As leaders within the local church, we comprise―in part―our specific church’s brand, which often contributes to our personal brand. For example, it’s assumed a minister on staff member at a traditional, conservative church adheres to the philosophy of the leadership of the church. Akin to a marriage, ministers at churches do not necessarily agree on every topic, although they try their best to demonstrate a united front in public, while discussing differences privately. And, as ambassadors for Christ, we must ensure we are speaking what he has us to say, not simply opinion, conjecture, or political correctness.
The Theology of Branding
We see the concept of branding throughout Scripture. When God made his covenant with Abraham, he promised to make a nation from Abraham’s descendants and his offspring would be a called-out people of God (Gen. 17). The descendants confirmed their relationship with God through the sign of circumcision and acts of faith (Rom. 4:11). Later, in the time of Moses, the Israelites confirmed their covenant relationship with the Lord through obedience to the Law (Ex. 19:3–8). Sabbath observance―as well as adherence to other laws―displayed to those outside the covenant that the Israelites were a distinct people.
The life of Christ ushered in the New Covenant, where Jews and Gentiles alike could come into relationship with the Father, through faith in Jesus. Within this new setting, the Holy Spirit sealed the relationship between the believer and God (Eph. 1:13). Jesus asks his followers to remember his sacrifice through the Lord’s Supper and show their commitment to him through baptism (1 Cor. 11:24; Matt. 28:19–20). The fruit of the Spirit and observance of the new command of Jesus are now the distinguishing marks of a believer (John 13:34–35).
These Old and New Testament signs of the covenant serve as a brand for the people of God―it distinguishes the believer from those outside of the covenant relationship. Therefore, God’s qualitative difference could be measured by the life―or brand―of the believer.
The Application of Personal Branding and Platform
Knowing that our truest identity is as a child of God, sealed with the Holy Spirit, our personal brand should be an opportunity to display this message. As women in ministry in the 21st century, we are blessed to have multiple avenues to live out the change Jesus has made in our lives. Yet, in our pursuit to proclaim the message, there is the temptation to uplift the name of the messenger. Many women struggle with the idea of platform building because of the temptation to build ourselves up in the minds of others. When used with the proper motives, however, a platform is an excellent way to build up the kingdom of God.