My seven-year-old daughter recently wrote Santa a letter with a list of items she would like for Christmas. Most of it was typical toys and things of that nature, but I was surprised to see that Jordan shoes had made the list. She has never seen Jordan play, and I’m not sure she would recognize him if I showed her a picture of him. Yet the brand was important to her. Your church also is a brand, so how can we make sure it’s a positive one?
Branding is something a lot of small town churches don’t even think about, but they should. Your brand communicates who you are, and whether you realize it or not, what you’re currently communicating could be hurting your church.
So, let’s take a look at the four areas that communicate your brand the loudest.
- Your Website. In the majority of cases before anyone ever visits your church, they’ll visit your website. This is the day and age we live in, and it’s not changing anytime soon. If your church doesn’t have a website by now, what are you even doing? In order to reach people, you have to go where they are, and 87% of the people in America are online. The only thing worse than not having a website is having a terrible website, which many churches have embraced. And I get it, you’re preachers, you’re not web developers. So, pay someone who knows what they’re doing to help you. Find a church in your community that has a nice website and ask them if they can help you with yours. This isn’t rocket science. There’s no reason for churches to have terrible websites. It comes down to laziness and not caring at this point. Fix it! Here’s a post that can help.
- Your Logo. My youngest daughter can’t read yet, but she knows every time we pass a McDonald’s. You know why, because she recognizes the golden arches. Your logo is ten times more likely to be remembered than any other piece of your brand. So you need to keep it up to date and relevant. Clipart is not going to cut it. Again, invest the money to get a nice looking logo you can be proud of. One of the sites we’ve used in the past is called 99 Designs. For a few hundred dollars, you can choose from multiple options and get something really nice.
- Your Social Media. I encourage every church to at least have a Facebook page. Facebook is where a lot of your congregations are hanging out, so you need to be there too. However, just like your website, you can scare people away from your church if you’re not careful. If you post a picture of Jesus and say, “Share if you love God. Ignore if you want to go to hell,” you need to have your computer taken away from you. Find a young person to run your social media. They have way more experience, they’re going to be better at it, and they would love to do it.
- Your Church Sign. It’s possible that terrible church signs have done more damage to Christianity in America in the past 20 years than anything else. If you have a sign that allows you to change out the letters and come up with clever sayings like, “Stop, drop, and roll doesn’t work in Hell,” I want to give you a very clear next step. Take a few of those letters, put your service times and website on the sign, and throw the rest of the letters in a fire. I don’t care if its sister so-and-so’s ministry. She’s destroying your church, and you’re letting her. Stop It!
One last thing that doesn’t really fit into any of these categories, make sure there is consistency and unity with your branding. The student ministry and women’s ministry and all the others can have their own logos, but they need to have the same look and feel as the main church logo.
Putting all this together takes time and money, but if you’ll do it, you’ll discover it’s well worth the investment.
How would you rate the branding at your church? What areas do you need to work on the most? Let us know by leaving a comment below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.
2 thoughts on “Four Areas to Evaluate Your Church Brand”
I am in my first pastorate and the things you mention here have been some of my first projects. As a matter of fact, I had the church Facebook page up and running the week after I was voted in. Of course I worked closely with some of the members that I was put in contact with. Since then we have gotten a logo designed and a website up. Our church sign is old and worn out. One of the older members actually brought up replacing the sign recently. Although the church was not expecting what we have been given in quotes. Most want to go with LED signs so we can post various things and have the sign change periodically. Anyway, great list! I think you hit the nail on the head.
Sean, thanks so much for the reply. Glad to hear you’re having some early successes. Please let me know if I can ever help you.