When we started our church we named it Crew Church. We’ve changed the name to Redemption Church. Probably a good idea to say why.
What’s in a Name?
Before we get into the reasons for the name change, let me first say that the name of our church is not a make or break decision. I do not want to overemphasize the importance of a name change. If a person does or doesn’t commit to a church because of its name, then that person or that church have missed what the church is to be and do. However, we don’t want to underemphasize the name of our church. For good or bad, many a first impression of a church is what the name communicates.
We want to use our name to communicate our message and create conversations with non Christians in our city. Essentially, we don’t want to waste the opportunity that our name has to reach people for Jesus. In light of our new venue in a very visible public space in Huntington, our name will be as important as it’s ever been. And since we’ve just moved downtown, the time to change our name is as opportune as it has ever been. So…
Things to Avoid:
Before choosing our name, we started by mentioning what we didn’t want in our name:
- Denominational Titles (i.e. Acts 29 Church, Baptist, Presbyterian) – These create unnecessary and unhealthy stereotypes.
- Geographical Limitations (i.e. Huntington Church, Tri State Church) – We do not desire to reach only one geographical locale.
- A name that will be dated (i.e. Crew Church) – We don’t want to change our name again.
- Religious Jargon (i.e. Reformed, Charismatic) – This is unknown and unhelpful in talking and being perceived by our culture.
Things We Want to Capture:
There are also several things we want to capture in our new name:
- We want our name to stick in the ears and minds of the folks who hear it. It stands out.
- We want our name to last long term as best we can.
- We want our name to be bridge to gospel conversations for our members. The questions of, “Why are you named that?” will easily set you up to tell them about Jesus.
- We want the name church in our name. We unashamedly and clearly want to communicate that we are a people called out from among the world to know, love, follow, and proclaim the name of Jesus.
Why Crew is Not Helpful
Based on all of the above, Crew is insufficient:
- Campus Crusade on MU Campus is now called Cru. This creates confusion among many. Are we a college church? Are we in fact a church? Do we agree with their methodology? That kind of thing.
- Crew doesn’t communicate what we’re about. It means “a group of people working together for a purpose”. No gospel in that. No mission in that. Just a vague community doing stuff. Not helpful.
Why Redemption Church?
In considering these values and goals, we’ve chosen the name Redemption Church. The name:
- Communicates the gospel. The cost of our salvation from God’s wrath, the forgiveness of our sins, and our relationship with God is the blood of Jesus. Jesus the Redeemer has redeemed a people for himself. When we are asked “Why that name?” We get to say this reason.
- Communicates the mission. The mission of our church is to see more and more people in the Tri State begin to love Jesus, submit to the Bible, and begin to see their lives conformed to his image. We want the image of Christ to be seen in our lives in such a way that people in our cities say, “That’s deep joy”, “That’s the way to live”. In this sense we are redeeming what human flourishing truly is.
- While biblical and religious, redemption is still understood in our culture. We apply it to politicians, athletes, and movies. While our culture doesn’t understand redemption in a gospel sense, it still understands the idea and concept.
So Redemption Church it is. Email us with any questions or ways we can serve you. And remember that what is most important is THE NAME. The name above every other name – Jesus Christ. That’s our goal. To know him and enjoy him forever.
Christ is enough.