What’s in a Name?

Coming up with names is not my strong suit–just ask my children.  Just kidding!  They each have beautiful names, thanks to their mother.  I guess what I’m really not very good at is giving something a title or a designation.  It is there that I lack creativity.  And that’s why I enlisted some help to name our publishing ministry, One Story Ministries.  Even then, when you want a name that will describe what you are all about, one that will stick in people’s mind for more than just a few seconds, and one that does not already have its own website…well, you get the idea.

The credit (or the blame, depending on your perspective) for the name One Story Ministries goes to my younger brother, Josh.  He’s a long time Youth Pastor, so it makes sense that he is the much more creative brother.  After we bounced around our vision and purpose for countless hours, One Story Ministries ended up fitting perfectly, for a number of reasons (other than it has not been used by someone else, as far as we can tell!):

1.  STORY.  At first, this part of the name was problematic for me.  A story can often make people think of something that is made-up or just a myth.  Yet, the proper definition of “story” is: “a narrative designed to instruct the reader.”  So the Bible is certainly that, as all its various genres work together to give us a story, or narrative about God and His mighty works.  Therefore, since all of our curricula and resources were to be grounded in God’s Word, then it made sense to use the name STORY to focus the attention on the entirety of the Bible.  That led us to the next part of the naming process…

2.  ONE STORY.  Children and youth are used to hearing “Bible stories.”  They often begin life with a cute little Bible story book–filled with fuzzy animals and smiling people, of course–that is read to them by their parents at bedtime.  While there is nothing wrong with these sorts of  reading materials, they may lead one to come to believe that the Bible is simply a collection of disconnected stories.  So here’s where the idea of ONE story came in.  When the Bible is read, interpreted, and taught correctly, it is must be understood as ONE STORY from Genesis to Revelation.  This ONE STORY is the story of redemption and salvation in Jesus Christ.  Therefore, all the individual stories in Scripture are simply part of the overall story of redemption, pointing to Jesus and connecting in Him.

3.  ONE STORY, REVISITED.  At the time of this naming process, in God’s good providence, I was reading Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey.  In a profound way, she writes about who people, even Christians, often lapse into a “two story” view of truth, with “objective facts” residing on the first story and “subjective faith” relegated to the lesser, second story.  Her conclusion (apologies for the oversimplification) is that a Christian worldview alone offers a “one story” view of truth–that all truth is God’s “total truth.”  So I liked how the idea of the One Story of redemption in Christ connected to the One Story view of Truth!

4.  ONE STORY MINISTRIES.  Yes, we could have called ourselves “One Story Publishers” or “One Story Press.”  But “ministries”” captures the idea that we are a church-based institution seeking to serve other churches, families, and Christian schools with our materials.  We are also not-for-profit, desiring to get our resources in people’s hands for the lowest cost possible.  Finally, we are also a ministry because we are all about trying our best, by His grace, to extend God’s Kingdom in this world, giving glory to Him alone as we serve other people.

So there you have the “short story” of the name One Story Ministries.  It seems to have suited us well so far in these three years we have been up and running.  Hopefully, it sums up what we are all about, as well as stirs up an interest in people’s minds to find out more about our curriculum and other Biblical resources!


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