What sets your church apart from the crowd of churches in your own backyard?
The sad part of that statement is, not much. Or at least, not much according to the average person. For the most part, churches are invisible except to those who are looking for one. If you’re like Verve Church in Las Vegas, a church that intentionally seeks out and ministers to people who don’t like church, then your best shot at making an impression is to meet them where they’re at and draw them into the story of the Gospel. You don’t start at step seven or eight, encourage them to join a small group right away, or have them start Verve 101 for new believers on their first visit. You meet their immediate need and foster a trustworthy relationship from that point on.
Wait. What did we just do there?
Here’s the deal – most churches think they’re Verve. Most think they are reaching people right where they’re at. Most think they’ve got their target audience down to a “t”. They don’t, and it’s not even close. Most churches start at believer and work from there. But Jesus was clear: he came for those far from God. Do you? And if you think you do, how does your church communicate this to the average person in your city?
Your method is the message.
How are you communicating your unique identity in look and feel?
The personality of your church will shout loud and clear from the stage, across social media channels, and from person to person. If someone were to come to your church, what would they say about you? How do your staff and volunteers describe you? Want we want to aim for is a voice that is uniquely us and consistent across every medium. If you want this voice, here are a few quick tips for you:
- Consistent filters for all images.
- Consistent bumpers for every video.
- Consistent branding across various mediums. While print and digital may have different form factors, the idea is consistency within that medium.
While your brand identity is uniquely you as compared to the churches around you, your brand voice is how that identity is communicated to your target audiences.
Let’s just say that in a city of 100 churches, two churches have the exact same branding. They are the same size, the services are at the same time, and they have the same ____________ (insert “x” here). While this would never happen, let’s just assume this is our reality for now. They may have the same look, but they don’t have the same feel, and they certainly don’t communicate their brand the same.
Churches communicate according to their specific context.
Churches get into trouble when they forget their unique identity, adopt someone else’s brand, and then portray an almost bait and switch to their audience. No one wants that. People are looking for a place to belong and a church to call home. The best thing we can do is find our unique identity and consistently tell people about it.
Let you be you.
Forget the church down the street. Forget that their outreach event drew in thousands. Yeah, it was cool and all, but it isn’t you. Be you. And shout it from the rooftops. Consistently.