This past weekend we publicly announced the need to consider a name change at Oak Grove Baptist Church. After dozens of meetings, much prayer and years of consideration, we believe it is time for the church to consider this change. Over the next several days I will continue to share the reasons we feel that this needs to be considered. This post is a continuation of a post from 2 days ago. You can read PART 1 here:
Here are two more reasons we think we should change our name:
3. We want to change our name because the name “Oak Grove” presents at least two problems to us.
The first problem is a current problem: confusion over location. Whenever I invite someone to Oak Grove and I tell them the name, one of two things happens. Either I first explain where it is located in Turner, or they ask, “You go to church all the way out in Oak Grove, MO?” This is a location problem that is confusing. Now that we have people located all over the city, the name Oak Grove is confusing to those we are investing in and inviting.
The second reason refers to what we believe will happen in the future. As a part of our long-term strategy we plan to start satellite campuses. In other words we hope to be one church in multiple locations. This is very difficult if we keep the name “Oak Grove” because it is tied to a location.
4. We want to change our name because of our primary target.
If we are trying to reach Baptists from other churches – I say keep it in our name. BUT – if our target is those who are far from God – let’s remove every stumbling block for them to hear the Gospel. And we need to ask ourselves the question, “Is the name ‘Baptist’ a help or a stumbling block in getting people to come and hear the Gospel?”
I personally became convinced that this was an issue for us while inviting people to Oak Grove. While there are many situations that I have personally encountered, let me share with you two. First, two years ago after inviting a person that I met to services at Oak Grove they ask what type of church we are. I mentioned that we are a Baptist church and she immediately stopped me and said: “I won’t ever attend a Baptist Church”. I attended one as a young girl and was told I couldn’t come back unless I had proper church clothes. Some of you may remember a series we did here called “Church Clothes”. It was a series that came out of that conversation. Clothing should never hinder people from hearing about Christ.
Second, often when I invite people and they ask what type of church we are, I explain that we are Baptist church. Then, I have to spend 3 minutes explaining what type of Baptist we are and I have to share several qualifiers. This is a problem and it’s hindering the one thing we really want people to know: not that we are Baptists, but that the Gospel saves us! I don’t want to waste time fighting over something that isn’t the gospel.
MORE TO COME…