Since the 70s we’ve been called Jesus Fellowship. On April 7th 1987 we took on Jesus Army as our second, parallel identity, a public brand under which we’d reach out to the UK for Jesus. This post is all about names.
Why do names matter? Names shape culture and values, they help form first impressions. Choosing a good name for a church is no quick fix to changing a culture, but what organisations choose to call themselves carries weight both in gathering members around a vision and communicating to outsiders.
We need vision. It’s easy to see what’s wrong about a church if you’re around for a while, and we’ve been facing up to a lot of that over recent years. It’s also easy to point the finger at people who may seem to be slacking or backsliding, and blame them for failures.
Community works when we enjoy spending time together. This means we aren’t always hiving off to our bedrooms but perhaps sitting downstairs and reading a book. We need to make meal times a focal point of sharing our hearts and enjoying each other, switching off from the business of other things and giving time to build relationships and family.
What does it mean to ‘own the vision’?
Does it mean we do what’s always been done or from time to time does God want to bring something new to us? And does that mean the original vision was wrong or that God is fickle and has changed His mind? Do difficulties mean that God’s stopped blessing us or can they be opportunities to grab our attention and communicate the new direction or vision?