Your name is always your first opportunity to cast vision. Your name says something and means something to everyone who hears it or sees it. A wise leader understands the importance of a ministry's[...]
Last week I posted 5 Strategic Reasons to Change Your Church's Name. Here are a few illustrations of the third reason.
#3 Reason for a Name Change: When the name re-clarifies a church’s identity during a relaunch, an organizational rite of passage, or a new strategic direction.
When Pivvot guides churches through the Funnel Fusion Process, it's not uncommon for the name change discussion to come up. Sometimes its the felt need for why we are called in.
In 2002, I worked with Jeff Harris of Grace Point Church to navigate a significant name change. When Jeff Harris planted the church in 1992, it was a mission church for one of the largest Southern Baptist Churches in San Antonio, Castle Hills First Baptist. As such, it made sense to the keep the connection in the name, and the church was launched as Castle Hills Church Northwest.
But ten years later, the established church was clearly reflecting its own DNA. When Jeff and his team contacted us, they had a strong idea of what they wanted their new church name to be. The team loved the idea of "Cross Point Church." We conducted independent, primary research to test the preferred names against 5 other options developed by Auxano and Jeff's team.
In the end there was overwhelming local preference for "Grace Point" from every segment and most importantly, the unchurched population. In this case, around 60% of the local community has a Roman Catholic background.
Ten years after being planted, the established church was clearly reflecting its own DNA. And they needed a new name to match it. @willmancini
The second story is connected to a recent vision announced by McKinney Fellowship, led by Bruce Miller. Bruce worked closely with Gene Getz, who is the founder of the Fellowship Bible Church movement, with 350 churches tracing their roots to the original Fellowship Bible Church in Dallas. About 14 years ago Bruce launched a new work in McKinney, a town located far north on the natural growth corridor of Dallas. The church grew to 2000 in worship attendance in the first 10 years.
In 2010, Bruce and his team walked through a consulting process with us, wanting to articulate their DNA precisely before opening a whole new chapter in the church's history. As they completed their Vision Frame, the elders began discussions about name.
In the end, they wanted to be more about the Savior than a city, and the decision to be a reproducing movement of campus and churches led to the name change Christ Fellowship.
From the outside, it may seem like a simple geographic decision. But from the inside it was meaningful to see a church with no pretense and true heartbeat to be "all about Jesus" continue the "fellowship bible" heritage in the name of Christ.
Grace Point and Christ Fellowship each have a stunningly clear Kingdom Concept and Vision Frame. While I haven't taken the time to share the nuts and bolts in this post, its very exciting to see a strong and organic connection between a vision and a name.
[This article was originally posted on November 4, 2010.]