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Free Life Bible Church

August 27, 2006

Our church name isn’t real snappy.  Whenever someone asks me what church I pastor I have make sure there’s adequate oxygen in my lungs before I begin to answer.  Then if they’re filling out a form, I have to spell it for them.  Then there’s the fact that no one, including me, is sure what evangelical means anymore. 

So I propose the name “Free Life Bible Church”.  You blog readers can be the first focus group.  What do you think?

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2006 3:54 pm

    I think that’s still too long… and how’re we going to shorten that? BC Free? How about just “Free Church”?

  2. August 27, 2006 4:15 pm

    I was thinking we’d just be “Free Life” for short, which is already how some know us.

  3. Egana permalink
    August 27, 2006 4:31 pm

    Sounds good to me!

  4. August 27, 2006 4:44 pm

    I was once explaining to someone where I fellowship and when I got to ‘Evangelical Free’, they thought that was way cool — someone finally started a church that was ‘e-free’ . . . kinda like ‘fat free’ . . . no evangelicals allowed. Every time I say the name now I think of that . . . and smirk! ;-)

  5. August 27, 2006 8:15 pm

    When I told that to a Baptist online, they freaked out at me and told me that “Dagnabit, we’re told to go out and evangelize, and you just can’t be evangelical free or you’re. not. Biblical.!!one!!eleventy!!!” It took all I had in me to keep from responding in a very unChristian manner :)

  6. August 27, 2006 8:42 pm

    Call me an oldie but I like our name…. although one time after someone heard the name they asked if you had to be able to say it before you could take communion. I guess I just wonder about “Bible Church.” It seems like if you want to avoid names with ambiguity like evangelical, then “Bible Church” would be in that same category. It is used so often and many times means so little.

  7. August 27, 2006 10:28 pm

    I’ve found that people like to associate w/ going to a Bible church, it resonates with the non-denominational crowd. I’ve been a little confused with the “Free Life” title, maybe we can clear that up here.

    The title could be interpreted three ways, as I see it.
    1) That life is in bondage and needs to freed
    2) That life is available and free for the taking
    3) Or that we should be living a free-like lifestyle

    Through a few theological steps I could mesh 1 and 2 pretty well what I’ve heard taught at CEFC, but 2 is kind of wack. Life was purchased by Jesus.

    Some may say “Yes” to all of them, which I guess could work. If the ambiguity is unresolved, questions about the title could lead to good, edifying discussions as we point people toward God’s love and grace.

    However, something is holding me back from jumping on the Free Life bandwagon (pun intended). I think it’s the word “Free” – this is where the fuzziness lies.

    I do think that Community Evangelical Free Church is way too long and for Kansans it’s difficult to enunciate words with more than 3 syllabuls. For now, I propose the church be called “Life Bible Church”.

  8. August 27, 2006 11:07 pm

    Beth,

    I don’t get what they were saying.

    Paul,

    I like the multiplicity of meanings provoking conversation. What it means to me:

    1) Free = Free Church (EFCA)
    2) Free = non-legalistic
    3) Free = Eternal life, which while purchased by Jesus, is a free gift to us.

    [

  9. Egana permalink
    August 28, 2006 7:11 am

    responding for Beth (although she is perfectly capable of making her own response…)

    Evangelical free meaning evangelism free? free from or devoid of evangelism?

  10. August 28, 2006 7:15 am

    I like FLBC. I think “Free Life” or the “Free Church” are good nicknames. We may have plenty of names to choose from if God blesses us to plant many churches here and abroad. :)

  11. August 28, 2006 11:35 am

    When I was a student in Inter-Varsity, everyone referred to our church as EV-Free, rather than the tongue-twisting alternative, CEFC.

    To me “Free Life Bible Church” sounds… non-traditional I guess. In the 80s/90s, I expected almost all churches to follow some predictable formula.. “First Baptist Church”, “Bethel Church”, “Mahomet Bible Church”, etc. More recently, however, it seems that the Church Naming Formula (whatever it was) has been thrown out the window, and we have churches named “The Vineyard”, “The Potter’s House”, and “Harvest Church”. FLBC sounds much more like a 21st century church name than one from the 80s/90s. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I don’t know. I also feel compelled to describe the name as more.. post-modern, post-evangelical (and if so changed would be literally!), but those words are somewhat cliche.

    I am in favor of a change, for the same reason you listed above – our church name is a mouth-ful.

  12. August 28, 2006 12:01 pm

    Egana’s right- the other person thought we were free of evangelism (and thus, evangelists).

    P.S. Everyone should weigh in on what job to take, because the decision didn’t get easier… it got harder! I hate decisions, too!

    Here are the options:

    A. Normal 9-5 editor job at publishing company on other side of town, offering lower salary but better benefits, and the possibility of moving up in the company. Really like the people, but not fond of working environment.

    B. Semi-normal job working as volunteer coordinator at non-profit within walking distance of my house. Higher initial salary, but no benefits, and very little chance of advancement/raises. Like working environment, less fond of people.

  13. August 28, 2006 12:08 pm

    I’m not too keen on the “Bible Church” thing, for the same reasons that rickswife lists above.

    Maybe we could be the “Mostly Reformed Introverts Church.” First of all, it’s a fairly accurate description. “Mostly” could apply to “Reformed” since most of us are Calvinistic, or it could refer to “Introverts”. Second, it has a catchy, high-tech nickname. We could be the “MRI Church”. Although I guess that may have some negative connotations as well.

    Or if we really want to go for the “snappy” thing, maybe we should just go for a single word that has vibrant, soul-stirring action behind it. For example, we could call ourselves “Impact”. Then we could make it culturally relevant by spelling it “1MP4cT” or something like that.

    Or “z0NE”. “z0NE” has some real possibilities. So instead of being “Members of the Community Evangelical Free Church of Champaign/Urbana,” we could just be “In the z0NE”. “I’m in the z0NE. He’s in the z0NE. She’s in the z0NE. Get yourself into the z0NE!”

  14. August 28, 2006 1:30 pm

    I think A sounds better than B, but I don’t really know you and so my opinion is worth very little.

  15. August 28, 2006 3:36 pm

    Nonetheless, any and all input is appreciated!

  16. August 28, 2006 4:02 pm

    I like Bible Church because it’s simple and it’s not trendy anymore. Also, I’ve attended Village Bible Church (EFCA) in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas and Evanston Bible Fellowship (EFCA) in Evanston, IL. The name just tells people we’re into the Bible. Evangelical sadly now has political connotations for many.

  17. August 28, 2006 4:08 pm

    beth

    ok, but what’s the one!!!eleventy!!! ???

    i vote for job B if the non-profit is doing something worthy of your time. As David Byrne of the Talking Heads opined melodiously, “If your work isn’t what you love, then something isn’t right.”

  18. bankruptedbynorm permalink
    August 28, 2006 9:50 pm

    I’m finally jumping onto this thing that is the blog bandwagon. Gotta say if our church renamed itself Free Life I would l have to claim royalties since I spent much time and thought renaming our campus ministry from another mouthful that noone outside our church understood. (“Gymnasia” for the newbies) And yes, the name was meant to carry many connotations…..as many as seem Biblically relevant, as well as putting a twist on the denomination’s name

    It is sad to say that the term evangelical now carries way too many negative, particularly political, connotations. How about we just take church names in scripture to be our guide. We could call ourselves the church of Champaign. That wouldn’t come across as too snobbish, eh?

  19. August 29, 2006 8:31 am

    Enielsen:
    Your comment made me laugh out loud, primarily because your parody is completely plausible! There are many ministries that would love your ideas! I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve already been used.

    I’m not very interested in the church name discussion. If we’re not going to take bankruptedbynorm’s suggestion and name ourselves purely geographically, then we’re really talking more about marketing, not content; we’re trying to envision what emotional connotations will be suggested by certain combinations of words. The few words in a church name are not sufficient to say anything contentful about a church; even a clearly stated denominational affiliation in a name is only as useful if (a) there is a level of consistency within that denomination and (b) we are aiming at the type of person that would want to visit a church so openly associated with that denomination.

    So we’re marshalling our collective intuition to try to determine what “people” would think about a name. I’m not very good at that sort of thing. And I confess that I have some doubts about the value of thinking about it so much.

    Boy, what a parade-rainer-oner I am this morning.

  20. August 29, 2006 9:39 am

    we definately need more wow factor *barf*, I like EN’s idea – get in the z0n3. :)

  21. August 29, 2006 9:51 am

    B.B.Norm said “We could call ourselves the church of Champaign.”

    I know the intent is not “We are the only church in Champaign,” but I would think that such a name may be understood that way.

    I’m gettin in tha z0/\/3, man.

    Gorfchild – clearly from my comments you can tell I am not “thinking about is so much.” :)

  22. August 29, 2006 10:02 am

    Beth’s referring to somewhat of an internet joke you’re obviously not familiar with wherein people are so excited/shouting about something they feel the need to append hundreds of exclaimation points to every sentance. A very common typo while doing this is to forget to hold down the shift key the whole way, so you end up with!!!!!!!!1
    Some people decided to parody these people by actually spelling out the word one (or eleventy). My favorite take on it was!!!!!!onewonjuan.

  23. August 29, 2006 10:30 am

    All,

    I’m a little ashamed of the somewhat cranky tone of my previous comment. Please disregard.

    MobileOak: Thank you for the exclamation explanation!

  24. August 29, 2006 11:17 am

    Yeah, sorry I’m not good at explaining. In totally other news, I took the typesetting/publishing job, for those of you that were waiting to hear.

    I think I would have liked and been good at the other job, but fertility issues coupled with child abuse (even in the abstract) is probably not a healthy place for Beth to be :) I just worry that some day, I’d walk into the office, emotional because the eleventyhojillionth person in the world got pregnant and it. wasn’t. me., and then I’d have to run across a case where someone had beaten a child to within an inch of his/her life, and… my solution to that problem might not be healthy.

    In fact, it might be smiting. And a job where I might have to consider smiting as a healthy option might not be a functional workplace for moi.

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