By: Helana Mulder, senior reporter
Church in the Box, one of the most popular traditions at Redeemer, is getting a new name. You may ask why the decision would be made to change the name of something so well-known at Redeemer. Amy Steiginga, one of this year’s chairs of Church in the Box, answered some questions that students raised when the decision to change the name was announced at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
Q: Why did you decide to change the name?
A: This is definitely not a decision we made blindly. It is something we have prayed about and talked to many leaders on campus about—namely, Josiah, Dr. Herfst, past CITB leaders, marketing. Our reasoning behind changing it is that it does not capture where we are as well as another name could—though CITB does capture where it has come from.
Over the past few years, there have been many misunderstandings as to what CITB is, based off of the name. “Is CITB the campus church?” “What does it mean that it is in a box?” That is why we think it is time for a new name that better captures who we are.
Q: What were some of the responses that you received after it was announced that the name would be changed?
A: One concern we heard from people was that a new name would not honour the history of CITB and how far it has come. To this we would respond with saying that when we introduce CITB to those who are unfamiliar with it, we explain where it has come from anyways, even though the name represents that history; if people do not know what CITB is, they also don’t know what the black box is.
Also, how far CITB has come in numbers is not a focus of ours as we would rather see fifty people who are fully devoted to praising God and encouraging one another, than have 400 people attend because they enjoy it and it’s a fun thing to do. So as much as the history and seeing where God has brought it is really cool, it is not our main focus. Our main focus is the fact that we are gathering as a body of believers to worship and encourage one another, to serve and to be refreshed—no matter the size or location.
We also had a lot of people in support of the name change! We heard many people—students, alumni, and staff/faculty—say that it was time for another name for CITB. Many support it because of the “church” portion of the name: though we are a body of believers worshiping together as a Church, we are ultimately not a church. We even get letters that are addressed “To the pastor of Church In The Box”. We also do not want students prioritizing going to CITB over their own church. It is so important to invest into a church family at all stages of life, even as a busy student, so we would rather you either go to your own church Sunday morning or go to both your church and CITB—not just CITB. This was an opinion that many people shared when we announced the change.
Q: What do you hope the new name will bring to CITB?
A: Less confusion. More accuracy and accountability. We understand that change can be hard. We also understand that it will take a while for this transition to happen, but that does not mean that it should not happen. We hope that people understand that the new name is simply better capturing what we are doing within CITB.
Q: Have you decided on a new name?
A: Not yet! We are in the process and using our resources. We would therefore appreciate everyone’s prayers as we discern what the new name should be.
Church in the Box is a part of Redeemer’s community that many students have come to love. The CITB team hopes to more accurately capture what they are pursuing with this on-campus ministry through a carefully and prayerfully decided upon name-change.