The Naming Of Commonwealth

Saint and North West. Gwyneth Paltrow named her baby Apple. The guys from U2 have done some good ones too. The Edge (what a great name!) called a child Blue Angel, while Bono named his daughter Memphis Eve Sunny Day Hewson. But of course MJ takes the cake on weird baby names with Prince Michael Jackson, which isn’t so bad but unfortunately Prince has only really been known by the name Blanket. Somewhere along the lines we forgot that names have a purpose beyond something that is shouted when you’re late for dinner. Names should have some weight behind them. We have lost sight and have named our children in an effort to say something about ourselves rather than what we would like to say (and pray) about them.

Names are hugely significant.

In the bible names weren’t just what you were called but your name was a prophetic declaration of what you would be, it was given to express the essential nature of its bearer. All throughout the scriptures we see God giving people names that reflect what they are destined to do. Abram, for example, in Genesis 12 was called to be a great nation that would bless the whole of the world. Later in Genesis 17, God renamed him Abraham which means ‘father of many’ and restated his promise to make him the father of many nations.  A name should speak of something beyond what is seen, it should declare a future.

As we thought and prayed about what to name our church plant in San Diego Keri and I began to dream and look to future of this community.  We didn’t want something that just sounded cool but we wanted the name to declare who this community would be, what it would be marked by, and known for. Through significant prayer, thought, and lively discussion we landed on the name Commonwealth.

We believe that it’s God’s call that Commonwealth would be a church that partners with Him to see lives and cities changed for good. Two of the mains things we believe this community is to exist for in San Diego is to show the city that God is present and that He is good.  That Jesus and his gospel is truly, “good news, of great joy for all mankind.” We want to declare that through Jesus, we all can share in the matchless wealth of knowing God and being called His children. Further, we want to demonstrate that there is a fulness of life and blessing when we come together under the name of Christ, just as the believers in the early church “were together and had everything in common.” (Acts 2:44)

At this point you are probably wanting to scream through the computer that this is term often used by governments. And yes, we know that! In a similar fashion the early church borrowed the governmental term “Ecclesia” from ancient Athens to name themselves.  More than 2,000 years later we are borrowing a governmental term to name our church.

We believe the global Church to be the true commonwealth, a community founded for the common good of the city and its people. We long to partner with God for to see all corners of culture and society transformed by God’s astounding grace and ultimately for that to spill out unto the nations.

For our Launch Team one of our rallying cries already has been “Be the family, Bless the city.” We want to be the family of God that blesses and works for the good of the city. Just like Abraham was blessed to be a blessing, we want to extend God’s blessing over San Diego as we invite others into the wealth of Jesus and his community here on earth.

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