Every christian mysticism has a story to tell about itself, the ministries and the people within it. And some of those stories are not only inspiring and motivational, but in a word “amazing”. But the stories don’t become quite as amazing when they are told by the individual ministries. How can it be that churches with such vibrant ministries seem dysfunctional when getting their message out?
I often use the analogy of the 67 Red Sox when churches talk about their ministries and their seemingly lack of cohesiveness.
When someone asked a player on the 67 Red Sox if the team did things together after a game, the reply was: “There are 25 players on this team. When we leave there are 25 cabs waiting to take each of us to where we want to go.”
It is interesting that one church that has a myriad of ministries, which are forever linked through hundreds of shared Sunday messages, long hours of planning together, through shared moments of joy and disappointment and do a wonderful job on their own can’t effectively communicate in concert about the church.
Sometimes churches seem like they have multiple personality disorder because every ministry communicates a different message. Kind of like the 25 players/25 cabs mentality.
That is where it takes leadership to help create an effective brand.
What is a brand?
The American Institute of Graphic Design defines a brand the way that many churches could use as a foundation. They define brand as
“a person’s perception of a product, service, or company.”
Company in this case could be your church. That definition has nothing to do with a mission statement, a logo, a tagline, a color palette, or typography. Instead, a brand is defined by a perception, good or bad, that your customers or prospects have about you.
When it comes right down to it, your church brand is not as much about you, but as to who you are serving. You have to get to that point of finding what it is that your church does and then go about doing it in excellence.
So, the question to help build your church brand is the following:
In what areas/ministries/services is my church putting a stake in the ground and proclaiming to all that will hear that “This is what we do. This is what we do well. This is what we are good at”?
Keep in mind that if we don’t put intention to this, others will in fact do it for you. In this day and age, if we are not defining ourselves, others will do it for us and that those perceptions can be very misleading.