Help Us Name the New Mission Agency!

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Update: the survey has now closed. Stay tuned for updates to be posted in the Global Mission section of The Network. 

For the past nine months, staff from Home Missions and World Missions have been working with a branding company to develop the new brand identity for the mission agency formed by the joining of the two agencies. We are seeking wider input from members of the CRC.

Synod 2015 approved joining Home Missions and World Missions into one agency that will have the responsibility of leading the mission programs of the CRC. Uniting the work of these two agencies, they said, will help make the denomination more nimble to respond to the changing landscape of missions in our world.

This new mission agency will formally launch at Synod 2017, which convenes next June at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill.

A naming initiative began in Summer of 2016, which has culminated in six different name candidates for the new mission agency. These candidates are the result of months of staff interviews, review of strategic documents, audience and staff surveys and creative development. The next stage in the development of an agency name is to collect feedback from the public. You can participate in this short survey at the link below.

The survey has closed. Thanks for your input! 

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  • Global Mission
  • Discussion Topic

Let's Discuss…

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Community Builder

My favorite logo used in the CRCNA was the one used by Faith Alive. Now that this agency is no longer formally in play maybe their logo should go to this new agency.

I am still confused how the Back to God Ministries fits into this Global Missions mandate that was really initiated by the two Directors of the two missions agencies that are now supposedly one.

In general the "branding" of the CRCNA is a bit of a mixed bag with still some five to six logos in use. If you are going to spend money every time an agency folds or amalgamates to "rebrand" the outfit you should really come up with a CRCNA brand. But then we should first divest Calvin College and World Renew. 

 

Good points, Harry.

I think Faith Alive would actually be a better name for this new agency than any of the choices presented. But that would probably lead to even more confusion.

I may be alone on this, and hate to be a naysayer, but I completed the survey and I was disappointed with all of the name choices presented. I was especially disappointed with the ministry description. It lacks clarity and meaning and is full of jargon.

To me, all of the names are missing the mark. There is an art to branding and art is not best done by survey and consensus.

At the same time, I agree with Harry. Invest time and energy in revitalizing the CRCNA's brand identity and then present the agencies of the CRC as clearly named divisions of the parent organization. There are already too many sub-brands within the CRC and it's confusing to people.

Why not keep the name of this new organization practical, straightforward, and clearly associated with the denomination? LIke "CRCNA Missions"? Or "Christian Reformed MIssions"?

 

Participant

Thanks James, 

What you described as the "ministry description" are more-or-less personality characteristics that try to describe a little bit of how we talk about our work and the agency (it is more of an internal tool than anything else). The survey of the names is about how well these names fit with those attributes. There are a wide variety of people who have already responded to the survey and their responses are quite diverse. Some feel these names are too "edgy" or "abstract" while others believe these are too traditional and common. Most are somewhere in the middle. Our months of research has led us to this point. There are so many groups and perspectives to consider when naming the agency (young and old, International partners and North American church members, staff and pastors, etc) that there is no way to make everyone happy. What we have to do is find something that is useful, communicates well, and continue with the work of proclaiming the Gospel around the globe. 

Thanks.

Hi, Josh.

It wasn't clear in your ministry survey that the ministry description was intended primarily for internal use. Either way it should clearly communicate who you are, what you do, and why. It doesn't.

Like you, I'm someone who works in the area of communications, marketing, branding and graphic design. I deeply believe in the power of creative that reaches and inspires people -- to me it's a reflection of who we are as creatures made by a creative God. In my experience, the best way to do this is rarely to throw a bunch of ideas at the wall and rely on the consensus of the general population to choose a brand identity.

I have deep concerns about a 9-month process that yields the kind of results we're seeing in this survey. Either you are receiving poor consultation, or you are not allowing the branding consultant to do their job properly.

I've provided lots of feedback, both in this string and in the survey, not just for the sake of being critical, but because I care and I'm concerned that you are going down a path where people are going to be far more critical than me. In a denomination that is increasingly voicing its concerns and demanding accountability for how ministry resources are being used, I believe you are on a dangerous path.

I'll leave it at that.

I pray for wisdom and discernment and the Spirit's leading as you move forward.

James

 

Participant

The CRC is an opinionated denomination. We wanted to make sure we gave people an opportunity to voice those opinions at some point in the process. We are not relying on consensus to guide our process. People have strong relationships with these agencies and ministries and any change is going to be tough and full of negativity. Thank you for filling out the survey and adding your voice to the already 550+ people who are also letting us know their thoughts!

Community Builder

I started the survey but didn't finish because I didn't like any of the choices, and it wouldn't let me continue when I had kept them all on dislike.

I second James Bosma's title of Christian Reformed Missions.  Simple and clear.  Or CRCNA Missions.

Participant

It does let you continue. You just have to click on them in the lowest position to have that be your selection. I would encourage you to try to complete the survey. Only a fraction of the survey is asking whether or not you like the name, the rest is about criteria, taglines, modifiers, etc.

Participant

I too like "Christian Reformed Missions."  To me, that name sounds like we are trying to be direct, descriptive, humble and simple.

Community Builder

I agree that "Christian Reformed Missions" is simple direct. But let's translate that name into the 20 or more languages that it will be communicated in. I have been in countries like China, Iran, Japan etc. where the translations would not work well in print, on buildings or any public places. 

If memory serves me right World Renew did a lot of research into that and maybe we could learn from what they did.  BTGMi also has a lot of experience with non English language use in their media outreach. 

Consensus may not be as important as ensuring a name that "will work" in all the languages the church uses. So maybe full circle and call it World Missions!

Hello Josh and company:

       The survey lacks the ability to suggest other names than the ones presented. Sure, one can comment on them, but it has the feel of being corralled somewhat.

     I agree with some contributors below that it is very useful to affirm the fact that we are Christian, Reformed and we believe in missions. I also do agree that a shorter acronym is easier to handle.   

     As well, I would suggest that this agency does not need a name that says, "we only speak English" or understand the world from a very limited North American context. This could put some of the names suggested in the survey in a new light.

    It seems the name has to depict its core value, or its core business and should be explicitly theological.

Here are a couple of other suggestions:

NChristos  --sure it sounds like a Greek island, but it does say that what we do is because we are "in" Christ. Sure doesn't sound overly English or North American either. Anyone in the world who partners with CRCNA mission agencies, and knows some Greek likely will understand it. 

Crossland(s) --slightly plagarized, this is a place in Kansas and New Mexico and the name of a church in Newmarket Canada. It does, however, give the idea of the cross at its center, it crosses lands, ie. builds bridges between peoples, and it is easy to say. It could also read, Crosslands Reformed Mission or CRM.

Vidalogos. Something that communicates life, is found in the living word of God. Might be close to Galapagos, but then who is counting? Certainly, has a global feel to it.

 

All the best with the process.

John Span

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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