Here is an interesting article on why churches are changing their names, and dropping their denominational affiliation from the title. They quote Eddie Gibbs, professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary. He goes on to say:
Emerging churches – more intimate faith communities reaching out beyond baby boomers to those of Generation X and Y – are using names such as Three Nails in Pittsburgh and Landing Place in Columbus, Ohio, said Eddie Gibbs, professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.
“I think what we are seeing is the detribalizing of Protestantism, in that if you have a large external constituency, which would identify culturally or historically with a particular denomination, then obviously it’s a plus factor to have that identification,” Gibbs said. “But (that changes) when the community becomes increasingly diversified.
“Probably after Vietnam and Watergate there was an increasing distrust of institutions, so that Jesus was still in, but the institutional church was no longer an attraction. So, I think that the dropping of the denominational label is to become more generic, less of a threat, less of a reminder of negative stereotypes if you’ve walked away from church.”
I would be interested in hearing from you. How many of you are part of a church that has changed it’s name, so as to appeal to more people, or to not highlight the denominational affiliation. My first job after college was at a church that dropped Southern Baptist from it’s name, so as not to scare others away who has certain stereo-types in their mind.
Interesting topic. Sort of funny that the new name we chose for our ministry, quest, appears in the article’s title.