Marketing for Adventist School Leaders


"Marketing" is not just advertising. "Marketing" is choosing who we want to be and then becoming that so authentically that engaged consumers will be our most effective advocates.


Where's Your Pastor?   Check Your SPS!


Last month I was photographing grizzly bears with a photographer from Florida. We’d get close to a bear and Don would stop, take out his iPhone, click a photo, and send it off to family and friends saying, “I am here.” You could almost hear his wife cheering! Don’s portable Global Positioning System (GPS) made his photography week even more successful that he had hoped.

This week you can use an SPS to make your year even more successful. Use your SPS (School Positioning System) to design a track for your pastor to use this week, a track that will assure that he intersects with the school – on purpose – at least 7 times during the week. Highly effective times.


SPS One – Monday Morning:

Invite the pastor to speak for your all-school worship on Monday morning. Ask the pastor to use The Message translation and speak on Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the light of the world,” to challenge the students to make a difference in your community.

While he’s there ask for another 30 minutes: Ten minutes reading to the first graders. Ten minutes playing foursquare with the fifth graders. Ten minutes encouraging your teachers.


SPS Two – Monday afternoon:

Take the pastor with you to meet with the mayor and discuss your calendar of student community service activities for the year. Be sure the mayor learns how much you appreciate how the pastor supports the students…and how much he’s looking forward to being with them in the activities.


SPS Three – Tuesday Morning:

Today is pastoral staff meeting. Give the pastor the prayers the Junior High students wrote for their Bible Class. Their assignment was, “What prayer would you like for the pastoral staff to pray for our school this week?”


SPS Four - Wednesday evening:

Prayer Meeting? Chances are the pastor will bring the Junior High prayers along and talk about students. Go to prayer meeting yourself ready to tell a story of how the kids responded to the pastor’s worship and foursquare games on Monday.





SPS Five – Friday morning:

Meet the pastor at the school’s front door and introduce the two students who have been selected to participate in the worship service this Sabbath. Prep the students to thank the pastor for coming to help them prepare for their part in worship.

SPS Six – Sabbath Morning:

Enjoy the worship service as the pastor introduces the student participants, laughs about being beaten in foursquare by the Mighty Fifth Graders, and talks about how the mayor is excited about the school’s community service plans.


SPS Seven – Sabbath Lunch:

Have the pastor select three members to taste-test the Pot-Luck desserts made by the kids in your foods-for-living class. J


How’s your SPS working?

You can – on purpose – help the pastor become a close friend of the school. By the way, your campus is the church’s most effective evangelism center, and your school’s success depends of a well-nurtured relationship with the church leader.


Last week

Sharon Learned, teacher at River Bluff Christian School in Red Wing, Minnesota, was the first person to get back to me with the name of Rex The Rabbit. That means her website is getting a full evaluation and a check for $50 on its way to Sharon in Minnesota. Good job River Bluff!!!


Another $50 awaits the best great story about how your pastor’s keeping the SPS busy! Please send your submissions to:


Till next week!

Dick Duerksen, Editor

Grow My School

To ask questions or comment on anything in the GROW MY SCHOOL NEWSLETTER, or for more information on Marketing Adventist Schools, please send an e-mail to Dick Duerksen at


GROW MY SCHOOL is a service of the NAD Office of Education.



Issue 2009.9.22

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About the Author

Dick Duerksen is Assistant to the President of Maranatha Volunteeers International where he serves as Storyteller. He is also Creative Consultant to the NAD Office of Education. Dick has worked within the Seventh-day Adventist church as a pastor, administrator, editor, planner and consultant for creative ministry.


1 Budget Time w/ Pastor

The ORIGINAL "show 'n tell"

Call for an appointment to review the school budget with each local pastor.  This is where "openness" wins!


2 Fly Kites

Bad times are a good time to play
Partner with a local kite shop or go to for some fast kite options. People love to picnic and play in the park. Lead the party. Take credit and place your logo everywhere in the park.


3 Listen Aloud

...and post hours

Make yourself incredibly easy for parents to find.  Place your schedule in church bulletins.  Hold a couple "open-forum" conference calls.  Listen, and they will share...and support.


4 Do Their Homework

Keep the parents a month ahead
Prepare the homework assignments and pages at least a month ahead. Bind them in a booklet and send a copy home to the folks. They'll respect you more if they know you're ahead.  And they'll help the kids keep up!


5 Assign Classwork

30 min/week listening to kids read
Your job will be easier if the parents feel safe with the teachers. They're NOT the enemy. They ARE your most valuable supporters. Assure them they're needed.