Bob, chairman of the board at Old First Church, stood and spoke to the other members: “I was reading one of those church growth books, and it says that
one of the things all those fast-growing churches do is called ‘branding.’ They figure out who they are, then come up with a slogan they can use to attract other folks.”

The other board members thought about that, some scratching their heads and looking around the room to see what the others thought. Then Miss Lettie broke
the ice: “I like it. All those big products we buy have brands—stuff like, ‘Good to the last drop,’ or, ‘The real thing,’ and such. I bet we can come up with a slogan that tells everybody what our church is all about.”

Old man Murphy chimed in: “Yep, I’ve got it. Our slogan can be, ‘Better than those blasted heretics on the next block.'”

Chairman Bob cleared his throat and said, “Well, I certainly don’t disagree with the sentiment; but I think the idea of branding is to describe our church, notjust to say our church is better than some other church.”

“Well, we are,” muttered Old Man Murphy under his breath.

At that point, the slogan ideas started pouring forth from the newly-engaged committee. (After all, they hadn’t had this much fun since they got to sample banana
pudding recipes for the church homecoming picnic.)

“How about: ‘Home of the 15-minute sermon’?” Several members looked at Pastor Fred to see how he’d respond to that one. It didn’t appear to go over, so they moved on.

“I got another one,” said Old Man Murphy. “Let’s use: ‘Less kids, more quiet.'” Chairman Bob shook his head gently and responded, “I think the slogan is
supposed to be something positive about the church, not just that we don’t have many young families with kids.”

“Who said that’s not positive?” muttered Old Man Murphy under his breath.

Several other slogan ideas found their way to the table. Miss Lettie suggested: “Pews so comfortable you can stretch out on them.” Then she added, “There’d be plenty of room on ’em, anyway.”

Buster chimed in with: “Our choir makes a joyful noise!” Then he chuckled and added, “And sometimes they even find the tune while they’re doing it.”

After lengthy deliberation, the board finally settled on the perfect slogan to describe their church: “Great casseroles, old hymns, pretty good preaching.”

As the meeting broke up, Pastor Fred gathered his things and left. He had several other slogans to describe the church right at that moment, but he thought it best to hold his peace.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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