Designing A Future for an Evolving Identity

In recent years, Harderwyk has undergone many changes. What started as a simple church has evolved over time to include multiple buildings and spaces representing various functions. What’s more, it has become a place where ministry happens, sometimes the work of Harderywk and other times, supported by the Harderwyk family. This complexity led to confusion and ambiguity, creating the need for Harderwyk and its worship communities to evolve and become places where people can discover, engage, and belong.
From the beginning, we knew that making assumptions or speculating about what this change looked like, would only lead to more confusion and more importantly, time wasted. By connecting with key leaders from each worship community, we were able to learn what the reality was and build empathy for the current state. Our questions were around three major aspects of the rebranding: How do we view the current brand of Harderwyk and our Worship Communities, What’s the vision for the future, What values will support that direction?

We asked key members of each worship community to help inform what this next phase looked like.

This is what we learned.

Overwhelmingly, we learned that each worship community was vastly different both in culture and in needs. This was the key to understanding why our worship communities had such distinct audiences and why there was little overlap, despite our desire to create a community open to roaming.
The feedback shed light on how diverse our church family was. Each individual was a part of Harderwyk for different reasons, none more important than the next. What they had in common was a need to see Harderwyk grow in ministry and in faith, making a difference within our community, limitless in boundaries.
There was a distinct expression at this stage that there was connection from Harderwyk to its worship communities, almost to the point that respondents used the terms interchangeably. This idea of a mutual partnership was exhibited in peoples ideas of how Harderwyk could impact our community locally, nationally, and globally.

The Harderwyk Model

By positioning at the center of the worship communities, it is the common bond between what would otherwise be separate churches. Harderwyk can then be the support for these worship communities without requiring them to follow a template that may not work for each individually.

Recognizing their uniqueness also allows each community to break the mold of what would be expected and prototype a little. Each can evolve and shift without disrupting the whole, but rather be stronger as a result of being part of this interconnected network.

Once we learned this, the pieces started falling into place rapidly. We set to work to start defining the uniqueness that is each worship community and develop an identity and personality that could be externally communicated.


Branding Unique Worship Communities

Identities were developed for three Worship Communities reflecting the unique values, tone, and personality of each. Brand guides accompanied each identity along with a website refresh (leveraging existing technology platforms) to communicate the rebrand externally. View the 2016 Ministry Report.