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Are You Suffering from Brand Overload?

D-MOTB-AreUSufferingRemember that trick you used to play on your friends: “Want to play 52-card pickup?” Then you’d throw a deck of cards in the air.

I feel like my church does this each week with their bulletin. An usher hands me that beautiful piece of literature. Then my next five minutes are spent picking up the pieces that have spilled out.

Each piece of paper advertises some church ministry:

  • ?Fire Explosion Ignite Youth Ministry
  • ?Proverbs 31 Zoe Grace Women’s Group
  • ?Passion Eagle Holy Spirit Worship Arts

Our church has jumped on the branding bandwagon with extra gusto. Every ministry gets special marketing attention from its leader. The youth pastor is branding his youth group, the children’s pastor his ministry. Even the worship pastor gets in on the action by branding his band or department.

But with everyone branding their own ministry, who worries about the church’s brand? Very few churches can afford a branding manager for their church. And pastors are often focused on branding their messages. So the church’s brand is pushed aside while everyone’s ministries fight for attention.

Does your church struggle with brand overload with no one keeping them all in check? Let me suggest you scale back on some of the ministry branding and focus on a strong church brand.

Ask every key member to focus their efforts on the church as a whole. Your church brand will grow stronger. You’ll even find that those over-branded ministries will reap the benefits of a strong church brand.

Work on branding the church first. Make sure what people see reflects the church and makes them want to step through the doors. Then you can slowly add the other stuff.  


Jonathan Malm writes and speaks about the creative process—especially for churches. He writes about creativity at his blog and the website Adapted with permission from

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