“I have always wondered how many souls must be saved for me to be willing to change my community’s name.”
When I first got this question I was stumped – what in the world was it supposed to mean? But I am glad to report that I made the effort to consult the mysterious question-asker, and it actually makes sense… kinda.
The different communities within 1Cor12 differentiate ourselves through community names. It would even seem that the names of our communities confer upon each of us a distinct identity – I am a “logger”, he is a “stoner” (lol), she is an “owler”.
Names are important. I would go so far as to say that naming something (like a community) or someone is a sacred process. Names mean something. Timothy means “honouring God”. Leaven of God means that despite our smallness we can bring about a big change for the Kingdom of God – just as a little leaven is enough to make flour rise.
Perhaps this has given rise to a reluctance and even an aversion to the idea of changing one’s community’s name. What will happen to me if I am no longer a “logger”? What will happen to us if we are no longer “log”? Nothing much, really.
Yes, there will be a time of getting used to being called and being referred to under a different name. There will even be time to endure the jibes of others – “Eh, you all Youth Vineyard grow up become Lord’s Vineyard already ah?” But other than that, what changes? Nothing much, really. If we profess to be One With the Lord, it doesn’t matter if we are Leaven of God, a Mustard Seed or a Youth Vineyard because we will always be In One Spirit with Jesus who is the Cornerstone of our faith, allowing us to live as Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Lol okay granted that was a little forced, but you can’t blame me for trying. But the essence is there – that changing a community’s name should not affect the community’s spirit, which Christ provides. Our different names are just different manifestations of the same Spirit – 1Cor12.
So yes, the (boring) answer is one. As long as one soul is saved I will be willing to change my community’s name. Of course if no souls are saved there isn’t much point in changing it – we’re not called to be capricious people in any case!
BUT this question assumes that a soul can be saved by merely changing my community’s name. If it were only that easy! A soul can only be saved through Jesus Christ, who works through us, His people. We are His hands and feet. If we do not move, souls cannot be saved. How easy it is for us to forget!
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7)
It is far easier to hide behind a well-crafted name. Perhaps then, the question today begets another – do we have a zeal for souls? How concerned are we with bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who do not know (or have forgotten) Him?
Names are important. Names mean something. But there is no name greater than that of Jesus Christ.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12)