Am I just stupid?

I dwelled in Luke 10 with my babelicious wife. Grabbed the Laptop. I felt a little tired, long day it seemed like. Full, rich day at work, wonderful evening prayer with the kids, but still tired. I surfed over to Mr. Kinnon’s blog, without thinking jumped to one of the links on his post. This one. I’m trying to be nice. But it seems as though I may have missed something. So maybe stay with me to see if we can come up with a brand for the “Ministry Side”(I am nauseous after even using those words to describe what we do…bare with me) of our Teen Center. Towards the end of the article we read this Your brand has the greatest impact when it connects with people’s deepest heart cries.”

Here are some examples of heart cries from our teen center.

“I hate my f***ing dad, he doesn’t care at all about me. I wish he was dead.” Self-proclaimed racist,17 years old”.

I get $50 from my dad on Thursday night if I promise to stay away for the weekend because my parents are going to party all weekend” Skateboarder ,14 years old.

“I am so tired of having sex with older guys that pass me around like I’m a whore”. Partygirl ,14 years old.

“My mom tells me all the time that she wishes I’d never would have been born” Problem Child, 15 years old.

I could go on forever. In light of these news about branding, I ask my self this; A sign on my door that will connect with their deepest heart cries, what would that be? A cross? That’s a sign of the band Black Sabbath, means nothing. A fish? I’m not even going to comment. A cool, hip church logo ? Are we on the same planet? Have I gone insane? People who are in deep, deep pain walks around in our cities and look at the Branding of things?  People who have lost hope for life, decides where to try to make sense of it all because the logo on a door or a business card? People who don’t really care whether they live or die, makes life changing decisions because of layout, font and color? Man, I wish I would have known sooner. I though the way to connect, to inspire, to bring hope was through countless hours of listening to stories without judging or poisonous one-liners, by being there in good times and bad times, by knowing names, remembering stories, caring when noone else does, giving a loving embrace to someone who never has had one, noticing good things about people who has never experienced being noticed, by lovingly looking someone in the eyes who is filled with shame and guilt, throwing a baseball around with a kid who’s dad is a drunk, give a gentle hug to a girl who is treated like a piece of meat. So all that can be said in a logo? I may have grossly misunderstood the article, so help me out with this.  The world doesn’t need more fancy logos or business cards, they need neighbors that love them, neighbors who would lay down their lives for them, that my friends is the “Branding” we need.  

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~ by Rickard on October 25, 2007.

4 Responses to “Am I just stupid?”

  1. O God have mercy.. open the eyes of your people to this broken world..

  2. I can’t think of what the logo or brand would be for the teen center, but I have thought of one for our church, “Enter at your own risk”. It’s easy to have a cool bumper sticker that reads “Come as you are, You’ll be loved”, but it is another all together to actually love those who come as they are. I think I feel sick to stomache… Good post baby.

  3. I had to restrain myself from not using the F-bomb when commenting on the branding needs for missional/incarnational nonsense in that article I linked to. Incredible.

  4. Rickard, thanks for a great post. I shared this post, along with the churchcentral.com article, with my congregation’s elders, who are gradually picking up on what a missional church really looks like. Your post, and the article you react to, serve as great illustrative counterpoints: attractional and church-growth vs. missional and moving-back-into-the-neighborhood. Enjoyed meeting you again at Seabeck, and hope our paths cross again.

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