11 min read

Church Marketing Plan Template for Maximum Engagement  

Church Marketing Plan Template

Churches and businesses are different in many ways, but one thing they have in common is the need for clear goals. A marketing plan is an essential tool that helps you identify and reach those important milestones.

People often assume that a marketing plan template is only useful for business marketing, but it’s equally valuable if you want to promote a new church or advertise a specific church event. It can drive church growth and empower you to make a more significant impact on your community.

We’ve built a detailed template to help you easily define your church marketing objectives and measure success. In this post, we’ll walk you through the template, outline how each component relates to your marketing plan, and explain how a church app builder can contribute to a more efficient and effective marketing strategy.

Why You Need a Marketing Strategy for Your Church

Church marketing offers a way to increase awareness of your church’s brand and spread the message of God to a broader audience. These are the specific advantages of marketing your church:

  • Promote Church Services: Marketing is an excellent way to update existing church members on upcoming services, including when and where they’ll occur.
  • Gain New Members: Social media posts direct new visitors to your church website, where you can share contact information and offer a glimpse of the exciting and inspiring things happening in your congregation.
  • Promote Fundraising: Marketing is a critical component of your strategic plan for fundraising because you can share information about your goals and offer an easy way for people to make donations.
  • Encourage Church Community Outreach: Marketing channels can bring together your church members, allowing them to build deeper connections with God and each other.
  • Support Local Communities: A strong marketing plan helps your faith community become part of the broader community it serves. You can engage with people outside your church’s walls by promoting local events and community service projects.

We suggest conducting a bit of market research before building your plan or using this template. You’ll gather critical insights into your target audience, the best ways to reach them, and how your faith connects with the topics they care about. This information helps you maximize the outcome of the time you put into your marketing efforts.

Church Marketing Plan Template

We designed this church marketing plan template to serve as an easy-to-use action plan for church leadership. To get started, simply copy and paste it into your favorite word-processing software and fill out each section to reflect your church’s identity and goals.

Mission, Purpose, & Goals

A church’s purpose and goals serve as the foundation for every other element of its marketing plan.

In essence, your mission statement explains the purpose of your church as it exists today. Your church may already have a mission statement, but building your church marketing plan offers an excellent chance to discuss and fine-tune it, especially if you need to involve other church leaders. Many churches frame their mission around supporting believers of Christ and sharing God’s message with the public.

Your church’s vision, on the other hand, centers around your goals. It looks to the future, exploring where you’re going and what you hope to do. This statement should be inspiring and motivational yet realistic. Drawing another parallel to the world of business marketing, making your church goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) can be helpful.

Church DNA

Any church, business, or nonprofit should have a distinct brand identity that people can recognize instantly. The essential elements of your brand include:

  • The name of your church
  • The church logo
  • Your church’s tagline or slogan
  • The font you use for text
  • The color scheme you use for marketing materials

These aspects of your marketing should reflect your church’s style and outlook. You’ll use them everywhere you promote your brand, including your website, social media posts, and mobile app. Forming a solid brand identity keeps your messaging consistent and makes your church more memorable and identifiable.

Target Audience

The best marketing hinges on a deep understanding of your target audience. Think about who already attends your church and who else you’d like to reach, then list their demographics and characteristics, such as:

  • Where they live
  • Their age
  • How frequently they attend church
  • How long they’ve identified as Christian
  • The strength of their relationship with God
  • Why they might prefer your church instead of others

When you know who you’re creating your marketing for, you can tailor your messaging around their interests and needs to maximize impact and results.

SWOT Analysis

To serve their communities effectively, churches must understand their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Conducting an honest review of these characteristics – known in business as a SWOT analysis – can be challenging. Still, completing a SWOT analysis will help clarify how to grow and better serve your community in the future.


Start in a positive place and identify the unique strengths of your church. These should be things you’re already doing well that set you apart from other organizations. You might have an especially strong sense of community, a hardworking group of volunteers, or a creative and talented worship team.


While your church may be doing a lot of things right, there are inevitably areas where you could improve. Look for issues or aspects of your organization that are lacking, such as outdated technology, a lack of diversity in your church leadership, or insufficient financial resources to achieve your goals. Knowing what’s holding you back will help you move forward.


In addition to examining your weaknesses and strengths, you should also explore what opportunities are available to your church. Where is there a need in your community no one else is meeting? For example, you might have the chance to launch a new ministry or partner with a thriving local organization. Look beyond your church to find possibilities that align with your mission and values.


Every church faces challenges, and many of them are outside your control. However, naming and understanding them will allow you to prepare and adjust so you can continue to flourish and expand. Examples of potential threats include competition from other churches or institutions or significant demographic changes in your area.

Marketing/Outreach Strategy

Once you know what you want your church marketing to achieve, the next step is to decide how you’ll make it happen. The strategies you employ should support both short and long-term goals.

Church App

Mobile apps have become one of the most convenient and engaging ways to connect with a broad audience. In 2023, people around the world spent nearly 16 billion hours on apps, a remarkable increase of nearly 25% from the year before.

Apps are always on hand and include a wide range of functionalities. That means your church can share details about future events, collect donations for fundraising campaigns, post videos of recent services, and communicate with church members all in one place.

Some churches are reluctant to use apps, fearing they don’t have the budget or necessary skills to create them. While it’s true that, in the past, a church might have spent thousands of dollars to hire a developer and maintain their app, modern technology has lowered the price tag significantly. In fact, the cost of building a church app is much lower than you might expect.

Churches can also take a DIY approach to creating their app. You can create a clean, easily updated, user-friendly app using a church app template.

Social Media Marketing

Maintaining a church social media presence is essential if you want to reach as many people as possible. Around 60% of the world’s population use social media platforms, and that number is expected to grow over the next few years.

Your church’s social media accounts are a prime avenue to draw in new community members. Posting regularly gives congregants plenty of opportunities to share your content with their circle of families and friends.

Keeping worship schedules updated is a great way to get started. Then, try branching out to short, “snackable” video content: behind-the-scenes clips of worship preparations, interviews with church leaders, and snippets of powerful moments during services can capture audiences’ attention.

In addition, by answering questions and responding positively to comments, you’ll stay engaged with your existing church community and show that you value their input and contributions.

Search Engine Optimization

When someone searches for churches in your city or town, you want your church to be high on the search results list. A good search ranking increases brand visibility and organically drives traffic to your website and digital marketing.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to improving your ranking. The core components of SEO include:

  • Using relevant keywords naturally throughout your church website and blog posts
  • Writing concise meta-descriptions that describe the contents of each page
  • Including the name and location of your church in the header or footer of your website
  • Posting well-written, high-quality content that answers searchers’ questions

Done correctly, SEO will make your church easier for both current and prospective members to find.

Email Marketing

Email marketing remains one of the most reliable and consistent forms of outreach in the digital age. One approach is to offer your website’s visitors the option to subscribe to a regular newsletter. In each edition of your newsletter, you can promote important events, highlight special community members, and share inspirational messages.

Analyzing your email marketing metrics is also an excellent way to evaluate how effective your marketing efforts have been. Look at the open rate and unsubscribe rate to determine whether you’re writing compelling subject lines or reaching your target audience.

Community Events

While modern church marketing efforts are primarily digital, bringing folks together is one of the most tried and true ways to promote your church. By welcoming people to share in food, fun, or volunteer work, you demonstrate your commitment to the community and your support of vulnerable people.

Many churches schedule events near holidays, such as trunk or treats for Halloween, free Thanksgiving meals for struggling families, or living nativity scenes at Christmas. Others hold special events to raise money for victims of a disaster or crisis. Think about the opportunities from your SWOT analysis to brainstorm event ideas relevant to your community.

Remember, no event is a wasted effort: besides increasing awareness of your church, events allow your existing members to spend time together living their Christian values and deepening their bonds as a faith community.

Other Media

Your digital marketing strategy might also include additional types of media. For example, you might dedicate funding to paid Google ads, which can help drive people to your church’s site even when you don’t organically rank high on the search results page.

Many churches also use automated texting systems to keep church members updated on services and events. Others collaborate with radio stations or local publications, such as newspapers, to produce weekly features.

Finally, many churches now have a dedicated YouTube channel where they post videos. Considering that over 239 million people watch YouTube in the United States alone, it’s an easy way to access an enormous pool of potential audience members.

Marketing Goals Defined

At this point in your planning process, it’s good to take a step back and review all the elements you’ve drafted so far. Highlight the most important items and explore how you’ll reach each goal, focusing on details such as:

  • Your timeline
  • Who will be involved
  • What methods they’ll use
  • Who can offer support and assistance
  • How much you can budget

Remember: reaching all your goals right away might not be possible. Prioritize the most essential items and make more general plans for the ones you can’t get to until later.

How to Market Your Church Objectives

A church marketing plan is critical to maintaining strong connections with your existing community and expanding your membership. It gives everyone a glimpse into what you offer and how you aspire to spread God’s message.

Mobile apps are one of the most effective ways to enhance the church experience for your current members and bring new faces into your congregation. If you’ve never built an app or want to improve the one you already have, Shoutem can help.

The Shoutem app builder offers no-code app-building functionality, high-quality templates, lower costs, user-friendly platforms, and extensive customization options so you can easily change your app’s look and feel whenever the Spirit moves you. Sign up for a 14-day free trial to see how easy it can be to build a church app that strengthens your overall marketing strategy.