New Mission Agency - Behind the New Name

  803 views

At the May meeting of the new mission agency board, the following name was approved by the agency board and endorsed by the CRCNA Board of Trustees, with the anticipation of final approval occurring at Synod 2017:

Resonate Global Mission
Engaging People. Embracing Christ.
A ministry of the Christian Reformed Church

The process of developing this name began in the summer of 2016 and included extensive research into the work of both Home Missions and World Missions that included hundreds of documents, hours of interviews, and feedback from a broad cross-section of agency staff and members of our denomination. Throughout the process, we developed and evaluated nearly 30 possible name selections.

What’s in a name?

Resonate

Resonate refers to striking a chord or causing an expanding, amplifying sound. A sound that resonates is deep, clear, builds over time, and goes out in every direction. However, in order for any sound to resonate, it requires a source of power. The reverberating effect of congregations and communities working together is only possible with the power of God. This is the power we read about in Acts 1:8:

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Although the word resonate refers literally to sounds and vibrations, it can also connote an emotional connection. When we connect with an idea or emotion, we say that it “resonates” with us. The new mission agency desires this kind of resonance too—for people to connect with God and to experience him more deeply.

Global Mission

Choosing just one word to describe an organization would leave a lot unsaid, so the new name also includes two modifying words along with Resonate. These words, Global Mission, indicate what work the agency does and where that work happens. While Home Missions and World Missions used the plural Missions in their names, the new mission agency has dropped the “s.” The singular term Mission reflects the belief that we all share one mission -- the Great Commission.

Engaging People. Embracing Christ.

This short expression, the tagline of the new mission agency, reflects and reinforces the purpose of the organization. It refers to the relationships and partnerships that are essential to effective mission. It also means that these relationships and partnerships are mutual—that we as Christians are at our best when we learn from each other. Most importantly, it reminds the Christian Reformed Church of our overarching goal, to make sure we all work in concert to make the good news of Jesus Christ resound throughout the whole world.

A ministry of the Christian Reformed Church.

The choice to not explicitly include Christian Reformed in the root name was deliberate. Missionaries, ministry leaders, and the new mission agency board affirmed that this will help break down barriers to collaboration and partnership with other organizations.

At the same time, the agency wants to acknowledge its CRC roots and celebrate its history and identity. To meet this need, a modifying statement was added to the name. Christian Reformed Church acts as the endorser, keeping the source and ownership of this innovative new agency abundantly clear. As the membership of the CRC and the board pointed out, the rich background of our Christian Reformed history gives vital context to our work throughout the world.

We will continue on in our commitment to planting churches and supporting ministry in North America as well as coming alongside churches and individuals around the globe to share the good news of Christ. We see this joining of two agencies as an opportunity to work together in new ways and to identify new ministry opportunities that may not have been possible before. We pray that churches and individuals will join us in supporting that growth as they have supported our ministry throughout the years.

Posted in:
  • Global Mission
  • Blog

Let's Discuss…

We love your comments! Thanks for your help upholding the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.
Community Builder

BTGMI spent a lot of time getting to the name REFRAME. By using the word Global in the new name it will soon morf into "Global" or better yet "World" anyway. The latter would prevent major redesign of yet another name in the CRCNA lingo. CRCNA already has World Renew and that name was thought about long and hard.  My suggestion would have been to keep it simple.

It's like modern art. If it takes 100 words to explain a painting, the vast majority of people (those the Mission is trying to reach) will never get it. Name branding is all about recognition not words.

The article does not state how the word translates into the other major languages supported by the CRCNA via BTGMI. And it is only a matter of time before BTGMI gets swallowed up into this new  agency.

The article does not state how the

Admin

Hi Harry, 

Looks like the last part of your comment did not come through. Please let me know if I can help. 

Thanks!

Community Builder

Sorry about that. It should have ended by saying "how it translates into all the language BTGMI uses". I stopped because I translated "resonate" in to those languages and it was interesting the words that came up. Of course I am not familiar with the Chinese, Arabic etc. that use other lettering forms. 

Some of the board members of the NMA shared why they were excited to bring the name Resonate Global Mission for approval to Synod 2017.

Why Resonate Global Mission? (https://vimeo.com/216665966)

Greetings all:

   Global Mission. Amen to that.

Resonate. For all the nice talk given above and in the video, a few vital items are missing:

a. The whole counsel of God, proclaimed in power, can cause a resonance which is nothing less than open hostility. Think of the sneers and jeers received by Jesus and the Apostle Paul. If one delivers a message that tickles the ears of its auditors, yes, it will resonate, but not in the right way.

b. It is possible to resonate with the values of secular culture more than with the Gospel proclaimed in power. That is why the Apostle Paul said that he would not employ "plausible words of human wisdom." The mission might respond that it has built in safeguards, but if a survey of 15 local CRCNA churches is done in the area where I live, the influences of the culture are strong, if not growing stronger.

c. What about the word, 'resolute' ?Sure it is not as soft and cuddly as resonate, but it implies direction, conviction, being constrained---all which are pregnant with theological value. Is resonate pregnant with Reformed theological value? To this reader, not at all on a first reading, and perhaps not at 5th reading.

I can't escape the force of 'resolute' on a first reading.

Resolute:  marked by firm determination

"The love of Christ constrains me" (2 Cor. 5:14) =being marked by firm determination.

 

Blessings

John Span

Global Missions Capacity Builder

Serving in a partnership between CRWM and Interserve

 

After hearing the new name I resisted posting a comment because I wanted to wait to see if my initial reaction would last.  After all, I'm sure that much time, thought and prayer went into the process that resulted in the suggested name.  But after two weeks I find the name still fails to resonate with me.  Perhaps it's because I like jazz and appreciate dischords.  Or perhaps it is my limited experience of church always being messy.  We don't always get along but get along anyway because we recognize that our mission is more important than our relatively petty squabbles.  Resonating sounds like something to dream of but I don't think will ever be achieved on this side of life.  

I can see the desire to have some kind of descriptor before "global mission " but personally don't think "resonate" works.  Too bad World Renew is already taken.  

I'd love to hear more about the research conducted with / on your target audiences. This name misses the mark for me entirely and I'm hoping that's because maybe I'm outside your intended audience (although that's discouraging in a whole different way). This article mentions the extensive research conducted on the activities of the organizations, but please share more about the testing of this chosen name outside your internal teams - it will help to remove our (my) subjective biases toward personal preference to resist change ;-) Obviously, the name can always be *different* - what gives you confidence that this one is *right*? I watched the video and it feels very insider-y. I guess I was hoping for a name that would relate to my neighbors - across the street and the ocean - in a very real, tangible way of anticipating God's work through us to restore shalom. Resonate feels too much like noise and not enough like action to accurately reflect the work of the organization in my opinion.   

© 2014 Christian Reformed Church in North America. All rights reserved.
For website questions or corrections, use the feedback tab at right or contact us.