Where does it hurt?

Post-op diagnosis

Some folks avoid medical testing because they don’t want to know how sick they are. 

The courageous ones look illness in the eye. 

How brave are you feeling? 

After 50+ blog posts discussing the “deadly diseases of ministry marketing,” here’s a final basic diagnostic checklist for your ministry: 


Symptoms: Ministry personnel can’t articulate the ministry’s mission in a single sentence. 

  • A completely healthy ministry knows who it is and where it’s going and communicates with its donors accordingly. 


Symptoms: The ministry’s marketing effort is developed apart from the ministry’s mission; it may even drive the ministry’s mission.  

And workers’ roles overlap, with significant confusion and friction between areas of specialization. 

  • The healthy ministry’s marketing strategy grows out of its ministry calling, not the other way around. 
  • The organization operates on the basis of a “community of specialists,” with workers’ functions sensibly and clearly delineated, so that each worker in the organization has a good handle on his or her proper role in the ministry. 


Symptoms: viewing donors as “just like us” or disdaining them as inferior. 

  • A healthy ministry sees its donors for who they are and communicates with them accordingly. 


Symptoms: treating donors like robots or cogs in the machinery of the ministry, instead of developing a friendship with them. 

  • The healthy ministry treats its donors with love and respect, cultivates relationship with them, and communicates with them accordingly. 


Symptoms: attempting to raise funds on the basis of information alone or emotion alone, instead of communicating the life-changing substance of the ministry’s work. 

  • The healthy ministry invests significant resources in the collection of true-life “testimonies” and raises funds largely on the basis of true-life stories of individuals whose lives have been touched and changed through the ministry’s efforts. 


Symptoms: developing marketing strategies on the basis of hunches or the instincts of self or close acquaintances, without a basis in reality. 

  • The healthy ministry recognizes that genuinely good marketing principles are biblical principles and employs them appropriately. 


Symptoms: cynicism, with virtually exclusive emphasis on asking for help, and little or no emphasis on thanking or becoming a source of blessing to the donor. 

  • The healthy ministry invests significant resources in thanking its donors, recognizing them as crucial members of the ministry family. 

There’s no shame in being sick … only in rejecting the cure. 

Jesus came for the goofed-up, He said in Mark 2:17, not the for the got-our-act-together crowd. 

Being sick is not cause for condemnation. God works His wonders through imperfect instruments all the time. If He can accomplish anything through imperfect vessels like the ones at BBS & Associates, He’s amazing! 

But everyone can benefit when one member of His body stumbles across a shred of practical truth and shares it with us fellow-stumblers. 

Over the years, we’ve stumbled, picked ourselves up by God’s grace, and tried again to get down the road with His help. Why did we stumble there? In exactly that way? What really happened? 

We’ve tried to ask ourselves the hard questions, turn up truthful answers — and share them here … for the benefit of all the ministries God has raised up in our midst. 

The Lord has foreseen and made available the cures for all seven of the Deadly Diseases of Ministry Marketing. 

These sicknesses are curable. Which means they’re unnecessary distractions to your ministry’s mission. 

Our prayer is that you will have the joy of complete health in your ministry … that you will experience the freedom of “throwing off everything that hinders” (Hebrews 12:1), every flaw “that so easily entangles,” so you can “run with perseverance the race marked out” for you. 

The Body of Christ — and our world, in all its need — will be better for the “healing” work God does in your ministry. 

Could the treatment begin today? 

The patient decides. 

Let’s talk about how your ministry could be healthier. Contact BBS & Associates today. We’d love to hear from you!