The NFL’s Carolina Panthers have updated their logo in what has to be one of the most underwhelming changes I have ever seen. One of the team’s executives said it was a necessary update for “ever-increasing digital use.” I am still trying to figure out how this change really does much of anything for the team.
This reminds me of 1996 when the Miami Dolphins made this wholly unremarkable change:
Back then, the change was to make the Dolphin more aggressive. I have to say, that second dolphin looks pretty ferocious, doesn’t it?
Look, I am all for NFL teams changing their logos from time to time. When my Tampa Bay Buccaneers ditched their effeminate swashbuckler for the “blood and pewter” (that’s their official colors) skull and crossbones, I cheered the change. I hated Pat the Pirate, and even though the Patriots’ “Elvis” logo still looks kind of silly, at least it was a real change.
Changes like this Panthers thing are just silly.
Of course, you knew there was going to be a church-type application to this, didn’t you?
Most of the time, people love their old ideas and images too much to really part with them. They know something isn’t working, but they’re just not willing to part with it.
- So, you have a stayed-and-crusty old congregational church that decides to update their ministry. They bring in a young, hip worship leader who sets up a band, but they’re only allowed to play hymns and campfire songs.
- A congregation decides to revamp their children’s ministry, so they splash new paint on the walls and buy nifty curriculum, but they aren’t willing to gently retire the matronly teacher who believes children should be seen and not heard.
- You set out to start the next “cool church” but instead of all the artists and hippies, you attract middle-aged folks with kids. But you refuse to minister to the families because you are too interested in being trendy.
I am fairly convinced that in order to truly minister to the flock that the Shepherd gives you, leaders have to be willing to throw out old (and new) ideas in favor of doing whatever God requires of us to accomplish his vision. Don’t live for that old identity. God’s mercy and love is new every morning. How can we renew lives and redeem people from sin when we are not willing to be truly renewed ourselves?