A Thought on Youth Group Names/Logos

Here are some Youth Group Names/Logos I’ve been involved in:

(1) Gravity

(website) – Gravity was a student chosen name, the tag line is “Experience the Pull” and the Logo represents all the values of the Youth Ministry.  The Logo is always in the background reminding the students of the values each time its explained.

(2) Surf (website) – Surf was in place at my current youth ministry as an Acronym, but it matched the ethos of the Island that we live on, full of beaches.

Here is the blog post I’m responding to: Why I am Sorta Against Youth Group Names by Architecht

I recently read this article on Youth Group names and I didn’t think it was a big deal to me until I realized as I wrote my response that I didn’t agree.  That perhaps it was a matter of perspective, and seeing a name and logo in its proper context, you might be able to utilize it well.  (I’ve included two Logo/Names I’ve worked on developing, and then added the link to the blog I’m responding to, and then my response.)

Here is my response:

For branding purposes, it isn’t an issue of whether you have a name, or don’t have a name.  The key is to have a vital ministry that meets needs.  If you are doing a great job, the name won’t matter, people will call it what they want to call it.  It may be called “An awesome place” or High School Ministry, or “Powerhouse” – whatever.  As long as your space is a place where students feel comfortable, your ministry has stable leadership, and the purposes of youth ministry are being met, does it really matter?

In the long run though, youth ministry names sometimes do make a difference.  After about four years of a stable youth ministry, it is good to have a brand presence so that students who are thinking about their discipleship (and especially for creative/visual) students, to have an anchor point in their mind as to what is the place they are working out their identity.  Say your youth ministry is called “Refresh” and the logo is the word, with a symbol of water (for baptism or the holy spirit or being refreshed experientially), and it is effectively utilized on letterhead to parents and students, it is on tshirts for trips, on calendars and informational packets, it is on posters around the youth room, and on web presence (facebook, youth website, and downloadable images).

When you hit that saturation point, students can draw the logo on their book covers at school and it fulfills two good purposes.  (1) They remember the goodness and fullness of your program.  They know they belong somewhere and that symbol denotes that relationship.  (2) It advertises to others the fact that your ministry exists.  When another student asks what the logo means, the student (if you’ve spent the time to explain the name and logo to the kids) can tell the other what the ministry means to them.  “It is my youth group.  It is where I have people that care about me.  It is where I meet Jesus.  It is where I grow as a person.”  All these things can be associated with a visual element to your ministry – and denoted in a name.

I believe that is very important, and if stuck out, becomes a vital part of a ministry.  If your logo gets used by the church in promos for youth group, the youth see that they are part of the overall church, and that their presence matters.  All because of a name and a logo tagged to an experience.  Then again, if your group is not a good experience at all, then why promo it at all?

Don’t rely on a logo or a name – make it part of the whole – the good – and let it be associated under the banner of Christ.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “A Thought on Youth Group Names/Logos

  1. Daniel… thanks for your response/contribution to my blog. I definitely think you have some great points and perhaps things I overlooked. I still believe that youth ministry has the potential… potential… potential to do harm as I wrote in the blog but I agree, there are benefits too. Hey, I use them now, my blog regarding it was just me trying to rethink what it could look like. At the very least, many of the names are cheesy, if not destructive. Good writing bro! Looking forward to reading more!

    Like

    1. I understand where you’re coming from on the cheesy names. The problem with determining what is good and what isn’t good though, is context sensitive, and aesthetics are so subjective that it would be hard to determine a set of rules that could be generally applied to youth ministry. I guess you could say:
      (1) Involve the youth in their youth group name, if they want one
      (2) Make them aware of their broader community context (plays on Christian words may not make sense to the people you’re reaching out to, thus, inside words would have a lot of upkeep and explanation time that people being reached generally don’t give you).
      (3) Ensure that it fits with your overall message and that the name isn’t just a tag, but it is employed as a real tool for youth identity formation.

      I’m glad you wrote your piece. Got me thinking a bit, which is always good.

      Like

  2. We went through a long process to come up with the name for our youth group. In our case we were in a rebuilding process and coming up with a name/logo seemed a natural step in relaunching our program. Our church is Williams Memorial United Methodist Church and saying Williams Memorial United Methodist Church Youth Ministry is not the easiest thing to type, say, tweet or post.

    Our youth decided upon IMPACT youth. For communication purposes our twitter, instagram, email, etc are all wmumcimpact@whatever.com. We even created a mobile friendly site wmumcimpact.org.

    I think it is important to remember that names, logos, buildings, materials, budgets, are all just tools we use in ministry.

    Like

    1. I love it that you went through a process. Sometimes it is nice to have something visual to create a new atmosphere and ethos. Kind of like a tag line that the youth can pick up and replicate. It can be a great evangelisation tool as well as they draw the logo and others ask what it means.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s