The second story of our series on 5 Strategic Reasons to Change Your Church's Name comes from Jon Tyson at Trinity Grace in New York City. His leadership illustrates the second strategic reason to change a name:

#2 When a name is the barrier to the people that a church is trying to reach.

Churches serious about reaching people far from God have taken great strides to "remove all barriers" to fulfilling the mission.  In Jon's case we learn how history trumped creativity.



Jon Tyson is as smart and likable as a pastor can be. I first met John when he was on staff with David Loveless at Discovery Church in 2005.

But Jon’s vision was to plant, and  New York City was his call.  As a bright visionary and missional strategist, Jon turned on his creativity and named his church Origins. I remember hearing Jon talk about his vision, strategy and new church name at the time. He could make any church planter weep with jealously. Surely he had cracked the code of NYC as a cultural exegete!

Or not? Several years into the plant, Jon awakened to a startling conclusion. The people of the city weren’t looking for the next flavor of doing church. They weren’t responding to what appeared to be a fly-by-night Jesus operation. Rather, they were interested in the historic and the rooted.  They wanted to attend a church that had been around for 200 years.

So Jon acknowledged the mistaken moment of creativity and changed the name of his church to remove the barrier.  The church became Trinity Grace. The new name captures accurately, both the theological prowess of the leadership team and the timeless beauty of Trinitarian God and a grace-filled Gospel.

Trinity Grace is one community that consists of several neighborhood churches (Westside, Eastside, Chelsea, Brooklyn) that network together for the common good and renewal of New York City. The church is diverse, comprising professionals, families, students and artists. Read more about their vision and values.