Monday, January 23, 2006

The Name

I was beginning to think we were going to remain a nameless church. I know that God doesn't need us to have a name to move as He desires, but a name is pivotal to our identity. And if you look at scripture, names are pretty stinking important. Over and over again, God changed people's names (Abram & Sarai, Saul, Simon to name a few) when He commissioned them or they underwent a huge life change.

So, we were back to needing a name for our newly born church. Last night 3 of us sat around and just brainstormed. We talked about Emerson's campus and what purpose we perceived our ministry would serve. We threw out words we love. We talked through scripture. We referenced books. I don't even know how long we talked, but we kept landing on the idea of community. We didn't want to use that word per se, but the idea of it was central to our body. So we got out the thesaurus and looked up 'community.'

Boston is a place where people keep themselves out of community but desire to have it so badly. Generally, community here is sought through worship of sports teams, musicians, and political ideals. Where does one go to worship and/or discuss these things in this city? The pub. That place is everywhere here. Cheers may have been a dramatization, but more often than not, the pub is a gathering place for Bostonians. I think it may be the strong Irish and British heritage of this place, but I swear half the restaurants here are brew pubs. People love to sit around, talk, watch the Sox, and have a pint--the essence of community.

So, that's how we got to our name: The Church Public. It harkens back to history and the 'publick house' (aka pubs). It declares the anti-exclusivity of our body of believers. It shows we don't have any secrets. It speaks of our community. (And we can call it 'The Pub' for short!)

I have to say it was a pretty sweet time working together to come up with a name, especially since none of us were satisfied (or could agree on) a name prior to that. We're pressing forward with plans for start-up, including a website, print materials, and doing a survey of students on Emerson's campus. We're going to be spending more time there as a group by attending events on campus as a team, as well as inviting students we've met through Good News Fellowship to come to our Sunday night meetings. Finally it feels like we're really starting. Praise God! It seemed like a long time coming, but I know it was all in His timing. I can't wait to see what amazing things come along as He goes before us!

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