Thursday, 21 July 2011

becoming part of the web?

We had a really good executive away-day today. My aim was to unpack the missional agenda and use it as a framework to help us think through where we've come from and where we're going.
One of the interesting things to arise was the question of how we're seen and the challenge of 'the institution' being so large in people's minds, out crowds out much else.
So, if we are really a network of churches, why not start to call ourselves just that?
Why not drop the 'A' from WEBA - shock, horror, not call yourselves an Association? Well, every Church could automatically be part of the 'Association' still.
Why not become simply the WEB Network? West of England Baptists. If we are more self-consciously a network, more than anything else, then we may be able to offer much more to others we support and encourage and also include those small missional groups, potential churches, etc.
It's certainly a good message, the language is more relational, more appropriate (I think) to who we are and even, where we began.
Now, of course, a good idea, does not mean it'll happen, but we do need to begin to test the idea out on people before we make any formal change to the letterheads and website!
Of course, changing a name, changes nothing, but the plaque on the door. It's whetehr it does what it says on the tin, which counts. I'm up for that.

1 comment:

Mike Shaw said...

I like the idea, but I also feel you would need to change more than the name, otherwise it would be pointless.

But sometimes a change of name does make a difference in the way people think about something. What does "Network" that "Association" doesn't say, relationship is one. But what would it mean if we were a network of churches? That would be more intriguing, and it would also mean that when one is struggling, all are, when one is doing well, we can all share in that.

What would it mean in terms of ministry and mission, maybe it would be mean we were better able to share resource, and help each other?

So in principle - I am for it, but it has to be more than a name change, and it would mean that the churches would need to think differently about what it means to be part of a network?