If you haven’t yet read the previous post entitled “I need your help” please do right now and come back here. Here’s the bottom-line — we’re not just looking for a cool name. We’re not trying to hit a certain demographic or create something snazzy (does anyone use snazzy anymore?). We are looking for a name that best captures who we are, our DNA — but we’re also looking for something that is appealing and interesting to someone who doesn’t know us and maybe doesn’t even know much about church or the Bible. We want our name to say something about us — a picture that creates some passion.
Ok, hopefully you’re still chewing on lots of things from previous blogs, but I wanted to get some interaction going on this one. I am going to give you a list of phrases and I want you to tell me in the comments section which 2-3 of these phrases best capture our church? And tell me why those phrases create excitement, clarity or positive emotion in you. Please limit your choices to 3 of these phrases. (And I know some of you just read and don’t comment – please make an exception this once, because the more input we have here the better it will help us in the naming and visioning process moving forward.)
So one of the questions that gets asked is about the possibility of changing the name of our church. Why would we even consider this? What’s in a name?
A name is about identity. It is what people call you and when a name is mentioned most of us think about someone we know with that name. Regardless of the name, when you say it–it creates an image, a picture, sometimes even a set of qualities or characteristics.
I may mention the name “Steve” and you might think about a Steve you know, maybe even Pastor Steve. Pastor Steve is a great guy, he’s kind, compassionate and real. So even though I know several “Steves” when you say, Steve, I immediately think about Pastor Steve, my friend and partner in ministry. That’s just a small microcosm of what a name does.
While some of the vision is about some changes, please realize that much of the vision is about protecting what is true and actualizing what we say we believe. God doesn’t change. God’s Word doesn’t change and this vision isn’t about watering down or lessening God’s truth or character.
On a practical level, we see very few things that even need to change programmatically. Meaning at this point we’re not planning on major changes to our worship services, songs we sing, sermons we preach, humor we bring and honesty that has become part of our DNA as a church. We see only minor enhancements in our children’s ministry, youth ministry or adult discipleship venues like Catalysts and small groups. I will still teach the way I’ve taught — straight from the Bible, connected to real life. We still desire to worship passionately, pray authentically and love each other well (which I think we’d all admit we could do better and better at).
In the former post we looked at 2 critical areas of passion that must exist for a vision as big and bold as the one we’re presenting for our church to come to reality. Passion #1: A passion for God, His Word and His mission. We are not here for ourselves but to bring glory to God. He, not a pastor, theologian or Sunday school teacher — He, God, almighty has invited us (YOU and ME) to be about something bigger than us. We are all called into the mission. This means that God’s mission isn’t just for the full-time “missionary” but for anyone who is a follower of Jesus. The mission is fueled by a passion for God and for growth spiritually. And I would propose that to say you are growing as a Christian and yet not be moving more and more inline with God’s mission for the world/ people is to be greatly self-decieved. You can’t grow closer to God and not be more passionate about His heart.
The first post in this series showed you a video clip of me sharing a little about what God has been doing among the leaders of our church. In the next several posts I want to invite all you a little deeper into the journey and provide opportunities for you to engage as well. Please know these are my raw thoughts, wrestlings and brainstorms. As they develop into solid concepts and direction you will be hearing about them in other formats. But for now, welcome to the blog where you’ll get the unedited, raw processing I and we have been going through. Please feel free to add your voice to these discussions by leaving comments at any of the posts.
Here is a short clip of some comments I shared on Sunday. These comments were a conclusion of our staff retreat and many months/ years of discussion and prayer among the leaders of our church. Please check back at this blog over the next few days/ weeks for some additional info and critical pieces to this. At this point, we plan to share some content that hasn’t been shared anywhere else yet, right here at the blog. Here’s the clip from Sunday’s announcements:
Here’s a quick announcement from the online “Roseville Patch” right here in beautiful Roseville, MN:
Do you know about Roseville Patch? We are an online news and information service covering the community of Roseville. Our news coverage includes government, police and fire, business, school, churches and more. We are interactive with local voices columns, announcements and calendar items all meant to help provide a virtual gathering for information and conversation. Did you know Pastor Jason Stonehouse is one of our contributors? Roseville Patch is now a year old. Please sign up for our free daily newsletter to get it sent to your email account and keep yourself in the loop. Thanks for your support. Sincerely, Scott Carlson, Local editor- Roseville Patch.
So, do true Christians, followers of Jesus actually look different than non-Christians and marginal believers? I actually believe they do. Allow me to share 3 significant ways that true disciples/ followers of Jesus look different…
Ok, the title was meant to get you to keep reading because I’m using the word “look” in a way that you may not have initially realized. I’ve noticed that unbelievers and even marginal Christians tend to have a perspective on life that is very different from the perspective we see from the disciples and Christians we see in the New Testament, particularly those in the Epistles. Here are 3 quick ones (there are many others):
Who’s image are you living for? When we’re growing up we all have an “image”, a picture of who we see ourself becoming. As we grow we tend to continue to check in to see how we’re doing compared to that “image”. Sometimes the image is based on our parents or even who are parents told us we could be. Sometimes the image is based on a sports star, celebrity or someone we admire. Sometimes the image is formed by a mental picture of what we think “success” looks like. Regardless of where it comes from, most of us have the “image” and our lives can run on a path in hopes of arriving at that destination. But what if the image is off? What if the image is unattainable or not the right image for who we are and how we’re wired? Then what? Is the trajectory of our life thrown off?