Should Northlake Baptist Church change it’s name?

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On Wednesday Night, February 28th, we will consider the question – “Should Northlake Baptist Church change it’s name?”  Recently, one of the churches in our local Baptist Association chose to change it’s name. It appears that the majority of the members were for it, but a number of members were against it. A variety of opinions both for and against church name changes have circulated in the community.

Dr. Thom Rainer wrote an article several years ago called “Six Reasons Churches Change Their Names.”  Dr Rainer is the former Dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at the Southern Baptist Seminary. He is currently the CEO of Lifeway (the Southern Baptist Bookstore). He is also a Church Growth Consultant. His 6 Reasons are summarized below:

1- To Create a Clear or New Priority – the church congregation may want to clarify or restate their mission and they want to reflect theses changes in their new name.

2- To Change a Geographical Distinction that is no longer relevant – maybe because of construction or street renaming, 12th Street Church is no longer located on 12th Street.

3- To Identify with the Community more Clearly and Emphatically – maybe the demographics have changed and the old church name is no longer attractive to the new people in the community.

4- To Avoid Confusion with another Church – maybe there is another church in the community or region that has a similar name.

5- To Re-Launch a Church – maybe a church has a history of conflict or scandal and they want a fresh start with a new name.

6- To Reflect a Merger of Churches – with many churches in the Southern Baptist Convention declining and dying – some churches merge or combine congregations and thus need a new start with a new name.

In addition to these 6 Reasons, there is another issue that is causing some churches to change their name. Church Growth experts are telling churches that the younger “millennial” generation is not as loyal to “denomination” as older generations have been. The denominational name “Baptist” has some negative baggage that may “turn off” the younger generation. Since the Great Commission is more important than denominational distinctives, many churches are choosing to drop denominational labels altogether.

Since the name of our church still contains “Baptist”, and since Baptist is supposedly offensive to many in the younger generation, and since our mission as a church is to “go and make disciples of all the nations”, maybe we should reconsider our name. What do you think?

Should Northlake Baptist Church change it's name?

  • No (79%, 23 Votes)
  • Maybe study the idea (17%, 5 Votes)
  • Yes (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Other (Please Comment) (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 29

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