Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Images, brands and the dance

Ever notice the little words under the name... "finger lickin' good", "you're in good hands", "obey your thirst"... those slogans or motto's that try to subcommunicate with a few extra words what you are or what you get if you try the product. Some advertisers think they are as important as the product name (KFC, Allstate, Sprite) in "branding" the product. Slogans are so much a part of the vernacular that we sometimes miss their impact in our culture. "Sorry bud, this ain't Burger King which means in sloganenglish "You can't 'have it your way'", as an easy example. We've picked up on it in the church. We put these cool mottos and logo's together to create 'by imagery' a few words that say who were are or who we want to be or who we'd like you to think we are. There's the 'all B' motto: A Place to Believe, Belong, and Become. There's the 'little too long and churchy' motto: "A soul winning church serving in the Love of God". This one's kinda catchy... "The end of your search for a friendly church." It's the 'all churches stink besides ours' motto. I dunno about 'em all.

When our team began to meet together in Phoenix (my home before moving to the south), we fussed and fussed over these few words. Had to be just right. Had to be short, relevant, catchy, pithy, cool, profound and of course, communicate our identity, theology, ethos, pathos, vision, mission, core values and shoe size... all in one. I've just figured out recently why it matters so much. We want people to know who we are. And we know they don't read! Here's the rub. After all the trouble... they still don't know... and still don't read. So we dance.

Crosswind's dance started early on.
We said, "We're a ministry". Our friends said, "Naw, you're a church".
We said, "We're THE church but not a church." Our friends said, "Huh?"
We said, "We're a faith-based charity". Our friends said, "Looks like a church, smells like a church..."
Our friends said, "But you worship together". We said, "Yes, we do".
Our friends said, "But only churches worship together." We said, "Are you sure about that?"
Our friends said, "Do you have members?" We said, "We have volunteers and donors."
We said, "We are a local missions center". Our friends said, "You are? What's that?"
And we dance.

We don't dance because we're mad or upset that we're misunderstood. Gosh, we don't understand ourselves sometimes. We dance because 'who we are' matters. We're different. We're weird. We aren't your average 'run of the mill' anything. We are an experiment. We dance about who we are because we need our Christians friends if we are gonna make a difference. Just think if Salvation Army didn't have any donors except their "weekly" volunteers. And just think how the Lighthouse Toy Store would help all the families at Christmas if only their week to week volunteers helped or donated.

We dance because we have a dream that every low income housing neighborhood could have a few volunteers who would love and serve the families there, bringing Bible studies and practical love and resources. We dance because we want every struggling Corinthian to have a friend who can help them have a better life. We dance because we know we can't pull that off. It takes churches and charities and companies and individuals... it takes us all.

What's the Crosswind piece? To pave the way... to try out new ideas... to be a friend to the friendless... to organize connection points to the community.

"Do we want to be in charge?" "No."
"Do we want credit?" "No."
"Can you just ask us what works and do it yourselves?" "Please do."
"Is it okay if you try something we tried and do it better?" "We hope so."
"Is it okay if you steal our ideas?" "Sure. We stole 'em from somebody!"
"Will we help if you need it?" "You bet!"

And we dance...

BC

5 - read/write comments:

Bubba McQueen said...

HomeRun!

Anonymous said...

Really a great job as usual!

Lee Rodgers said...

AMEN!

Marea Wilson said...

Bravo....Bobby Capps..... you have won love machine of the week. and we dance.....

DonNA GUTHRIE said...

If you like field trips, try MEET ME AT THE CORNER,Virtual FIeld Trips for Kids www.meetmeatthecorner.org.

Over 50 free virtual trips for kids ages 7-12 to New York City, Colorado, San Diego and San Francisco. Or send in a video about your corner of the world for free editing and posting on the site

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