How to share on your church's social media: Honesty and Transparency

Scott Miller
July 13, 2022

Have you ever heard of Wal-Mart? Chances are if you've lived in civilisation and have not been a hermit in the last 60 years, you have. Have you ever looked at their brand guideline?

A brand guideline is like an instruction manual for designers, marketers, and executives to know how to properly format content for the company. It ensures that everything they create is consistent, cohesive, and clean.

Chances are you have NOT looked at their brand guide, but if you did, you'd quickly feel like they just might be living in "La La Land".

Here's an excerpt:"Say “hi” to Our Price-Value Shoppers. They’ll smile at you because they know that you’re working to save them money on their everyday needs. They appreciate that and are loyal to us because we help them live better with what they can save by shopping at Walmart."

I don't know about you, but when I go to Wal-Mart, I rarely see anyone smiling at their employees. I don't feel any loyalty to Wal-Mart, either. I'm speaking as a Canadian shopper, but I don't feel relief, or joy, or really anything when I shop at Wal-Mart. It really just feels like they're a bit disconnected to reality.

I'm not making a rant/complaint. There's a point to this: Does your church's language communicate something that's different than it's reality? Are you calling yourself a "warm and welcoming" church but in reality a new guest will probably NEVER get greeted beyond the front door? Do you consider your church to be "contemporary" but your still singing from hymnals? Do you have language like, "family church" but it's all young un-married people or old people?

Please let me be clear: None of these labels are inherently bad!

But let me go back to Wal-Mart for a moment: Imagine reading Wal-Mart's brand guide and then entering a store for the very first time. Would you feel a bit misled? How would a guest in your church feel if you called yourself a family church but there's not even a nursery?

How would a guest in your church feel if you called yourself a family church but there's not even a nursery?

There's a difference between aspiring to be a type of church vs. practising being that church. And, it's totally okay if we say you aspire to be that church.

In fact, it might seem like humility in a world full of itself.

Imagine saying, "We aspire to be a family church that focuses on building Christian men and women to disciple the next generation." 

Whoa.

Or maybe its, "We aspire to be an inner city church that makes a difference in our community through God-centred yet practical acts."

Maybe we need more authenticity in a world of advertising and exaggeration.