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Three Little Words

The three little words that you choose as you begin to define what your church, your ministry or your organization will revolve around are crucial! In a world that values the snappy tagline, the easily remembered slogan, do not fall victim to the temptation to only seek the “coolest” words. And don’t swing to the opposite side of the spectrum either. It’s important that your three little words be so full of clear and concise meaning that they require no further explanation to determine what you are all about. Your purpose shouldn’t be cloaked in deep-rooted jargon that only a special few understand. Rather, it should illuminate all that you feel Christ has etched within your soul.

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I find myself on a strange and different journey of “community.” I have recently gone on staff with an established, main-line denominational, multi-generational, downtown church. I was hired to help out a friend and mentor in his vision of adding a new twist to community as this church knows it. Being as established as this church is has its ups and downs. It’s amazing to be a part of a church that’s been around for so long and has so many different generations and backgrounds worshiping within it. But a large ship turns very slowly and can sometimes feels as if it’s barely moving at all. My boss and I have a large task at hand, and we’re excited to see the winds of change blow new life into this Bride (insert Pocahontas theme music here).

I tend to be a bit more nuts and bolts-minded in the way I think and my role here is to provide the operational, administrative support to this new endeavor. Our first task recently was to figure out “branding” our new little slice of community.

Everyone knows that you generally try to come up with three little words.  You know the whole, "if you had to sum up all that resides within you and your passions into three little words (preferably words that begin with the same letter) what would they be?" thing.  There are so many pitfalls to watch out for when you try to brand anything and, although I don’t at all consider myself a branding mogul at all, I have learned quite a few lessons recently on this new journey I have begun.  Here are just some of the ideas that we have been kicking around lately as we have tried branding our small groups.

The three little words that you choose as you begin to define what your church, your ministry or your organization will revolve around are crucial! In a world that values the snappy tagline, the easily remembered slogan, do not fall victim to the temptation to only seek the “coolest” words. And don’t swing to the opposite side of the spectrum either. It’s important that your three little words be so full of clear and concise meaning that they require no further explanation to determine what you are all about. Your purpose shouldn’t be cloaked in deep-rooted jargon that only a special few understand. Rather, it should illuminate all that you feel Christ has etched within your soul.

Now, is it possible to find the perfect set of words to encompass all that you dream about, hope for and are praying into existence? Nah. You will always need more than just three words to convey all that resides in your heart, but it is possible to choose words that provide a good mirrored image of your heart. A mirror is a great clear reflection, but it’s not meant to be a microscope.

As you put shape to who it is called God has called you to be in your city, think and then re-think. As our church is finding out now, it’s important to constantly re-examine why we are here. People, places and circumstances all change, and the Church, to some degree, should change with its surroundings. Who you were 20 years ago may not be the entirety of who God is calling you to be today.

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Also, ask people who don’t speak your lingo what they think of your “elevator pitch.” It’s for them anyway, right? The average Joe on the street should be able to understand it, so ask him. Outside opinion is key. John F. Kennedy is a great example of a president whose cabinet practiced “group think.” They loved and respected him so much that they only told him what he wanted to hear and, while he did some great things in his short term in office, I think we can all agree the Bay of Pigs, not so great. Don’t allow “group think” to take over your ministry team. Seek help outside the room.

Be who God is calling you to be and then present the best form of that calling to the world, knowing that transformation to Christ’s likeness is a never-ending process and change is inevitable.

Thoughts?

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