LeBron James was raised in Ohio, and was one of the greatest high school basketball players ever. The epitome of a hometown hero, the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted LeBron right out of high school. He was absolutely loved by the people of Ohio.
And what wasn’t there to love? He was charming, kind, generous, friendly, great with kids and a phenomenally talented basketball player. This was his brand, and he lived up to it well.
There was just one thing missing from LeBron’s resume. In all his years of playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he had never won a championship.
So in July of 2010, he held a press conference circus announcing his move to the Miami Heat by declaring, “I will be taking my talents to South Beach.” In an instant, one of the greatest basketball players ever, beloved by millions, became a villain.
And for the next year or two, he attempted to play that role, even though deep in his DNA that was the furthest thing from his true character. He tried to capitalize on a trend instead of being true to who he was, allowing external factors to change him.
But it just didn’t work. He couldn’t sustain the role of the villain because that’s not who he is. Eventually, he realized that and returned to his brand — LeBron James, Nice Guy.
What does this have to do with church communications? A lot.
There are many, many churches that try to become what others say they are, or what they think people want them to be, instead of being true to who they are.
Your brand is what separates you from every other church.
It defines who you are and who God has created you to be. If you spend too long at all trying to be the church down the street or across the map, you won’t last very long. You simply will not be able to sustain a brand that is not true to your calling.
Be the church God is calling you to be.
Has your church identified who they are?