We’ve all been there at one time or another. Maybe it was the result of intentional attempts on your part to create an image or personae among your friends or coworkers. Or maybe it was the unintended, and many times unwelcomed, result of someone else labeling you. Either way, we’ve all experienced the effects of branding. In the time we live in, we are bombarded with marketing and advertisement. Businesses and organizations want us to quickly and readily associate them with a certain thought, emotion, or feeling. Take a moment and consider these effective company branding efforts;
- It’s likely that when you read that company name, the thoughts and images of refreshment, thirst-quenching, and fun with friends came to mind.
- It’s likely that “Just do it” came to mind along with images and thoughts of strength, determination, victory, and success came to mind.
Companies and personalities have effectively used branding to create a perception with people. They do this to reach the most people possible with their product or message. The misuse of such a tool has made many people believe branding is something the church has no business dealing with. However, we shouldn’t let how some have used a tool conclude that the tool itself is the problem. In his book Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media author, producer Phil Cooke (who also holds a PhD in Theology) relates the importance of branding to the church with this question, “What do people think of when they think of you?” He goes on to explain that “it’s not about manipulation, but about helping people clearly understand who you are and how you can impact their lives.”
Cooke instructs that at its core, church branding is simply about identity. Cooke says, “It’s about the story that surrounds who you are – a story that creates focus for your ministry.” It’s this unique story that every ministry has that will give it a unique identity among the others. Now, we all know that our sure and strong foundation is Jesus Christ. The church is the bride of Christ. The Christian church exists to worship God, be and create worshipers (disciples) of Christ, and do our part in fulfilling the Great Commission. However, it still holds true that each local church is unique.
So, what is our story? Who is Central Manor Church and how can we impact people’s lives? How would you describe our church to those who have never experienced it? What do we want people to think of when they think of Central Manor Church?
I can honestly say that I have attended various churches over the past few years and Central Manor Church is unique and has strengths that are not readily found at many other churches. That’s one of the reasons I’m excited about having a hand in getting the word out to people about our church. As we are shaping and refining how we communicate our unique identity to people, I’d welcome your input. Do you have stories of how the church impacted your life? Can you relate how you’ve helped others or been helped by this community of believers? I welcome anything you may have to share. Just as personally inviting someone is the most effective method, personal testimony still carries the most authenticity.
In the future I’d like to put together some interview videos to allow some of you to share your personal stories. We never know who and how many people are searching for the identity that is uniquely ours at Central Manor Church! Track me down, give me a call or an email and let me know if you’d like to participate!