It’s amazing when you consider what Christ has done in His church at Blackshear Place. In 1955, 37 charter members raised $4,000 to purchase four acres, and a new church was established. Today, we have more than 9,000 members, 40 acres and a ministry that is a force for the gospel throughout Northeast Georgia. “Not to us, Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory…” (Psalm 115:1).
It’s not our name, but Christ’s name we acknowledge as the One who has done it all. With this in our hearts and minds, I want to lead our church family to embrace a great opportunity. Actually, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime! I am referring to a name update for Blackshear Place Baptist Church.
This is a big step for us as a church, but a needful one, especially with our mission and vision clarity that I have been leading our church in. May I tell you something that is true for all of us who call Blackshear Place our church home? There is not one single person who attends our church because of our name. We are here because we love Christ, His Word, one another and the joy of authentic community we share. A name update will never change any of this. Not to oversimplify, but updating our name will not change who we are any more than moving to a new street changes who you are. What we call ourselves matters only for the sake of advancing the gospel of Christ. And this is the reason I am leading our church family to do this. It’s all about the name of Christ and His gospel going to every person in our reach. Let me communicate one more thing to your heart and mind — name updates are found in God’s Word and His work in the hearts of His people. When name updates took place in Scripture, they had three primary things in common:
· There was a fresh encounter with God.
· A new identity was needed.
· A new future was before them.
Without a doubt, I know you love Christ’s Church. Blackshear Place is a very special place. God is working greatly in this place. The season our church is in, is a good place. Just as God would update names in the Bible because of a fresh encounter, a needed new identity, a new future ahead — we are in this place. This is why I believe and lead with this conviction that it is now time for us to take our Next, and be known as Christ Place Church in 2018. May God grant us what the first Christ followers had, “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” (Acts 4:32). Let’s be one in heart and mind as we pray: no limits, no agendas, no barriers, and most importantly, yes to Christ.
A Christ Follower,
Pastor Jeff Crook
If you have questions, email Pastor Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend one of our question & answer sessions.