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United Methodist Church Marketing Plan Tool
Phase 1 of the Church Marketing Plan Tool


achieving calculated initiatives



what does success look like?


Your measurements for success will come directly from the results of work toward your goals. That's the simplest way to rate your progress. Perhaps those measurements will include growth in attendance or giving, a new focus on ministries or small groups. The choice is yours. Having stated that, some advice on the foundation of your metrics may help:

  • Goals that carry a financial focus will be easy to measure in terms of numbers. The question underlying any financial goal, however, is whether it was the implementation of your marketing plan that led to success.
  • Likewise, progress toward attendance goals may be simple to assess. Numbers will tell the tale. New and returning attenders will provide that metric, as well as another opportunity. Be sure to ask members, attenders and visitors if they have received the communications sent from your church. This can be managed simply through using an email with 1-3 questions.
  • Rating improvements in spiritual growth may be the most difficult. How does one put numbers to faith? Thus, choosing your metrics and how to compile them is key. Perhaps this work requires more than one way to find answers. Are your small groups maintaining and/or growing their attendance? Do your members feel that their prayer habits have led them to a closer relationship with God? A mixture of numbers-based and opinion-based questions may yield your best data regarding spiritual growth.

Phase 2 Deliverables

The Marketing Plan Coordinator or Administrative Assistant will record the team's final decisions on the following:


The Marketing Plan Coordinator will compile group input from your meeting into the downloadable Master Planning Chart (see example below based on the strategy statement). The chart carries details ranging from goals to tactics to available resources and more.



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Planning Your Marketing Retreat


Every church will be different in its usage and pace of this meeting. Yet the following suggestions for topics and time may help to keep the momentum going.

We do recommend that you reserve the equivalent of one business day (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to cover your meeting. The list below would apply to your discussions during the morning hours:

Foundation: Research & Vision

  • 30-minute Introduction: Your Senior Pastor and Marketing Plan Coordinator may explain what the Marketing Team plans to accomplish.
  • 90 minutes – Core Values: Your team should talk about the principles that guide your church and the results of your survey and interviews. Your group should work toward consensus on no more than five Core Values.
  • 90 minutes – Vision: Your outcome should be a Vision Statement that offers guidance for your church.
  • Every church will be different in the pace of this phase of the meeting. The following suggestions for timing may be helpful for conversation and to keep the momentum going during the afternoon hours…

Strategy & Implementation

  • 15-minutes – Introduction: Now that you’re equipped with the background research, Core Values and Vision, turn your focus to the development of a marketing plan for your church.
  • 75 minutes – Strengths/Challenges/Opportunities: Your entire team should dream big, then discuss how to apply those dreams to the real-life situations facing your church and community.
  • 30 minutes – Your Target Audience: Who does your church wish to reach with its communications?
  • 60 minutes – Strategies: How does your church reach for its goals? Which team members take ownership of which roles? When does this happen, and what are the steps? Let us help you arrive at the answers with our downloadable Marketing Plan Chart (include link to downloadable resource) and individual team member Tactics Worksheet (include link).
  • 60 minutes – Goals: Remember, your goal(s) may be a short and simple statement or even a paragraph. The choice is yours — and your church may have more than one goal in its marketing plan. Just be sure your goal is adaptable as time, resources and needs change.
  • 30 minutes – Metrics: What does success look like? Attach numbers or some other measurable method to your goals and tactics.

By the end of your meeting, your team should have all of the content needed for a working draft of your church’s Marketing Plan.