Saturday, October 24, 2009

ways into small missional community [8] finding a name

Here's the latest in my series on creating and sustaining community for the small missional communities group - all about finding a name:

What’s in a name? Cumbrae, Emerge, hOME, Ithaca, mayBe, Sanctuary, and Third Space are some of the names that are represented on this network at the moment.

The process of discovering a name for your community-project can be a really important part in its creation. The imaginative conversations, the prayers and the waiting that are part of the journey towards a name take us right into the reasons that we are setting out on this course. The process will make us think through what the big idea is, it will immerse us in the spirit of the community [see earlier posts in this series of ways into small missional community], and it will help us understand how we can serve the people around us in the name of Jesus.

My experience is that an interesting thing sometimes happens in this process. You may find that the name is somehow waiting for you, that the name in some sense discovers you and your friends as much as you discover the name. If you don’t have a name yet, it’s a really good idea to make sure that everyone who is with you is involved in the process.

Although Jesus doesn’t seemed to have named the little community he created, he did give a new name to the disciple we know as Peter - which means something like ‘stone’ or ‘rock’ - and in so doing perhaps Jesus enabled this disciple to become more fully the character that he could see was within him.

So what’s the naming process like for you? If you have a name, how did you discover it? And how might the name be helping to shape your life as a small missional community of the world-changing Jesus?

1 comment:

Tim Jeffries said...

Our community is called Loam. It means rich fertile soil. It was a name we came up with while we were hoping to develop a community garden, but also because that was the kind of community we wanted to be, a place where people would grow and flourish. We never got the community garden up and running but it hasn't mattered, in many ways we've become Loam for our neighbourhood.