Ownership of Ideas: 3 Huge Cautions for Copying Other Churches

While getting inspiration from other churches is not seen as a problem, there are considerations that need to be carefully thought over before re-using creative content from other houses of worship.

Mark MacDonald  ·  May 9, 2017

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Everywhere you turn (or google), it’s obvious that local church leaders and Pastors are copying each other.

The same sermon series, same graphics, same communication strategies. In fact, I recently saw one church using a very similar logo from another church. Ugh.

According to them, they’re in a different area of the country so “it’s fine”.

Putting legal copyright and trademark issues aside (reluctantly), I’m not sure ethically if we should be freely sharing, borrowing or outright stealing ideas, concepts, or artwork.

But no matter how many in the communications world throw up caution, I don’t think it’s slowed.

It’s so much of a problem that many don’t see it as a problem.

Since it appears many will continue to get “inspiration” from other congregations, may I offer 3 huge cautions before using creative from other churches:

1. Make sure they’re growing and thriving.

The vast majority of churches (80+%) aren’t growing. Even some of the churches that appear to be cool, branded, and amazing, aren’t actually growing.

In fact, many are producing high-cost graphics and getting very little return on the investment. Be careful. If you copy them, you may be adding expense and also replicating their disappointing outcomes.

2. Make sure they’re reaching a similar audience.

Good communication (you know, the effective type that people respond to) directly corresponds to the receiving audience.

For example, if you’re talking to vegans, a conversation about juicy steaks will not be well-received.

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Communications · Media · Multimedia Software · New Media Production · Podcasting or Streaming · Blogs & Opinion · Graphics · Presentation Software · Visual Arts · All Topics


Mark MacDonald
Is a Bible Teacher, speaker, best-selling author of Be Known For Something, and communication strategist for and the 3000+ churches of the Florida Baptist Convention. He empowers churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, and social media. His book is available at and
Contact Mark MacDonald: ·  View More by Mark MacDonald

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