You can go broke on bargains

My grandpa is quick to say: “You can go broke on bargains.”

It’s true for any person, any business, or any church.

Just because something is discounted doesn’t mean you should buy it — especially if it’s not in your church marketing plan.

Take advertising, for example.

It’s not cheap. Even on discount.

What often happens is something like this:

The ad rep from the local newspaper calls. You have an opportunity to buy an ad in the Sunday morning Faith section.

The salesman is offering quite a deal — only $400 — half off the regular price. You need artwork by tomorrow. They’ll even design it for you.

You need to make a decision.

Is this a good deal?

That depends.

It’s $400.

For some churches, this fits neatly into their marketing strategies. They have an approved marketing budget. They have money set aside for advertising. They wait for deals. Here’s a deal. SOLD!

For most other churches you have to consider this: If you didn’t buy that ad, what else could you do with $400?

  • That could be a few weeks of groceries for a family.
  • A utility payment for the lady who just lost her job.
  • You could scholarship two kids for church camp.
  • It’s a cartload of necessities for the local women’s shelter.
  • It’s enough to rent a car for a week for the single mom who’s car is in the shop.
  • It might pay for her repairs.

I would argue that for the church who doesn’t have a church marketing plan, and this $400 isn’t already set aside, don’t buy the ad. Even at a discount.

If you have $400 to give away, do some of the things listed above. You know the money is meeting immediate needs. You have the opportunity to interact with someone face to face. A relationship can be built. God is glorified in an act of faith-driven kindness.

What are your thoughts on this?

Note: I’m very much in favor of advertising if it’s part of a strategic marketing plan, the money is allotted in the approved budget, and the results are measurable in some way. 


Learn more about Hands and Feet Marketing.

Leave a Reply