Ten years ago nobody was talking about churches and brands. That doesn’t mean churches didn’t have brands or that branding didn’t exist; it simply means times have changed. Branding didn’t matter back then to the degree it does today.
I know the arguments: “We shouldn’t have to ‘market’ God” or
“It’s not marketing God so much as doing our due diligence to make sure the love
of Jesus is properly presented in our communities.”
To me, the bottom
line is this: let’s make sure our “brand” doesn’t get in the way of reaching
others with God’s love and truth.
All churches have brands. Yes, even
First Free. By brand, I am not talking about a logo, a design or a given stated
purpose. A brand is simply the experience someone has of our church.
you tell your friends about First Free, what do you say about it? Do you say
“it’s pretty boring, my wife makes me go” or “ I always feel welcome the minute
I walk in the door” or “I like it but don’t understand the name” or “I tried to
find it once, but couldn’t.” These kinds of experiences are the
Every church provides an experience, whether good or bad, to
those who visit. This experience is the brand! Do you think First Free needs a
By that question, I don’t mean a new logo, fancier
slides for sermons or more expensive brochures. I mean do we need to work to
provide a better experience for those who are involved in their church and for
those who could potentially be involved in the church?
I think the
answer is yes and that every one of us should be part of the solution. There is
a large coffee chain that trains their baristas by having them do a “go see.” A
“go see” is when you go in front of the store and try to look at it through the
This “go see” improves the customer experience. Why not
try a “go see” this Sunday. Come looking at the experience of our church through
the eyes of a guest. Were you greeted? Was the facility appealing and clean?
Could you park easily? Were there signs to show where classrooms, restrooms and
the auditorium are? Would you know where to drop off and pick up your kids?
Would you feel safe leaving them there? Did you feel welcomed by the pastor? Was
the message relevant to a need in your life? Did you connect with others? Were
you told why we do things the way we do them?
Let’s all work hard at
creating experiences that will draw others to Jesus.
P.S. Help! I’m drowning in debt! What’s my next
step? More money should make me happy shouldn’t it? God loves rich people more
than poor people doesn’t He? Join me this Sunday at 9:00am or 10:30am to get the
Bible’s view of financial contentment.