During this transition, I have been asked on occasion, “Why the need for a relaunch?” It’s a good question and I want to take the time to respond.
Many Things Are Changing…Many Things Remain the Same
A relaunch clarifies what has been, what remains the same and what is new. For example, we are changing our name from Trinity Chapel to Trinity Community Church. The most important reason we (the elders) feel God is calling Trinity Chapel to relaunch as Trinity Community Church is that it really is the end of a process in which God has been changing this church in significant ways. First, we (the elders) felt it was important not to lose our connection to the past and what God has done through the years at Trinity. That is the main reason we have retained the name “Trinity” in our revised name. It reminds us of all God has done in our past and we believe is an important part of our heritage not to be lost.
On the other hand, we are a much different church than we were in the past and that is now in the forefront. Our vision and values have significantly changed and so is the vehicle we propose to express it. Therefore, we have felt strongly God would have us relaunch in January under a new name with the new vision and values. It is not a totally new beginning, but it is the beginning of a new era and we want to celebrate with great joy. We see it as the inevitable outcome of what God has been doing over the last three years. More importantly, it signals our belief that God has called us to be a grace-based community of believers cooperating with Jesus in his mission of gathering those he has called into the kingdom. What an incredible privilege.
Name Changes Often Signal Important Transformation
There are numerous accounts in Scripture where God changed the name of a person and by so doing demonstrated the prophetic destiny of that individual (Abraham, Sarai, Jacob, Peter). The new name was commensurate with the transformation that God had done in that individual. The name would be meaningless unless it demonstrated what God had done or was yet to do. I think this helps us to understand the relaunch under our new name. At one of our Regional Community meetings someone asked the question, “Why do we have to change our name?” My answer was that it’s not so much that we have to but we want to in that the name captures both what God has done and what we believe he will accomplish through our church in the future.
Memorials-Reminders of God’s Gracious Acts
Another biblical reality comes to mind and is found in God’s instructions to Joshua after they crossed the Jordan and entered the Promised Land (see Joshua 4). God told Joshua to take twelve memorial stones from the river bed and place them on Canaan soil while they took twelve stones and placed them in the river at the place where the priests were standing who were holding the ark. They were called “memorial” stones and served to remind the people that since passing through Jordan, they now stood on new ground. That picture comes to mind as I think of where Trinity stands in this moment. God’s instructions to Joshua were intended to remind him and the people that they had crossed over a significant barrier and were now in the place of inheriting all that God had promised to them.
Memorials-Reminders of Future Promises
When I think about this it excites me to no end. I am very appreciative of all God has done in our church in the past. But, I am firmly convinced that the best days of Trinity Community Church lie ahead. In my mind’s eye I can see new people who are presently not at Trinity being drawn by the Spirit to believe the Gospel and enter the community. My heart explodes as I think about all the fruit that will glorify our God and Father in the future. Blessed be his name.