“Who do people say that I am?”
Few of us have the courage to ask this question as Jesus did. Do we really want to know how people perceive us? For Mayfair Church, it became essential for us to ask this question, to examine the perception of our church in the neighborhood, and to intentionally correct misperceptions.
Through our involvement in the Church Renewal Lab and conversations with people outside the church, we discovered that people outside our denomination didn’t feel welcome to attend our worship services. Our stately, traditional church building and dated signage gave the impression that the people inside were old, boring, and stoic. Our communication materials lacked a consistent image and failed to communicate anything about our identity and our mission.
We determined to remove the perceived barriers by defining our identity through words, images, and colors. Our purpose was to appeal to people outside our faith tradition, as well as people far from God. Immediately we knew we needed help. We contracted the Bultema Group to do the work and formed a small group of Mayfair members to inform the process. Here are a few of the things we learned:
- A professional in communications is invaluable when attempting to quantify an identity through images and colors.
- An outside perspective challenged us to plainly articulate our identity and mission. Conversations clarified our values and led to simplifying our name by removing our “middle name” (Christian Reformed).
- To be effective, images needed to be consistent and visible throughout all printed materials, internal and external signage, and on all social media platforms.
Our new image is fresh, modern, welcoming, and rooted in our identity. Instead of building barriers, it builds bridges to the people around us. We’re starting to hear people both inside and outside Mayfair talk about us in a new way – one that’s more reflective of who we are.