I was recently reading an article by Frank Strong called Why Content Marketing Is The New Branding. It was a short, straight forward piece on why the online content, not our logo or mission statement, is how we are branded (known). Out of this article I had several thoughts about the real life content we offer every week in our youth meetings and how it brands us to the schools, families, communities, and students we minister to. This is the line from the article that got me thinking:
A brand is a promise. It’s an expectation of an experience.
The content we deliver (the games, messages, etc.) are all branding us whether we like it or not. Maybe you are known as that crazy church that loves games or that church that has that cool event every year. We are all "that church" known for various reasons.
The youth meetings we deliver every week are based on promises that are spoken or unspoken. The content of the meeting is made up of things we believe are important and what we want our community of believers to be known for. Whether we like it or not, our youth meetings are promises we made to ourselves, promises we said we would keep and never back up from. For this reason I examined my own heart and meetings and decided it was time to tell our students and parents about these promises. This is what they can expect and judge us on.
We promise that the good news of Jesus will be shared every week in some form (video, personal, etc)
We promise that you will have he chance to pray and seek God's will for your life.
We promise that you have the chance to discover your God given gifts and talents and put them to use to build God's kingdom.
We promise to give you the chance to lead, fail, and lead again.
We promise that you will receive our time, our prayers, and our lives.
We promise that you will be offered to deepen your relationship with God through an invitations to follow Jesus daily.
We promise to offer tools and resources to help you grow in your faith.
What I did not promise
- it will not always be fun
- it will make you happy
- it will not always be easy
What do you promise your students? What does the content of your meeting say about your unspoken promises? What promises do you want to be branded for keeping?