On my previous post I discussed and illustrated the mailed Easter services invitation received from Faith Christian Community. I felt Faith’s invitational message appropriately targeted people seeking a connection with the “I AM”.
This week, I received another mailed invitation, this time from Anchorage Baptist Temple. I was sorely disappointed in the messages portrayed. Like ABT’s website, it was a hodgepodge of color and dense wording. On one card ABT announces:
1. Palm Sunday service
2. Pitch for ABT LIVE
3. Appeal to vote on April 3 “…dangers of Prop. 5…”
[img_assist|nid=160583|title=Anchorage Baptist Temple Mailing – Side 1|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=189]
4. Easter Celebration – 2 Easter Services – 2 Easter Egg hunts
5. Easter Pageant – 3 performances
[img_assist|nid=160582|title=Anchorage Baptist Temple Mailing – Side 2|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=188]
Most church growth experts cite that 70-95% of new church attendees come visit a church because they were invited by a friend. However, surveys of non-church attenders indicate they’ve never been invited to attend church by that friend. I’ve been in the Anchorage community since 1999 yet have never been invited by an ABT member to anything. Where is the soul of a religion that depends on shotgun mass marketing to achieve exposure to services and programs it offers?
Unfortunately, too many churches, especially the mega-churches, have slipped into the mass marketing mode where mass mailings and marketing to thousands of people, hoping for response rates in the single digits, substitutes for person-to-person contact. True faith just doesn’t work that way.
Faith Christian Community is in my neighborhood. Anchorage Baptist Temple is many miles away. It’s appropriate for Faith to be contacting me because they are a nearby church. It’s a stretch to think that ABT is interested in my neighborhood.