It was my freshman year of college. I sat in the English 101 writing class, never dreaming at that point that I would be the author of three books someday. My writing skills at that point in my life barely got me through high school. The professor asked about previous writing experiences. I told him of mine in high school and said, “The main problem with my writing is that I write like I talk.” After hearing me say a few sentences, I got the idea that the professor agreed with me.
One of the assignments was to write a short story on the meaning of our names. My first and middle name was easy as they are biblical names. James means brotherly, and David means beloved. The last name took some research. One derivation of the name, the source stated was that Waddell came from a mustard plant in Scotland called the “Wadel.” My conclusion to the paper was that James David Waddell meant brotherly and beloved hot stuff. According to the grade assigned by the professor, I got the idea he was even in more agreement with the original summation of my writing skills.
In biblical times names were attributed to personalities. When bad times hit, Naomi (pleasant)
changed her name to Marah, which means bitter. Jacob’s name, which meant deceiver, was
changed to Israel, or “a man who wrestles with God.” This passion for names and meanings claimed one of the chapters of my first book, Characters of the Bible: Finding My Stories in Their Stories. The chapter is titled: “Jacob: Roll Call! What’s in a Name.” I have been intrigued throughout history with great names. My oldest son had a friend in junior high by the name of Justin Case. We had a doctor in Springfield, Missouri by the name of M.D. Bonebrake. A Texas governor with the last name Hogg christened his daughter with the name, Ima. It was this passion for names along with an enjoyment of puns that led me to study the different names of coffee shops in churches.
Here are a few that got my attention:
Holy Grounds Coffee House
When it comes to names for sports, recreation, and fitness centers in churches, I see a different tactic portrayed here. Most call themselves the Recreation Center. The facilities I worked with during my days as a practitioner had the names Activities Building, Family Life Center, Christian Life Center, and the last one I worked in was called the “ROC,” which stood for Recreation Outreach Center. So, what can the name “recreation center” tell us about the churches that house such facilities and ministry programs? Well, recreation comes from the Latin word recreatio, which means refreshes or restores. 1In that mindset, we program activities and events in a refresher center or center of restoration, which is a correct description of what we do. Through sports, recreation, and fitness ministry programs we offer the opportunity for the refreshment of what this life offers through the basics of the cathartic release of stress and the refreshment of our bodies improving in stature.
These ministry programs also serve to provide the hope of restoration through faith in Jesus Christ. Some of my early mentors would spell the word “re-creation.” They would point out the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that states, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” (New Living Translation) In 1993 the organization, Association of Church Sports and Recreation Ministers was created. In the time since that beginning, the name has stood for a group of people sold on serving and assisting the local church in providing leadership and resources for paid staff and volunteers serving Christ and their churches in sports, recreation, and fitness ministries. While some may see us as a “parachurch” organization, our mission has always been to support the local church body, which is why the word, “Church” appears in our name. It was our mission in 1993 and continues to be our mission in 2019. For more information on our vision, mission, and purpose, please visit www.csrm.org/history-and-what-we-believe.html. Please consider joining us in this mission with a gift of your time or a donation toward one of our ministry partners. You may find information on giving at www.csrm.org/donate.
1 McLean, D. D., Hurd, A.R., & Anderson, D.M. (2019). Kraus recreation and leisure in modern society (11 th ed.).
Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning
Professor David Waddell currently teaches at Ole Miss and is CSRM's Executive Director. He had a long tenure as a SR&F Outreach Minister at a local church in Memphis, Tennessee and has authored three books. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
His books can be ordered at: https://csrm.z2systems.com/np/clients/csrm/giftstore.jsp