Saturday, July 25, 2009

Two post Saturday. Yes for all the times I miss you get a bonus post today. I really need help here so please comment with your thoughts though.

I work with a ministry that I really love outside of my church. The ministry is "UNITE" and is about bringing youth ministries together because we can do more together than we can apart. It really is more than what we can do though. We have done several events since we formed last year and things are moving much faster than we ever dreamed it could, but the real heart of this is that we are one body.

I feel that we often miss it when we read "The eye cannot say to the hand I don't need you ..." and only apply that to individual members in the body. To often churches have said "I can do this on my own and don't need other churches in my community." This attitude doesn't work on the mission field, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that it doesn't work in America.

That is the background of UNITE. We are working with a somewhat like minded men's ministry right now and are trying to find or start a similar women's ministry because we feel that community extends beyond the youth, or at least should.

One of the things we have been desiring from the beginning (way back a year ago) is a "Family Life Center."

The best way I can describe this is a "faith based community center." The idea is that this building would be available for the community but also be there for churches desiring to work together but who might be worried about "turf issues." It is also a great place for doing certain outreaches that might not be accepted in a church, since we are a semi-rural and very conservative community, and also provide a place that is not church so there is one less reason for people to not attend.

The idea is family, community, and church happening in this one place. Something that use to be more common but has been lost for various reasons.

OK so that is the background on the "family life center." Now why am I posting? well if you read the title you are way ahead of me.

We need a name. One of the original proponents was sold on the name "Family Life Center." I'm against it for a few reasons. I don't like that long of a name. I don't like the word "center" because of the ideas that are conveyed with it to me. I love "family" and "life" personally but I'm very concerned about the people that we are saying we want to be available to having a problem with that. A lot of my youth have a very distorted view of family because their families are so broken. I get the idea behind this is that so many families are broken so we need a place that will help bring life back to families. I think it is a great idea, but I think that those families will avoid a place with the name "family life" like the plague.

What do you all think? Am I over thinking the name? What names should we be considering?


Anonymous said...

What a great concept! You mentioned you don't like 'center' but Life Center has a nice ring...
You also said it was important to bring life back to families...maybe Breathe Life or Breath of Life? Just throwing out thoughts...
Blessings on this adventure!

JML said...

I keep thinking epicenter. it's got a ring to it, and graphically, you could do something fun with it. might have too much of a connotation to it though. . . you could redeem it! :)

katdish said...

The Shack

The Big Honkin' Building to do stuff in

The Refuge

Yeah...I got nothing...

Nick the Geek said...

I guess I should explain my hesitation with "center." A good deal of what we will be doing from my perspective is youth oriented. I don't want this to become a "youth center" and I worry when I think of the word "center" that that is the end result. I over think things. I do like Breathe Life and Breath of Life but do worry that it is too "inside" to make sense to the ones on the outside. I"ll be bringing it up in our meeting though.

I like the name epicenter. We are on the east coast so I think the concept is really only a loose idea. I like the feel of movement. "Ground Shaking." "Shake Things up" Lot's of very fun things you can do with the name. My biggest hesitation is that I've seen it used a lot lately. Not as much as a few other idea that I love though. Ignite was almost the name of the youth group till I did a google and got the impressing it was the name of 75% of all youth groups right now. My experience with epicenter is much better than that.

I know u were joking, but I actually like "Big Honkin' Building to do stuff in." or BHBTDSI (sounds like a drum roll if you pronounce it). I'm not sure how much everyone else will like it. I named my YA class "That thing at the Grind." because I was sick of trying to come up with a name for it.

I love "The Refuge" except I would drop "the." I want us to change the name of our church to "Refuge." We have too many old people to make a good push of it though. I'm so sad. It perfectly captures the vision of the pastor for this church and actually tells people important things about the church, unlike our current name "1st Assembly of God" That only conveys we were the first AG church in town. Actually it doesn't even tell the truth from what I'm told. We were just the first to use the name 1st AG.

Anyways, thanks to all that have commented so far. I hope and pray we get the right name. Names are so very important to capturing the message you are telling people about your place.

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

Epicenter is kinda appealing. Definitely unique.

Katdish's Refuge made me think of Haven. Similar meaning, but also the play on words with heaven. Like heaven on earth maybe? (Obviously too 'insider' to market that way, but insiders might be intrigued.)

Can't think of anything else, but I'll keep thinking.

Nick the Geek said...


Haven is HAWTT. Really, I love that name. I wonder how everyone else will feel about it.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

What Steph said.

Beth said...

The official name of the building I used to work at was:
Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall

I know. Terrible, right? Most people just called it the "youth center" or "ryves," But it didn't stop kids from coming and us doing good stuff there...not that I would name it The Poo Poo Palace or anything, but I think the reputation will HAVE to mean more than the name. All that being said, I do like Haven and Epicenter. What's wrong with naming it after the group you already have, Unite?

Nick the Geek said...


You are right, that the name is not as important as the reputation in the long run. Once a place has a reputation the name will not matter, but when a place is first starting you don't have a reputation, just the name. Not an easy place to start with.

As for why I am avoiding UNITE, well because we are working with more than just Youth now and the men's ministry we are working with has another name. I think Unite is a great name, but it is a reputation in town already as the Youth program. It was discussed early in the planning that we would not be using UNITE so there it is.

Shark Bait said...

"Middle Ground" - where everyone can be comfortable

Lanette said...

I like the name "haven". A coffee house for the youth is opening in our community and it's name is The Vine. Sounds like a great idea to me.

So I have a question for you. Coming from a VERY conservative background and church myself, have you met with opposition to this? I think it's great, but do people from your church/community get up in arms about working with "those other churches" that don't do things just like we do?

Nick the Geek said...

I'm wondering if you are being sharky, um I mean snarky. I feel like that is the name people would support. Something just conservative enough to make themselves feel comfy. In the meeting today one person in particular kept falling back on names that were very "inside" names even after I explained why that isn't a good move.

I know Haven is such a good name. I like the name The Vine, but it sounds more like a place for drinks other than coffee.

As far as opposition, in my church I haven't had much outright problems. A big part of that is we are on the tail end of a church split so attention is mostly elsewhere form the ones that might complain. I've also been very vocal from the pulpit about Unity in the body before this so they are use to hearing about these kinds of things.

A few other churches have been very closed, but we aren't worried about the people who are closed to us. We want to make them feel welcome, but otherwise we are focusing on showing that we are serious about what we are saying by actually supporting one another in love. Letting your actions speak goes a long way to proving you mean what you say.

Helen said...

Happy Haven

I know. It sounds like a retirement community.

I actually lean toward The Big Honkin' Building to Do Stuff In

Lanette said...

Hmm could be "Big Honkin Haven"

Glad to know that you haven't met with opposition. I know this can be an issue. So glad you have the philosophy of doing and not just saying. That goes so much further when you are trying to reach out to others. Hope it all goes smoothly for you!

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