I firmly believe that as the missional and incarnational approaches become the prevailing models for the Church, we will need the power and clarity of good identity branding. If we ignore it, we leave a key component of growth off the table.
(Sarcasm alert) And good grief, we missional folk wouldn’t want to leave anything off the table, now would we. That wouldn’t be hospitable. (I must confess that I find the first sentence in the quote to be simply astounding. Read on.)
I kinda wish my friend Mark hadn’t sent this to me. I think he’s read me enough to know that it’s such a slow pitch, I’d be bound to take a swing at it. (There I go with baseball metaphors again.)
Much of my response is covered in my series, Marketing the Church, which I wrote 10 months ago. The above comic is from Part One. Links to the rest are in the right side bar.
Let me be blunt. If you’re really going to talk about missional and incarnational, you aren’t going to talk about branding and marketing, or, dare I say, church growth. This article is also worthy of Napoleon Dynamite’s favourite epithet. (That’s three times in 24 hours that I’ve referenced the same ND line.) And is another example of how missional is being applied as the new new. “Hey, if we say it’s missional, it must be missional.” Not.
I also think you should read Dan Edelen’s post at Cerulean Sanctum on Willow Creek. It seems to me that it deals with much the same mindset.