Archive for ◊ June, 2011 ◊

• Wednesday, June 08th, 2011

A life-long friend and I journal to each other every day.  We come up with a list of topics and email our responses. She is on the West Coast and I am on the East – so this is a terrific way to stay in touch over the miles.

Since we’re both (ahem!) getting up in age. many of our journalling subjects have to do with where we are in life, what we’ve accomplished (or not) and roads not taken.  Recently we asked each other “How do you want to be remembered?”  That’s a fairly easy subject for an individual to answer: “Oh she was kind, had a good work ethic, a good friend . . .” – all the usual hoped for fond testimonials to someone’s lifetime.

But then I thought – how does a church community want to be remembered.  If a church is going through a transition – be it closing, moving, merging – how will that church be remembered in the future?  For that matter – how are church communities perceived in the present?

A lot of religious communities have a self perception that may be based more on wish than reality.   A church may want to be remembered for Mission or Social Justice or having the best Holiday Fair in town.  But unless the wider community knows what a church does – is aware of what a church accomplishes – it will not be remembered years later.

It’s an interesting challenge for a religious community.

Whether it’s to be noticed in the present – or remembered in the future – a church has to raise awareness of who they are and what they do. Having your church’s accomplishments be the best kept secret in town may make your congregation feel good, but does nothing to validate your church within your community.  A little bit of self promotion can bring in new members, create positive feelings, and build a legacy.

If your church is doing wonderful things  – share the good news.  Send out press releases (even invite the press to activities), update your website regularly, wear T-shirts with “Ask me About My Church,” have a brochure, have a mug (or pens), and have your members talk enthusiastically about what their religious community is doing.

How will your church be remembered?  It won’t – without some cheerleading and good public relations.  It’s great to create memories – but share them!

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