Is anyone tired of hearing about "The Journey"?
Do this for me... Google "Journey Church". How many different journey churches are there? I lost count. Did God lead all of them to name their church Journey? Or "Journey (insert denomination here)"? Or "Journey (insert city here)"? Did they not know that 100 other churches named themselves that? Maybe every church should be called Journey? It seems pretty silly, doesn't it?
Is there such a thing as Journeyism? Or Journification? Are you a Journist? Have you been Journified? Maybe we should create a Journian Denomination? (the spell checker is going haywire right now.)
What a long, strange Journey it's been...
Other church name copycats: Gathering, Mosaic, Life... can you name a few?
So what is the motivation for all this copycat behavior? Is there nothing wrong with copying church names? I'm not saying there is, apart from the fact that it annoys me, but why should it annoy me? I guess because it seems fake to me. Does it seem fake to you?
"What is in a name?" Is it identity? Branding? Vision? Mission? If so, is it okay to borrow that and build upon it? Maybe yes. Or are we watering down the important ideas that words like journey, mosaic, life, community, and gathering represent? Do they somehow mean less now that they seem commercialized and overused?
Let's speak candidly... is there something popular about these names? Something trendy? What percentage of churches named Journey chose that name prior to 1990? Who were the first church to describe themselves as a "community of faith"? Did Erwin Mcmanus invent the idea of Mosaic as a church name? If not, who was first? And how long ago was that? Are these new names?
So more broadly, what is the value of newness? Why is having a new name important? Does the newness of the name somehow trump the value that the name itself implies? Is naming your church Journey really about having a passion and focus for the journey, or is it more about sounding new? When you first heard the name Journey, did you think "That's meaningful" or "That's a cool name"?
Now what do you think?