How We’re Different
I know many christians who prefer to avoid the brand of clothing like Hollister or American Eagle or whatever type because of the image that company is trying to represent. Some people just give up and wear it while others find neutral designs that don’t promote something they don’t support.
If you swing the pendulum to the other side of Christian branding you run into the problem/stereotype that most Christian T-Shirts create with very explicit, sometimes very bold, “in your face” messages, or contain messages that need little further explanation or engagement for anyone to ask anything about it. Although stating where one stands on the topic of Jesus, God and Faith, we are missing a huge opportunity to engage people in conversation with something as simple a piece of clothing.
I created this spectrum to communicate the gap in the clothing market for evangelical Christians to choose from:
Spectrum of Options with (0 is no Christian Message, 10 is “in your face” message)
|SOURCE||Big Retail Clothing Companies||Department Stores||Walking Proclamation Sweet Spot||Most Christian T-Shirt Companies||Most Christian T-Shirt Companies|
|CONTENT||Secular Branding||No Branding Neutral Clothes||Provoking Curiosity and Conversations||Faith messages“Christianeese”
|Bold Message“In-your face”
“Turn or Burn”
Equipping and Engaging
Many people who desire to share their faith at school or work, want to do it naturally in a conversation means, but starting the conversation can be the toughest part. Our two-fold strategy will both disciple the wearers of the clothing while catalyzing real conversions where proclamation about God and his Gospel can occur.
Discipling the Wearers
Let’s face it, getting the name “Jesus” or “God” off your tongue to one or a few “not-yet believers”, can be a fairly scary thing for Christians, especially in the day we live. This is why we want to help train wearers how to do it through several ways:
- Equipping their Ministry Leaders to Train Their Groups
- Promotional Materials
- Ways to do it as a group:
- Campaign ideas
- Mini-Series (Sermons or Class Training)
- Small Groups
- Christian Clubs
- Give everyone a voucher to get a t-shirt with a message they feel confident in proclaiming (maybe one that relates to their story, or personal walk with Jesus).
- Practice by role-playing with other Christians
- De-briefing with groups about what success looks like, how to become more articulate in sharing about your faith
- Ultimately, God/His Gospel is known, and the “not-yet-believers” have a personal connection to a believer and that believer’s group, ministry, or church.
- Self-Training on our Web-Site
- Through a series of recorded training videos
- Video stories from others about how the conversations went
- Moderated blog community of FAQs and challenges with sharing your faith
- (Eventually) Phone Coaches – people who volunteer to coach
- Ministry Leaders coaching other group leaders to lead group effort, or campaign, discipling them in strategy roll-out.
- Individuals coaching individuals in how to be a walking proclamation on a more personal level
All over the Bible (see appendix for long list of verses), we see the importance of sharing/proclaiming what God is like and what He’s done for us in the good news of Jesus Christ. Christians need help in expanding their ability to articulate about how great God is, and how great his Gospel is for them and their lives. We’re trying to give them an easier on-ramp to start this conversation.
In the context of school or workplaces or on a daily commute, our apparel should engage/provoke curiosity (and ultimately open doors of conversation) from both random people to co-workers/travelers who not-yet believing friends for the wearer to more readily share about God, the Gospel or what he’s done for them.
Provoking and Engaging Everyone Else
Our aim in design of this apparel is to avoid some of the stereotype and preconceived notions about the wearer. Upon conversation, we can equip the wearers with pathways to send the questioning onlooker with resources about the God and Gospel and how to start a relationship from that conversation.