#17: Be Known For Something With Mark MacDonald
Mark MacDonald is President of his church branding agency, Be Known for Something. He has over 30 years of experience in positions like former Senior Creative Director of a large Canadian ad agency, Director of Communications, and Bible teacher. His 36,000+ social media followers know he’s the place for ‘How-To’ direction! He’s written hundreds of articles, been interviewed for dozens of church leadership podcasts, and been heard at numerous national church conferences.
Why 3,500 People Leave the Church Everyday
Churches have disconnected from their communities by becoming internally focused. The problem is that there are hundreds of cars that drive by our churches every single day, and people don’t know what’s going on inside of them. Furthermore, most people don’t really know why they go to a church, except to say that it is what they have always done. If there is no clearly communicated benefit, why would someone go to your church?
Control the Discussion
You can’t control what people will choose, but you do have some control over what their choices are. What do you want to be known for in your community? If you don’t develop that, people will just make assumptions, and those assumptions will be based on their perception. That perception is reality, even if it does not reflect what your church is really like.
Oftentimes people don’t know why they make choices, so you need to tell them why they made the choice. Good branding is all about the reinforcement of the benefit; you tell them the story so that they understand that’s why they go to your church. When you give that information to somebody, that’s when all the magic happens. Because they’ve already been told, it will be easy for them to talk about it the next time someone asks, “Why do you go to that Church?”
Mission Statements Aren’t Outreach
People who come to your church come because they need something, not because of your mission or vision. When they come to your church, they don’t even know what those things are; all they care about is having their needs met. Trying to explain to them why you do what you do will only get in the way.
Mission Statements are good for internal D.N.A. and making sure that your programs have a focus, but they can become a barrier if you just want to talk about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. The average person in your community doesn’t care.
Temporal to Spiritual
When we look at our communities, we must assess their temporal, or physical, needs. To them, those are not spiritual, but to us they have to be. We always have to move them beyond just the physical. If we fail to do this then we are just functioning as service clubs.
What is the Benefit?
Go into your community, and find out who they are and what they need. If there is a high divorce rate, then make sure you have marriage class available for example.
Churches spend too much time thinking about who they are and not enough time thinking about who their community is and becoming like them. Who we are needs to be defined by who they are.