Making some progress on the development of a new name for the young adults ministry. There’s a lot changing with the young adults ministry and while I know that a change of name doesn’t necessarily mean anything in and of itself (names and words are kind of cheap if they are not followed by actual action or change), it is a good opportunity. An opportunity for us to clarify what we are about and to focus emphasis on something that I think is very crucial.
A name is also one of the best ways for us to tell other people about ourselves. Even if we call ourselves FGA Young Adults, that in itself has a message. Not entirely a bad message though as it really links us in with FGA and it clearly defines our demographic … adults who are . .mm. young.
But, read on. I’m tossing up an idea that through the collision of a whole bunch of different events and opportunities has come together to what I believe to be a great melting pot of the kind of collaboration and creativity I’m hoping will take place in the new Young Adults ministry.
So … not sure if some of you have been following the naming thought thread here: http://www.fgam.dreamhosters.com/?p=345 (posted in March), but things have progressed since then.
I’m now going to talk for ages about this new name, and I’m hoping you’ll approach it with an open mind, and a view to the kind of possibilities it can unlock (as well as the opportunities it has for helping us craft an identity that is well suited to Young Adults).
New Name: MSG
Current promotional theme and url: http://www.whatisthemsg.com/ (got a deal, and got it for free! yay! free).
In today’s hip, connected online young adults world .. when people see msg, they think of message (ok, maybe not hip, geeky). But I wanted to centre everything around the message.
We are god’s message here on earth. Jesus was sent as a message from God, the bible is a message. What kind of message are we going to be? Will people read Christ in us? or will we just relay the ‘advertising’ messages of the world.
i think a name like msg will remind all of us that people are reading our lives every day. and not just people. God is reading us too.
There’s a version of the Bible called the Message even. In Greek and in Hebrew the word root Message has really awesome implications and it is a very solid recurring theme in biblical text. It also ties in to “words” (ie. logos, and davar) which .. ah, well I can’t really get into it here, but it is really an amazing motif (you’ll no doubt hear more about logos and words in 1 John with my mum).
Our audience (probably won’t make TOO big a deal about this):
We used to define ourselves by work status: remember … Young Working Adults (then changed to Young Wonderful Adults). Then we picked education, demographics and age (as opposed to being in uni, 20 – 30 year olds etc.). But I think its best to look at our target segment and define ourselves RELATIONALLY (as we are very different based on our relational stage of life). So MSG will be for those who are:
- Single; and
- Going out
We really have three types of young adults that we are trying to reach with our new ministry, and we will need to thing about each of these three MSG segments and their needs and profiles carefully.
Our current promotion and pitch:
You will not believe how much excitement there was in Chicago (in a little study in Deerfield) the moment we all realised (ok, just me and my google search engine) that http://www.whatisthemsg.com/ was available.
In fact (once we finalise the name and it really takes off), www.whatisthemessage.com.au and www.whatisthemsg.com.au are also both available (but we have to pay for it, vs this one that I got for free).
Anyways, our first theme is the GOSPEL. We are going to be BIBLE CENTRED. So What is the MSG?
It’s our second service. It’s the new ya group.
But it is also the gospel. It is also asking what are we communicating to people?
Hey. It could even be love ! Haha (sooo many possibilities)
It is also what you want to ask .. what IS the msg?
It is also what people ARE asking about the new YA group .. what IS the msg?
I love how much you can read into it. So much potential.
You may or may not have gathered that quite a lot of thought/prayer and analysis has gone into this already. I’m really really hoping you’ll like it. Unfortunately (or fortunately … depending), I always getting crazy ideas and there’s always a long list of things that I’m slowly processing. The first time I sound out an idea (unless you’re my wife who gets ALL the super crazy crazy ones), chances are its already been considered for a while and some work has already gone into making it viable. I like working a lot on ideas.
DOES THAT MEAN THAT IT CAN’T CHANGE AND HAS BEEN DECIDED?
Absolutely NOT (but its pretty close, give it a day or so ). That’s why I’m writing you this post. I’ve changed the URL (the old one still works) temporarily on a mirror, but I’ll port the whole things over once I’m fully decided. I have to get promo for the new service (and new YA) out pretty soon, but I can launch something this Sunday WITHOUT revealing the name.
I’m sooo pumped about the name though! and I think it works out so much better than the other options that have been floating around.
Actually, the name was originally suggested by Ewlee/Ewnice many years ago. She (yes, I’m using their names interchangeably because I’m not really sure who originally came up with it. reminds me of the days when I couldn’t remember which Ew was which) reminded me of that suggestion in March and then I guess it was this amazing collision of what God was doing in my life, where our heart for YA is going and this old idea. Initially it was Meet, Share and Grow (and some kind of link to the MSG that gets put in food … ewww), but you know, the more I thought about it … its really a great acronym. More so for its links to “Message”.
Anyways, Ewnice is working one some designs right now. I’ll post up our design commentary and work in progress on to the YA Site once I get some kind of feedback from you.