Recently, the Terps were on primetime television and not only put on a football display to defeat the Miami Hurricanes but they put on a fashion display with their new uniforms. Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, said his job is to “start a conversation”.
So, here’s my conversation of how the new uniforms relate to organizational structures and specifically church ministry.
UMD Uniforms & Church Ministry
1. Change happens.
- Athletic director with new dreams, goals, personnel, etc. Randy Edsall is the new coach. New uniforms reinforce culture of change.
- Change is the norm; if you do not change then you are dead – really, it’s a fact of life.
- Church ministry must realize that the gospel never changes but the presentations and packaging must be contextualized to current circumstances and surrounding culture.
– What needs changed?
– What doesn’t need change?
– Where are we resisting change?
2. Effective branding & re-branding have careful marketing strategies.
- UMD is still MD, still terps, still school & athletics. Yet, Under Armour (UA) for UMD has 32 different uniforms based on the brand.
- Church ministry can start new programs, hire new people or do anything new to create short-term gains. However, all new things must be built on a proper foundation for it to have sustained momentum and growth.
– Is there alignment among activities, events, programs, etc.? If not, what needs re-aligned?
3. New springs momentum where it previously was stalled.
- UMD Uniforms were “trending” – search engines, celebs & talkshows. Boring turned into buzz!
- New has the power to propel forward or negative, depending on if it is built on the right foundation.
– Where are we stalled in momentum? (Evaluate intentionally & honestly)
– Where are we gaining momentum? (Celebrate, Thank and Encourage)
4. Variety of choices and creative styles reach variety of people.
- UA has 32 different uniforms, some are liked and others not.
- The same old is the same old. New ideas increase more innovation in other areas.
- Unity does not necessarily mean uniformity. Everyone is not the same or have same gifts but there still can be unity under the vision, purpose, direction and goals.
- Church ministries are known for being rigid in specific styles events & programming, learning types, worship music, etc. We must realize how to minister to the uniqueness of individuals while retaining a unified congregation. Welcome to ministry in the 21st Century where choices and customization are cherished.
– Who is your audience and target? Are your events & programming designed to reach the variety of these people?
– Is the same old becoming the same old? How can you increase a culture of creativity & innovation – where it is first even valued and then amplified?
5. Relationships matter.
- UA founder Kevin Plank is a UMD graduate. UMD is a flagship school for UA gear.
- This is a mutually beneficial relationship not only financially but communally.
- Church ministries must never lose sight that people are the mission. People are looking for friends than they are a church (from unbeliever’s perspective), a program or ministry. Outreach, ministry, recruiting, training, serving, working all happen through the context of relationships.
– How can you emphasize the people are the mission in your ministry?
– Where have you lost sight of this principle?