As of our members meeting last week, BBC decided to begin the process of changing our name. The goal of this process is not to distance ourselves from our past, or reject our identity as Baptists, or alter what we believe. The goal is to identify ourselves to the community in such a way that our beliefs are not misunderstood, causing an artificial stumbling block before they hear the gospel. Specifically, we do not want people to get hung up on Baptist before they understand who Jesus is and what he did on the cross.
As the elders begin putting together a ministry team to prayerfully consider our options for a name change, we want to encourage you to submit your ideas. As you do this, bear some things in mind:
- The name should reflect who we are as a Christian church. We aren’t trying to push ourselves off as some generic “religious” or “spiritual” group. We are Christians. We love Christ. We are His people. Our name should reflect that in some way.
- The name should be shorter rather than longer. Names like “First Church of the Risen Savior Over the Bay” aren’t inherently wrong, but will be awful clunky for signs, banners, and invitations.
- The name should be simple and memorable. Again, this will help as we try to promote the church and invite friends, family, and co-workers to come. It will more easily stick in people’s minds as they see signs or hear it spoken about.
- The name should have meaning, both for us as Christians and for those who are not. For example, Greek words like ekklesia (which means church) or Bible references like ‘Jacob’s Well’ might be meaningful for us, but non-Christians will have no idea what it means. On the other hand, a word like redemption or redeemer is understood by both Christians and non-Christians, even if more fully by Christians–ultimate redemption is found in Christ!
- The name should be tied to a specific Scripture verse (if possible). When you invite someone, and they ask about the church, having a name that can be tied to specific Bible verse means you can immediately bring God’s Word into the conversation, maybe even getting to the gospel itself!
With your help, we hope to come up with a name that will last us another 50 years of faithful ministry. Please send your suggestions to Pastor John (via email or Facebook) or Pastor Richard (via email).