This might surprise you coming from a company that sells logo branded t-shirts, but your youth group logo and brand don’t mean squat. Unless the students in your youth group actually live out the message they’re wearing on their t-shirts, your brand doesn’t matter.
We live in a time when branding and marketing competes for attention on an unprecedented scale. It is believed that a person is exposed to an average of 5,000 or more advertisements and brands per day!
You see 5,000 logos & brands per day.
So not only is your church competing against a sinful world and the enemy’s schemes for the attention of our kids, you’re also competing against an ever-expanding starfield of marketing chaos. And let’s be honest. Each one of them has a bigger budget than you do.
Let’s say this again; in the face of our culture’s branding behemoth, your youth group logo, name, shirts, flyers, and brand doesn’t mean a lick.
Logos are nothing without heart.
That is, unless your logo and brand’s message sticks permanently within the hearts of your students. What your students say about themselves (or what you say about them with your brand) isn’t true if they don’t live it out.
But this isn’t new information, is it? Jesus gave us the best branding strategy for our youth groups (or churches, ministries, families, or ourselves) after washing His disciples’ feet in the upper room. Surprised? Don’t be.
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Jesus’ branding strategy is simple. All people will know who you are, who you belong to, who you represent, when you do what He commanded you to do.
Branding is all about defining yourself (youth group, church, company… whatever) so that the culture around you recognizes you when they encounter you.
Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. If your youth group brand declares one thing – that you’re “Afire,” “Rock Solid,” or “Unleashed” – but your students lives display another, your brand is less than meaningless. It’s rubbish (yeah, we mean that).
You can’t just flip open your Bible, plunk your finger down, and find a cool-sounding word. You can’t just get somebody’s Dad to create a metallic, tattoo-looking logo with flames coming out of it. You can’t just get some posters and t-shirts printed.
Your responsibility is to follow God’s leading and build a culture among your students that impacts them at the heart-level. Create a youth group culture that helps them to live out the “brand” God has put on your heart. And when you do, you’ll begin to see that their lives aren’t just wrapped in the brand. They are the brand.
Don’t just say it. Live it.
Think of it this way:
A t-shirt that says “Ablaze” comes to life when the student wearing it is on fire for Christ.
A t-shirt that says “180” is legit if the student inside was once running hard after the world and is now pursuing Christ at full speed.
A t-shirt that says “Rooted” screams truth only when the student wearing it is clinging to God’s Word and growing in spirit and truth.
Plug your current youth group brand name into the sentences above. Picture the testimony your students will have when they “wear” your brand. If you can honestly say you can see the brand name matching where your students are headed, you may have a winner.
So as you search for the perfect youth group brand, name, or event theme, don’t just search for something “cool” that looks good on a t-shirt. SEEK the Lord and His will for the students under your care. LEAD your students to follow Jesus’ commands. And SHOW the world through their actions that your students are who you say they are.
When you do that, your youth group brand WILL matter. For eternity.
One of the most popular pages on our website is our Youth Group Names page. Hundreds of pastors and ministry leaders like you have used these ideas to come up with something unique for their groups. We hope it will be helpful for you as well.
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