My name is Ken Braddy. I teach a group of adults at my church. If I wanted to get real cute, I could call the group of adults I teach “The Braddy Bunch.” It would probably generate a grin when someone new discovers my group as an option among Bible study choices. But would that be the best name for my group? Should I pick something different? Or is “The Braddy Bunch” good enough? The answer is, “No – don’t call the group ‘The Braddy Bunch.'” But why is the answer no? Here are 3 reasons why you need to pay attention to your group’s name:
- The name of the group should give guests a clue about who the class is designed to reach. Names like The Dorcas Class, Willing Workers, the Williams Class, or The Parlor Class don’t tell guests whether or not they’d fit in those groups.
- The name of the group reminds me (and my group members) who we are commissioned to reach. The name of my group is Empty Nest Adults. We are a life-stage driven Sunday School, and my group members are constantly reminded that we exist to reach a particular demographic – adults who have grown children who are in college, out of the home, or perhaps married. We know exactly who we are commissioned to reach.
- If guests (and church greeters) aren’t clear on which class a family should attend, chances are the guests won’t fit into the group they visit and will become “short termers.” The worst thing you could do to a guest is to take them to the wrong Bible study group and waste their time. People are looking to connect with others who are at a similar age and life stage. Taking guests to the wrong group costs them time and effort, and they may not give your church a second chance to impress them. Guests must get to the group where they have “demographic compatibility,” to use a phrase coined by my friend Allan Taylor.
So, check the name of your group and make sure it describes accurately who your group is supposed to reach. The name feeds the mission.
And if YOU don’t give it a name, someone will call your group something of their choosing, and you may not like their “label”.