By Susan Passi-Klaus*
Oct. 2, 2008 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)

What if church wasn’t just a place where people spend an hour on Sundays? What if there wasn’t just one door into the church but 10,000?

And what if we began thinking about “church” as a verb instead of a noun?

The United Methodist Church is going to pose those questions and others when it rolls out a new media campaign in 2009 aimed at getting people to “Rethink Church.” The awareness campaign’s launch will coincide with World Malaria Day, April 25.

“In the next few years, we will seek to encourage a global spiritual dialogue,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, top staff executive of United Methodist Communications. “It will ask us to rethink church. We will ask, ‘What if church were a verb and not a noun?’”

Hollon and his staff presented the “Rethink Church” awareness campaign to the agency’s commission during a Sept. 25-27 meeting in Nashville. The Commission on Communication oversees United Methodist Communications, which is directing the campaign.

“What we’re going to try and get across is the idea that ‘church’ doesn’t just happen on Sundays, and ‘church’ isn’t just a building,” said Kerry Graham, president of Nashville-based Bohan Advertising/Marketing, which developed the “Rethink Church” campaign.

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This challenges self serving mission statements that some churches have adopted. The question is are we building communities of faith to transform the world or are we building social religious institutions? If we are building communities of faith we have to learn that it is a place of dwelling not visitation.
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