What do we call ourselves – this new church that’s starting?
We’ll talk about our name when we meet this Sunday, April 26, 5-7, at 2701 Bridgeton Place, Chapel Hill. If you’ve never been before and would like to check it out, please come. You’ll be welcome.
There is a name that has been suggested: The Gathering Church. So, try that one on for size. Mention it to friends. See what impressions it evokes.
It certainly describes what we’ve been doing, gathering folks who want to start a church with a particular vision – to love people incredibly well, as Jesus did, starting with those who may seem far from God.
Gathering described what often happened in the ministry of Jesus. People gathered to him, to hear his teaching, to be healed, to be restored, to be forgiven, to know God, and to experience God’s peace.
What was notable was the kind of people who gathered, like in Luke 15:1: “Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him.” One of the best stories ever follows as Jesus has to explain why such irreligious people would be gathering to him like that.
Literally, the Greek verb means “to draw near, come near.” It’s the same word used in James 4:8 when it says, “conme near to God and he will come near to you.”
Pretty good picture – that whole gathering thing – coming near.
So, a name about gathering may perfectly fit us. We’ll try it on, but also explore if there are others that would best communicate our dream as a church.
What do you think?