Why Rooted?


One of the most famous lines in Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet is, “What is in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In the play, Juliet utters the line arguing that the family name of Romeo shouldn’t be a barrier to her loving him.

Now, from that, we might think to ourselves, “She is saying that a name doesn’t really matter.” However, I think the truer point is that a name should not be a barrier or prevent relationship because when you get down to it a name really does matter.

Today, this concept is incredibly important in how we name Christian events, ministries, and even churches. It is something we kept in mind as we discerned the name of the new community of faith God is bringing about in Whitestown, Indiana. Through prayer and study of scripture, we sought a name that would help build bridges within the community and express the identity of the church.

It is very similar to when you name a child. Now, many people think primarily of how a name will sound or how unique it is–and those aren’t bad things to consider–but historically, children have been given names that are supposed to encompass part of the desired identity of the child.

For the ancient Hebrews, the giving of a name was something that was incredibly important. It wasn’t just what something someone was called by. It was a statement of their identity, of who they were at their core. Similarly, I believe that when you name a child, you want to choose a name that is important to you, that has value, and a name that you hope the child will live into.

That is what Chassity and I did last year as we prepared for our daughter to arrive. We named her Evelyn, a name which means “radiance” and “beauty”, in honor of another wonderful sweet little girl whose beautifully radiant life ended in an accident. It is a name with purpose and meaning.

I think the same goes for naming a church. We not only think about what sets the church apart, but we pray about who God is calling this new community of faith to be, what kind of character He desires for it, and who it will truly honor.

With that in mind, I am proud to say that the name of our church is Rooted Community Church. As we began to picture what God was calling this new faith community to be, God began to direct our hearts toward a particular scripture and a word: “rooted”.

The first part of our name comes from Colossians 2:6-7, which reads, “6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (NLT)

Being rooted is so important for plants. Roots not only give a plant its sustenance, but they anchor it firmly in the soil. If a plant is rooted in the wrong place, it will easily be scorched by the sun in the heat of the day or washed away by the first rainstorm.

And friends, if we’re honest, so often we are tempted to build our lives on so many different things—our jobs, our relationships, our wealth, or whatever—but there is only one thing our lives were meant to be built upon—only one place to take root, and that is in Jesus Christ. He is the only one who anchors us, who gives us life. He is the one our hearts truly long for.

The same things go for the Church. Church isn’t about the building you meet in or your worship style. It isn’t about your denomination or affiliation. It is about Jesus! Our desire is that this new community of faith is firmly rooted in Christ. Nothing less.

The second part of our name is “Community.” Why? Because that is what church is supposed to be about, in more ways than one. A church is a community of followers of Jesus Christ bound together in mission and ministry. It isn’t just a worship service you attend once a week or even a set of programs and activities.

God made us for relationship: Relationship with himself and relationship with others. So when we decide to follow after Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we not only are called into relationship with God but also with others, to be a part of a church community. There simply is no such thing as a solitary Christian. We need each other. We want to band together as part of a church, and including “Community” in the name is a reminder of this.

At the same time, the name reminds us that we are to be outwardly focused, that we are about more than ourselves. We are called by God to care about our broader community of Whitestown and beyond and seek its well-being. Non-Christians tend to instinctively get this fact since polls have shown that they are most open to checking out a “community” church rather than one that puts the emphasis on its denomination.

It is our hope that the name “Rooted Community Church” would be a bridge to build relationships and not a barrier to others in experiencing the amazing transformation that God offers us through Jesus. We hope and pray that as this community begins to sprout, it will live into the fullness of the character and identity God desires for it. We invite you to join in praying for this with us, no matter where you are.

If you are nearby, we’d like to invite you to join us for one of our upcoming prayer walks around the different neighborhoods of Whitestown, which we’ll be posting more info on soon.

For other ways you can get involved, you can head on over to our “Get Involved” section and learn how you can join with us.

Thank you for reading and partnering with us in the amazing adventure.

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