The Essence of Your Church

The Essence of Your Church

February 23, 2011 by

There are many ways in which people view your church, but if there was one word or phrase, what would it all come down to? How would—or how should—people understand and communicate the essence of who you are as a church community?

The essence sums it all up. It’s the big idea that articulates all of the ways you create, transfer, embody and express value. When the essence is put together with the name of your organization, there is a clear evoking sense of what you do, what you stand for and what makes you different. It becomes the beginning and end of every conversation.

Here are several examples of essence:

  • Volvo – Safety
  • TAZO – The reincarnation of tea
  • Apple – Think different
  • eBay – The world’s online marketplace
  • FedEx – The world on time
  • Target – Pay less. Expect more.
  • Facebook – Social network
  • MySpace – Social entertainment

Several cable networks have done a great job at clarifying their essence, which in turn has made way for many of these to increase their ratings because they actually have a filter for what kind of shows they run.

  • TBS – Funny
  • TNT – Drama
  • USA – Characters welcome
  • AMC – Stories

The essence is not always a public tagline or campaign slogan, but it could be. It’s more important to have an essence that is right than an essence that sounds right or looks good by your logo.

Determining your essence—the intrinsic quality of something that determines its character—can play a key role in how you communicate who your church is to your existing congregation and surrounding community. It should frame all of your communication and be the final filter for anything that is designed, printed, spoken and seen.

Post By:

Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
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9 Responses to “The Essence of Your Church”

  • Richard Chancy
    February 24, 2011

    Man this is so true. I work with churches to build facilities and I can’t tell you how important “knowing themselves well” is prior to designing space.

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  • Chuck Allen
    February 24, 2011

    As usual, great thought Brad. I’m going to work on essence with our team ASAP.

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  • Steve Martin
    February 27, 2011


    That’s our essence…and it scares people half to death.

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  • Timothy Fryar
    March 3, 2011

    Wow! This has challenged me on many levels!! Thank you so much.

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  • Jared Willey
    March 7, 2011

    How about some examples of churches that have their essence captured well?

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  • Lon Dean
    April 13, 2011

    This simple exercise will save you hours and heartaches. Our essence is creative discipleship. We filter everything through that. If we aren’t winning souls or maturing saints with something we say no to it. The creative part is our personality. Great article thanks.

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  • Lynn Partridge
    December 30, 2011

    It was only through the process of reworking the church website that I realized that our essence actually boiled down to an attempted insult: “Christ the King? They let anyone go there.”

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