Here at First, we are excited about the future as God continues to lead us into the next chapter. One piece of this vision includes clarifying who we are. Blessed with a rich history of gospel-presence in our city, we desire to move forward with awareness and gospel-driven vision.
Part of this new vision is the discussion of giving First a new name. We believe that this is an integral part of moving forward and we are making every attempt to communicate this vision clearly and carefully. Below are several important resources for you to utilize as we go through this process together.
We encourage you to reach out to leadership via the resources provided below to voice concerns and to ask questions. Your voice is not only welcome, but needed.
Top Five Feedback
As our church continues to consider a name change, we are at the phase in the process when we want to get as much broad feedback as we can on our top five options for a future name. Below you will find the top five suggested names as well as descriptions. Please complete the survey below and give us feedback on these five names as we prayerfully consider what God desires for us as a church. Share the survey via social media, with friends, family and coworkers. All are welcome to participate!
The Top Five
Here are the five names with a brief description of why the name is an option we believe should be considered:
1. River City Church
Minneapolis is a "river city" and relied heavily upon the Mississippi for its early commerce and growth. Part of our story is that we crossed the river to plant a church in this new city and our first baptism was in the river. Rivers are also a very positive image throughout the Bible, often associated with the nourishing presence of God in our lives.
2. Resurrection Church
The Resurrection is one of the most significant events within the Bible. It is in the resurrection of Christ that we have our own hope of resurrection, and Paul goes as far as to say if the resurrection was false, we would be most to be pitied. We want to see people know and experience the resurrection in their own life, and throughout the life of our church.
3. Renew Church
As a church, we exist to see lives renewed through relationship with Jesus in the Twin Cities and beyond. We are in a unique season of renewal right now, but our desire to see lives and our church continually renewed through Christ will not change, no matter what the coming years bring.
4. City Gate Church
God's kingdom is breaking into the kingdom of the world, and our local church is like an embassy for King Jesus. A gate is a point of access and passage, and our church can be a conduit of connection between the peace and purpose found in God through Jesus and those who live, work and play in Minneapolis and throughout the Twin Cities.
5. Gospel City Church
The gospel is the declaration of the good news that God is redeeming the world through Jesus Christ. This message is fundamental to who we are, how we are being shaped, and what we want to communicate to the world around us. With the gospel as a foundation, we want to be a church that exists in the city and for the city.
If you would like to read more about the process and all that we are considering, please read the document below.
It is our desire to seek the Lord throughout the entire name change process. We ask that you commit to pray our church during the next few months. Join us for these Sunday morning prayer meetings as we seek the Lord together as a community regarding the new name decision.
March 1 | 9-9:30am | Room 218
March 15 | 9-9:30am | Atrium
April 5 | 9-9:30am | Atrium
The voice of our congregation is critical throughout this process. There will be two listening sessions for you to participate in where you can speak with the elders regarding concerns, support or unanswered questions you may have. This will also be a time to hear about and discuss the top 5 proposed names. All voices are welcome. A light breakfast will be served.
Sunday, March 1 | 9:30am
Town Hall Meeting
Following the Sunday worship service on March 22, there will be a final opportunity to gather as a community before we vote on a new name at the Annual Meeting. We welcome you to attend this Town Hall to hear from leadership, ask questions and discuss final matters as they pertain to the proposed name. Lunch will be served.
Sunday, March 22 | 12:30pm
On April 19, we will conduct our Annual Meeting where we will celebrate the work God has done at First over the past year, hear updates from our church leaders, and vote on important matters, including the name change. This is a critical step in the name change process - we hope you will block off this date in advance and join us as we conduct important church business.
Why Consider a Name Change?
We have heard some people ask, "why do we need to change our name?" When our church met in November, the elders shared some of the rationale for why we are considering a name change, and we wanted to give you access to the information.
This five-page document articulates the most important reasons the elders are recommending that the congregation affirms the decision to change our name.
This twenty-minute video features Pastor Jeremy explaining the rationale in another format. Much of the information between the document and the video is repeated, however both might help you understand our reasons more fully.