Faith-based organizations are growing bigger both in size and finances, giving more room for the religious groups to invest in expanding outreach to whole new levels. And many of them are investing with secular marketing agencies.
TeenMania, one of the largest Christian youth ministries in the nation, just came out of two newly launched stadium events that drew more than 60,000 teens in two major cities and is now headed toward the East Coast next weekend to reach thousands more. With the urgent need now greater than ever to reach the young generation for Christ, BattleCry – a “reverse rebellion” countering the MTV-impacted culture – kicked off in March on a new web platform.
A new BattleCry website (www.battlecry.com) and podcasts are helping link students across the country, gearing them up with their own battle plan. And TeenMania took their new tech-savvy outreach to Tocquigny, a secular ad and marketing agency.
The high-ranking interactive agency, according to B-to-B Magazine and Adweek, was given the assignment to take TeenMania's message to a national platform and to use whatever technology was needed, from text messaging to podcasting, to attract and engage the teenaged audience, according to the New York Times.
"I think one of the key things that we're seeing is really an increase in the sophistication and scope of these [religion-based] groups," said Skip Dampier, a partner and creative director at the agency, according to the Times. "What we used to think of as a small nonprofit Christian organization has really turned into savvy marketers with an appetite for technology."
The advanced approach comes with an appetite for technology increasingly seen in today's generation.
"Technology is taking this generation by storm," stated TeenMania founder Ron Luce who noted that youth groups are tied together on the Internet.
Staying up-to-date with technology and following the trend of tech-savvy teens, Luce opened TeenMania to secular firms, recognizing that Christian ad agencies may not perform on a "world-class level."
"If MTV can give them the best, why can't us Christians give them the best?" Luce told the Times. "If MTV values them more than we do, then MTV is going to get their hearts."
Christian organizations also acknowledging the power of the Web are preparing for the second annual Internet Evangelism Day. On May 7, churches and faith groups around the globe will partake in communicating the outreach potential of the Internet to facilitate the spread of the Gospel.