I am forming a team to explore how to market our church. We are only 5 years old and have about 60 members. We have a thin website and a members-only Facebook page. Please share your lessons learned on marketing your church.
We don't have a church. We belong to Christ's church (Matthew 16:18).
We don't market the congregation of God's people. We teach the gospel, seeking to reach the lost. "To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:8-11). Thus, our focus is on how we can teach more people outside the church and within the church.
We hold lecture series twice a year in which we invite preachers to come and teach on a variety of topics and we invite people in the region to come and hear the message. We use our website to post teachings and answer people's questions from a biblical viewpoint. Past lessons are posted so that people can hear the lessons taught at the building -- both sermons and Bible class material developed here. When local people visit, we try to follow up with them. We let people know that we will study the Bible with them directly. We place a booth in a local fair where we offer to answer people's questions and pass out studies on the Bible (and sometimes even Bibles themselves). While we would like to reach people in our community, we don't limit our teachings to just here. Bible studies are held around the world through video conferencing and text messaging. When we can (which, unfortunately, isn't often), we send preachers and teachers to places around the world to hold Bible studies.
The growth of the church comes from God. Our duty is to spread the message. "What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth" (I Corinthians 3:5-7).
"Marketing" tends to focus on appealing to men's tastes. It is all too easy to lose sight of the fact that we work for God and not men. "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10). Teaching the truth means that there will be times that the message will not appeal to the masses and, yet, it still must be taught. "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (II Timothy 4:1-5). In other words, our work can (at times) be bad marketing.