Above is our church logo. We call it a church crest because we’re old school like that.
It’s nothing too fancy or fantastic but that’s what you get when a pastor with a laptop, a few editing programs and no budget is trying to give the church a recognizable identity in our increasingly visual age.
So, we made the switch to this a little over 2 years ago and here’s what I’ve learned.
1. PEOPLE NOTICE CHANGE
Not just church people, which, if they don’t notice you might need to check their pulse. I’m talking about people outside of your church community that are inside of your ministry area.
It’s funny how a little visual change makes a big community statement, and with a little intention, this change can be the springboard to some new relationships.
[Side Note] If you can find a way to engage the community concerning their thoughts on your logo change, more power to you. One idea (if you have an old school, backlight, changeable letter sign you could ask: “What do you think of our new logo? Let us know ___(firstname.lastname@example.org)___)” Just a thought.
2. TIMING IS KEY
You know how, if you say the right thing at the wrong time you’ll often get bad results. The same is true with any change.
Now, we could deal with the internal, church, political side of this truth… but I’m thinking more along the lines of the timing for your community.
Perhaps there is a big town function that will bring a lot of traffic by your front doors. Maybe a new housing development is going in and some new families are starting to come to town. There could be some turmoil over other big changes that are happening around you.
The truth is, you won’t know unless you’re engaged where you live. You can’t just observe the culture around you if you want to intentionally reach the culture around you.
Find out what timing might be most effective in making the logo change for you church and then do it loud and do it proud.
Timing is everything.
3. IF YOU DON’T IMMERSE IT WON’T REALLY HELP (this is not about baptism)
I’m a Baptist and we don’t like to dunk our people (like a donut into coffee) and we don’t dribble (like a baby does on pretty much everything), we immerse (like the way you should eat Oreos with milk). That said, this has nothing to do with Baptism. If you want to do it the wrong way, you go right ahead. Pretty sure God will still let you into heaven with a wet forehead just as quickly as He would for the aquatically drenched (although I think there are bonus points if you use water from the Jordan river).
When I say, “If you don’t immerse” I’m talking about all of your church’s printed and electronic material. If you have a new logo but it’s not integrated onto the church website — FAIL! If you have a new church logo and it’s not on the cover of your weekly bulletin — FAIL! If you have a new church logo and it doesn’t go out on every piece of outgoing mail — EPIC FAIL!
The more you utilize this demarcation (ie. your new church logo), the greater the return.
Plaster everything with it. Go big and go everywhere.
4. YOUR LOGO IS LINKED TO YOUR IDENTITY
Your church’s identity (which I covered in greater length in this post [LINK]) is primary to your church’s community outreach effort.
What people assume about you is hard to change, but when there is a noticeable visual change to your church you often receive that rare treasure… a second chance.
“Oh look! Something new!!! Maybe something new is happening!”
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve bumped into around town (who recognize me because of the beard—also a brand for our church I’ve found) who have said, “I see that something is going on at that church. Are you growing? What’s happening? What are you up to?”
Through these conversations I was given the opportunity to communicate a new identity into our community concerning our church. I also discovered what our old identity was, which was information I didn’t ask for but was freely and boldly offered to me.
It was enlightening… and, can I tell you… we needed an identity shift.
5. INTERNAL CHANGE MUST COME BEFORE EXTERNAL EXPRESSION
This may be the most important point of all and it’s simple: If there hasn’t really been any change in your church then you shouldn’t spend time updating your logo.
Jesus kind of hit on this concept when He told the Pharisees that they were nothing more than whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27-28).
Basically, you can gussy up the outside all you want but if the inside hasn’t changed… well… to put it as my old, wise, strange and crazy farm friend put it, “You can slap some lipstick and a dress on a pig but it will still be a pig.”
While you might be desperate to get to some of the more visual and exciting changes that your church needs, if you don’t first spend the time doing the hard work of changing what needs to be changed internally, you’re still just a pig.