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-   Church Mottos   -
The identity of the fellowship identifies the spirit.

Original Mottos

Church Sayings - by Hancock  -  Slogans Adapted by Hancock
Hancock's - General Quotes               Religious Quotes - by Hancock

Mottos in Use


 Motto         Sample                  

Random script courtesy of Web1Marketing

The Church Motto

The Church Motto
- Original Mottos            
        -    Mottos in Use

The Branding of a Church        
by Roger W Hancock                                                        

The Church Motto   -   Choosing a Church Motto   -   Composing a Church Motto   -   Using the Church Motto

The Church Motto

A motto, synonymous with slogan, is a phrase selected to provide an identify for an organization. In battles or working for a cause it is called the rally cry. A motto becomes a locution when used by a people for their particular situation. The motto is a saying consisting of key catchwords.  We have become a fast-paced society where TV sound bites and Billboard catchphrases compete for our attention. The Church is also in competition for the attention of sinner/saints.

The Church though not to be “of the world” is “in the world” and seeks to be a witness of Christ to the world. The motto separates one church from other surrounding churches. The motto may be the call that brings sinners into the fold.

A Church motto when displayed outside; on the church, on a sign, or in advertising; is the first impression a visitor has of your church.  It describes a primary attribute of your congregation’s demeanor or primary tenant.  Mottos in business are often called a tag-line.  The business motto is a line that accompanies the name to portray an image. The tag-line is shown on signs, on catalogs, in literature, and in advertising.  The business community calls this “branding.”  A motto is a part of the marketing of your church to the public.  Within Christianity, the community of faith, the motto is a call of Christ to the world, branding our churches in His service.

Lists of prospective mottos -   Original Mottos   -   Mottos in Use                  © 2009, Roger W Hancock,

Choosing a Church Motto

The process of choosing a motto should not be taken lightly.  Many considerations come into play to select a really great motto for your church. The first step in any church process is prayer. Pray for guidance that the spirit of God will lead in the selection of your motto. 

Many churches have no motto or have used bible verses, which of course are always, sound in statement. Using Bible verses for a motto (though one would be hesitant to criticize) may have some drawbacks.  Bible verses often do not differentiate your church from any other. Regardless of the scriptural message, the secular world often views it as “Bible thumping” and ignores, before even reading.  A shorter, concise, to the point phrase is more likely to catch their eye.  The motto is the marketing of your church which is in competition with the others in your neighborhood.  You are right, in that, the Great Commission is not a competition.  Competition comes into play when you believe your tenants are more biblically sound then the other nearby churches. You want to draw those who are seeking, to your church before they visit the other.

Some will chose a motto that “sounds good”, making a mistake when it is actually “not so good.” The motto must be an accurate reflection of the church. When the message is of interaction and is not evident among the congregation you portray a “lie.”  The motto, “A Friendly Church” may draw in a visitor but when no one approaches them with a hello, they are turned away by the conflicting message.  This is an unintentional consequence of a larger church. People are hesitant to approach someone they do not know, afraid to be the one-hundredth person in six months to ask if the unknown person is new. The reverse of that effect is that smaller churches more often appear friendlier. Be aware of the character traits of your particular church.  Look to the future, though a smaller church now it may grow to be larger, taking on some unintentional traits.

The selection of a motto requires some self reflection, perhaps taking a survey of the congregation; ask them how they would describe the church. Decide if you wish to depict the congregation, a church tenant, or, perhaps, displaying your unique location. It is best to include only one of those attributes. Some times you can get away with two of those attributes, but keep it short. Think about how you want the citizens of your community to view your church, which of course, must be accurate. Write out all the ideas and phrases you come up with whether good or bad, whether long or short. You may gain other ideas from the earlier ones or perhaps you might later edit an earlier phrase to a more shorter and concise message.

The motto, as earlier mentioned, should be short and easily remembered to facilitate a lasting first impression. A shorter motto is more easily remembered. A short motto may be remembered without the person trying, while a longer motto would take some effort.  Few people bother to intentionally remember a motto.  A motto remembered may over-ride a negative impression, whether that impression is justified or not.

Some differences exist between a business motto and a church motto. The business wants a motto that is bold and confident while a church motto may be that, or may be more humble.  The projection of humility, levels the social status between the Congregation and the world around them. The last thing you want in a motto is the impression of superiority over others.   

Then there is the problem with life-long Christians being naïve and not catching the double entendre of some phrases. Though many phrases will not be a problem, do not assume. Scrutinize it before permanently attaching it to your church. One example is “You should come, it’s not that bad.”  Although I understand the attempt to appeal to the apprehension one might have about attending church, the phrase unintentionally says, “It’s not that good,” also. Then there are the double secular meanings we would wish to avoid.  Perhaps ask a member who has more recently been born-again. Maybe ask a secular acquaintance for their impression of the phrase, then specifically ask if it might have some unexpected (vulgar or other negative) meaning.

Once you have a final candidate for a motto take at least a couple of days to mull over it, think over it, and more importantly pray over it.  The motto will tag your church for a long time.  As a cowboy brands his cattle, a motto brands your church.

Lists of prospective mottos -   Original Mottos   -   Mottos in Use                  © 2009, Roger W Hancock,

Composing a Church Motto

A great motto is short and or memorable. It avoids redundancy and tells of the church, leaving the reader with a feeling, often the first impression, about the Church.

Avoid repeating a word within or thought provoked by, the name of the church. Do not use "Church" in your motto especially when it is a part of the church name. Using "church" in your motto generally causes a redundancy. "- A Church Where Miracles Happen" becomes more exciting and memorable when shortened to "- Miracles Happen." Also avoid using "Jesus" "God" and other divine designations.  The fact that you are a church implies the divine influence. "
God’s Love Lights the way" becomes more memorable and more noticeable just stating, "Love Lights the Way."

Some of the Mottos in use may be quaintly cute but, in my opinion, are more suited as a message on a Church Reader Board Sign.
  "Guiding your life in a misguided world", can be edited down to "- Guidance in a Misguided World" or "Guiding Lives."

Keep it short. Five words or less are best. The shorter the more easily remembered. Any Motto 6 words or longer must be power-packed. Short or long the motto must be memorable. "
- A Church Where the Difference is Worth the Distance" is longer then it should be, however it does inspire a more suitable motto, "- Difference, Worth the Distance."

It is best to include only one thought or concept in the motto.  This is especially true when composing mottos 6 words or more. "
- To Mold Every Believer Into the Image of Christ and To Mobilize Them to Evangelize The World" has three thoughts, molding, mobilize, and evangelize. Three thoughts within a motto is too much. You cannot put a full sermon into the motto, so do not even try. "- Molding Believers", "- Molding the Image" and "- Influencing the World." are more concise and easily remembered. Occasionally you might come up with a rather good two concept motto in 5 words or less. Each concept must be readily apparent requiring little thought to understand. Two of those above when placed together will convey two of the thoughts while remaining at only five words, "- Molding Believers, Influencing the World."

Statements concerning the age of the church do not tell much about the church other than, "how old." The age does not produce the necessary image one would require of a motto. The mottos that include service, faith, or other activity, along with the age, are better but tend to make the motto longer. My suggestion is to not include the age in the motto but rather use it in a secondary tag line; "
- Established 1906," "- Est. 1906" or "150+ Years!." If you really desire the age in the motto, include a Christian activity keeping as short as possible, preferably  4 or 5 words. "- 50+ Years of Faith" is rather concise but still is rather dull.

Multi-phrase mottos seem to be popular but tend to be longer and less memorable. "
- Reach a City, Change a nation, touch the world." would be better broken down and used individually. Examples for each phrase are, "- To Reach our city,"   "- Changing our nation," and "- Touching the World. Each individually are more memorable. Sometimes taking a two or three phrase motto and editing it to a two or three word motto makes it more exciting as well as memorable. "- Encountering God. Loving People. Serving our World," edited to "Love, Serve, Encounter" becomes more memorable. Avoid the long run-on-sentences in an attempt to create a mini-sermon. They usually are not read through to the end.

The mention of the church location also does little to promote an Image, or feeling, about the Church but may help to differentiate it from other churches. If possible include a spiritual action word with the location to create a new motto.  As with the age of a church the location might be better used in a secondary tag-line.

Words that excite are those that grab the attention and tend to be more memorable.  Try using exciting words that stick in a person's mind. Words that are somewhat benign may work but often leave the phrase with a plain-Jane impression.  The word "place" is rather benign. It may take some creativity but avoiding "place" and other benign words, help to enhance the excitement of the motto. "A Place for all People" does not really need to say "Place." Shortening it to "For All People." makes it succinct and to the point. The "church" is obviously the "place" and to state it is a redundancy. "Pronouns are usually benign but in the right context help to direct the statement of the motto.  Often a direction by a pronoun is not necessary in a motto. So try every variation of the candidate motto you can come up with to compose the perfect motto for your church.

The motto complements the name of the church to create an impression that is brought to ones mind whenever they later again see the church name. A short memorable, exciting phrase with the proper descriptive words will serve your church for years to come.

Lists of prospective mottos -   Original Mottos   -   Mottos in Use                  © 2009, Roger W Hancock,

Using the Motto

The motto is probably the most under used tool that is available to the church. The motto is a tool to be used to establish a first impression. Many Churches do not have a "motto" while others will have their motto only on their sign or website, failing to take full advantage of the first impression the motto provides.

The motto when branding the church should be displayed everywhere the church name has a presence. Place your motto everywhere.  Place it on your letterhead - on signs, in advertising, in your bulletins and newsletters and in the introduction of the recordings for your pastor’s messages. Business cards should have the motto displayed rather prominently below the church name or at the bottom in a font or font size that makes it stand out. Name tags for use outside the church, at Conventions, cooperative meetings and such, should show the church name and motto.

Essentially the motto becomes a part of the Church’s name, Wherever and whenever a person sees the name, they receive the impression provided by the accompanying tag-line… your motto. Using the motto on every piece of literature and with every fixture where the name is attached, puts forth and reiterates the impressionable message of the motto. Securing the message of the motto is the branding of your church. The motto is an essential component in the marketing of your church to the world.

Lists of prospective mottos -   Original Mottos   -   Mottos in Use                  © 2009, Roger W Hancock,

Original Mottos

Church Sayings - by Hancock  -  Slogans Adapted by Hancock
Hancock's - General Quotes               Religious Quotes - by Hancock

Mottos in Use


© 2009 Roger W Hancock,


The Church Motto                      - Back Up To Index

Original Mottos

Church Sayings - by Hancock  -  Slogans Adapted by Hancock
Hancock's - General Quotes               Religious Quotes - by Hancock

Mottos in Use

© 2009 Roger W Hancock,


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