Marketing for God’s mission

Marketing for God's mission
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Priscilla was working as Creative Director for a digital marketing agency in Bangkok. The work was difficult, especially one particular project about human trafficking. “That was a really intense project because I had to read a lot of stories about really broken people and how people were working to bring them to justice,” Priscilla says. 

The project was physically and emotionally draining, but it also inspired Priscilla. “What kept me going was, wow, this could actually impact somebody’s life,” she says. Around the same time, she started doing some pro-bono consulting with a local men’s ministry, giving them advice on their digital strategy.

Those experiences helped lay the foundation for Priscilla using her marketing knowledge for God’s mission. Some time later, an organization sent a project brief to several marketing agencies, including Priscilla’s, about creating a Christian resource hub for Thailand. The only Christian in her office, Priscilla was excited about the opportunity, eventually getting the project. “In working on that and seeing how we could use technology to further what God is doing, it really inspired me,” Priscilla says.

Through that experience, Priscilla decided that she wanted to use her talents and knowledge for God, but she still didn’t know how. How could she continue to work in marketing, support her family, and do missional work? She didn’t know the answer, but God ended up providing it.

Priscilla talked about all of this in a recent Indigitous Coffee Talk.

Priscilla meets Indigitous

While at a conference for international missions, Priscilla met Indigitous Managing Director Russ Martin, who explained the vision of Indigitous, of using our collaborative community to empower Christians to make Jesus known. “I was inspired by the innovative ways that we can push the boundaries of technology and see how it can be used to spread the Gospel,” Priscilla says.

Two years later, the global pandemic hit and Priscilla found herself searching for a way to do marketing work from home while still being able to care for her three children. Eventually Russ contacted her and said Indigitous needed a Director of Marketing. Priscilla accepted the role and has been serving in that role since April. “It’s been a wild ride and I love it,” she says.

Finding your role

God has made each of us unique, with our own talents, interests, and passions. The best way to serve God is not by ignoring those, but by leveraging them. Rather than walking away from marketing to work in missions, Priscilla found a way to use her digital marketing expertise to help a global missional movement do a better job of empowering Christians around the world to make Jesus known.

God can use digital marketers. He can use web developers, designers, writers, filmmakers, and more. He can use influencers with massive followings on social media. He can use someone with only a few dozen followers. Whatever your situation, He can use you.

“Look at how technology has changed the world,” Priscilla says. Social media has made the world more connected than ever before. More people own a cell phone than own a toothbrush. “How come the Gospel isn’t in there pushing those boundaries of expansion in the same way?”

For Priscilla, those digital channels offer an opportunity. Whoever you are, you have influence. Whether you’re a professional marketer, an influencer, or someone who likes sending TikToks to friends, God can use that. “It shouldn’t just be Big Tech,” Priscilla says. “Let’s use the channels that people are using all the time and meet them where they are with that message of hope.”

Have patience

I remember several years ago, everyone in my church group took a test to help us identify our spiritual gifts. The idea was to find out how God had uniquely made us and how we could use that for the Church.

I remember that my top spiritual gift was “exhortation.” And I was confused. How exactly was I supposed to use that gift? Did anyone I know need to be exhorted? I sarcastically considered posting on Facebook, “Hey, if any of you are in the need of exhortation, I’m your guy. Let me know!”

I didn’t see how to use that gift, so eventually I forgot about it. At the time, I was working in quality control for a company that investigates insurance fraud. My degree was in creating writing, but I didn’t see a way to use that for God, either.

I hated that job, almost as much as I hated the two jobs I worked after that. Since I always enjoyed volunteering with my church, I started looking for work in the nonprofit sector. I searched fruitlessly for about two years. Then a friend in my church group told me about someone at a missions organization who needed help. That eventually led to what I’m doing now, using my writing to exhort others in God’s mission.

Living on mission

Of course, you don’t need to change careers or employers to live on mission. You can do that with your everyday life, whether you’re a student, a professional, or are retired. But how can you know how to do that?

You can start with what you know and what you like. What are you passionate about? Is there a cause you want to fight for? Is there something you want to be a part of? What do you enjoy doing? Where do your talents lie? All of those are helpful starting points. “God gave me these experiences for a reason and I want to use them for His glory,” Priscilla says.

It may take time to figure it out. It took me more than two years of searching to find somewhere where I could use my talents and spiritual gifts for God. It took Priscilla nearly as long. Make a list of your talents, interests, and passions and start looking for ways you can use them for God. Pray to God for wisdom. It may take longer than you like, but you can expect that He will answer you, and it will be worth the wait.

Run

Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)

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Photo credit: Barney Yau on Unsplash

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