At Paper Giants, we are passionate about helping you and your church share God’s story in a compelling and powerful way. But that’s not the only story your church should be telling. You need to tell the story of your church, too!
Sure, branding is a corporate, business world term, but at its heart, branding is simply storytelling. It’s sharing with others who you are, what you do, and what you care about. It is those little details, those connection points that will help someone decide whether they ever want to walk through your door or be a part of your church.
So, what story are you telling?
Here are a few points to focus on when telling the story of your church:
1. Who are you?
Write down a list of words that describe your church. These can be words related to your church’s overall voice, vibes, values, or anything you believe is essential. Ask your staff and key leaders or volunteers to do this as well.
Focus on finding at least a few words that aren’t “Christian lingo.” It’s great to be able to describe your church’s values and vibes succinctly, but you want to make sure those descriptions are accurate to who you really are while also connecting with the broader group of people you feel called to love, reach, and serve.
Now, look at your lists.
Do these words align with your church’s values?
How about your church’s goals?
This is a great way to double check if the story you’re telling aligns with who you are trying to be and trying to reach.
2. What’s your origin?
Your church’s story — like all stories — has a beginning. And it’s the beginning that usually draws people in. Whether it’s through a timeline graphic, photos from your earliest days, or simply making space to share stories on stage, people want to hear the moment your church came to be.
People enjoy hearing how God led you or the founding pastor to gather a group of people together. They want to hear about the small, persistent group that met together and prayed in homes every week for a year. These stories also remind your church of your specific mission and calling and serve as a reminder of God’s provision.
3. What are you offering?
There are many factors that can go into a person’s decision about which church to attend. Perhaps they prefer a specific type of worship or teaching. Maybe they want to make sure there’s a large children’s ministry or youth group. Perhaps they are really passionate about local or global ministry.
Make sure your social media, digital copy, and even signage clearly convey what type of church culture you are striving to create and grow in the lives of those who choose to be a part.
Jesus, teaching His disciples just before His death, said,
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” -John 12:32
And while Jesus is clearly talking about the manner in which He will die on a Roman cross, He is clearly telling His disciples what He is offering, too. The “lifted up from the earth” is a reference to His resurrection, which is also exactly what He is offering to all people (regardless of their status, nationality, or ethnicity).
Never forget to remind everyone who comes in contact with your church what you are offering…
4. What is your why?
If you had to boil down your church’s specific mission statement, what would it be? How are you going about achieving this God-given mission?
Are you passionate about outreach and evangelism, or purposed to focus more on discipleship?
Are you passionate about being seeker-friendly?
To put it simply, people today more than ever align themselves with those who align with their personal mission or values. The same goes for churches. By being clear and authentic about why your church exists, you invite those with a curiosity about similar missions and values to join you.
5. What makes you stand out?
Let’s face it: there are a lot of churches. And many churches have a lot in common, especially when they are in the same denomination, network, or line of faith. So, what makes you stand out? This doesn’t mean you have to come up with some flashy sign, marketing strategy, performative way to show off your brand.
Instead, be authentically who you are as a church and naturally develop qualities that set you apart.
Then, lean into sharing stories about the difference those qualities are making in the lives of those who are a part of your church and community. If you are a smaller church and your congregation loves getting together, lean in and share stories of your latest gathering. If you have a fantastic worship team that is a huge part of your culture, lean in and share these gifts with others by hosting regular worship gatherings for everyone.
Instead of comparing yourself to other churches in your area, focus on your church’s God-given gifts, talents, and tendencies and allow those qualities to shine.
When you share the authentic moments and stories of the church’s mission, it’s not branding—it’s ministry.
Emily Towns, Staff Writer, Paper Giants