One of my first experiences with change in a church environment happened when I was in high school. For as far back as I could remember—and let’s be honest, that wasn’t very far—our high school church environment was called Power Source. Power Source was the place where I watched the upper classmen hang out. Power Source was the place we talked about at school with our friends, “Are you coming to Power Source tonight?” It was, for me, like the name of McDonald’s, AMC or Six Flags. So, when a new youth minister came in and changed the name to K2, I was rebellious. Why change it? It was perfectly fine the way it was. There was no way this new name was going to catch on, and I certainly wasn’t going to invite a friend to come to something called K2.
This fall some of you may be feeling the same way. When you open your curriculum, you will see that we have renamed one of our most valued ideas. In place of the word “virtue” you will begin to see the term “Life App.” But to spare you some angst, let me walk you through this with just a few lessons I learned from my youth minister.
A new name can help you refocus and remind people about what matters.
252 Basics has always been about the idea of connecting kids to the STORY and CHARACTER of God—and we still are.
Virtues have given 252 a daily life application of that idea.
(Of course, if you’ve been around for a REALLY long time, you may remember that 252 has used other names for this idea in the past.)
Some churches use other names for this same idea—like “Big Idea” or “Application.”
Here’s the thing, over time there is a tendency for us to forget the meaning behind a name.
That’s one thing that had happened with the name Power Source. The name probably started after a really powerful youth camp based on Philippians 4:13. The original group must have seen the Power Source banner over our youth area and been reminded of a specific message and experience. Over time, while the name didn’t change, its meaning diminished for its intended audience.
In the same way, changing the name “virtue” to “life app” could provide you with an opportunity to refocus. You can remind those that you serve what this idea really is all about.
Sometimes it’s just time for something new.
This almost sounds too simple. But it’s true.
Think about it this way: How many of you saw the name Power Source and immediately guessed my age? The truth is, that name may sound a little dated. (Today, K2 may sound dated as well, but this was in the era when everything needed to have a number in it or have a super cool new spelling.)
And it worked.
In spite of my adolescent cynicism, K2 caught on.
And guess what?
It was relevant.
We’re not saying that “Life App” is necessarily more relevant than “virtue” in your area—but maybe it is.
What we are saying is that it might be time for something new simply because it’s new. At reThink, we are always looking for new and more relevant ways to package what is timeless so that we can capture the imagination of the next generation.
So, that’s what I learned about change from my youth pastor. I hope that it helps as you open your 252 curriculum this fall.
But there’s one more thing.
Unlike my youth group . . .
YOU don’t actually have to make a switch.
Some of you will inevitably read this and know that the word virtue still works for you. Your staff, your volunteers, and your families know what it means. It isn’t dated (maybe this is your first year with 252 and the word virtue is still really new). Here’s some good news: you don’t have to change anything. This is part of the beauty of having an editable curriculum. You can still use 252 Basics and never say the word “life app.” You can still embrace Orange and teach virtues. There’s nothing taboo about the word (sometimes we still even use the word in our creative meetings). We simply want you to continue to look for ways to help kids discover who God is, and understand how knowing and trusting Him will lead to transformation.