Today, at a Hospitality Forum after worship, we revealed our new logo at the Kirk. Many good people have put lots of hours into it, and I’m rather excited by it, and by the direction we’ve been moving.
Want to see it? Its after the jump, but first, a quick aside:
The group at the Kirk working on what we’ve traditionally called evangelism is our Growth and Marketing Team. I admit: I have mixed feelings about the name of that group. Both “Growth” and “Marketing” I’d want to unpack, and qualify, and contextualize better.
Growth, if that means just a focus on the number of members, isn’t the aim of The Kirk; discipleship, faith, relationship is. Growth, based on just the numbers, is commodification. Sure, we want more and more people to join us. We’ve got a good thing going, we think, and we want others to share with us, to become part of our journey too, so we can grow and change and serve along side them also. We will have to, if we’re going to be a thriving community of faith. But that can only be a secondary goal, and a result of our growth in faith and love. Its an invitation, not a competition. Furthermore, the Church isn’t a “business.” We aren’t selling or offering a product, or a service. So Marketing, communicating the value of a product or service, if it only works in a commercial sense, doesn’t quite fit either.
But growth is essential for the church, isn’t it? “Go, therefore, and make disciples.” And to do that in the 21st century, in a post-christendom era, there will have to be communication that tells what we’re about, that signals core values, that we seek to be part of the modern era, ask relevant questions, long for authentic relationship with 21st century people, not asking people to behave or believe like its 1950 or 1960.
So Growth and Marketing at The Kirk is really Welcoming and Communication, and like all other ministries of our church, it is woven deeply into all of the other work. Mission and Outreach, in real ways, is the new evangelism, because it is through serving others that we will grow: grow in relationships, and grow in numbers as others want to participate in acts of serving and loving others that isn’t about trying to get another notch in our belt or a new member for the sake of the bottom line or of numbers. Worship is the new evangelism, because it is the heart of the church, and true worship has a place for all. Christian Education is the new evangelism, because it is through learning together how to be faithful that we open ourselves to authentic relationship with others and with God, and thereby open ourselves to grow in faith and in the size of our community. And so on.
But the Growth and Marketing team is our group that will help us be more hospitable, and the people who are helping us communicate well who we are, and what we’re all about. Our communication efforts began last year with a new tagline–The Kirk: Community Minded; Loving and Serving. We’re “minding” our community (both the Kirk as a community, and the local community surrounding us that God has given us to engage) through love and through service. Simply put, we’re seeking to be Christ’s hands and feet, where we are, as God leads us. This gives us focus: the ability to guide our ministry together and to explain simply to others what we’re trying to do.
Next, we worked on this new logo. We had options, including getting a generic logo or bidding out to some designer online. But in the end we decided that we valued the unique product that could only come by getting to know a designer. So we found someone local whom one of us knew, and invited her to come meet us. She walked around our building. She asked questions. She noted key features of our congregation, our theology, and our space. I shared a beer with her. She drafted some options, and worked with us to hone them and refine them. It took about three months. And here’s the end result: