Our church is still nameless, but the same will not be said of our campus ministry at ASU for much longer. In fulfilling the requirements to apply for membership in ASU’s Council of Religious Advisors (CoRA), we must include an official student group name. We have been intentionally slow in selecting a name, because we believe names are important.
In Scripture, we see examples of names that are the result of an experience with the Divine. In Genesis 32, Jacob’s name is changed to Israel – the man who wrestled with God. In an earlier story from Genesis, we see Hagar speaking of the LORD as “the God who sees me.” The well of water where Hagar’s encounter with God took place also receives a new name: the well of the Living One who sees me.”
In short, we want the name of this new church and our student ministry to be shaped and identified by our own experiences of God, both individually and as a community. In order to draw out the values and characteristics of God that have shaped each of our team members, we developed a names bracket. We asked for suggestions and then began a voting process. The result was educational and a lot of fun. As we voted for or against various names, we were able to talk about why various names meant so much to us… or didn’t.
A big thank you to Thomas Hamlet, who has campus ministry experience at UT Chattanooga and has been spearheading much of the focus on ASU. He is also responsible for concocting our very professional bracket and voting system…
So what experiences with God have shaped you? What name would you choose for a campus ministry that desires to impact the 80,000+ Sun Devils in Tempe? And yes, Devils for Christ is already on the list.