Full Project – MARKETING OF CHURCH SERVICES IN A CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY

Full Project – MARKETING OF CHURCH SERVICES IN A CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY

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Abstract

Worldwide, church membership is decreasing. A decline in the number of young adults that attend church services is also evident. The purpose of the research was to determine whether the application of a well-established body of knowledge of marketing theories and principles could be used by churches to encourage young adults to return to the church. The application of services marketing to the church as a non-profit organisation is discussed by focussing on non-physical and physical atmospheric cues in the church’s servicescape that could enhance church attendance. A quantitative approach was used by testing the opinions of 200 church service attendees of different denominations. The findings indicated that certain elements in the service scape of a church may be useful in attracting young adults. It was found that music is a strong determinant of whether young adults attend church services, followed by layout and design of the church and then by the signs and symbols used in the church.

TABLE OF CONTENT

Title page

Approval page

Dedication

Acknowledgment

Abstract

Table of content

CHAPETR ONE

1.0   INTRODUCTION 

1.1        Background of the study

1.2        Statement of problem

1.3        Objective of the study

1.4       Research question

1.5        Research Hypotheses

1.6        justification of the study

1.7        Scope and limitation of the study

1.8       study area

1.9       Organization of the study

CHAPETR TWO

2.0   LITERATURE REVIEW

CHAPETR THREE

3.0        Research methodology

3.1    sources of data collection

3.3        Population of the study

3.4        Sampling and sampling distribution

3.5        Validation of research instrument

3.6        Method of data analysis

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

4.1 Introductions

4.2 Data analysis

CHAPTER FIVE

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Summary

5.3 Conclusion

5.4 Recommendation

Appendix

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Marketing as a profession consists of all individuals and organizational activities designed to facilitate and expedite exchanges so as to achieve the goals of the producers/sellers by sensing and satisfying consumers needs at an exchange process. In line with the topic in which solutions are sort, the researcher went into the study to find the problems associated with marketing of church programmes and how satisfied the prospective and current consumers are to the services of some selected Pentecostal churches in Enugu metropolis as it is expected that each of the parties concerned need to part with something of value. Church membership and attendance is decreasing worldwide: ‘The currently [sic] crisis of the church in the Western world is that people are becoming less involved with the church as [an] institution’ (Dreyer 2004:920). A worldwide decline in the number of young adults that attend services is also evident. Younger members of society have enormous work pressure and, with it, abundant choice for leisure, relaxation and social activities, which could be distracting them from attending church. Another possible reason for decreased church attendance by young adults is their postmodernist view, implying that they are more informed about products and services, among other things, because of the greater accessibility of information (Dreyer 2004:922; Proctor & Kitchen 2002:145). Young adults can decide whether or not they want to attend services, how often to do so and even what type of church service they would prefer to attend. Research regarding church attendance patterns emerged in social sciences as far back as the 1960s. These patterns indicated that high involvement with the church is common during childhood. During adolescence there is less involvement. Often, adolescents and young adults leave the church altogether, but a small number do return in their late twenties and early thirties (Dreyer 2004:921−922). The fact that only a small number of young adults return to the church is of great concern as they are the life-blood of the church – without them, the church cannot grow. As Dreyer (2004:936) has suggested, the continual growth of the church is imperative if religious communities are to continue into the future. In a business context, marketing is used to recruit new customers. Similarly, the question that begs answering is whether the well-established body of knowledge of marketing theories and principles could not be used by churches to attract and retain young adults. Church marketing is not a new concept (Britz & Müller 2003; North 2004; Santos & Mathews 2001:179). In fact, Sherman and Devlin (2000:47) state that the use of marketing activities by churches is on the increase. Services marketing is aimed at marketing intangible product offerings, such as health care or travel as opposed to tangible product offerings, such as motor vehicles or clothing. The physical environment in which a service as an intangible product is provided is known as the servicescape. Research has indicated that the servicescape can affect the consumer’s service experience either positively or negatively (Bitner 1992:57). Whilst the services offered to customers are intangible, the servicescape provides atmospheric cues such as signs, symbols, layout and design as well as non-physical atmospheric cues such as music (Bitner 1992:62). Servicescape research has examined restaurants, hotels, psychiatric offices and airports, to mention a few (Countryman & Jang 2006; Wilson 2003), but no research could be found on the application of these marketing principles to a church sermon as an intangible service. The Holy Bible New Testament is replete with examples of the disciples sharing the good news where people spend their time. Peter preached the gospel in a public place and thousands responded. Paul preached the gospel at the centre of culture and influence in Greece and influential people responded (Bible, Acts 17:21-34). In Nigeria (Bolu, 2011), more and more young people are turning to the internet to find personal, social and religious information and ecclesiastical institutions are devoting more and more resources to improving their presence on the web. In a world where every day we become more interconnected, the global visibility of churches is clearly linked to their commitment to the worldwide web. Virtual learning programs and open access initiatives allow Bible knowledge to spread beyond physical boundaries, thus, enhancing the church’s important role in raising new generation of leaders with character. There are several studies on the impact of information and communication technology in church communications for growth. Sturgill (2004) discusses the scope and purpose of church web sites for church communication. Andrade (2007) in his exploratory and interpretive research examines the anticipated consequences of information and communication technology (ICT) on six remote rural communities located in the northern Peruvian Andes, which were provided with computers connected to the Internet. The study reveals that individuals’ exploitation of ICT is related to how individuals overcome difficulties and make the most of available ICT tools and that complementing existing social networks through ICT reflects the interaction between the ICT-mediated information and virtual networks with the local existing social networks. The study concludes that any ICT intervention in a developing country requires at least three elements to be effective: a tolerable physical infrastructure, a strong degree of social texture, and an activator of information Ihejirika’s (2010) research in the field of media religion and culture, made extensive comparative analyses of the Catholic and Pentecostal churches in Nigeria and their different communication strategies highlighting the appropriation of the new information and communication technologies by these two christian denominations in Nigeria. The study describes the Pentecostal denomination as seeing media technologies as an extension of the church pulpit while the Catholic church as generally exhibiting a somewhat cold attitude towards these instruments of mass communication and remained largely a print-based church, investing most of her communication energy in the print media and in oral catechism. This attitude goes back to the advent of the cinema which the Catholic church’s hierarchy then saw as having the potential of corrupting faith and moral. Surprisingly, Ihejirika’s research revealed that of all the technologies of mass communication, none has been so instantly accepted and embraced by the Catholic Church in Nigeria as the new information and communication technologies (ICT) and goes on to reveal some novel pastoral initiatives using the new information and communication technologies. Chandler (2004), in her research on exploring crossgenerational attitudes and opinions on the use of multimedia in the Christian church, investigated the attitudes and opinions across generations regarding to the relatively new implementation of multimedia into the church worship service, compared to traditional teaching techniques. Before collecting the data, it was believed that the younger generation would be more in favour of multimedia use, because of their exposure and familiarity with multimedia in their everyday lives. It was predicted that the older generation would be in favour of maintaining a worship service with traditional teaching techniques. The research findings supported both hypotheses and also revealed that both age groups share many of the same concerns and viewpoints regarding multimedia and its implementation An interesting philosophical study by Cheon (2011) on communication for life in cyberspace-a christian ethical quest in reference to the Korean situation, raises awareness that all living beings are the communicating subjects, not objects to be communicated to; and attempted to establish a communication value named ‘communication for life’ which provides a new perspective on communication. (Williams, 2008) in his study of a Baptist local church in the USA found that that there is a changing worship experience with the emergence of media technology and contemporary worship in evangelical churches. (Wyche, 2010) in her work in the investigation of religion and computing in mega-churches graphically shows how church members and leaders use ICT in ways that ties to their Protestant Christian faith. Feijter (2006), metaphorically, illustrated the situation of Christianity and the need to communicate in today’s world, which is Bolu 81 saturated by electronic media, in his research on the art of dialogue in religion, communication and global media culture just as it was during the days of the first Christian missionaries in the first century. Gunton (2011) in the research on religious information literacy and using information to learn in church community explores the nature of informed learning in the context of the church as a learning community. The study anticipated that insights resulting from this exploration may help church organisations, church leaders and lay people to consider how information can be used to grow faith, develop relationships, manage the church and respond to religious knowledge, which support the pursuit of spiritual wellness and the cultivation of lifelong learning. Ukah (2003) studied the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Nigeria. In the research on local identities and global processes in African Pentecostalism, he noted that information technology also played a role in the church globalization. Today the Redeemed Christian Church of God makes global broadcast of her programmes through their television station. Many church leaders see the Internet as God’s solution to world missionary logistics challenges. Commenting on the Internet evangelism day, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Pastor Word of Life Bible Church and the current chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says (IEC, 2011): “The great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ is that we should take the gospel to the end of the earth through various evangelistic activities. The Internet has proved to be one of the most efficient and reliable means of communicating globally with little or no restrictions, which Christians cannot ignore. Like other means of communication, we urge Christians to take advantage of the numerous opportunities provided by the Internet for evangelism. Churches should promote computer literacy programmes for members to enhance their use of the Internet as outreach to many who need to hear about the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Much as the gospel is eternal and never changes, it will be difficult for us to significantly influence the 21st century if we are not knowledgeable enough about modern tools for influencing world opinion like the Internet. We need to sufficiently saturate the Internet with evangelistic websites and information that can win over unbeliever from the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light.” Christian mission is obeying Christ. After Christ’s death and resurrection, He commanded the disciples to share the gospel, the message of His redemption. (Bible, Matthew 28: 19 – 20) says;

Church according to Donovan (2005:5) is a living institution which is eternally joined to Christ, whose task is to guide and bring all its children to God in his eternal kingdom.

The church as a universal entity has from the beginning of human history exerted most influence in the development of humanity. The church according to Dr Ludwig ott is a designation for the Christians cult-structure since the beginning of the fourth century

 

  • STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The success of marketing techniques in commercial and trading fields inspired specialists to extend it to other fields especially in non benefit organizations and social causes. In fact, since their well known article “Broadening the Concept of Marketing”, Kotler and Levy were the first marketers to propose the possible extension of marketing to social causes. In this context these authors stated that marketing science could be broadened to include non business activities. This success has inspired even religious institutions. Indeed, marketing techniques have been applied to religion and specifically by churches. In fact, having a well-defined hierarchical structure and specific religious and financial goals, this type of organization has not been difficult to adapt this management specialty. The main promise is the spiritual satisfaction and soul salvation. In this context, based on marketing’s principle wish is the development of profitable exchange between the different parties, religious organizations such as churches and sects adapt marketing techniques to extend their audiences and consequently their financial resources based on donations.

 

  • OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study is to investigate marketing of church services in a contemporary society. But to aid the completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following specific objective;

  1. To investigate the impact of marketing church services on the growth of the church
  2. To ascertain the relationship between marketing of church services and the growth of the church
  • To examine the role of church marketing on the spiritual growth of the church members
  1. To examine the effect of marketing of church services on church efficiency
    • RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

To aid the completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0marketing church services does not have any impact on the growth of the church

H1marketing church services does have an impact on the growth of the church

H0there is no significant relationship between marketing of church services and the growth of the church

H2there is a significant relationship between marketing of church services and the growth of the church

  • SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is believed that at the completion of the study the findings will be useful to the church management in our contemporary society as the study seek enumerate the benefit of marketing services, the study will also help in expanding the tentacle of the church and aid in evangelism as the marketing of church services will take the services of the church to a wider audience. The study will also be useful to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the study will serve as a reference point to further research. Finally the study will be useful to student lecturer’s pastors and the general public as the study will contribute to the existing literature on the subject matter

 

  • SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers marketing of church services in a contemporary society. But in the cause of the study, there were some factors that limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
  3. c) Finance: the finances at the disposal of the researcher was very limited as such could not finance a broader scope of the study

1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

Marketing

Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships. Marketing is used to create, keep and satisfy the customer. With the customer as the focus of its activities, it can be concluded that Marketing is one of the premier components of Business Management – the other being innovation

Church

The Christian Church is an ecclesiological term generally used by Protestants to refer to the whole group of people belonging to Christianity throughout the history of Christianity

Church services

A church service (also called a service of worship, or simply aservice) is a formalized period of communal worship in Christian tradition. It often but not exclusively occurs on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practicing seventh-day Sabbatarianism

1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

 

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