Mission statements or taglines?

14 10 2013

Justdoit25 years ago, Nike created a three word tagline than can be readily recited by millions of people. Few people, however, could repeat  its current mission statement which is, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” As congregations wrestle with how best utilize a tagline or mission statement, it’s important to understand how these statements differ and how they’re most effectively used.

Mission statements . . . .

  • raise awareness within the congregation how it intends to fulfill the Great Commandment (Matt 22:37-39) and the Great Commission’s (Matthew 28:19-20).
  • define the congregation’s purpose, priorities and its target audience.
  • usually change less frequently and often require a congregational vote.

Taglines . . .

  • are designed to engage the crowd and pique people’s interest in the organization.
  • raise awareness in the community about the congregation’s personality and priorities.
  • are great on the church sign, t-shirt or a coffee cup and can be easily recited by others.
  • inspire people to action (i.e. Think Different, Get a Piece of the Rock).
  • usually refer to a promise, intention or what the congregation does best.
  • Help “brand” the congregation’s identity and are often created the same time a congregation develops its logo.

Taglines are usually the first step in building  an integral brand.  A good tagline can be a congregation’s best and least expensive form of advertising – often becoming an ad in and of themselves.

Suggestions for using taglines

  • Post logo and tagline on every webpage.  Include it on your stationary and business cards.
  • Hire a firm to help create a tagline rather than “do it yourself.” A bad tagline is worse than none at all.
  • Consider making the tagline the first ad your congregation does, done with conjunction with logo design (to ensure brand identity and consistency) and after thoughtful consideration to your congregation’s vision and core values.

If you have a tagline, ask yourself two questions:

  1. If you left your business card somewhere, could someone glance at it and know exactly what your congregation is focused on?
  2. Would your tagline work if another congregation used it?
  3. Does your tagline focus more on your org or your audience?

Please share when, where and how you use your congregation’s mission statement and/or tagline.  How might you use these two communication tools more effectively?


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3 responses

30 11 2013
jeremy Hall

im working with a church right now who’s mission statement is “life on purpose” …well thats nice, but what does it mean?! its a nice slogan but they need to nail down their “mission” so that they can guide the church in a specific direction.

23 10 2013
Constance

We have “Hope Lutheran Church: Anchored in Christ” with the H as an anchor. The underneath it is the acronym
Hope filled
One Body
Passing on faith
Empowered to serve

We’ve got the Hope anchor sign a lot of places–signs, letterhead, business cards, etc. But I don’t know if the anchored in Christ or the acronym is well known. Something I think we should begin reciting/emphasizing more.

18 10 2013
Sarah Hughes

Our tagline is “Come Journey Together.” We do have coffee cups with the logo & tagline–I’m not sure when they were last produced because I don’t see too many of them around the church. I’m not sure if the congregation is clear on what it means. To me, it is about that we are a pretty contemplative group with diverse political and religious beliefs, and that we covenant to walk our faith journeys together. I’m not sure that’s what everyone would answer though. It would be a good conversation to have with the other leaders!

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