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Navigating The Name-Change
by Dr. Brad Bailey

There are certain catastrophic mistakes that can be made when rebranding a ministry.  Avoiding the mistakes is accomplished partly by making certain that certain resolutions are made:

  1. Sustain high learning agility – meaning mental and ministry adaptability.  This includes learning from our mistakes and adapting to accommodate growth.
  2. Go slow to go fast.  Everyone, including you, constantly wants to know: How's it going? What's happening? Where are the results?  Our state is exciting, but also vulnerable.  We cannot afford to be hasty.
  3. Get everyone on the launch-team.  If everyone in the church is excited about the direction, it will be easy to get the word out.
  4. Stop watching the door and keep feeding your people.  Focusing on the initiation of the new ministry cannot be the single focus.  The church needs to grow spiritually.
  5. Identify your motives for church planting, and be vulnerable enough to communicate them.  Start with ‘why’ instead of starting with ‘what’.  Unless people know our story, when they find out that we’re renaming the church, they are likely to project negative motives on us, such as: They’re egotistical; they’re just trying to prove something; they’re mad at others who have left.  Take the risk of giving people room to disagree, and give them the choice of self-selecting rather than making that choice for them.  People can often be moved from being skeptics to being supporters of some kind if they know the truth.
  6. Think beyond the walls of the ministry.  Be more concerned about reaching the whole city rather than about increasing your own tribe and kingdom.
  7. Leave the past behind and refuse to be controlled by it.  When you’re too caught up by what happened in the past, you will miss what is right in front of you.  The present is going to be challenging enough to complicate it with the past.
  8. Follow Jesus on the journey He has planned for you, and invite your people along.  When Jesus calls you to take it up, he intends to draw near in previously unknown ways.  If you’re willing to respond in your soul to where God is calling you, you can take people with you.  The other side of the coin is this: Don't commission yourself to a journey that belongs to someone else.  There are plenty of compelling ministry stories out there.  I am not called to re-create them, and neither are you.  They are good for inspiration and bad for copying!  Our journey is our own and will be partially discovered as God allows it to unfold.