ChristianityToday.com has the story of how a pastor at Manhasset Baptist Church successfully changed the church’s name to Shelter Rock Church. It’s a good example of the right reasons to change a church name and a process worth following.
- First decide on the concept of changing the name. Don’t let potential names muck up the process. Decide whether or not your church is willing to change names, then work on finding a new name.
- Having a clear mission statement helped big time. It was an easy step from the church’s mission (“To lead as many people as possible into a joyful and growing relationship with Jesus Christ,”) to the question “Is our name inhibiting our calling to reach our community?”
- Get the help of former pastors. Every pastor since 1975 had wanted to change the name and their support proved helpful.
- Theological questions will come up. Address them honestly and fairly.
In the end the church lost one person who considered the change a slide toward liberalism, but they also gained an influx of new visitors.