Why We Started the STJ Brand Project:
Starting back several years ago, we began realizing that we are misunderstood in the community around our church. In an attempt to better inform the community of who we are, we commenced the brand project to:
- Better understand exactly how we're perceived
- Clearly articulate who we are
- Align internal and external perceptions
- Ensure a positive impact
Along the way, we've spent time in prayer, in conversation with our congregation at Brand Town Hall Meetings, consulting with professionals in the field, talking to our community through research, and working in collaboration with our Brand Advisory Team made up of STJ members and staff. It’s been an incredible journey, see below for key milestones and content or visit our FAQ for general questions and answers.
September/October 2018: Congregation Vote
Sunday October 28, 2018 (12:15pm): Special Voters’ Meeting - Final Naming Vote
This meeting will take place in the Sanctuary after morning services. In order to be eligible to vote, our constitution states you must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have attended at least one out of the last three congregational meetings (October 22, 2018 – May 22, 2018 – October 27, 2017)
- Commit to uphold our Affirmation of Faith
If you are uncertain of your eligibility contact
Monday October 22, 2018 (7pm): Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting
If you are not currently eligible to vote, this meeting is your final opportunity to qualify for the naming vote. If you have already been to the May 22, 2018 or October 27, 2017 meeting, you have already met this requirement.
Late September/Early October 2018:
A naming recommendation will be finalized based on congregational input, community research, and with the advisement of the Brand Advisory Team and Board of Directors.
August 2018: Congregation Survey & Name Sharing
From the community survey, the four top performing names were selected and sent to the congregation for feedback.
This portion of the townhall video is helpful if you’re struggling with the four naming concepts you saw in the survey. It specifically covers what the community saw in those names as well as Pastor Dion. There’s more depth and intrigue than you probably realize!
Branding Town Hall: Pathfinder
Branding Town Hall: Lifepost
Branding Town Hall Key Takeaways
Or watch the full video of our weekend townhall meeting to hear the entire process with Q&A from townhall attendees.
July 2018: Community Survey
200 unchurched and dechurched households were asked to give input on a slate of nine naming concepts. Input included likability, interest, matching names with key aspects of our brand house, and open-ended input.
June 2018: Slate of Names, Trademark & Legal
A slate of nine names was constructed from a base of over 300 names. Names were vetted for (1) compatibility with our brand house (2) originality and distinctiveness and (3) trademark and legal clearance.
May 2018: Updates: Facebook Live Town Hall, Congregational Meeting
After taking a break to focus on Easter, Pastor Dion brought us back into the process.
March 2018: Standouts Series
In a message series, we learned about the pillars in our new brand house and heard the official announcement that we are actively exploring a name change.
February 2018: Naming Process Begins
The name exploration process began with two workshops that generated name possibilities, themes, and concepts. The Brand Advisory Team and a separate staff team were involved in the two workshops. Over 200 names were generated and ten names were liked by both groups.
January 2018: Brand Town Halls
After constructing the key parts of our brand house, Pastor Dion shared pieces of the research from July 2016 and the brand house itself.
Fall 2017: Brand Strategy Defined
After four meetings with the Brand Advisory Team, we agree on a path together, seeking first to create a brand house that would be our north star, guiding other decisions.
July 2017: Brand Advisory Team Constituted
A team of people from the congregation, who represent the broader diversity of our church, were brought together to give input into our work.
Fall 2016: Prayer, Conversation & Wrestling (10 mos)
Pastor Dion conversed with staff and congregational leaders about what to do in light of the community focus group research about our identity and reputation. This was also a season of intense prayer and seeking for God’s direction.
Summer 2016: Community Focus Groups
The first step to be clearer about who we are started with learning how we are already seen. We began with four focus groups, two of unchurched people, two of dechurched people, in order to understand what is known about St. John and how we are seen amongst the non-church-going population of west St. Louis County.
Spring 2016: Brand Project Began
After one too many conversations with someone in the community who was sorely mistaken about who St. John was, we intentionally began a journey with board leadership and brand professionals to inform our community of who we are.