What’s in a Name?
Abi Colthrust introduces us to a new name for one of our churches in London. Here’s the story of how they used these changes to share Christ with their community in Enfield.
“A name change on its own doesn’t really mean much… but it’s a great opportunity for us to use this to talk to people in Enfield about Jesus!” So said our grinning pastor, Nathan Howard, to a room full of church members.
And so it was put to us: a ‘relaunch’ as Enfield Evangelical Free Church became Enfield Town Community Church. There would be new signage, a new website and a timely excuse for a big invitation to all our community.
We had been aware of the plans to change our name for some time as it had been put to the church members a year or so beforehand. Enfield Town Community Church is a simpler, more accessible way to describe who we are.
It pretty much says it on the tin – we are based in Enfield Town, we are a church, and “community” speaks about what we exist to be (a godly and distinctive community of believers), and who we exist to benefit (everyone in the local community!).
In addition to this, we have been a sending church for four church plants in the last decade and our new name fits better with the names of these young partner churches.
Gather, Grow, Go
This is our new strapline which sits alongside the relaunched name and the three words were helpful to us ahead of our big launch weekend.
- Gather. We came together in several gatherings additional to the regular Sunday and midweek services, for extra fellowship. Often these included food, fun, information or brainstorming, but they always included prayer and a challenge from the leadership to have a ‘mission mindset’ and a renewed devotion to Christ, and to one another, as a family of believers.
- Grow. We received helpful teaching and training to equip us in this whole area of living life on mission in an everyday sense, and to practice evangelism on one another! We were challenged to grow in our prayer lives too - a helpful ‘60 days of prayer’ booklet with daily prompts to aid our praying in the run up to the launch was produced.
- Go. In our countdown to launch, we were urged to “go” as the Spirit led, not just to wait until the dedicated launch weekend!
Personally, I found living life on mission like this eye-opening. As a stay at home parent, almost all the friends and acquaintances I spend time with at the moment are Enfield-based, and the opportunities for gospel conversations crop up constantly. I found I was viewing all of these links through a fresh gospel lens. It was exciting!
Our Launch Weekend
We secured a market stall in the main town square on Thursday to Saturday and engaged passers-by in conversation using a questionnaire which was designed to open up a chance to share the gospel. We also handed out literature about the church, an evangelistic tract, and invitations to a community festival on the Saturday, and a special visitors’ service on the Sunday.
We had plenty of encouragements from our time in the town and there was a buzz of anticipation about what God was doing among us. The Saturday and Sunday were blessed with amazing sunshine. We had bunting up all over the church gardens, fresh can’t-miss-it signage with our new name and logo on the front of our building. Once the bouncy castle and games were all set up, we were ready to receive our guests!
We invited our community into our building with the aim of putting something of church life and the gospel on display. This began with a drop-in festival on the Saturday, and a ‘Come to Church’ visitors’ service on the Sunday.
We sought to put on a really welcoming, fun day on the Saturday. There was a heritage trail detailing the 121 years of church history, complete with photos from the archives and a ‘ration book’ children’s quiz. A video story and Christian music were playing too.
Elsewhere we had prepared craft stations, softplay, toys, outdoor games, singing and of course, tea, coffee and cake. We also gave out 300 ice lollies. The following day, we were thrilled to have some extra guests join us for our Sunday services and be part of our worship.
In the preaching, Nathan urged us all to get to know Jesus better – from 2 Peter 3:18, “...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
We have made so many new contacts through this launch, not to mention the blessed unity of fellowship afresh as we experienced the power of Philippians 1:27, “standing firm together in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.”
So as Enfield Town Community Church we are praising God for his goodness and continue to pray for His saving work in our community, asking him to fuel us to live life on mission every day!