Let’s change the name of the church! I ask, why?
The following statement is one I left on a post in an online forum. The original poster asked how to get people on board with a name change. Further how do go about getting them tied into the vision and mission of the name change. Below was my reponse.
A name change without a DNA change will not help.
- For example, if changing the name is “the secret sauce” for growth, you’ll still be stuck.
- If the DNA…(values, vision, mission) necessitates a change of name, go for it.
- Though I have never personally led a church through a name change, I was on staff at a church who changed their name. After the pastor left (that initiated the name change) the church name eventually went back to the original name under the new pastor. Why did that happen?
- The answer I believe is due to the reason why the name was changed to being with. The name change wasn’t organic. The values, vision, and mission of the church didn’t necessitate the change. The DNA of the church didn’t change. Same church….different name.
Write the vision, make it plain.
- Allow people to get tied to the vision first. Once that happens begin tying a new identity (name) with the new DNA (values, vision, and mission).
- It could be a tag line at first. For example. Say the tag line from your values, mission, and vision was the following. A place for people looking for life and significance.
- As people live out, or reproduce the values, vision, and mission, it may be, that you find out the vision and mission necessitates for you to identify as Infuse Church.
- The name changed because the identity changed.
Allow the name change to be from the values, vision, and mission. Let it be organic.
Just to be honest, my advice may not be worth the time it took to write it out. I admit, I’m limited in my experience with the question, but, maybe it’s helpful.
Share this: Some helpful tips if your thinking of changing the name of the church.
- A name change without a DNA change will not help.
- Write the vision, make it plain.
- Allow the name change to be from the values, vision, and mission. Let it be organic.
Read more here… https://georgetallmageonline.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/name-change/
An individual from NACOG came up to the church to pray this past Friday. The building wasn’t unlocked so they decided to just walk around the facilities and pray. North Aiken isn’t a large facility, to give you an idea, the church only owns 0.36 acres. It’s fairly small. While praying, this individual began pulling up weeds in the areas where we have plants and mulch, between the church and sidewalk.
I took notice on Sunday that the flower beds looked great and began asking around in order to find out who took the time to serve in that daunting task. This individual let me know that she did it as she was praying. She went on further to say the following.
“Pulling the weeds out of the flower beds made me feel like I was washing the feet of the church.”
I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. – 1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT
The past few days in my daily Bible reading I have highlighted verses regarding harmony or unity. When a particular topic keeps coming to the forefront through various passages and texts I can only be left with the conclusion that God wants me to stop and listen more intently.
Harmony is a beautiful thing. There’s nothing better than a seeing a group of people who are not distracted by their personal differences but in harmony with the overall mission.
The overall goal as a body of Christ, that there be no divisions in the Church. Simply put, no two visions can work at any one place. That creates division. It doesn’t mean any one vision is necessarily wrong but it does mean there is a divided front. One individual or group believe the Church should be about _______________ another individual or group believe the Church should be about _____________ and what you end up with is valuable time being spent trying to decipher which you are going to do.
The antidote for division among the Church is pretty clear according to the above verse, “Be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” Simply put, think about the same things and put all your energy and effort into fulfilling one mission. This doesn’t mean you take away your individuality but it does mean you are going to use your individuality to help accomplish the collective goal.
Live in harmony, set aside division, and be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
Another Easter weekend is in the rear view mirror. If you are unfamiliar about why we make such a big deal about Easter you can read in the Bible, John chapters 18-20. For all of my ministry friends I hope this past weekend proved to be one of your best weekends of the year. Maybe you didn’t quite reach the goals you set out to reach. Can I give you a word of encouragement? Just because you didn’t hit the number you were reaching for it shouldn’t get you down.
At the time of this post I have only been at the North Aiken Church of God for about 7 weeks. Sure, we had some expectations but I haven’t let those expectations control me. We plan, we execute, but ultimately the rest is up to God.
For instance, we were planning for an attendance goal of 75 people. We have been averaging 50. We had a total attendance of 55. Although we didn’t meet our planned goal of 75 there are a few things that we were able to execute by having that goal. If we were going to hit 75 we had to free up space in the sanctuary. So, we created an environment where children ages 2months – 5th grade can learn about Jesus and the purpose of Easter. That freed up close to 20 seats in the sanctuary for the guests that we’ve been inviting. We had a nursery for kids 2 months thru 2 years. A group for kids ages 3 thru 5 and a group for kids in k5 thru 5th grade. In total there were 13 kids present.
Here’s what I have learned and I hope is an encouragement to you.
Don’t allow the fact that you didn’t have the number of people you expected and planned for make you unbearable to be around.
Don’t allow the fact that you may have had a record breaking attendance make you unbearable to be around.
Don’t forget to put the same amount of prayer and planning into this coming weekend.
Don’t forget to reflect on what God did this weekend in spite of us.
Don’t forget, it’s not about you it’s all about God and His plan and purpose for those he’s allowed you the opportunity to shepherd.
In closing let me add, the most important thing I believe that could have happened did. At least two people recognized that they have been trying to go through this life alone and recognized the need to turn it over to God and trust in Jesus.
What was the highlight of your weekend?
If you are a ministry leader what’s some sound advice you would give to other ministry leaders right after a big weekend?
The past few weeks at SGCOG have been super exciting. We have seen people who were disconnected from God, come to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior. We have also seen four people within the last few months decide to become members. Three of the four have called SGCOG home since we have been Pastor. One has been active for some time and decided it was time to take the next step and connect with the Church in membership.
I understand that being a “MEMBER” does not save you, only Christ can do that. However, being a member does connect you. I also believe that when you come to Christ you need to connect. Just as you are connected to Christ we need that connection with other believers. We need a place to grow, belong, and use our gifts and talents to reach others. The local church is the place do do this. At the same time the “Church” shouldn’t just receive members because it looks good on paper. The church shouldn’t just look for what they can get out of the people who choose to connect in membership. The church should be a safe haven a place that offers insight, leadership, pours into the members, gives them the tools to grow in their faith and do what God has called them to do. I can’t remember where I heard this quote but it is a good one that church leaders and members should let sink in, “Members are Ministers.”
Members are not just a number, security, or our prize, Members are Ministers. This is one statement that keeps going over and over in my head and is challenging me to pour into those who have called SGCOG home and equip them to be more than just good members, but ministers who change the community in which we live.
Here are a few search terms I used which pointed me to some articles and resources relating to Church Membership.
- “Church Membership”
- “Is Church Membership Biblical”
- “Why Become a Member of a Church”
- “The Benefits of Church Membership”
- “The Responsibilities of Church Membership”
- The Responsibilities of Church Members”