When out little church started in 2012 we tossed around what we wanted to name her. 'The Gathering'? No, too horror movie-ish. 'The Ecclesia'? No, too theo-nerdish. 'The Sheepfold? Nope too cringey..
In the end someone said 'why don't we just call the her "the church at Willowburn"' So we did. It was simple. It flowed off the tongue and it was geographical - it was the suburb where we met. And, as an added bonus, it showed the church was connected to a bigger church...the church at Corinth, the church at Ephesus, the church at...Willowburn.
No fancy shmancy name just a simple 'the church at Willowburn'.
Then we moved.
We were no longer at the suburb of Willowburn. After a few moments of panic (what are going to do with all our 'willowburn' tagged social media) we consulted our dictionaries and found out that 'willow' refers to a tree that grows near ample water and 'burn' is Scottish for 'little stream'. Happy days... We could still call ourselves 'Willowburn Church' except now we could be extra-spiritual and our name could handily refer to being like a tree planted by a little stream... very much like the reference in a 2500 year old bible book called Jeremiah:
‘But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought' (Jeremiah 17:8)
That's it. That's us. The little church by the stream: 'Willowburn Church'