New Church - New Name

One of the unique elements I have found in starting a new church is how a vision God gives to one becomes a vision for many. After much time seeking the counsel of others, reflecting on our community and seeking God's guidance, it seems right at this time to make a change in the name of this new United Methodist Church.

The mission for people to connect, follow and become disciples of Jesus Christ is what is the key and what has led to the change. The name CROSSROADS United Methodist Church seems to fit not just this mission but our community as well.

The Crossroads is a recognizable designation for North Paulding. We will actually be starting at the crossroads of Dabbs Bridge Rd. and Harmony Grove Church Rd. when we begin at McClure. It's meaning as a place of connection is obvious but the crossroads as a place where people make decisions is also meaningful. In changing our name the idea of nexus doesn't disappear but expands.

The new changes have gone (somewhat) quickly into effect on our different blogs and web pages. A new domain name was acquired to reflect the change as well. Our nexus links are still active and redirecting people to www.crossroadsum.org

I'm reminded of my earlier post regarding releasing an idea or product too earlier. So in light of that, let me share a couple of things I've learned:

1. Be true to mission and mantra.
If the mission is to connect with people and they can't get past the first impression, make the change.

2. Trust no one - trust everyone.
In the beginning when a vision and mission is forming, it needs protection. Once it is out on the table with people you trust already - listen to them and seek their advice. I'm so thankful for my friends and counselors.

Proverbs 15:22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.

3. Trust your gut.

Other people's guts are fine but when you are on the line, remember it was your gut that got you here. If it has been faithful in the past, look to it in the present.

4. Be out there.
I'm not a huge collector of quotes but I've always been partial to Robert Kennedy's statement on failure:
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.


BTW, if you're looking for some thoughtful posts on church names consider The Internet Monks Post on it.


May I Ask: Do you think names make a difference? What have you experienced regarding names?

May I Suggest: Ask some people about their thoughts and opinions of different names. Maybe it is your church or business. What do you learn? What difference does it make?

4 comments:

Susan Preece said...

Bravo! While I have come to find a new appreciation for Nexus (and i'm sure that will continue), Crossroads is so very appropriate for the community and for the church. It will come to be very helpful in connecting people to the community, and connecting people to the spiritual implications of being at the CrossRoads.

I feel quite confident that people will identify with the name. May we all be productive in making Crossroads a welcoming home.

Anonymous said...

Ken I think you're right, names are vital important. Especially Biblically speaking. That's why changing names was important in the Bible and in the early church (still so with Muslims). I think of Abram becoming Abraham and Jacob becoming Isaac or even Saul becoming Paul and Simon becoming Peter!
How do you see Crossroads being the intersection between the roads we too often take and the narrow path God is calling us toward? Sounds like a good blog topic.
Scott

Ken L. Hagler said...

Thanks for the comment and question.

I agree, not only might it fit as a blog topic but as something for our website too.

My initial thoughts follow along yours regarding Bible names. Many of our Biblical stories have to do with people at crossroads. Adam and Eve, Joseph confronting his brothers, Jonah, Peter's choice to follow and the choice to deny and Jesus' own choice to do the his Father's will.

Crossroads is a place too where different roads collide not just a decision. People from different backgrounds can find themselves coming from directions but ending up at the same location.

Still, it is Jesus himself who is THE Crossroads, the place where the divine intersects the temporal. This is central to what the Church believes. When churches begin to move away from Jesus Christ as the central figure of our Faith, we cease being the Church.

John said...

Well, my church will keep the name that it has had since 1865, but I'm beginning to think of a second name in reflection of the work of God in the church in the past few months:

The Church of the Square Pegs.

God appears to be filling our church with misfits. If so, he has certainly sent an appropriate pastor.

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