What's in a Name?
So, what should we name our church? Check out this video of Kevin Holt and I attending a Church Naming Consultation while at the Exponential Conference last week.
Ok, well maybe we will need a little more work on that...
So, in our Launch Team Meeting this past Sunday night we had fun brainstorming names and coming up with creative ways to think about the way we name our church. I have learned three things when it comes to talking up a name for a church.
Even though the name has a lot of meaning for me, Restoration (as I sensed in my gut) was a name that people kind of liked, but only a few people were wild about. Most people thought it meant something like, "are you going to fix me?" That isn't the vibe we are looking for...The most important thing about a name is really what it means to someone for the first time they hear it. After that, it is not reflected upon much. They say, someone really only experiences the unique taste during the first few bites of food, before they mindlessly eat the rest. The same can be so of a name, at least the wrong one, so a name needs to work on the front end and carrying meaning beyond. In particular, the name needs to work for someone when they first hear it or are first invited.
Since, 1996, the portion of Americans associating themselves as non-affiliated with any religion has gone from 6% to 23% in 2015. That is an explosive (or shall I say implosive) decline. Yet, at the same time, people's interest in spirituality has not gone down. So, people like God and Jesus, but they don't like church. In light of that, I am inclined to not think so much of having the word "church" in the name. I think we need to grab people's attention with the name and give them hope that whatever they thought church was like, this is different. For a list of some of the names proposed, see the photo of our white board.
At the end of the day, the name needs to serve and reflect the mission of the church. Though Restoration meant a lot to me, it meant the wrong to the people who mattered in the mission. This is not "my" church or "our" church. It is Jesus' church and our name needs to capture the attention of those who don't have any church.
Let's keep praying...