Almost every ministry or company that we start talking with needs to start at the same spot.
Developing a Story. Interestingly, when we meet people throughout the day — people we’ve never met before — we have a “thing” we do. Don’t we? Everyone sort of does it differently. “Hi, I’m Mark. It’s nice to meet you.” Friendly, welcoming and we usually want to go further. Sometimes we say, “Why are you here?” or perhaps “I haven’t seen you here before”. But we usually work our way to, “So, what do you do for a living?” or “Where do you work?”. Then… BAM! We get a very quick verbal definition of where this person spends his time, dedicates his abilities or what his passion is. Or we get a quick, uninspiring response.
When you’re asked, “Where do you go to Church?” what do you say? Most say, “I go to Community Church, you know, the one at the corner of Main and Church St.” But what do you say when someone says, “Why do you choose that Church?”. I suppose, if you’re the Pastor you can say, “Because they pay me to.”
But what do the people in your congregation respond? I’m sure you can imagine all the answers.
In a political campaign, we all know the importance of “staying on point”. You know, it’s when you hear a theme emphasized, reiterated and restated. Taxes. Change. Maverick.
Imagine now if someone in your community heard the same positive themes about your Church every time they talk to one of your members. “I love my church because it has so many services at different times, I can choose the style and time that works best for my family” or “It’s the first church I’ve attended that really cares for the Community. We’re actively helping the homeless by building that new training center for them next to our church”. These are examples of benefits that communicate well to the un-churched. If you can connect quickly through an answer like this, it’s easy to invite someone to your Church. Your Church will grow.
So how do you get the congregation to say the right things? It’s fairly easy. And it’s inexpensive.
- Know your Congregation. Learn from your audience what they like, what their benefit of attending is. Everyone does things regularly because they receive benefits from it. What is the message that your congregation tells you? It may surprise you when you ask.
- Determine the Benefit. After you’ve heard a common theme, you can start to develop a short sentence that describes why people love your church. If several find it a benefit (and they are the demographic you seek to attend); then other pre-church people in your community will identify with it.
- Communicate it. In Unison. It’s like the “purpose” that Rick Warren has talked about in his books. Remind your congregation about this benefit often. Add it as a catch phrase below your logo. Create a web page that talks about it. Put it in your Worship Guide. Get the word out so much, that any person in your church will know the answer quickly the next time someone asks them, “so why do you go to your church?”
That’s the first stone that needs to be added to your branding foundation. This is the “absolute must” that must be created to make all “word-of-mouth” promotion work. And advertising, and direct mail and friend days…
Easy? It could be. If you don’t know how to start, or need outside assistance in editing all the information down, then we’d love to help. We do it all the time for our clients, and we can be an outside resource who understand the church market. It’s what we do best! Just contact us today. We’ll be moving to Step 2 next…