Naming something is such a difficult task. Names can be descriptive or be seemingly arbitrary. We often ask for “a Kleenex” when we want some variety of facial tissue so we can blow our nose. But what is in a name?
Kleenex – what is it? How about an OREO – What is up with that? They do not tell us what the product is. A black cookie with a white cream filling = OREO. The name is not descriptive of what the item is. Yet those of us in America know what an OREO and Kleenex are.
What do these names mean? That knowledge of the meaning is resident within the culture at large. Yet these terms are related to physical products. Kleenex transcends its product to be a general category for facial tissue.
How about Emergent / Emerging churches? Someday this “BRAND” (term used loosely) of Christianity may be as recognizable as the term “EVANGELICAL” is. Yet I have to wonder about why the name is used at all.
My hunch is that it is an attempt at a descriptive name to encapsulate the notion of a system in the midst of emergence.
What is in a name? How does the very act of applying a name change the thing named? Is it a form of control? Name something and you have control over it. . . . You can classify, identify and then dismiss it?
People ask me what the name of our community is? We don't have one I reply. The usual response I get is something like, "You have to be called something. . . you are a church right?"
I wonder about names, branding, identity and purpose. Do we have to have a name? Can’t we just meet as a group without a name? Why do we apply names to groups?
I think if our community had to have a name, I’d call it TWELVE or maybe BRINTRAX or something artistic like JABBERWOCKY. How about something more cryptic like AS2laR@7~Z
What is in a name?