Church Image: How to Communicate What You’re All About

Church Image: How to Communicate  What You’re All About
By L. T. Little


“Image is everything,” or so we are told by the advertising industry. And  while this may not be true, it is still important for churches to be aware  of their perception in the community. Whether you’re trying to “shake” an  old image or create a brand-new one, establishing an identity for your  church that reflects your ministry is the first step to effective  outreach.

The cornerstone to your church’s image is your logo. Your church’s logo  is the first, and sometimes, only impression most people will have of your  church. What does it say about you? Does it say you’re in step with  today’s society and ready to meet them at their point of need, or does it  say your church hasn’t changed much in the last 30 years?  Before a person will visit your church, they must develop a positive
impression about your church, and that begins with your graphic identity.  Your logo has incredible power to convey the message of your church and  identify just who it is you’re trying to reach.


Step 1 — Evaluate Where You Are Now

Gather samples of everything that has your name and logo on it. Spread  them out on a table and take a good look. Then, answer these questions:

* Do they use the same logo and colors?

* Are they coordinated?

* Is the overall impression the one you want to make?

* Does your logo reflect who you want to attract?

* Have you changed/updated your logo’s colors or graphics in the last 10  years?

If you answered no to one or more questions, your church may be suffering  from an identity crisis. Perhaps it’s time to get some professional help.

There is enormous value in having a good visual identity professionally  designed for your church, one where the artwork is clear, clean and  uncluttered, and where the type is modern and easy-to-read. First, it
creates a sense of pride for members. Second, potential attenders will  take notice, changing their perceptions of the church.


Step 2 – Who Are We?

As you begin to seek out a new identity, start by asking these important  questions:

* What do we want our church to be known for?

* What are our core values?

* What are our key ministries and programs?

* Who are we trying to reach?


Step 3 – Define Your Mission

Take the answers to the questions posed above and lay a path for your  future efforts by formulating a mission statement that conveys to  outsiders what the church is all about.


Step 4 – Target Your Message

Today’s society is diverse and fragmented. While your goal may be to  reach everyone in your community, you may be more successful targeting a  specific subgroup. Here are some suggestions:

* EchoBoomers, Gen Y’ers – This group includes teens through young  20-somethings.

* Busters, Generation X, Post Moderns – This group includes adults up to  40 years of age.

* Baby Boomers – Currently the majority of Americans. This group is  between 40 and 60 years old.

* Builders – These are the oldest Americans. Generally, church is still  an integral part of their lives.


Step 5 – Believer vs. Unbeliever

You must also decide if your church has a real heart for reaching the  unbeliever. Be very honest here. Some churches are better focused on  meeting the needs of the growing, maturing believer, while others look to
introduce the unbeliever to Christ. This decision will have a tremendous  impact on the overall tone and ministries of your church. For example,  unbelievers don’t understand “church speak.” The language and terms used  by the church must be tailored to mesh with the outside, secular world.


Step 6 – To the Drawing Board

By giving careful consideration to all of the questions above, you can  then work with a professional designer to craft the graphic image that  best captures the essence of who you are and who you want to be.

While hiring a professional designer is a logical step to take when  developing a new logo, you may want to consider consulting a company like  Outreach Inc., which specializes in church communication tools. Outreach  offers both custom logo designs and semi-custom logos, which can be  developed for your church at a fraction of the cost of custom logo design.


Step 7 – One Good Use Deserves Another

The resulting logo should then be used on every printed and electronic  piece, including letterhead, envelopes, business cards, invitation cards,  mailing labels, Sunday program, newsletter masthead, advertising, signage  and note cards.

The cumulative effect will be a synergy that gives a greater life to the  body of your graphic identity than could be established individually. You  will have successfully created a unique church identity and name


“Church Image: How to Communicate What You’re All About”. Written by L. T.  Little.

“This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains  many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most  churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”