Gaining Brand Clarity That Makes Growing Your Church’s Mission Simple with Joey Speers

Thanks for tuning in to the unSeminary podcast. We’re excited to talk with Joey Speers, a brand builder and digital marketer. He and his wife founded the Speers Collective Inc., the parent company of Creativ Rise and Brand Therapy.

Joey is talking about how churches can generate brand clarity that makes growing their mission simple and enables them to connect with the people they’re trying to serve.

  • Intentionally shape your brand. // Joey defines a church’s “brand” as the feeling people get when they experience and interact with the organization. It encompasses the logo, the interactions people have when they come to your church, the message they hear, the conversations with staff, and so on. Church leaders have to think about this because if we don’t intentionally shape how our churches are being experienced, we can lose momentum on our missions.
  • Your brand is about the people. // A church’s brand is also about the people it serves. One thing a lot of churches do wrong is make their entire brand about themselves on their websites, social media, and even Sunday services. The brand is not about the church or organization, it’s about what God is doing in the people the church is serving.
  • Understand your brand identity. // The first part of brand identity is the internal characteristics of who you are as a brand. If your church was an individual person walking down the road, what would they say is their reasoning for doing what they do? What gets them out of bed in the morning? Who do they love to help? How do they make people feel?
  • Customer identity. // The second part of brand identity is customer identity. Who would the customer, or community member, that you met walking down the road be? What do they believe about the world and what are some of the problems they’re up against? What are some of their hopes and desires? How do they want to experience change so they overcome their problems?
  • Filter everything through your framework. // Everything within your ministry becomes easier when you have a framework of who you’re trying to be as an organization. Whether you’re making your announcements, planning your groups or sermon series, or even onboarding new staff, people need to know what part they play and how it connects to your mission in the world.
  • Covid gives churches a chance to relaunch. // People have more questions about the role the church is playing in our local and national community than ever before. Churches need to meet people in their questioning. If your organization isn’t clear on why it exists and why someone will benefit from it, people will pass it by and look for something else that can serve their need. Relaunch your brand with the focus of letting people know that you are for them and why.
  • Brand Therapy provides clarity. // Brand Therapy is a consulting system Joey built to help people find clarity in their brand identity, their customer identity, and identity alignment. First Brand Therapy will come in and talk with your team to clarify who your church is, who you are trying to serve, and how these things fit together. Then they’ll put all the data together in a guide that you can use as a framework for your church communications, both internally to staff, and externally to the people you are serving.

Learn more about Brand Therapy and how it can help your church at Find Joey on Instagram at @JoeySpeers as well as his website .

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Episode Transcript

Rich Birch — Hey everybody! Welcome to the unSeminary podcast. So glad that you have decided to tune in. You know every week we try to bring you a leader who will both inspire and equip you, and today is absolutely no exception. Super excited to have a newer friend of mine, Joey Speers. He’s a brand builder and digital marketer. He and I are both within Carey Nieuwhof’s leadership community, his private community, called the Art of Leadership Academy. Ah, and we both are active in there and we were talking online. So I said hey Joe, I’d love to have you come on the podcast. He and his wife Christy are founders of The Speers Collective Incorporated which is the parent of Creativ Rise and Brand Therapy. Brand Therapy helps clients like you actually, like churches, generate super brand clarity and makes growing ah your mission possible. Joey, so glad you’re here. Welcome to the show.

Joey Speers — Thanks for having me on, Rich. Excited to chat.

Rich Birch — Yeah, why don’t you talk to me – give me a bit of the Joey Speers story, for folks that don’t know. Ah, give us a bit of context, your background, that sort of thing.

Joey Speers — Yeah, so a little bit of context, I’m ah sitting here recording this from Northern California. I’m not originally from here, however. I am Canadian actually, from where you’re from. We’re not not not too far apart.

Rich Birch — Yeah, right around the corner.

Joey Speers — Um, yeah so raised raised in Ontario, raised in the church. Ah, for that context for this this conversation. Started a business when I was younger at 14. Really loved it. Got ah just had a knack to want to solve problems at ah at a young age, and it just caught fire in terms of my passion for it. Um, and it’s been I’m 23 now; I’ll be 24 in ah twenty days which is pretty crazy. I feel like I’m getting old, Rich.

Rich Birch — Love it. Love it.

Joey Speers — But yeah, so it feels funny saying I’m 24, but I will be going on my tenth year of of being an entrepreneur, if you want to put it that way.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Joey Speers — Um, but I was flying home from LA once, a girl tapped me on the shoulder in the airport, and I married her. So met my wife in the airport. She’s from Northern California. I decided to leave Canada, come down here and pursue her, and best decision I ever made.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Joey Speers — So I’m now sitting here in Northern California and yeah my wife and I run a couple different businesses. We’ve got a photography content um creation and strategy agency. We’ve got my brand agency, which is Brand Therapy – mentioned. And then we’ve got an education platform in the middle of that. Because when we look at the world, we just believe there should be more creatives, like us, that get to do what they love for a living and succeed. And so ah yeah, Creativ Rise is an education platform – it teaches creators business so they can run a business. So yeah, it’s a blast. We get to do a lot of fun things day to day and so can’t wait to chat all about it…

Rich Birch — Love it.

Joey Speers — …and how we can give some of your listeners some value.

Rich Birch — Yeah, love it. So good. So yeah if you if you’re sitting in front of a browser, drop over to – we’re going to talk a little bit about that. So so there might be people that are listening in that, you know, obviously a lot of church leaders people who, you know, don’t spend their time necessarily thinking about brand. So let’s take a step back. When you say “brand”, what do you mean by that?

Joey Speers — Yeah.

Rich Birch — What what is a brand? What is it? What is that? What is that idea? Is that just like a logo – are you saying I need a better logo? What is it?

Joey Speers — Yeah, and that’s a great question. So I define “brand” as how you are experienced. So your logo is definitely a part of that. But um to go a lot deeper, and at the same time simplify it though, brand is simply just the the feeling that people get when they experience you, when they interact with you. They see your logo. They show up at your church. They hear the message. They shake hands with somebody from your organization. Brand encompasses all of that. So if that’s the definition we’re going to roll with, which it should be the definition everybody adopts, um, it’s undeniably something you’ve got to think about as as a church leader, as a business leader, right? Because it is it is fundamentally how you are being experienced. And if you’re not intentionally shaping how you’re being experienced, then you know you’re still being experienced, and you’re probably going to be getting experienced in a way that you’re not intending to necessarily be experienced.

Joey Speers — And I think that’s where a lot of people lose um, momentum on their missions because they’re just not as intentional about how they want to be experienced, and what they want to create in the world, and how people, you know, get involved in that. Um, and yeah so I’m trying to dedicate a lot of my life to help and people get clear on that, and create ah just a better trajectory for their organization, and the people that the organization is impacting.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I know it’s been said that we all have a brand. The question is whether we have one on purpose or not, whether we’re intentionally building it and cultivating it…

Joey Speers — Exactly.

Rich Birch — …like and there’s a lot of churches we’ve walked into and you’re like, gosh there the brand the brand is screaming loud and clear here, and no one’s spent any time thinking about it. Ah, when you think about, so let’s say you’re talking—I’m sure you talk to a lot of churches—and you engage with them, I’m sure there’s kind of common questions or um ideas that you are often finding yourself repeating when you’re talking to them around what they should be thinking about when they think about brand. Are there is there some low hanging fruit, if we’re trying to get more clarity, kind of get better um, you know to position our brand better in our communities, what what would some of that low hanging fruit be?

Joey Speers — Yeah, it’s a great question. There’s probably a couple things. But the thing that I would say is potentially the lowest hanging fruit would be that most people think your brand is about you. And it’s actually the opposite. The best brands in the world that are not about them. They’re not about themselves; they’re about the people they serve.

Joey Speers — And so from a church perspective, ah, one of the things that I feel see a lot of churches doing wrong, and again simply because they just don’t they’re not intentional about this, is they make their entire brand about themselves. Their entire website is about themselves, all their social is about themselves. Ah, even even sometimes the Sunday experience, you know, is about themselves – the way they ask for people to get engaged in in groups. The way they ask for people to serve. They make it about themselves. The way they ask people to tithe – that one really that one really grinds my gears sometimes, right? I’m like oh this isn’t even… tithings not about you as an organization.

Rich Birch — Right.

Joey Speers — It’s about what’s happening in people, you know? And it’s it’s about that personal, you know ah, commitment and personal sacrifice. Um, and yeah, like doing what God has you know gifted you to asked you to do in stewarding, you know, what your finances. Again that should not be about the church, even though the money’s going to the church. It should be about here’s what’s happening in you and through you.

Joey Speers — Sp all aspects of that. I think the lowest hanging fruit is so many churches because they don’t intentionally shape the brand, the brand becomes about themselves. And when your brand is entirely about yourself rather than the people you serve, ah, you don’t actually connect with a lot of people that you want to serve.

Rich Birch — Right. So we’ve talked about that at a like a tactical level, say around announcements. Too many churches get up and and say, hey we’re launching groups and this is when they launch, and they’re on these days, and these times, and you should join. Well, we don’t even say you, they just say, you know, this is a really important thing as opposed to, hey, are you looking for community? Are you the kind of person that you know wants to grow in their relationship with Jesus? Are you looking to improve, you know, insert 1, 2, 3 things. If you’re interested, you know, you should join a group. Is that the kind of thing you’re talking about? It’s positioning what we’re doing really in the eyes of our people, really from their perspective. Is that the kind of thing you’re you’re encouraging us to think about?

Joey Speers — Yeah, exactly. And there’s there’s a couple things that I would say are the pillars that you’d have to first foundationally create, that all of that language, all of that communication would come out of. And I think how I would describe that is there’s two, two aspects to your brand. There’s the brand identity, which is the internal characteristics of who you are as a brand. A question that I love to ask if is if your church was a a single person…

Rich Birch — Right.

Joey Speers — …walking down the road and I ran into them, you know, how would they make me feel?What would they say they believe about the world? What would they what would they say is the reasoning for why they do what they do? What gets them out of bed in the morning? You know, who do they love to help? That’s your brand identity – the internal characteristics of what makes you, you. And then you’ve got the second part of a brand which is your customer identity.

Joey Speers — Again, if you met a singular person walking down the road that you serve, who would they be? You know, what age are they? Ah, or they can they kind of just be any age? You know, if you’re a church you got to serve everyone. So um, but what do they believe about the world? What are some of the problems they’re up against in the world, right? What are some of the things that are stopping them from overcoming those problems themselves? What are some of their hopes, and desires for how they want to experience the change in order to get them from problem to a place where they no longer live with that problem, right?

Joey Speers — And so I think when you when you can identify some of the brand identity characteristics that you guys want to you want to include in your brand, and who it’s for—the customer identity side of that—I think getting up on stage, and making your announcements not about you but about the people you’re serving, you know. Ah, planning your your groups, planning even just sermons series. Everything becomes a lot easier because you’ve got a framework for who you’re trying to be as an organization that’s clear. And you’ve got a framework for who you’re trying to reach as an organization that’s clear.

Joey Speers — And the best part is those go both ways, right? When your entire organization, top down—the person who mops the floors to the person who gets up on stage and speaks—when your entire organization knows who they have to be to build, you know, a bigger, a bigger vision of like what that organization is who they who they claim to be, when everyone’s clear on that the customers—or in my lingo, the customers—the community members, the members of your church, the seekers that are coming for the first time, they’re going to see that. And and see clarity in that and understand who you are and how how being there is gonna benefit their life, right? So it it goes both ways, which is really cool and that’s that’s one of the coolest things about branding.

Rich Birch — Yeah, that’s cool. I love that idea. You know, I think there’s a lot of great communicators who often they intuitively do this at the level of say the message they preach on Sunday…

Joey Speers — Yes.

Rich Birch — …where they intuitively think, Hey when I’m preaching this message today, this is the person I’m thinking about. They have this person in their mind’s eye. This is the person that they’re they’re they’re wrestling with. In fact I found over the years that actually the best communicators get very specific, maybe even down to an individual. Like this is yeah, there might be 5000 people at our church…

Joey Speers — Yep.

Rich Birch — …but I’m hoping that Joey hears this message today. I love that idea of pushing us to think about, okay who is our target as a church? And it could get that specific. Now when churches… say there’s those two different sides. There’s kind of our own if, you know, if we kind of had our, you know, our organization was a single person what they look like versus the people that we’re trying to reach. Is there a side of those that churches particularly, or you found ministries maybe particularly, have had ah had trouble wrestling with, and why? Why do you think there’s one or the other that we we tend to have, you know, more of a difficulty, you know, thinking through?

Joey Speers — Yeah, that’s a great question. So I would say it depends on who you ask.

Rich Birch — Sure.

Joey Speers — If you ask the founding pastor they’re gonna say we don’t have any issues with the brand identity. You know that stuff’s all in my head.

Rich Birch — Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Joey Speers — And I go, well, that’s the exact issue, you know. Your entire organization, everyone who’s a part of this, the same way we say you know the church is is the body of Christ. Everyone, you know, this part of it’s the arm, this part of it’s the leg. Your brand is the same – each role that someone is serving in your church is an arm and a leg; it’s the nose of your brand. And so if they don’t know what body they’re making up, and you know what fuels it, what what it believes about the world, who it’s serving, then there’s a lot of disconnection.

Joey Speers — So from a lead pastor perspective, a lot of them think they have that side clarified. But we often actually have to step in and help them clarify it a little bit more. But our job most of the time is actually helping them distribute it to the rest of the organization.

Rich Birch — Hmm, interesting.

Joey Speers — Because unless the rest of the organization gets that right there’s there’s ah, there’s a massive gap in efficiency. There’s a massive gap even in retention with people who are serving. The fastest way to kill your retention for your volunteers, or the the people who are serving in your church—paid staff—is to have them confused on on why they’re doing what they’re doing, right?

Rich Birch — Yes, yeah, yeah. Right.

Joey Speers — And how it builds into the bigger, the bigger vision of what they’re doing. And then on the other side of that, um, I think a lot of churches do struggle, yes, with figuring out who they want to talk to. So here’s my answer, Rich to to kind of gloss over this: I don’t think it’s one of them, I think it’s both of them.

Rich Birch — Sure. Okay.

Joey Speers — And I think the issue with the customer identity stuff, the community member for the for the lingo of this podcast stuff, is that they go, well in the business world, it’s more straightforward because in business you just want to pick one person, get rid of everybody else, and then scale that one person audience, right? You want to find people who are—if at your a fitness company—who are you know, looking to lose x amount of fat and looking to get abs. We don’t want to talk to anybody else. You can’t do that in the church. The church is for everybody, right?

Rich Birch — Mmm-hmm.

Joey Speers — So it’s’s ah, you’ve got to be a little bit more intentional on how you create a message, create an invitation, for people to experience your brand that’s welcoming to everybody. Whether they’re six months old going to daycare, or the you know childcare for the first time, or whether they’re 80 and they’ve been going to that church for or they’ve been eighty and they’ve never been into church, and they walk in for the first time. Right? You’ve got to be able to craft a message that is going to speak to everybody. So I think people struggle with both of them for very different reasons. Yeah.

Rich Birch — Yeah, that’s good. That’s good flag. I think um oftentimes we think that our churches are trying to reach everybody. They can’t reach everybody. The church universal will reach everybody in our communities. Ah, but our, you know, our church has some sort of unique ah, opportunities. You have unique ability to reach people, and I don’t think it’s a problem for us to kind of say, hey we’re we’re trying to narrow down. Obviously not in an exclusionary sort of way…

Joey Speers — Yes.

Rich Birch — …probably not as exclusionary as you know as the, you know, like you say the fitness company around the corner. Ah, but I do think that’s something you know for us to wrestle through. Ah, so put this all in context coming out of Covid a part of why I was excited to talk to you is I know the churches I’m talking to, the churches I’m doing coaching with, the ones I’m engaging with, man we are all still it feels very much like we’re still emerging from that – we’re still trying to figure out. And it feels like we’re… ah that there’s a lot of churches that could be really ripe for this kind of work in this season, rethinking these things, kind of you know, pulling back and saying, okay hmm I need to maybe we need to think about these things again. We need to think about brand identity. You need to think about community or customer identity. Have you seen any impact particularly say in the last couple years as we’re kind of coming out of covid around all of this identity stuff in general, brand identity stuff?

Joey Speers — Oh my goodness – 100%, right? This that’s a great point, Rich, because you know covid caused so many people in a lot of different ways um to think differently about something, right? We all were were, whether we decided to or whether we were just pressed to think differently, we all had to think about something in a different way over the last couple of years.

Rich Birch — Right.

Joey Speers — And I think for a lot of churches um it posed the question. Their community was looking at them going, well, what do you guys think about this?

Rich Birch — Right.

Joey Speers — What do you think about lockdowns? What do you think about the vaccine? What do you think about ah, politics, economics right now, recession? You know, what do you think about my finances right now? And so I think… my father-in-law’s a pastor and he’s been so fun to watch through the last couple of years because he’s going man, we just got a level playing field to recreate the best foundation we’ve ever had in the church, and it is time to relaunch the American Church. Like this is when we need to ramp up.

Joey Speers — People have more questions about the role the church is playing in in our local community, our our national community, and the global community than ever before. We’ve got to have answers. We’ve got to have intentionality. We’ve got to meet people you know in the in the questioning. So I think absolutely – Covid created problems. Anytime there’s problems there’s more opportunity, right?

Joey Speers — And I think from a brand perspective if your organization is not clear on here’s why we exist, here’s why you’re going to get a benefit from this, here’s why we want to invite you to this, here’s the plan to do that. Like if your brand is not fully built with that stuff, I think people are they’re going to pass you by, and they’re going to go looking for somebody else who can serve them in that way. So yeah I think more than ever, Rich, Covid has given every church a great opportunity to relaunch.

Rich Birch — Right.

Joey Speers — And you could sub the word relaunch for the word rebrand. Not that you have to change anything…

Rich Birch — Right.

Joey Speers — …but you need to relaunch your brand. And hey this is we are for you. Here’s why we’re for you. You know all that stuff.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love it. And you know I think there’s ah one of the questions I keep asking leaders are what are the assumptions that were true in 2019 that aren’t true anymore? And and we have to keep asking those questions. And that’s a you know I think that’s a perennial question. We can ask that any time in our ministries. But it does feel like particularly in this season.

Rich Birch — Let’s let’s kind of dive a little bit more specifically into your offering, like how you actually help organizations, or how you actually help churches. So like are you the kind of guy when you like or you know coach when you’re coaching on this stuff, is it like, you know, we have a 30 minute conversation and then next week you’re going to show me logos and idea boards with like fancy colors and you’re going to tell me the difference between this blue and that blue and why I should use this blue and that blue? How does all that work? You spend more time on the upfront, the kind of hey let’s dive deep on what is it that actually makes you different. Or are you more on the like the kind of production graphic design we’ll think about that stuff the actual what what it looks like or how it rolls out it. Walk us through what that actually looks like. What what are you actually offering to organizations in your service?

Joey Speers — Yeah, 100%. Well this may sound cheesy, but the same way God looks at the heart, not the the outside, I feel like that’s the way I pursue branding.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure.

Joey Speers — I don’t touch any of that stuff until we’ve figured out who you’re going to be…

Rich Birch — Right. Okay, okay.

Joey Speers — …how you’re going to show up, who you’re showing up for, why they need you, what are you helping them overcome in their life? So the brand identity and creating that there’s a ton of questions that go into creating a really good brand identity, and then a great customer identity. But I think it’s just a waste of time to talk about colors and and argue for 40 minutes on which, you know, shade of blue is going to be more beneficial for something if you still can’t get up on stage and clearly tell people why, you know, they should care about what you’re doing and how you’re trying to impact them. So yeah, we spend 100% of our time um, in fact, we don’t even do we don’t we’ve done a few rebrands over the years but that’s not even something I would say we offer.

Rich Birch — Right.

Joey Speers — That’s probably something more specific to, hey this is really a problem. We’ve done everything else. Now great, let’s also solve that problem. But now it’s I think it’s a waste of time to solve any of those problems until I think the real problems are solved.

Joey Speers — So how it looks: Brand Therapy is is just a consulting system that um I had built years ago and had some guidance from ah some people that I really look up to that have been been doing leadership development stuff for years for fortune 500 companies. They kind of helped walk me through the way I viewed the world and the way I viewed branding. And and they’re like, man, you got a really special knack for this, you just get this stuff. And we built a system that I’m just really proud of and it’s it’s really exciting. So we just step in and it generally starts with a full day. And we ask you a ton of questions we call it brand therapy because it feels therapeutic.

Rich Birch — I Love it.

Joey Speers — People cry. Um, people scream and jump around with excitement when it clicks. People get confused. People find clarity – like it’s all of that in in in one experience. And what’s so cool about it is it’s it’s something that we encourage people to invite their their entire like executive team into. There’s no point in doing this just with the founder…

Rich Birch — Right.

Joey Speers — …if the founder’s problem again is he already gets most of this, but he doesn’t know how to communicate it. So Brand Therapy is not only so helpful to communicate, or sorry, to clarify all of these things – the brand identity, the customer identity. There’s a third piece to that we actually call identity alignment. Like how do those two things now talk? Because just because we know who you are and who they are doesn’t mean that everything’s still going to line up. So how do we make sure that we’re lining stuff up?

Joey Speers — Well, you know, getting to walk your entire team through that. Your executive team, you know, most churches would pick the top 7 people that maybe are are running a bunch of the stuff that they’d be in on the conversation. I think when you can do that not only do you get clarity, we then take all that the data we we shape ah, it’s actually a guide that we deliver to you, print them out and and give them to you. It’s like a we call it like the bible for your brand. I don’t know if that if that sounds bad but we love calling you that. Because it’s like here here’s a step-by-step way to ensure if you follow this, You’re gonna have a brighter future, right?

Rich Birch — Right. Yeah.

Joey Speers — The same way the bible promises us basically the same thing, right? You’ll have more hope, you’ll have more this, you’ll have more that. And so yeah, we basically just deliver that and then we consult with you on how to implement it. Um, which is so important and more importantly, how to help everyone get a piece of it and everyone understand how what they do builds into the greater vision, the greater purpose, the greater drive of what that organization is doing. It is so fun to be able to watch a team come together, looking like the lead pastor is excited, you know, or has all the vision but nobody else gets it.

Joey Speers — And it’s so exciting to watch in a week later after we’ve done all this stuff, you know, an organization that has never been so excited to go out and help people, go so excited to go and serve people simply just because people get why what they’re doing actually builds into what that what’s happening, right? It gives people ownership, which is so cool. And I think every organization could could use a few more employees, few more volunteers, a few more people serving, that that are excited to take more ownership.

Rich Birch — Friends that are listening in, I want to ah let me speak to you for a second, as an executive pastor. Um I know there’s people that are listening in that are like, this just seems like really like man we don’t have time for this. We don’t have the money for this. I’m not sure I should spend effort on this. Ah, listen for for a moment. Take it from a person who’s led in fast-growing churches. Communications—which is really what we’re talking about – this is all a part of that kind of communication piece—is a professional function. It is like um… and and there are points in your history where you need to lean in with someone like Joey to say, hey help us get better at that. He he has an area of expertise that you probably don’t have within your church today. And it’s a professional function in the same way think about the way you handle finances at your church. Early on in the church you probably maybe you had a volunteer that did your bookkeeping. And then eventually you’re like, we can’t keep doing that we got to hire a bookkeeper, and then as your church grew you added more professional function on that to the point where then maybe eventually have like a CFO that kind of type of person on you on your team.

Rich Birch — Communication is the same thing. I don’t know why we don’t ah handle it the same way though. We it requires a level of professional care to it. Just because particularly our lead pastors think they’re good at communication doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily have the professional function that someone like Joey actually has behind what they do. Because this is all he does all day long. Um, and so something like Brand Therapy can help you accelerate the work, can help you think through, Okay, what should I be doing differently? How can we, you know, kind of guide this part of what we’re doing and make it better?

Rich Birch — So question for you, Joey, as you’ve engaged with people, I’m sure there’s churches that you’ve talked with or organizations maybe more broadly you’ve talked with that would say, like I’m not sure – is this really worth it? Is it worth all this time, effort, and energy? Why would I bring an outside person in? Why why don’t we just go away? Why don’t why don’t I just read StoryBrand, tell all my people to read StoryBrand, and then we’ll just like pull out the pdfs from the back of the StoryBrand book and do it ourselves. Why engage with someone like yourself? Why have someone like you there to kind of guide you through the process?

Joey Speers — Yeah, that’s a great question. Huge fan of StoryBrand. I feel like ah Donald Miller shaped a lot of the way I view the world. Um, but the the problem with reading a book is there’s no implementation. You’re not getting someone helping you implement that, right? And I think that’s the the biggest fall that a lot of leaders take is they’re so excited to read the book, but they don’t now know how to take what they’ve learned, implement it into the organization, and most importantly, like distribute it through the health of their staff.

Joey Speers — And so ah, the same way – I’m recently married I’m I’m a year and a half in. You know, I love what you were saying about communication, Rich. Like communication is so crucial. Communication and marriage is everything. If you get communication wrong, you you get a lot of other things wrong, right?

Rich Birch — For sure.

Joey Speers — It’s the same thing with your organization. You could have the best groups, the best program, and you could have the best sermon. You could have the best opportunities for kids. But if you can’t communicate how that’s going to benefit someone’s life and how they should be invited into that and all the other stuff, it just falls at the wayside, right? So um I think that’s where there’s a lot of churches who, yeah will look at something, I guess, and go, well I just don’t know if we have the time. My my counter to that would be, well, It’s only one day.

Rich Birch — Yes, yes.

Joey Speers — And even just the the reality of how we’re going to help you, you know, like talking about that brand identity guide that we give at the end. I even give the example all the time I’m like, man, that will cut your onboarding time from weeks…

Rich Birch — Oh so good. Yes.

Joey Speers — …of them having to get used to your organization. You give them that book, have somebody who’s, you know, an elder on staff type thing someone who’s been there for a while walk them through the brand identity. Here’s who we are, here’s how you’re going to play into that.

Rich Birch — Love it. That’s a great idea.

Joey Speers — Here’s who we’re serving, here’s how you’re going to help reach them, and here’s how you’re gonna help benefit them. There you go. Like they get started instantly. So you even just save the time on even like onboarding, for one.

Joey Speers — If you ever have to, you know, even if you spend time coming up with communication for your website, if you spend time coming up with communication for your next sermon series, for anything, like it just speeds it speeds things up. And so that’s I think that’s my only answer, right? You’ve got to find things in in your leadership that you can you can throw some kind of resource at that’s going to shortcut you, that’s going to that’s going to speed you up, right?

Joey Speers — And that’s the best thing about ah you know learning how to steward your money well. If you steward your money well, you’re probably looking at your money from the perspective of how can we use this to buy us speed in our impact. And Brand Therapy is a phenomenal way to do that because it’s buying you massive amounts of speed in in, like you said, your communication getting so much better, in so many other so many other things that become assets that just make the long-term health, and the short-term health, of your organization I think just drastically go up.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love it. So you had said, and and we probably don’t have time to dig into all of it, but I love that you called out um I think I would imagine one of the problems with a process like this is it has that kind of feeling of well we went to the mountaintop, we generated this thing. In fact, we got the amazing brand bible, and then we set it on the table somewhere and then didn’t think about it for 10 years, which I can imagine, are 5 years which I can imagine for you is like super frustrating. You’re like man I just ah, yeah, you know why just invested all this blood, sweat, and tears, energy into an organization and then it just it just became dust on a you know ah, maybe on the the pastor’s coffee table in their office. Then they didn’t actually do anything with it. What are some of the, back to low hanging fruit, some of the two or three kind of distributing, you know, tips for getting this beyond just the ivory tower, the 7 staff who talked about it, and actually pushing it out to the organization? What are some of those channels? What are some of those approaches that when we’re thinking about rolling out a brand change like this or a brand clarification like this, ah what are some of those things we should be thinking about or looking at to kind of help us accelerate the adoption across our organization?

Joey Speers — Yeah, totally. So well first of all I think the way we set it up. Everything we do we try and go, Okay, how do we make sure implementing this is fast, effective, and easy? Um, if if we were to do all this and then I was to make implementing this hard, it just would it just wouldn’t be worth it, right? I might as well not do it. So I think the way that we format the guide, we pair the value in the guide to tangible actions you take daily inside of your job, whether you are a lead pastor, whether you’re someone who’s who’s writing programming, whether you’re writing slides for the weekend – whatever it’s going to be. I think we we do a good job of pairing that.

Joey Speers — And um the thing that I think hooks people to continue to use it, because I’m yet to actually see somebody drop off and just totally stop using it. I think the reason why is because when you get so much clarity for how you can talk about what you do, um it’s just so much fuel. And it fuels you to keep coming back to the root of where that clarity was. And even better when you as a Lead Pastor Executive Pastor have a couple team members below you now know what you’re thinking, and you know that they know what you’re thinking. It is a phenomenal feeling, right? And I think a lot of people love that.

Joey Speers — So when you think about implementing it daily, um I always say just keep coming back to the to the source. Like you you got to write a new sermon series? Use it as a filter. Make sure that the topic for your sermon sermon series, look through this part, this part, and this part of the guide, which is easily laid out, and just filter it. Go, does this align with that? If it does, awesome. We’re on the right track. If it doesn’t, then we probably have to reconsider this, right? And so I think that’s probably the biggest one. The best way I’ve seen people implement it even if it just takes two minutes a day is taking the tasks they’re doing and filtering it. Because when you have a great brand it almost acts as a, in the business world, the business plan.

Joey Speers — And in the church world, like a mission, right? It’s like okay, if this is what we say the problem is that we see in the world, here’s how we’re committing to say we solve that problem. And then here’s the result we believe people experience when we solve that problem for them after they’ve been invited into it. You just use it and that’s what we we call that like just your simple brand story that we help people create like a three sentence little paragraph. If you wake up every day, every meeting you start, you go, Okay, this will only be effective if it aligns with this brand story. Filter everything through there. So I think there’s there’s just a lot of aspects of the guide that make it undeniably clear in your head and everybody else’s head in the organization that. just it makes it it makes it hard to ditch it. Um, yeah.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally. I love that. Well and I think there’s a key insight there around connecting to people’s daily function. I think is such an important piece that we have to push. We have to when we think about implementing any kind of organizational change, it has to come down to, Okay so what difference does that make on Monday morning? Like how how do we actually um…

Joey Speers — Yes.

Rich Birch — …make a difference next week? How do we make life better?

Joey Speers — Yeah.

Rich Birch — And that’s going to require some work. It’s not like, you know, Joey can do all that work for you. As team leaders you’re going to spend a bunch of money to get Joey to come in, but then do the extra work to go the extra mile to say okay, we’ve done that, now let’s figure out let’s keep pushing it, you know, beyond and keep coming back to it time and ah time and again. You know, I just love that. It’s like with any software I always say, like I said this to the church management people all the time, I’m like if we can’t get if we can’t get our people using church management software much as much as they use email um, it’s useless to us.

Joey Speers — Yeah.

Rich Birch — We have to figure out how to make it as easy as possible that people have email and the church management system up. Or like if you have a human, you know, ah lots lots organizations have human performance, you know, software. If it’s not up as much as email…

Joey Speers — Yeah.

Rich Birch — …it’s not It’s probably not functional. So love that, love that. Well this has been great conversation, Joey. Is there anything else you’d like to share just as we kind of wrap up today’s episode, as we come to land the plane as they say?

Joey Speers — Yeah I mean I’ll just go back to what I said in the beginning, I think it’s so important. I just want to encourage every leader listening to this, ask yourself take two minutes after this episode and just ask yourself: man, how do we make our brand more about the people we’re trying to serve and less about us? Because it’s it’s very hard to do that. You know our brands always become about ourselves. That’s just human nature, you know. That’s that’s even biblical. You know if we don’t focus on intentionally making our lives about other people, it becomes about ourselves. And so if you don’t focus on making your organization about the people you serve very very specifically, and you have tools to back that up to help you do that on Monday morning—like you just said, Rich, which is such a great such a great statement—then your your brand, your organization is going to become become about just maintaining the people within it.

Joey Speers — And I just want to encourage everybody um, whether you take something out of this episode, whether you contact me and we try and help you do that, either way I just encourage you how can you continue to make your your brand, your organization, the mission of your organization, more about the people you serve and than it is about you. And live that out daily. And I think that’s a great again, Rich, such a great point. Like if it’s not if you’re not able to implement it daily then it’s it’s not worth it. Um, you know if you think your if you think your organization’s about you know the people you serve. But all you do all day is just things to maintain the organization, and the people within it, which is what I think I see a lot of church leaders doing just trying to get the next Sunday, trying to keep the health of their staff together, you know? Like they spend so much time internally focused on what’s going on inside which there’s obviously a place for and that needs to be accounted for.

Joey Speers — But I think when you can rally everybody under one one mission, one team, and everyone’s got clarity on how they build into that I think it just makes everything better. Everybody can spend more time focusing on actually serving the people you want to serve as ah as we’re all called to do. So yeah, leave it with that.

Rich Birch — Love it. Love it. Well if people want to get in touch with you, or to learn more about… we obviously gave that address earlier: – is there anywhere else we want to send them online to track with you?

Joey Speers — Yeah, Instagram is a great spot. I hang out there quite a bit just due to the nature of what I do. So @joeyspeers on social media across everything, but mainly Instagram is what I hang out on. great if you want to go there and check out more about Brand Therapy. Or if you just want to check out some of the other things that I’m working on. It’s more of just kind of a landing page to talk about some of the things that I’m trying to push for in the world based on what I believe, the people I’m trying to help.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Joey Speers — So yeah anywhere you’ll be able to find me, I would love to connect with you.

Rich Birch — Love it. Thanks so much for being here today, Joey. Thanks for all the help. Appreciate it.

Joey Speers — Of course, Rich. Thanks for having me on.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.