Ever go to a popular blog or other similar digital entity where there is a race to have the first comment? The blog owner posts the blog and people will not even read the post they just leave the comment “first.” If it is popular enough you will have two or three people that think they got the first comment who are actually 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively. It is annoying and juvenile and generally doesn’t really tell us anything. I’m not sure when this phenomena started because it predates the Internet by many years. It is quite prolific in churches even.
go ahead, open your phone book and tell me how many churches are listed as “1st Holy Church of the First people to say we are First.” OK it might say 1st AG or 1st Baptist or whatever but there it is. I honestly don’t know why we insist on such things. What does the name “First …” tell us about your church? If there is only one Methodist church do they still call themselves “First Methodist” so there won’t be any confusion when another Methodist church comes to town or do they wait till the other church gets settled in before slapping “First” in front of their denomination so there will be no doubt who was there first?
If you have been following along I’m all for competition but I also know that there is no sense in claiming “first” while before the game is over, so I doubt this is a claim to victory. This means that the only useful information I get from the name of “First Lutheran” is that they are Lutheran. I prefer to know something from the name of a church. At least tell me what part of town your church is found in. In Springfield, MO they have Central Assembly which is in the middle of town and James River Assembly which is down by James River. They also have 30 some other Assemblies but fortunately no “First” so good for them. I’m not saying to get some trendy name, just stop using that tired old braggadocios (hows that for a $10 word) title that tells us nothing about your church.
What is your church named? Does it convey the right thing? What should your church be named?
The church I’m at is a “First …” It doesn’t convey anything good. If we want to tell people what we are about I’d have to say “Church of the Old and Tired.” Of course I’d like to see that change so maybe we should put a spin on it “Church of Imminent Victory” where it is understood that upon death we receive final victory … we just keep that to ourselves and it sounds much better.
PS. Please don’t read too much into what I’ve said. I do mean it but this is also Looney Lundi so I’m being sarcastic not serious.