Summary: This message was given in preparation of our church pursuit of a name change
What is in a Name?
July 28, 2013
Reasoning for the name change
* Advanced training on church health
* Consultation with Gary MacIntosh and Gordon Penfold
Issues with the name
* Door hangers – people visited the wrong church
* Door to door invites – nearly always cause the person to respond the UMC
* Football team – went to the wrong church for the meal
* Announcement at Wal-Mart
* Change the name of the church
* Add new ministries to promote healthy growth
* Strengthen existing children’s and youth ministries to reach families
* Consider a new worship service
Young Adult focus group
* More contemporary worship service
* Name change for the church
* New SS class for Younger Adults
Connected with Pastor Dean Brown in Queensbury NY
* The church rebranded themselves and started several new ministries and has grown from 75 people to nearly two hundred in just over a year and a half
One of the primary issues that we need to address is to make the church easier to locate and connect with.
* Change of address – to W. Main St
* New name to eliminate potential confusion
Benefits of a name change
* Fresh perspective
* New energy
* New promotion opportunities
* New opportunities for outreach
Why not Mt Orab Wesleyan?
* Our congregation is not just from Mount Orab – we are reaching a broader area, we should have a larger scope with a name
* Our name should focus more on mission or meaning than location
Name changes in scripture
Throughout the Bible God moved in the lives of people by changing their name. The change of a name was significant for several reasons.
* Names carried great meaning
* Names implied identity
* Names were symbolic of character and the work of God
Five Things to Remember about Name Changes
1. Sign of Faith
The moment that God changed the name of a person; it was sign of a living faith in the person. There could be no real change without a personal application of faith. God saw the reality of the spiritual change in the heart of the individual. This fundamental change brought the person into new life with God.
Before God can work either in the life of an individual or in the life of a church, there must be faith. Remember that when Jesus went to Nazareth, He couldn’t do many miracles because the people lacked faith. God desires for us to take steps of faith to move forward in our relationship with Him. God is searching for faith in our lives before he can move. God is searching our hearts for faith to do His work and we often limit His work by our lack of faith.
The work of God moves on our willingness to take steps of faith. The nation of Israel was given the opportunity to move where God was leading them. God was giving them the Promised Land. The problem is that the people refused to move when God directed and they lived out their lives in the Wilderness instead of living in His promise and provision. Only when we place our faith in God and His leadership can we reap the results of that faith.
2. Part of a New Work
Whenever God changed the name of a person, it was the first step of a much larger plan. God began to do something new. Notice that scripture shows several examples of this.
Sarai becomes Sarah: goes from being a doubter to faithful follower
Abram becomes Abraham: Goes from being childless to a father of nations
Jacob becomes Israel: Goes from being the trickster to submission to God
Simon becomes Peter: Goes from being a fisherman to a leader
Saul becomes Paul: Goes from being a persecutor to church planter
God worked in amazing ways in the lives of people after their name was changed. The change was the beginning of His new work. The change became the foundation for a new nature and a new potential. God used the name as a doorway to new things. God desires to do the same thing in the life of our church. He wants to do more than we could ever hope or imagine.
3. Renewed Purpose
A new name brought with it a renewed sense of purpose. God gave these people a new sense of direction for their life. Sarai was without children and was advanced in age. The thought of being a mother had long left her mind but still lingering was the promise of God for an heir, a son. When the angels visited Abraham and tell him that Sarah is going to have a baby, she laughs. The reason that the boy is named Isaac is because it means laughter.