A slogan or motto can be a great rallying cry. It joins people together for a cause. It gives a purpose to the organization and to every effort by the people within that community.
Who can’t visualize a healthy, athletic-type person running down a road with Nike’s “Just do it” slogan written across the page? What about “I’m lovin’ it” under McDonalds’ golden arches logo? Or “Go well. Go Shell?” And if you need more, you’ll find a good starting list on Wikipedia (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Advertising_slogans).
Slogans define a company or organization in one simple statement. A well-created motto will do more for a brand than any number of pictures, advertisements, or other media efforts.
This commercial success principle is not lost on churches. A very popular theme among those of the evangelical, church-growth model, is a statement such as “A Church for people who don’t like Church.” Much lower down on the effectiveness list would be clichéd lines such as “Where you’ll find God,” or “A church that cares.”
I came across a blog post discussing this subject on Genesis2k (read it here). The author (Greg) writes:
“Now, read just some of the church mottos I plucked from my own local telephone directory:
Where people gather…to worship, share and learn
A growing church serving a growing community
Building people through a loving, caring fellowship: Building a church through loving, caring people.
Where Truth and Love Make difference
We Build Hope
In the Heart of the City – With the City at Heart
Large enough to serve you, Small enough to know you
Transforming Lives and Building Dreams
Reproducing Authentic Christianity
The End of Your Search for a Friendly Church
A Place For You
Biblically Based…Family Oriented…Dynamic Fellowship
Living Hope For Real People
King James Version Only
Proclaiming & Demonstrating the Love of God through Christ
Bible Believing, Christ centred
21st Century Church – Come see our NEW Building
A Community Dedicated to Seeking God and Serving People
A Church involved in & Caring About the Community
Experience God’s Presence – The Church That Cares
Start a New Way of Living!
Where the Bible is Believed and Taught
A Historic Building
Building a Community of Grace
Unique, Expressive & Powerful!
Building Holy and Healthy Lives
A Family Church
We are followers of Jesus Christ inviting you to follow along with us
Proclaiming the Good News of God’s Sovereign Grace
Where God’s Word & Spirit bring Freedom
End Your Search For a Friendly, Spiritual Church
The Liberal Religious Alternative
“With all these descriptions, one would think “Wow! There’s got to be a great church for all our needs in one of those mottos!” I mean, just think about these: Building people through a loving, caring fellowship: Building a church through loving, caring people. Where Truth and Love Make difference We Build Hope End Your Search For a Friendly, Spiritual Church . . .”
I’m all for slogans–if they truly encapsulate what the church is about. They really do unite people around a purpose and, perhaps, a vision.
I remember in the years surrounding our relocation to our new building, the motto “A people with a passion for God and His kingdom” was something we heard just about every week, and was found on just about everything that originated in the church. This theme also found its way into many services, sermons and meetings in one form or another.
Later on the slogan “Moving on in faith” became set in our hearts and minds as we anticipated the big move.
More recently, we have been called “The church with a view,” capitalising on our location on the top of a hill overlooking a large part of the city, using that to say that we have a view upwards toward God, inwards for each other, outwards in our community as we fulfill our mission.
Slogans tell both the church family and the larger community what we are all about, what our primary mission is, what we consider to be of utmost importance. Let’s not be ambiguous, clichéd or irrelevant in our choice of words to represent our faith community. So, if we think we must have a slogan, then let it be something that doesn’t exclude, won’t open itself up to misunderstanding, and won’t make it seem that we’re languishing in the evangelical subculture of the 70s.