Advancing Kingdom through your Product or Service
Let's perform a quick review of the Spirit-Led Process for building Transformation Organizations.
Step 1 (Building Your Intercessory Team) created a covering over you and your staff and company as you decided to step into this intentional and intense process.
Step 2 (Personal and Corporate Purity) set the stage for you and your organization to be free from the effects of sin so you could most effectively be used by God.
Step 3 (Spirit-Led Strategic Planning) discerned God's Kingdom vision and His specific plan for you and your organizationto carry it out.
Step 4 (Transformation Leadership) provided effective, Spirit-led leadership strategies to influence your spheres of influence for the Kingdom.
Each of these four steps is necessary for laying a foundation for the following step. Because of the first four steps, we are now prepared to equip all staff to carry out the plan of influencing each other, your customers, vendors, strategic partners, competitors, etc.
Definition of Transformation Marketing
Transformation Marketing is the purposeful positioning of marketplace resources for Kingdom building. It is the bridge between Kingdom goals and the business or organization God placed into your care and stewardship. Transformation Marketing begins with understanding five crucial paradigms which prepare staff with the proper attitudes for propagating kingdom ends through the vehicle of the organization. We then design a marketing strategy customized to your organizational structure, product or service, your staff and your market.
Is Marketing Biblical and is it Important for Kingdom Organizations?
Consider Romans 12:3-13. “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Allow us to point out some key points in this passage.
It is God’s plan that you (your business or organization) fill a unique place in the Kingdom. It is vital that you recognize that place and that you plan all or your activities as an organization around it.
Your giftedness must be based in love and honor for each other – that is, your motives must be pure.
You are to “go for it” with zeal and fervor. We believe that Christians who do not take planning seriously are short-changing their calling, and devaluing the gifts God has given them.
A proper outlook on marketing will fill your staff with joy, sustain them in slow or difficult times, and lead them into deeper love for customers and fellow employees.
Finally, remember the words, “Practice hospitality,” for later when we talk about the Luke 10 model of marketing.
Five Paradigms* for Understanding Marketplace Transformation
*We are indebted to Ed Silvoso of Harvest Evangelism who conceived The Five Pivotal Paradigms and writes and teaches about them in many different venues. Read especially, Transformation, Regal, 2007, for a deeper understanding of the Five Paradigms.
Overview of the Five Paradigms - In the '80's, paradigms were the hot business topic. A paradigm is nothing more than a theoretical framework which defines how we see things. It is a set of beliefs that we hold and see as predictable enough to allow us to act and expect a certain range of outcomes. Silvoso has identified what he titles, Five Pivotal Paradigms that have the power to shape the way we Christians look at our world, our role in it, and how we can effectively carry out that role. In Silvoso's own words, The Five Pivotal Paradigms are:
1. The Great Commission is about discipling nations, not just people.
2. The marketplace (the heart of the nation) has already been redeemed by Jesus and now needs to be reclaimed by His followers.
4. Our primary call is not to build the Church but to take the kingdom of God where the kingdom of darkness is still entrenched in order for Jesus to build His Church.
5. The premier social indicator that transformation has taken place is the elimination of systemic poverty. (Note: Market 70 has expanded on Silvoso's work, inviting marketplace leaders to examine multiple measures in their spheres of influence.)
Please read Transformation for a complete description of each of these vital truths. In the meantime, allow me to summarize the importance of understanding this way of looking at our role and our application of the five paradigms to Transformation Marketing.
1. We are commanded to take God's plan into the entire world, city by city, and nation by nation – in addition to personal evangelism.
2. Our markets, industry, city, country and even our world have been rescued from the destructive hold of the enemy and our job is to reclaim and rebuild them.
3. Everything every one of us (in other words, not just ordained clergy) does toward that end is seen in God's eyes as sacred.
4. Our goal is to engage every unreached part of our spheres of influence with that message of rescue and hope.
5. The primary measure of success will be a system-wide change that is measurable in any number of ways.
We believe that these five paradigms are essential in building a transformational business or organization. And yet most people we talk to are frustrated by the belief that only Christians will understand, much less act on this life view. God has led us to an application of these paradigms in terms of marketing that can be understood and embraced by any employee who cares about the company or organization. This invites all employees to explore a new set of paradigms as equal partners in the company's mission. In the section on Marketing Strategy, we will suggest some ways to communicate these paradigms to those other employees. But for now, let's make sure you understand them and why they're important for transformation.
Deeper Discussion of the Five Paradigms
Paradigm 1: The Great Commission is about discipling nations, not just people.
A kingdom company or organization is in an excellent position to fulfill the Great Commission. A local business has a far greater reach than a local church. Commerce already blankets the entire earth – there are no unreached people groups when it comes to trade. Industries straddle the globe and the internet and satellites enable instant communication that is limited by neither geography, language or even culture. Commerce is a powerful force in shaping nations, cultures, customs, languages, mores, etc. Social activists may have raised the issues of ethics and ecology to public scrutiny, but businesses around the world have turned both into highly transparent segments of almost every industry and charitable organization. If we were ever in a position to "go and make disciples of all nations," it is now.
It is already accepted practice in business and other organizations to reach beyond the individual buyer or donor or volunteer. We know the value of winning an individual customer versus winning a customer group versus winning a region versus winning a state, a nation or the world.
The first paradigm is well within our grasp. Christ's command to us was purposeful, strategic and long-term. Spiritually and globally we already know the outcome. Chapter 21, verse 23 of Revelation has the kings of the world bringing their glory into the New Heaven on Earth - the dual results of having been reached by both commerce and the gospel.
Paradigm 2: The marketplace has already been redeemed by Jesus and now needs to be reclaimed by His followers.
So, what exactly is our part in the Great Commission? The second paradigm points out that the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross is done – the penalty for sin paid, and the occupation of the earth by the enemy is legally ended. Luke 19:10 says "For the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost." (NASB) In describing this second paradigm, Silvoso writes, "Watch how the Fall affected business, government and education: The business sector was impaled when the ground ceased to yield bountiful fruit, forcing man to trade the sweat of his brow for the fruit of the land. The government dimension was negatively impacted because rebellion impregnated the creation, making man's rule over it an ongoing challenge. And divinely inspired education was interrupted when God stopped coming down in the cool of the afternoon to instruct and to fellowship with His creatures." In other words, dominion over the marketplace was lost because of man's sin. Jesus' sacrifice redeemed the marketplace, but, the effects of sin still plague our businesses, governments, culture, education, and families. What God has redeemed, we still need to reclaim!
Remember God awarding the promised land to the Israelites? He sent them into it to claim it. He had given them the deed, but they still needed to evict the squatters. When they sent spies in to scout out the land and determine how they were going to take it, many of the leaders balked, doubting God's promise that He had already given them the land. The result was 40 years of delay while the generation of doubters died off. We are essentially in the same spot – poised on the banks of the Jordan, across which lies all that Jesus has won for us.
Are you ready to reclaim it? "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it." (Matthew 11:12). The Kingdom will not fall into our hands, we are commanded by the Great Commission to go. That's an action verb, which requires a response on our part. To be lackadaisical about our role in the marketplace is both bad business and flat out disobedience. Jesus wants us to be stirred into a passionate, active response and anything less is displeasing to Him. "because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." (Revelation 3:16) And in Numbers 14:23b-24, God says of the Israelites at the edge of the Jordan, "No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it" (the Promised Land). "But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land."
What does your marketplace ministry look like? Is it like a small candle? Are you living and working quietly in the light of Christ, keeping your convictions to yourself, not wanting to 'rock the boat.'? Or are you like a flashlight, allowing the light of Christ to touch coworkers by praying for them and their families and even sharing Christ when the opportunity is right? Are you like a spotlight, responding to Holy Spirit direction to light up the workplace with the light of Christ? Are you boldly speaking out against injustice and giving yourself in acts of love and service? Or is your ministry like the sun, co-laboring with God in signs and wonders, transforming your sphere of influence and reclaiming the marketplace with the light of Christ? Are you impacting your clients, competitors and your industry? Are you changing the spiritual climate and bringing Kingdom light into dark places?
God is challenging us to accept a new paradigm – one that trusts that He has delivered the marketplace into our hands. One that requires us to take it forcefully from the enemy and to intentionally bring it under the Kingdom flag.
Paradigm 3: Labor is the premier expression of worship on Earth, and every believer is a minister.
There are two key points that are being put forth in this paradigm. The first is that work is not a curse, but rather a sacred calling that brings glory to God. The second is that we are all responsible for God's call on us – individually and corporately. Let's look at the second one first.
In the Numbers passage above, God had arranged for twelve leaders to go in and scout the land. They came out and rebelled in fear. And then "all the Israelites grumbled." When Joshua and Caleb tried to convince the people to be strong and believe in the strength and promise of God, "the whole assembly talked about stoning them." As a result, all the people of that generation were barred from entering the Promised Land. It took forty years for them all to die off so that the Israelites could once more take up their destiny.
What would have happened if the people had stood up for themselves and expressed trust and belief in God rather than listening to the bad reports of some of their leaders? Of course we don't know, but based on how God treated Joshua and Caleb who stood by Him, we can surmise that God would have been pleased and the Israelites probably would have begun their occupation 40 years earlier! One of the lessons we take from this account is that each of us is responsible for the call God places upon us. It is not our leader's responsibility to take the land He has promised – not our ordained minister or priest, not our president or representative. Each of us is accountable for walking into what God has promised us.
That brings us to the issue of labor being a sacred calling that brings glory to God. Man's mission, expressed in Genesis 1:27-30 is to continue the creative work of God, propagating the species He created, filling the earth He created, and ruling over all He created. This purpose statement follows immediately on the statement that man was created in God's own image. The work allotted to man brings glory to God because it is the very work of God. When man sinned, the result was that toil of work would be hard and painful, that is cursed, but the work itself was not the curse and is no less sacred.
What that means for us is that everything we do, if we do it for the sake of the Kingdom, is an expression of our obedience and faithfulness to God and His call on our lives. It is worship.
Paradigm 4: Our primary call is to take the kingdom of God where the kingdom of darkness is still entrenched in order for Jesus to build His Church.
Why should work be so hard you might ask? Because in the garden we essentially gave up our dominion over the earth, allowing it to be influenced by the enemy. So, instead of harmony and perfection, we must constantly fight against corruption and decay. Jesus, as we learned in the First Paradigm, redeemed the world from the dominion of Satan and we must now reclaim it. In order to do that we must boldly go into all those places that have been spoiled and turned to evil, bringing the light of the Kingdom of God. Jesus told the Apostle Paul, "I am sending you to them [the Gentiles, the unreclaimed world] to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." (Acts 26:17b-18) Jesus wants us to open the eyes of peoples and nations so that they can make a choice to join those whom He wants to be with Him. (In Greek, the word for church is ekklesia from two words meaning "called out." The church are those God calls out of the darkness and into fellowship with Him).
Jesus even shows us how in Luke 10 when He sends His disciples out "ahead of Him to every town and place where he was about to go." He gave them instructions for dispelling the darkness so that people could receive what he was about to bring them. That Luke 10 passage is the backbone of Transformation Marketing as you will see shortly.
And what do we do with these areas that are called out of the darkness and into the Kingdom? We step back into our Garden-given role of rulers and administrators. The story Jesus tells in Luke 19 tells us that is His purpose for us. Rich Marshall, commenting on Luke 19 in which the faithful servants are given authority over cities after showing a return on the master's money says this. "Authority over cities! That is what you can gain from faithful business practices - authority in your city, and in nine cities surrounding you...Do you see what the Lord has in mind for your business? He wants to bless it so that you gain authority. Then He wants to take the authority and add His anointing to it, so that entire cities are transformed." (God @ Work, Destiny Image, 2000)
Paradigm 5: The premier social indicator that transformation has taken place is the elimination of systemic poverty.
Once again, I urge you to read Silvoso's excellent treatment of this paradigm in Transformation, but for our purposes right now understand this. When the darkness is lifted in a particular area, and the people, institutions, cultures, governments, industries, etc. choose to reclaim the land for the Kingdom, then, by definition, it must revert to the way it was before the domination of the enemy. It must return to the state in which it was created – "and it was very, very good," in God's own words of Genesis 1:31. In that state, there was no system that was not subject to man's stewardship, nothing that would keep man from thriving. Systemic prosperity would be the norm. System poverty reflects the fallen world, the antithesis of God's original plan in creation and therefore is exactly what must be reclaimed.
In a reclaimed world, there would be abundance so that anyone who wanted could participate in the ongoing work of increasing and multiplying. There would be no blocks to material prosperity. There would be unity of purpose among man and woman and among mankind and God, so that anyone who wanted could participate in maintaining and ruling over all that is "very, very good." There would be no blocks to either relational or motivational prosperity. There would be restored intimacy with God such that anyone who wanted could participate in walking with Him "in the garden in the cool of the day." There would be no blocks to spiritual prosperity.
Systemic prosperity is fully within the influence of the marketplace. We suggest multiple areas in which God's best for man has been short-circuited, and believe that systemic prosperity is well within our abilities in a reclaimed marketplace, freed from the evils of greed, corruption, jealousy, envy, domination, etc. Jesus made the call clear, when He said of Himself, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19) While not all prisoners, poor and blind people are oppressed because of the system, no one today would argue that our systemic issues don't play a huge part in perpetuating the ills that contribute to their oppression.
While the institutional church also has a role in the elimination of systemic poverty, is can only be accomplished through active partnerships with the marketplace. The challenge God gives the religious community is more to comfort the disenfranchised "Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." (Isaiah 1:16b-17). The only real changes in the system must come from transformation of the marketplace – business, government, education, banking, media, and arts and entertainment. (See Module 8 – Transformation Fruit – for an expanded change.)
Transformation Marketing Strategy
Now that you understand the five crucial paradigms which prepare you and your staff with the proper attitudes for propagating kingdom ends through the vehicle of the organization, we can design a marketing strategy customized to your organizational structure, product or service, your staff and your market.
The Model Behind the Strategy
Some time ago, researching ways to more effectively market our consulting business, we decided to search Scripture for what God had to say about marketing. After realizing we weren't going to find it in our concordance, we prayed for guidance in learning if God had anything to say about marketing, and if so, what it was. God led us to Luke 10:1-10.
You know the passage, Jesus sends His disciples ahead of him into the places He was planning on traveling with four instructions. Find a person of peace, that is, someone who is open to interacting with you. Build a relationship of trust and respect with that person. Meet the person's felt needs through God's healing touch. Then introduce them to the Kingdom.
But wait, this is a passage that is always taught as an evangelism passage. What has it got to do with marketing? Remember the Five Paradigms? Work is inseparable from worship. Reclaiming the marketplace is God's plan accomplished through taking the gospel into the dark places. That is what God was showing us. Marketing is evangelism is marketing.
Here's how the Luke 10 passage translates into a marketing strategy in practical business terms.
"The Lord appointed...and sent them ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go." This is important for three reasons. First, you and your organization have been appointed. You are God's delegates, His ambassadors. You have been given specific gifts in the way of your products or services. You have been equipped to prepare the way. Second, He sends you. Your marketing strategy is not capricious. It is not casual. It is Spirit-led. It is part of His divine plan, "to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ." (Ephesians 1:10) Third, He is directing you to specific places – places where He is planning to show up; organizations, companies, cities, industries, etc. where He is planning to show Himself with signs and wonders, healing and delivering and raising the dead! Your marketing plan, then, is not one made up of clever words and creative logos, but with Holy Spirit power. (See 1 Corinthians 2:4-5)
Jesus goes on to say, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves." The "market" is huge and it is not overworked. In business terms, that's good news and bad news. Good news, because there are plenty of "customers" to choose from. Remember that for us, the harvest field represents an opportunity to "sell" both our product or service and the Word of God. The bad news is that what we have to present is largely unknown in the harvest field, so we face a difficult "sell." While the market is not overworked, it is far from "virgin." Our competitor is deeply entrenched in the harvest field and will not take kindly to us presenting a different way of life. Jesus warns us that the going will be tough and there will be strong resistance.
Here is where we see the genius of this strategy. This is where marketplace ministry shines. Markets open up to those who have a unique product or service offering. The market will welcome those who will deliver what no one else can deliver. The advantage goes to the Transformation Business. Why? Because you are offering something no one else can offer – a measurable change in the spiritual climate around your customers in which they experience peace, prosperity, healing, well-being, reconciliation. He has given you a revolutionary, two-pronged marketing strategy. On the one hand you have a unique product or service that meets some immediate, worldly need and on the other, you have a delivery system that meets deeper, longer-term needs that are both worldly and eternal.
Where are the "towns and places" God is intending to go? As it relates to you, He plans to go into places and towns where people need your product or service. He equipped you specifically with the offering that you have and He intends for you to meet people's needs with it, so that you can introduce His "product" to that same market. Your prayer strategy is to ask God to guide you to those markets. This is where you begin to use the tools and technologies the world offers. Identify the markets. Learn as much as you can about them. Then ask God to show you what the needs are beyond those that exist for your product or service.
"Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road." Jesus seems to be communicating an urgency here. Don't waste any time or effort. Identify the best ways to get to those markets. Use effective and efficient communications. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and guidance on what God's best techniques are. Don't simply use a marketing tactic because it is the latest and greatest.
The Luke 10 strategy offers more practical guidelines. Jesus goes on to give us a way to identify and work the "sweet spots" in the market. "When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you... But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you.'" Jesus is telling us to "prequalify the prospects" by extending free blessings. If people are receptive, we'll know it and can begin building a relationship with them. If not, we are not to waste our time and efforts, but to move onto a more receptive market.
Once we have found a person of peace, He tells us to "Stay in that house...Do not move around from house to house." This is important, because He is telling us to make an investment in that market. The remaining steps are dependent on our showing people we can be trusted, relied on. In business terms, we have to establish our "brand promise," the sense that we are truly what we say we are and can deliver what we say we can deliver. This only happens if we are willing to spend time with people; to set down some roots in their turf.
Once we've earned some acceptance, Jesus says the next three steps are: "Eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'" Here's what we believe He is teaching us. Enter into meaningful relationships with people, accepting them and their customs, truly enjoying fellowship with them. "Practice hospitality" as we are commanded to do in Romans 12:13. What will follow naturally is their sharing their needs with you. This is one of the major objectives of marketing, to identify the needs of the market that our organizations are able to fulfill. This may happen first through your product or service, or it may happen through meeting some personal needs. Either way, as people make themselves vulnerable to you, it is the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the resources you carry. "Heal" their needs. Apply the divinely appointed knowledge, skills and goods you have to their situation. Call on God to enter the scene with signs and wonders, healing them in all areas.
Both their worldly needs and spiritual needs will be met – as will yours! "Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages." Reap the benefits of providing your product or service. Enjoy the rewards of providing for their needs. You will have earned the privilege of introducing them into the light (the last step, "Tell them the Kingdom of God is near you") so that they can turn from the power of Satan to God. When you've done that, you will have communicated the reality of the Kingdom of God – certainly in actions, maybe in words. They will be able to receive forgiveness of sins and actively move into transformation with you in their sphere of influence.
The Strategy in Action
Here is a list of the four steps, followed by an example of their application.
1. Speak peace into the person, place or situation
2. Build meaningful relationships there
3. Meet their needs
4. Tell them the Kingdom of God is near
John 4:5-42 gives us a dramatization of this process with the account of Jesus and the woman at the well.
[Jesus] came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Step One: Jesus meets this woman with an exceptional offer of peace – a Jew speaking to a Samaritan, and a woman, besides! He speaks kindly to her, which is a way of blessing people.
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
Step Two: Jesus enters into deeper relationship with her, conversing with her well past the niceties of casual conversation. He shares something about Himself
He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."
"I have no husband," she replied.
Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."
"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
Step Three: Jesus begins to meet her needs. First he addresses her unspoken needs (her string of broken relationships, accompanied by the societal shame that would have been attached to her). He does this by a demonstration of Holy Spirit power – revealing truths about her that he could not have known in the natural. Then he addresses her expressed needs (her wish to worship God in a more authentic manner).
The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."
Step Four: Jesus reveals Himself as God.
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" They came out of the town and made their way toward him...Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."
The Result: The woman herself joins forces with the Kingdom by testifying to others of what she has seen and heard. We are told only the beginning, but people are saved. What did it mean for their lives as they moved into the future? Might we be seeing one of the first instances of city transformation?
How to Apply Transformation Marketing Strategy
If this were easy, everyone would be doing it, but there are some very real challenges in applying the Transformation Marketing Strategy in a business or organization. We identify the challenges below. We have also developed a practical application worksheet and some tools to help you develop and execute a strategy specific to your situation. First, though, let's take a look at two organizations applying God's plan for marketing.
A Church Touches the Public School System - Example #1
What does this marketing strategy look like in practice? North Heights Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN believes that God has given them a vision to be a "church of the city," to go beyond the walls and denominational lines, and reach out to all of God's hurting people. One of the places they began was with one of the local school districts. They began praying for the administrators, teachers and students. They built lines of communication with them, inviting administration to speak to a gathering of pastors and civic leaders about the district's needs and problems. They volunteered to participate in a "backpack" drive, buying and filling backpacks with back-to-school supplies for needy students. This was so successful, that the district invited the church to to help in other ways and the district became an outlet for a church day of service in which they fixed, painted, cleaned, etc. in the schools.
All of this was done strictly to meet the district's needs. The church did not ask for anything in return; no permissions to proselytize or pass out tracts with the backpacks. District personnel were so blessed by the church that they invited North Heights to start a clothes closet ministry to supply district families in need. The schools, in turn, took on the task of prequalifying people and issuing vouchers for the clothing.
The schools began "catching" a vision for what the church can be for the city.
This relationship is still growing, but suffice it to say, the church has gained unprecedented favor with this state-run education system, gaining favor in the eyes of administration, faculty, students and families. North Heights has created a "brand promise" that any business would be happy to lay claim to and their influence is continuing to spread.
Quietly Winning the Truck Spring Market - Example #2
Standard Spring in Roselville, MN is a small player in a competitive marketplace of suppliers and repair shops for heavy trucks. Standard has consistently and purposefully built relationships as part of their understanding of their mission to transform the industry. They regularly visit both customers and competitors, sincerely offering encouragement. They pray for them and often find opportunity to pray with them. They are scrupulously honest and seek to put the needs of the customer first - even to the point of "eating" the cost of returns and customer errors. They have found that they are becoming a trusted vendor, not because they have lowest prices or fastest delivery, but because they have shown they truly care about their market.
Challenges in Applying Transformation Marketing
Before You Begin
What, specifically, is God appointing you to do?
Where is He sending you? How can you determine where He is planning to go?
What are the tools He is sending you with?
How do you prepare your entire staff, board, etc. for your marketing strategy?
Especially, how will you meaningfully involve those who are not believers?
Step 1: Speak peace into the person, place or situation
What does that look like in practical words and actions?
How do you teach everyone in your organization to speak "blessing" and hold them accountable for doing so?
What are your criteria for judging if a "person of peace" is there?
What does it mean to move on to a more receptive market?
Step 2: Build meaningful relationships there
What are your plans for "staying in that town?"
In what meaningful, practical ways will you interact with your market, building relationship?
What is your brand promise and how do you intend to express it in words and actions?
Step 3: Meet their needs
What kinds of needs is your business or organization prepared to meet?
How will you train your staff to recognize and meet expressed and unexpressed needs?
How will you engage your intercessory team to help with this crucial step?
Step 4: Tell them the Kingdom of God is near
What does this look like for you and your staff and your situation in words and in actions?
(This is a particularly important step. How you and your staff does this either confirms or disproves the caring relationship you have been building up to this point).
How will you follow up with individuals, groups or systems?
What will you do to move beyond the introduction to the kingdom toward transformation in their sphere of influence?
In what ways can you encourage testimony and how can and will you use them in the future?