On this week’s Relationship Marketing Weekly, I interview Rev Joshuwa Armstrong of the Second Baptist Church in Keyport,NJ. Rev. Armstrong discusses several ways that he has incorporated a relationship marketing strategy that has allowed his membership to thrive and has strengthened the bond with his members. He’ll also go into detail about several incredible campaigns he’s developed that empower their members and guest to connect with family and friends in a meaningful way. He also discusses many other ways that he leverages these strategies in his business outside the church… You’re going to not only love the interview, you’ll love his vision on bringing people together!
Kody Bateman: Hey everybody. This is Kody Bateman. Welcome to our Relationship Marketing Weekly Show. I’m really, really excited about the guest that we have on the show today.
I want to thank all of you for tuning in. Just state your names and say hi to us as you’re tuning in here. We got people that are tuning in from all over the United States, Canada, Singapore, UK. It’s really cool to watch as all the names come in or the people that tune in to this show. This is going to be a great, great show today.
Typically we interview business owners and salespeople with businesses and different things and today we got kind of a unique twist because we are going to interview how a church uses relationship marketing to better relationships in its congregation. We got a dynamic, dynamic personality with us today. I would like to welcome to our show, Reverend Joshua Armstrong. He is the assistant pastor at the Second Baptist Church of Keyport, New Jersey. Reverend Joshua, welcome to the show today.
Reverend Joshua Armstrong Hey, Kody. How are you doing?
Kody: I’m doing great. It’s great to have you on with us. You and I had a chance to visit for a few minutes before the show started and I will tell you, I just want to sit and listen to your stories and your – you got some fun stuff that you like to share with us.
I would like to get started by – first of all, tell us a little bit about you, how you got into – how you got into being a pastor of a church and a little bit about – because you don’t just do the pastor shift. You also have other businesses that you run. So just give us a little background on you.
Reverend Joshua: Well, basically how I became a – got into the ministry, I was – my dad is a pastor. So I’ve always been in church all my life. But I enjoy church. I enjoy the word of God. So I was actually an associate minister at my dad’s church about two, three years ago, for about ten years.
Then I came up to this church here and became the assistant pastor. I went to school. I went to [0:02:10] [Indiscernible] College and I got a degree in Christian Counseling and Psychology and yeah, becoming a pastor is – certainly pretty much you don’t really strive to beat [Indiscernible]. It’s just something that happens over time and you love your relationship with Christ and you follow what he has called you to do.
Also again I’m an entrepreneur. I have a delivery service. I’m also a representative of SendOutCards and the reason why I use SendOutCards in my business is because I realized that I needed to stay in touch with my customers because there’s an old saying that “Out of sight, out of mind.”
So again, the longer you don’t talk to your customers, the greater chance that they won’t call you back again. So I came across SendOutCards because no one told me about SendOutCards. I was Googling one day, looking for a way to stay in touch at an affordable rate with my customers and I came across your service. As a matter of fact, before that, I read a book by Joe Girard, How to Sell Anything to Anybody, and as you know, he used greeting cards in his strategy and he’s still the number one car salesman in the world.
So I said, “You know what? If it will work for him, more than likely this should work for me,” and I’ve tried it out and it has been working for my business personally and also for the church.
Kody: So when you first started, like you say, you’re an entrepreneur. So when you first started, you started utilizing greeting cards and gifts as a follow-up service for your businesses, right?
Reverend Joshua: Yes.
Kody: And by the way the Joe Girard story is incredible and a lot of inspiration I’ve had over the years has come from some of his teachings. So that’s a great way to get started. But one of the things that’s unique about you is that you took the entire concept and you moved it over to your church services, which is unique because we were commenting before the show that I wonder why there aren’t a lot more churches using our service. There are a lot of churches that do. But I would think – I mean so Josh would tell us. Being a leader of a congregation, are you not in the relationship business? I mean isn’t that what you do?
Reverend Joshua: Yes, we are Kody. Like you, I’m still trying to figure out why people don’t use it because it’s the best tool to connect more with your members. That’s why we use it. Our goal is not just to have members. But we want to connect more with our members on an emotional level and SendOutCards is the perfect tool and it helps us do just that.
Kody: So you have a – what you call a “First Time Visitor Campaign”. This is really interesting. I hope everybody listens into this, how you do this, the First Time Visitor Campaign. So when someone new comes and visits your congregation, tell us what you do.
Reverend Joshua: Yes. We do have a First Time Visitor Campaign because my mother always said, “First impressions are lasting impressions.” So we always want to make a big first impression. So what we do, we’re all first time visitors. We have a card that we haven’t filled out and we collect the name, address, birthday, stuff like that.
Then again, we have a campaign that we send out not just for the first time, but throughout the year. So again, we send a first-time card up the next day and also we attach a box of brownies with it.
Kody: That always works.
Reverend Joshua: It always works. At the church service, they love their brownies. Then also if they’re a mother, they get another card for Mother’s Day. If they’re a father, they get a Father’s Card for Father’s Day. Then of course we have a holiday card attached to the same campaign.
Now everyone on our list gets a birthday card with a box of brownies. Whether they’re a member of church or not, if they’re on our list, we’re going to stay in touch with them and just let them know that we’re thinking about them.
Kody: I got to tell you, that’s incredible. We were talking earlier before the show started. One of the things I do on occasion is I will go and visit other congregations. I attend the church myself regularly, weekly. But on occasion, I will go to other parts of town just to visit other congregations, other denominations because I like to see what other churches are doing. I would love to listen to choirs.
We were kind of joking a little bit, but I said, “I will tell you what, man. If I go into one of those churches and five months later when my birthday hits, if I get a birthday card from that congregation, I guarantee you I’m going to go back to the congregation to say hi to somebody at least.”
Reverend Joshua: Of course.
Kody: You know, it’s funny because we joke about that and how simply of a concept that is and I think everybody listening would relate with that. If anybody listening right now, if you put yourself in my shoes of the story I just said, if any of you went to another congregation and several months later, unexpectedly, birthday card shows up, you instantly know how that would make you feel. You would feel appreciated by that congregation. So why more churches don’t use this for those kind of things is kind of beyond me.
Reverend Joshua: Even we have some members who we don’t even have their birthdays. But because we’re on Facebook, when their birthday pops up, I go into my smartphone, grab their picture off Facebook, send them a birthday card with their picture on it with a box or brownies and it’s amazing. They love it.
Kody: That’s incredible and it’s – I sure appreciate your example on that. There needs to be a lot more church leaders and business leaders and people in everyday life that will take the time to do that.
Reverend Joshua: Yes.
Kody: It really doesn’t take much time, does it? I mean once you get into the habit of doing what you just said, it’s pretty simple to do.
Reverend Joshua: Like send an email.
Kody: Pretty much. Yeah, pretty much. A couple of other things that you do, very interested in – you have a campaign that you’re just going to start this and I think you just built this campaign. You call it the “Marriage Advice Campaign” that you send out to members of your congregation. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Reverend Joshua: Yes. Well, in 2018, we’re going to send out a marriage tip advice campaign when we send postcards. The goal is to really connect with our members in a meaningful way. That’s our main goal and we do that by sharing information with them that can help them in their everyday life. So we can be sending that campaign to all our married couples.
Of course throughout the year, we’re going to create some other campaigns for different categories or groups of the church. But for right now, we’re going to start with this campaign and our goal is that after they have experienced the postcard – receive the postcard in the mail from us, we’re going to challenge them and empower them to do the same thing to their friends and families because our goal and every church’s goal – question is, “How do we connect with more people without having to spend more money?” because outreach costs money. So again – and Joe Gerard says – he did a study. It said that everyone knows 250 people. So that means if I have 50 members, my 50 members, each member knows about 250 people.
Reverend Joshua: The question, “Why are not churches packed?” Because nobody – none enough people are inviting people to church. So again I believe that again, if we empower members to share meaningful information with their friends and family, eventually the friend and family will say, “Wow, thank you for that information. Where did you get that from?” Oh, my church.
Kody: Yeah. I will tell you, I love that because we’re teaching businesses how to do the same thing. I mean this show, all that we do once a week is a service that we provide, free of charge, that any businessperson could come and learn relationship marketing tactics and it’s the concept of just give – freely give information and be of service to other people. You’ve taken that to the church as a leader of a congregation. You know, obviously there’s a lot of things that you can do, of free service to people who are a member of your congregation or not.
Reverend Joshua: Yes.
Kody: And obviously marriage advice and relationship advice and key things to do to keep your family together. Who better than you guys to be able to tell us those things? That’s the world that you live in.
Reverend Joshua: Yes, yes.
Kody: Yeah, it’s great. I love that stuff. So we were also talking – one of the things I comment on a lot, you know, we run a company called SendOutCards. We help people create relationship marketing for their business, so that they can better their business and that’s – I like to call that leveraging what the marketplace wants from us, which is a way to follow-up with clients, customers. Do the things like you just talked about. But we need to inspire people on what they really need from us and what people need from us is a system to help them reach out and be kind to other people.
Reverend Joshua: Yes.
Kody: Because the bigger mission that – at SendOutCards, the bigger mission here is we basically teach people and show people how to be nice to each other. Would you not agree that that’s probably the biggest thing that we need in the world today?
Reverend Joshua: Oh, definitely, especially in the climate that we’re in today. We definitely need that. We need to not just talk about it, but now have a way to actually do it, which I believe that SendOutCards is that way to do that.
Kody: So we were talking earlier, you know, we got a big convention coming up and our theme is titled “One” and the whole concept of that is one – we’re one race. We’re the human race and our job is to come together in all of our diversity, come together as one human race and celebrate each other and send our positivity out to the world. We deal with that even in the church environment. We were talking about the fact that you have Christian denomination. You have non-Christian denominations. You have a lot of different theologies and different beliefs throughout or even within Christianity, you have Catholicism and Protestantism.
So over the course of time, there seems to be – I don’t want to say separation but there is a separation of different congregations or different denominations. How do we – whether you’re a Christian or a Buddhist or a Muslim or whatever it is that you are, how do we as God-fearing people on this planet come together? What is the common denominator that should bring all of us together regardless of our denomination or our theology?
Reverend Joshua: Well, the common denominator is relationships. Before there were any churches, there was a family and a family has a relationship. The challenge is that we as men may – have created differ denominations, different religions, which has placed walls and barriers and guess what. We have – even as Christians – let’s talk about just the Christian body. We have felt more in love with our religion instead of our relationships.
Number one, the relationship with Christ and then relationship with each other. So again, we have created the religions. So now I can’t go to a certain church because I’m a Baptist, some people would say. But that’s not true because again, our core common goal is Jesus Christ that we all share a relationship with and I believe that again when we get to that – the thought process that it’s not a – it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian, atheist. We’re all God’s children and that my job is to celebrate you, help you and give you – give you a hand and for you to do likewise. I believe that when we do that, the walls of religion, hatred and racism will all come down.
Kody: I got to tell you, Reverend Joshua, it is – it’s inspiring to hear that message come from the assistant pastor of the Baptist Church. That’s very inspiring. It really is.
Reverend Joshua: Well, thank you.
Kody: We do. We need more of that. We need to come together as people. You say common denominator is the relationships, which is true. You could also say the common denominator is love. At the end of the day, we all have a desire to love and be loved and that’s how we’re all the same.
Reverend Joshua: Yes.
Kody: So if we can just celebrate that amongst each other and – you know, here’s the other thing. I found – kind of in closing, I just kind of want to get your thoughts on this. I really believe – I strongly believe and I teach this from the stage all the time. I believe the key, the very, very key to finding fulfilment in life is to embrace diversity. Not be scared of it. To me, diverse – there’s a reason God put different kinds of people on this earth.
Reverend Joshua: Yes.
Kody: And I just truly believe that if we embrace the diversity of the human race and learn from the differences of the human race, embrace that and come together with a common denominator of love, to be loved, that is the essence of a great life in my opinion. I just want to get your thoughts on that as we close.
Reverend Joshua: Oh, no. I totally agree. I think what hindered us in success is that we have – again, we do have barriers because we look at the religion or we look at the color and say, “You can’t help me.” But in reality about it, that you probably can. When love is there, love says, “I’m not looking at your skin color. I’m not looking at your denomination.”
We have something in common. Let’s get together. Let’s go to work. So we all can have a great life and I think that – when that happens, again, the walls of traditions, denominations, racism will definitely come down.
Kody: Well, I love that. By the way, what you’re using with the greeting cards and the gifts and how you’re sending campaigns out to people, that’s simply a mechanism to help bring those walls down and it’s just – it’s an inspiration to hear your story. So Reverend Joshua Armstrong, thank you so much for being with us today. I appreciate it very much.
Hey, listen. We will be back here next week. It’s the holiday season. We’re celebrating and it’s busy season for us here. We’re going to talk next week about some really unique gifting ideas, gifting ideas for your clients, customers, your family members, people at your church. We got some great gifting ideas and concepts for you that will help you to be in service of other people. Thanks everybody for being with us. God bless. Take care now.