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Amy is Editor and Writer for Berean Research. She has been a broadcaster and freelance writer for 25 years.

Granger removes "church" from its name

We’ve seen churches remove their denominational labels and even their crosses from their buildings before in order to attract new visitors, but removing the “church” label entirely is something new.  Making a fundamental shift in “how we do church,” the  mega-complex formerly known as Granger Community Church has announced it is dropping “church” from its name.  It’s part of the church’s, er, organization’s new project called The New Normal Project.

The organization’s leaders say that a building, after all, is not the Church, but people are. The leaders announced at its ReInnovate Conference that the new facility will now be known as Granger Commons. Leaders say the decision comes as a result of a vision and strategy to be more missional, and to help their people see their building as merely a “tool” for ministry rather than being the actual “church” itself.

Here is a Granger pastor explaining the change:

I noticed something very interesting in the above video as well as that New Normal Project link. Yes, the social media and marketing campaign is slick. But there is something missing.

The name of Jesus Christ.

Nowhere is He even mentioned. The omission of the Name above all Names leaves a huge, gaping hole.  No Gospel, no redemption, no hope.

Is it possible that I am spitting hairs over something that is not a big deal? Let me know. Maybe I’m crazy, but I thought Jesus regarded His Church as somewhat important.

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8 Responses to “Granger removes "church" from its name”

  1. Jason #

    SMH. These are the same people who brought us the I-Chair video. BTW, if no one has paid any attention, Mark Beeson is the brother-in-law of ultra-liberal Joel Hunter of Northland, A Church Distributed in the Orlando, FL area.

    September 26, 2012 at 7:37 AM Reply
    • eleanor #


      September 27, 2012 at 3:27 PM Reply
  2. Deb #

    Well, I did hear the guy say once something about Jesus' mission. Please correct me if I am wrong because I am a realtively new christian, but I don't recall reading or hearing any sermons regarding Jesus having an eatery, etc. I wonder if they will eventually have a little shopping mall? Sheesh! Talk about emergent seeker friendly "church" (oh, sorry, I guess the word "church" is not okay anymore in relation to buildings). God help us all!

    September 26, 2012 at 7:49 AM Reply
  3. Christine #

    I don't believe that your concern is unnecessary at all! In fact, judging from past experience re: Emergent church, etc., you know it's going to go downhill after that don't you?…it'll get more and more liberal until anything remotely Christian is rid off completely – just give it another say 10 years…no no 5, or maybe 2…or less. What a shame, but, not surprising.

    September 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM Reply
  4. Dilution of quality and deterioration of great works begins just like this,sort of innocently,the next thing you hear THE Name Jesus is no longer necessary or hell is a negative and should not be mentioned or something

    September 27, 2012 at 7:40 AM Reply
  5. Dewey Adams #

    He said "Jesus" and specifically that the "church" (the people) were going to use the building and facilities to serve the community and love their neighbors as He commanded.

    As someone who attended a "mega church" when I lived in Columbia, SC I can attest that they are not much different than any other church. Some are sound Bible teaching churches and some are more life affirmation centers. Honestly, I think its more up to the people attending the church to keep the church accountable and to follow God's way. I left the "large" city of Columbia for a much smaller town 5 years ago and it wasn't until I ended up in a smaller church that needed each member to actively serve that I noticed how I had treated my church in Columbia like a country club. That is reflective of me and a sin that I allowed into my life not any indication on the church.There is but one Christ, but Paul wrote that he "made himself all things to all people" as indicative of the way you must reach people for Christ. The message must always be the same: "Love God, Love others." the ways in which that manifests itself can be numerous.

    September 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM Reply
  6. Visitor #

    Jesus never commanded "Go out and name buildings after me!" I did read He commanded "Go and make disciples" so I think if this makes the building more accessible to the community, shows the love of Christ, and if it's people and pastors clearly seek to emulate and follow the example of Jesus- more power to them. Go and see before you get too far along in your judgement. I visited last week. :)

    June 26, 2014 at 9:34 PM Reply
  7. Johnathan #

    I've never been to a Granger Community Church service that hasn't been centered around Jesus and his true teachings (&commandments). In fact, Granger talks about Jesus and his true commandments more than some of the other smaller churches that I have attended. Unlike some mega churches, Granger actually does preach the gospel in it's entirety and believes that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ. They're obsessed with Jesus and his true teachings at Granger and are committed to spreading Jesus and his entire gospel to ALL PEOPLE (even those who would typically not set foot in a church building). The name of building has been changed, but not the identity, values, and mission of the church (which IS the people). While GCC's methods are deemed "non-traditional", their messages are extremely conservative (not a typical combination). Just because it's a big church that brings many many seekers in does not mean they are preaching their own version of the gospel in order to do this.'While sadly seeker driven churches do that, Granger is thankfully not even close to being one of them. They preach the true gospel to the best of ther best ability, and just like any other church they're a group of HUMANS who all fall short of the glory of god. The building's name change was done in the name of Jesus. The church is still known as Granger Community Church and the word "Church" is absolutely still a part of GCC's vocabulary. Love to you all :) just setting your rightfully concerned minds at ease. The misconceptions about Granger are understandable, because other church's of their size and methods have unfortunately caused a "negative" stereotype to made, I'm just letting you know that they're misconceptions.

    December 30, 2014 at 11:51 PM Reply

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