Samuel was hunting for a king. The nation had a king named Saul but his recent disobedience had disqualified him. Samuel was directed by God to the home of Jesse. His oldest sons were tall, dark, and handsome. David was the runt. Knowing what was going through the priest’s mind, the LORD said, “Do not look at his appearance…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
To some people, appearance is everything. From TV to magazines, how you look determines many things about you. You can almost tell a teenage girls mood by whether or not she is having a “good hair day.” Those obsessed with their body-image sculpt their rock hard abs to make the rest of us jealous. For others, rule #1 is, “You shall have no other gods before fashion.”
While appearance is not everything; admittedly, appearance is something. Whether we like it or not, as the LORD said, “man (does) look at the outward.” This means that we have to put some thought into how others see us.
For instance, I often get asked why I still wear a suit and tie when I preach. Most pastors my age don a more casual look. While I do think that dress is cultural and changes in time, how you dress sends a message. Like it or not, we still live in a culture where the anchorman on the 6pm broadcast, the defense attorney in the courtroom, and the president in the Rose Garden still dress up to deliver important news. They want to be taken seriously. And, so, they dress (what our culture considers) professionally. Should not the preacher?
Again, appearance is not everything, but it is something. With the dawn of a new, debt-free era as a church – our leadership has been taking a look at our look. This watershed moment provides a good opportunity to think about the future, even in small ways, like appearance. We didn’t want a full blown “face lift;” more like a “nip and tuck” that would allow us to visually communicate to others what we, as a church, believe in and prioritize.
Rather than create something completely new and outlandish, it seemed best to take the old and familiar and simply upgrade it. If I could summarize Forest Baptist Church in three simple priorities they would be: the Bible, the gospel, and the mission. We, as a church and convention, have prioritized these three issues from day one. And our logo speaks to that commitment.
While the logo and look is not totally new, it has a new coloring, new design and will find its way into new places in our church life. Expect to see it in our church’s letterhead, bulletin, brochures, website, on-screen during worship as well as in other FBC resources. You can even download a free FBC desktop wallpaper, featuring the new look, for your own computer (Click here). It may take time to transition completely from the old to the new, so your patience is appreciated.
Granted, appearance is something, but don’t forget: it’s not everything. No one has ever come to faith in Christ through a logo or letterhead. But, we’re not putting our hope in that, are we? Some pastors may think that a new look is the best advertisement for the church. I disagree. The best advertisement for the church, IS the church. No logo or letterhead can actually prioritize the Scriptures, the gospel and the mission. Each member, one-by-one, has to do that.
I would be at fault not to give a huge “thank you” to Ethan Strickler, one of our church members, who has helped us with the new artwork and templates. He has spent countless hours volunteering his time to create and design what we are now using. Thanks Ethan!