We asked an important question when we picked the name for our church: “What’s in a name?”
We found two important answers: nothing and everything.
We quickly realized that a name will never change what is happening (or, not happening) in our church. If God is moving strongly in a group of believers (a church), any name will do. The people, the passion, and the message will spread. At the end of the day, it is what happens when people get here that matters. Likewise, if God isn’t moving in our church, a name is not going to change that fact. A name is just a name.
You Kind of Have to Have a Name
Like it or not people need to be able to identify and find the place. So we decided to think it through and pick a name with purpose.
- What if our name could help us to share the story of God’s love?
- What if our name could make a quiet statement?
- What if our name could help us tell our story?
- What if our name could be used to create a social connection?
Three Taverns is our answer to those questions.
The Story is Simple
A man named Paul regularly travelled to the less Christian places of the world to tell people of God’s love. He was not afraid of the people who questioned his methods and his destinations. Paul was not swayed by their distaste for the people he wanted to reach. Paul wanted to reach everyone — the ones who knew God, the ones who walked away, and the ones who had never heard about God.
The religious world hated Paul. They gossiped about him, put him down, and missed the entire message that God loves everyone – including Paul. He made them uncomfortable. Reaching people who weren’t like them made them even more uncomfortable. He challenged their withering faith that became rote practice and legalistic adherence rather than the light of God.
So the very people who called themselves “followers of God,” had Paul arrested and sent to jail in Rome. Can you imagine the rejection? Can you imagine the pain?
Some real, invested, true believers heard of Paul’s troubles. They heard his ship had landed – that he was on the way to Roman prison – and they walked 30 miles meeting him on his journey at a place called the Three Taverns. Paul’s reaction is recorded in history:
“At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged.”
Can you imagine the encouragement? Can you imagine the acceptance? Can you imagine how important it was that they would walk all that way, to a worldly place, meeting on his journey just to be with him!
That’s Who We are at Three Taverns
We are a set of Christians loving people exactly where they are. We share the light of God’s Word. We don’t care how far we have to go to reach them. We are willing to walk 30 miles to encourage and to take care of each other. We want to live and love with people who are willing to be that to us.
What a message to the world and to each other!
- Three Taverns helps us share encouragement, faith, and the story of God’s love every time someone asks us “Why Three Taverns?” (and that’s quite often!).
- Three Taverns makes a quiet statement about who we are called to be. God told us to be accepting, to love, to live out our Christianity in the world, to not abandon, and to be the kind of people who will walk 30 miles to support others.
- Three Taverns helps us tell our story. A story in which we encounter God daily in the most mundane and the most critical parts of our lives.
- Three Taverns creates social connections with people who are sick of church or who have preconceived notions about Christianity. People just notice the difference in the name. One believer said, “It isn’t really a church logo or name.” Exactly! We aren’t very churchy. We just need solid friends comprised of the community in which we live.
So what’s in a name? For us, a story, a picture of hope, and an opportunity to talk to people about real Christianity.