On Choosing a New Church Name  Third Presbyterian Church  December 16, 2007
Why a New Name? <ul><li>As part of the agreement for leaving the PCUSA, the John Knox Presbytery required us to change our...
The Name Change Process  <ul><li>Why has it taken so long? </li></ul><ul><li>We asked the congregation for name suggestion...
The Name Change Process  <ul><li>As a pastor, whose time here is inherently limited as all pastor’s tenures are, I chose t...
Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>When one researches church names across the country, it is interesting to discover ...
Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Theological Names:  </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages : Biblically sound and theological...
Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Locational Names:  </li></ul><ul><li>Advantage : It helps people know where we are ...
Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Traditional Names:   </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages : They convey an image of stabili...
Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Contemporary Names:  </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages : They can portray a church’s uni...
Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Hybrid Names:  </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages : You get theological meaningfulness, c...
Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Including the denomination in the name:  </li></ul><ul><li>Since the majority of pe...
List of Suggested Names <ul><li>All the suggested names fell into four groups: </li></ul><ul><li>They all included some va...
Narrowing Down the List <ul><li>After abundant, persistent, fervent prayer over the past year and a half, and after taking...
Narrowing Down the List <ul><li>Guidelines the Session Used: </li></ul><ul><li>Not to incorporate the denominational name ...
And The Top Three Choices Are… <ul><li>Windsor Church </li></ul><ul><li>Advantage of this name is that it directly include...
And The Top Choice is… <ul><li>GracePoint  </li></ul><ul><li>Here are the advantages to this name: </li></ul><ul><li>It ca...
Congregational Input <ul><li>Since we are a Presbyterian church who believes that God works through elected elders, as opp...
Congregational Input <ul><li>To solicit this input and to seek majority agreement, the Elders would like you to submit you...
Congregational Input <ul><li>On your input form, please rank the three names in order of what you believe to be the best  ...
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On Choosing A New Church Name

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On Choosing A New Church Name

  1. 1. On Choosing a New Church Name Third Presbyterian Church December 16, 2007
  2. 2. Why a New Name? <ul><li>As part of the agreement for leaving the PCUSA, the John Knox Presbytery required us to change our name within two years as the name “Third” too directly connected us to the PCUSA </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Name Change Process <ul><li>Why has it taken so long? </li></ul><ul><li>We asked the congregation for name suggestions via three surveys and in two congregational town meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>So everyone who wanted to have input in this decision has had ample opportunity to do so </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Name Change Process <ul><li>As a pastor, whose time here is inherently limited as all pastor’s tenures are, I chose to have as little influence on this decision as possible </li></ul><ul><li>This decision needed to be God-driven, then Elder-driven, and then congregation-driven </li></ul><ul><li>My only input was to lay out the pros and cons of each type of name, and to suggest the options for deciding on a process to make this decision. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>When one researches church names across the country, it is interesting to discover two dynamics: </li></ul><ul><li>(1) that there are really only a very limited number of names in circulation that get used repeatedly by congregations, and </li></ul><ul><li>(2) that these names fall into only five major categories. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Theological Names: </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages : Biblically sound and theologically meaningful to Christians. </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages : We are living in a “post-Christian” culture wherein the majority of people are clueless as to what these terms mean. Therefore, such names could be a barrier to attract visitors due to all the negative stereotypes the un-churched and de-churched have of institutional Christianity. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Locational Names: </li></ul><ul><li>Advantage : It helps people know where we are located, and for Third this would be a plus. </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages : These names do nothing to communicate the heart and unique vision of a church. The location included only helps if you know the area anyhow. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Traditional Names: </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages : They convey an image of stability, longevity, and importance. </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages : They can also portray pompousness, and also do nothing to reveal unique vision. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Contemporary Names: </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages : They can portray a church’s unique vision, and can more readily connect with our 21st century culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantage : Some of them can be too hip and trendy, and therefore can become outdated quickly. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Hybrid Names: </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages : You get theological meaningfulness, contemporary connection, and the communication of unique vision. </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages : would be the same as for the contemporary category of some being too trendy </li></ul>
  11. 11. Pros & Cons of Name Categories <ul><li>Including the denomination in the name: </li></ul><ul><li>Since the majority of people seeking a church in our current culture do not choose a church based on denomination, and in fact find denominations, especially mainline denominations like Presbyterian, to represent everything that’s distasteful about Christianity, you might want to consider seriously not including our denomination in the main name. </li></ul>
  12. 12. List of Suggested Names <ul><li>All the suggested names fell into four groups: </li></ul><ul><li>They all included some variation of either “Windsor,” Grace,” Eagle Point,” or “Trinity.” </li></ul><ul><li>The variations were simply whether you added “Evangelical Church” or “Evangelical Presbyterian Church” or combined some variation of the word “Grace” with our location of “Windsor.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Narrowing Down the List <ul><li>After abundant, persistent, fervent prayer over the past year and a half, and after taking into account all the input received from the congregation, and after weighing the pros and cons of each type of name as just presented, the Elders came to the following guidelines and name choices… </li></ul>
  14. 14. Narrowing Down the List <ul><li>Guidelines the Session Used: </li></ul><ul><li>Not to incorporate the denominational name in the main name (because of the barrier it presents, and this will be included in many of our bylines making it redundant ) </li></ul><ul><li>Not to combine our location with another name (as this would be too restricting to future generations should the church need to move, and because it just sounds too awkward) </li></ul>
  15. 15. And The Top Three Choices Are… <ul><li>Windsor Church </li></ul><ul><li>Advantage of this name is that it directly includes location </li></ul><ul><li>Trinity Church </li></ul><ul><li>Advantage of this name is that it has a continuity factor from “Third” to “Trinity,” and has relevant theological significance. </li></ul>
  16. 16. And The Top Choice is… <ul><li>GracePoint </li></ul><ul><li>Here are the advantages to this name: </li></ul><ul><li>It captures our God-given vision of being a place of grace for the hurting, the spiritually lost, and the disconnected, and a place of equipping as grace is the power to be saved and to grow in Christ </li></ul><ul><li>It is a unique name in Dubuque which will match the unique niche we believe we are called to fill in Dubuque in fulfilling our new vision </li></ul><ul><li>It is a “hybrid” name that incorporates both the “theological” and “contemporary” categories without being too trendy </li></ul><ul><li>Having “Point” as part of the name gives us the locational advantage connecting us to the “Point” area of Dubuque without the restrictiveness or awkwardness of a name like “Grace on Windsor” </li></ul><ul><li>We can easily include the phrase “on Windsor” as part of our logo giving us an additional Locational aid </li></ul><ul><li>It lends itself to thematic use (e.g. GracePlace for Kids, Grace Groups, GraceNotes, etc) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Congregational Input <ul><li>Since we are a Presbyterian church who believes that God works through elected elders, as opposed to a “Congregational” church who makes all decisions via majority vote, we must give considerable weight to the prayer-birthed, Spirit-led choice of the current elected Elders. </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless, as this is such a far-impacting and longstanding decision, the Elders desire to make this decision with as high a degree of congregational input and majority agreement as is possible </li></ul>
  18. 18. Congregational Input <ul><li>To solicit this input and to seek majority agreement, the Elders would like you to submit your feedback as to how you would rank these three names </li></ul><ul><li>This input should be driven by what you have discerned in all your fervent prayer over this matter to be Christ’s choice of a name, and not driven by your personal preference! </li></ul>
  19. 19. Congregational Input <ul><li>On your input form, please rank the three names in order of what you believe to be the best Spirit-led choices by placing the numbers “1,” “2,”or “3” beside each name marking you highest choice “3,” second highest “2,” and least preferable “1.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Elders will then incorporate the congregation’s input in making a final name choice in the Session meeting on December 19. </li></ul>

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