My wife and I traveled to Hawaii a few weeks ago for a co-worker’s wedding. We stayed over an extra day and attended a church service in downtown Honolulu with a friend of many years who had just moved to Hawaii. The community she is a part of is called Bluewater Mission, a newer church plant by a Stanford and University of Chicago grad with roots in the Presbyterian Church and the Vineyard Church (what a combo!).
Aside from the refreshing collective of diverse people, gathered in a noisy community center to worship and learn from the Word, what struck me most was their name.
Not Bluewater Church.
I think I like it.
The word “mission” conjures up all sorts of things in my mind, including:
- Intentionality and focus
- A task or duty to be completed
- Sending out or being sent
- A haven and refuge
- A spiritual place
In other words, mission sounds a lot like church!
Bluewater Mission in Hawaii is not avoiding the word ‘church’–their materials use the word often–but they certainly seem to be helping to define or redefine church a bit more.
I’m not suggesting that the word “church” be eliminated, but in some contexts, cities or communities, I think the use of the word “church” needs greater clarity.