In the summer of 1980, our founders wrote these words about the name of their new organization:
“We decided to settle on [the name] Church Resource Ministries … We felt we could always change somewhere in the future if necessary.”
When the CRM Communications team discovered this early document while in the beginning stages of our organizational rebrand project, we knew we were on the right track. We knew that it was time to make a change. Today, 38 years after that originating document, we are beyond excited to share with you that as of January 2019, we will have a new name.
Now, if you're a "just the facts" type, or if you're in a big hurry, feel free to zoom down to the bottom of this letter to get the specifics. But if you've got a minute or two, we'd like to share with you a little bit about how we got here...
The last few years have seen an increasing level of alignment and collaboration that reaches across the organization. CRM staff—including those in our InnerCHANGE, ChurchNEXT, and Ethne divisions—have always been involved in a wide variety of ministry activities and this continues today. But what has changed is a growing focus on a core set of goals that we call the five components of gospel movement. These five things are prayer, evangelism and discipleship, leadership development, church forming, and cultural transformation. When pursued as an integrated strategy, we believe these five elements form a critical launch pad for hope and transformation through Jesus.
In addition to this growing sense of alignment within, we have also had to admit that our name, Church Resource Ministries (aka CRM), was not helping us to communicate what we do or who we are. In fact, for many of our staff and ministry partners, it was creating confusion rather than clarity. We could provide some examples, but we’re pretty sure you are already nodding in agreement, right?
So with all that in mind, we got to work on finding our new name. We spent a year doing what organizations normally do when they plan to “rebrand.” We looked at our history and our mission. We analyzed our distinctives and explored our vision for the future. But before we started all that, we gathered our team together to spend time in prayer, listening for what God might want to say to us as we began.
One thing we heard during those times was the reminder that a new name can be a powerful witness to a new future. Whether it is Abram and Sarai, Jacob, Simon the fisherman, or Saul, the Bible is full of stories of people whose lives were transformed when God gave them new names. In prayer, we recognized the gravity of this moment in our history, and together we committed to listen for God’s direction throughout the process.
In the end, we believe that God did provide a solution and confirmed it through the voices of many others; CRM staff and leaders, our board of directors, and a variety of outside consultants all joined together to affirm the new identity.
So, what is this new direction? We’re glad you asked!
Once we finished the research phase of our process, we collected everything and began to look for names that would reflect what we learned. One of the discoveries was that there are two concepts that uniquely capture many of our organizational distinctives: creativity and redemption.
By creativity, we mean “our passion to take bold risks, launch new ventures, and discover innovative paths toward what we long to see.” By redemption, we mean “our commitment to see individuals, communities, and nations transformed by the good news of Jesus.” Creative risk-takers dedicated to the work of God’s redemption in the world—that’s who we are!
This led us at last to a Latin word that means “to renew, to renovate, to make new” which is where we finally found our new name: Novo
Novo is a band of creative missionaries
sent to multiply movements of the gospel
and mobilize the church for mission
around the world.
Here’s a short video that we made to help us tell the story.
So that’s the end of this story, but the beginning of a brand new chapter in our history, one that we are deeply excited about. We can’t wait to see what God has in store!
Here's what's next: You’ll begin to see a few changes in our materials and online presence right away as we move into our transition period, but our official public change won’t happen until late January 2019. At that point, our new website (novo.org) will come online, and our printed and online materials will fully reflect the new name.
If you support us financially, here are some quick tips:
- If you write checks, you are welcome to use either Novo or CRM. Both will continue to be valid moving forward.
- If you give online, our website will not change until January 2019. When our new website goes live in late January, you'll still be able to access the giving pages at crmleaders.org/give or at our new address novo.org/give
- Any recurring gifts will transfer without interruption.
- Starting in January 2019, receipts for gifts and other communications from us will be sent under the name Novo, so keep an eye out for the change. This will be true for both email and printed communications.
- We will show up on your bank and credit card statement as “Novo/CRM” for at least the first year after the change.
- The year-end receipt for 2018 giving will be branded as both CRM and Novo.
That's all for now! Thanks for your support. We’d love to hear what you think. Write us with comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.