Well, the process is almost finished, but there is a lot of work left to be finished. I haven’t written on our name change process in several months and part of that was on purpose. Over the past six months we have been carefully thinking through and working towards determining an idea for our new name. This was a long process but eventually our leadership team arrived at a name that we believed encompassed both what we are trying to accomplish (lives changed by Jesus) and what we wanted to communicate to our community (no matter who you are or where you’ve been there is hope for a new story in Jesus).
No matter who you are or where you’ve been,
there is hope for a new story in Jesus!
At that point we arrived at the name New Story Church. Now, while none of us felt like it was a perfect name, over time we began to realize that did communicate hope and it did connect with so much of what we believe. So, how did we move from there to here?
Over the past three months our team has spent time meeting with the members of our church in order to talk about this name, get their feedback and work toward building consensus. We hosted several open forums to allow people to ask questions and share objections. Finally, on February 5th we voted on the name New Story Church. The results were very encouraging to the unity and direction of this church. Our vote involved nearly 80 percent of our membership and the vote passed with an 88 percent vote. The day was culminated with the “new story” of a great friend of mine who recently trusted Jesus and went public with his faith through baptism. You can see his story here!
Now what does this mean going forward? Here are a few thoughts that I want to share publicly:
- We are the same church with a new name! The people are the church, that hasn’t changed and won’t change. Our theology hasn’t changed but our accessibility to those who are still far from Christ has.
- The history and past of Oak Grove is not something to be forgotten! Many lives have been impacted by Christ here and the mission that we have today is the same mission passed down to us from those who started this church. We will continue to do everything we can short of sin to reach others for Christ – just like this church was started to do.
- Our re-branding process will take some time. While we are now New Story Church, you will still see Oak Grove on a number of things until April 30th. On April 30th we will celebrate and unveil our new branding and all of the changes associated with becoming New Story Church. We do this because we want everything to be done well.
So, thank you for following along in this process, for praying and for sharing your thoughts. I know that some don’t like or agree with change, but many of you have been an encouragement to us along the way. No matter what, my desire is that churches take God seriously, His call to reach others seriously, and maybe even stop taking themselves so seriously.