Branding works. When you see golden arches you think about McDonalds. You see a swoosh and it’s Nike. But, when someone thinks about your ministry what comes to mind?
Does your ministry need a logo? Does it need a slogan or catch phrase? Should you be working with the student band to compose a jingle? Maybe.
Branding is important and it’s an effective tool to grow your ministry and attract the next generation. But, before you pushback with:
- Jesus isn’t a product.
- Advertising and marketing is sleazy and dishonest.
- Ministry needs to be relational.
And there is truth in all of that; however, you need to think about what your ministry communicates. While you might not want to use terms like product or slogan consider the fact that:
VISION AND MISSION STATEMENT MATTERS
You know in your heart what your ministry is meant to do, but could you clarify that to others? When people hear your vision and mission are they compelled? Do they feel motivated?
Your vision statement is like a slogan where it says who you are and what you are trying to accomplish. It doesn’t need to be cute or schticky. It should be memorable and concrete.
To create a memorable vision statement spend time writing it out. Try to use words that have impact and meaning; yet, don’t need a dictionary to understand. It should speak to your target audience and inspire your team. (For more on vision statements click HERE)
APPEARANCES ARE IMPORTANT
The t-shirts you put together for that retreat, the environment in which your programs occur and the website that promotes your ministry say something. The question is, “What do they say?”
While we want people to avoid judging a book by it’s cover first impressions are inevitable. If things look cheap, and disorganized people are going to associate that with your ministry. Websites that are not updated and flyers that are stamped with clip art communicate:
Our Ministry Is An Afterthought
A great resource I recommend is Parishdesigner.com to help you with all of your flyers and communications. Look for people in your parish with graphic design and branding background. Yes, it might cost a little money, but the payoff is worth it.
CHURCH LINGO CAN BE AN OBSTACLE
If you were raised in the church words like evangelization, and catechesis don’t make a lot of sense. There are a lot of terms that we use that are great for insiders; however, alienate outsiders. When looking at your ministry and the terms you use consider their impact.
Be prepared to define words like discipleship and evangelization so that someone new to the church is clear on what you want them to know and do. It might feel like dumbing down terms that are rich and meaningful; however, look at it as a way of reaching a broader audience.
Branding doesn’t have to be a worldly evil. It’s a tool that can help you spread the Gospel, share the the message of Jesus Christ and bring more people into a relationship with Him. Branding is what you need to think more strategically about growing a healthier and stronger ministry.
Question: How are you branding your ministry? What’s worked and what hasn’t? You can leave a comment by clicking here.