to someone."  And so we focus.

Menu ministry.  Youth groups.  Even parachurch ministries like InterVarsity.

And we have a special place in the kingdom of God.

But even the most segmented ministry longs for diversity.

This longing was given to us by God.  It echoes the trajectory of the Spirit, who brings us together with people across ethnic boundaries.  One Spirit for all peoples.  The tug, for the follower of Jesus, is to diversity.

But in our sin, we resist this tug.  We fight those we've been attached too.  Label them. 

And to the watching world, this looks ugly.

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This is the challenge, but this is also the opportunity.

God pushes us toward multi-ethnicity.
And we find the watching world intensely curious.

"How is it that you have come to be together?" people should ask when they look at the church.  Our diversity should astound them.  In a world where marketing forces segment people into manageable chunks, our multi-ethnic resistance to segmentation catches attention.  That is, if we demonstrate resistance.

A multi-ethnic church is a powerful marketing force, a credible witness.

Do you have a multi-ethnicity worth marketing?

Tomorrow's post will be on Marketing and Fundraising.  How does our marketing practice influence our ability to finance our ministry?  A link will be posted here as soon as the post is published.

Photo courtesy of sheelamohan and http://freedigitalphotos.net

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