Yesterday, during a short business meeting following our morning service, the church voted overwhelmingly to be renamed "Woodcreek Bible Church." On the one hand, this may seem a small component of the church's overall changes and operations. However, the impact of the right name must not be underestimated. Consider the re-naming events in Scripture: Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, and Saul to Paul. It is not merely the changing of the name. It is the acknowledgment of changed identity and purpose. I was very pleased to see that the church vote was nearly unanimous. Such an overwhelming receptivity to the new season of life and mission that God has for this church in this time and place!
Woodcreek: This was the most appropriate and fitting geographical marker to use for a church name. We wanted something locally recognizable that communicated our sense of local calling. As a church that thinks globally, and acts locally, we wanted the name to reflect the specificity of our passion for the neighboring community around us. Certainly this passion is not restricted to the "Woodcreek" subdivision virtually next door, but this name shows our identification with local neighbors in every dirrection. And the most obvious local neighbor was the massive neighborhood nearby.
Bible Church: As was explained before, the inclusion of "Bible" in the church name was not to presumptuously suggest that we alone study, preach from and revere the Bible. It is, however, meant to convey the specificity of our beliefs in the Protestant Evangelical tradition, while reserving sufficient ambiguity for freedom of operation or worship expression. Our beliefs are very conservative, yet we're striving to be very contemporary in the expression of those beliefs. "Bible Church" seemed most fitting given the goal of that balance. The congregation agreed, and now we have a new name.
The excitement of electrifying, and we now are enthusiastically changing all of those administrative channels (brochures, cards, signs, web site, etc.) to reflect the new identity.