a church by any other name II

In January we decided to begin our life with the temporary name unichurch southside. As the word ‘temporary’ implies, we planned at that time to come to a permanent name. We have done this with both our own identity and communication with those outside the congregation in mind.

The critical thing is not the name, rather it is who we are as individuals and as a congregation:

  • we’re keen to be a people who know ourselves to be sojourners and exiles. We live now, we put roots down, we enjoy relationships with one another and around the city… Yet we know we will ‘move on’. We have a lasting home in heaven which we will one day go to.
  • we do that because we are Bible people. We know and love and trust and proclaim the Lord Jesus who we meet in the Scriptures.

It is with these things in mind that we came to a name which seems to fit. A name which will remind us of who we long to be. A name which helps us communicate with those around us–who we are, who we trust and what we trust him for.

sojourn bible church

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a church by any other name

There are a number of ‘details’ that we need to lock in over the next month. Name is one, meeting time is another. The former is on the agenda because it would be helpful logistically to set up a bank account sooner rather than later. A firm meeting time will make it easier for those who are contemplating partnering in this venture to make the decision. I’ll post separately about the time.

so what name do we go for?

We could start straight into possibilities, but think first about who the name is for. It’s not really for regulars. In my mind I go to ‘church’ on Sunday in submission to Jesus and as an expression of love for those with whom I regularly gather. It doesn’t enter my mind that it’s ‘unichurch’. That is the right description of who I am committed to but I only describe our gathering in St Lucia as unichurch when I need to specify for the benefit of someone else. We need a name which communicates to outsiders—those who google us, those we invite, those who hear about us on the grapevine.

The advertisers’ categories for a good name are that it is descriptive, attractive and (where possible) true. It would be good to tick all three boxes! (I’ve leave it to you to work out our priorities.)

The working name which has developed is a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin name:

southside church.

It says clearly what will happen where.

We could add something to that description:

bible   brisbane   catalyst   christian   community   evangelical   family   fellowship    flock   gathering   gospel   grace   hope   independent   inner.south   love   missional   multicultural   multiplying   network   servant  shelter  student   transformation    uni    united    worker  

But less may be more.

Then again we could go plural. After all, from the beginning we will have big church and little churches (small groups) and will be working towards multiplying both: southside churches.

Or might we try to capture something of what we desire to be in a less obvious name?

I can’t believe it’s not unichurch! …maybe?

Any thoughts?

Please comment or email me.