How Methodist?

Notice anything about these two church logos?

Neither mention Methodism.

Yet these are two of the most influential and effective Methodist churches in the USA — one of them in Indiana and the other in Houston.

There’s some interesting conversation in the blogosphere these days around whether or not Methodist churches should identify themselves as such. After all, the denomination itself is in steep decline and I know from experience that putting “United Methodist” on a church sign keeps away as many people as it brings in. Probably more.

Our church will be getting a new logo sometime in 2009. The one we have is about 13 years old and has a more dated look than we’d like, so it’s high time.

How “Methodist” will the new one be? I’m not sure.

I know that in many ways we seek to recover the core of the Methodist movement; a movement designed to bring life to a moribund Anglican Church in the 1700s. (Isn’t it interesting that the “movement” is now a church in need of resuscitation?!) But the core of early Methodism included:

  • Expressive, Passionate Worship
  • Risk-Taking Innovation
  • Concern For The Poor
  • Dedication To Small Groups
  • Commitment To Holiness (Oddballs!)

I pray that list describes where we are going if not where we are.

So whether or not our logos and signs display our Methodism, my burden is that our life as a community will. In the best sense of the word.