- Why did GBIM change its name?
We concluded that our current name, which served us well for several decades, was not communicating well with the younger generation we are mobilizing, and was creating unnecessary barriers to our ministries in resistant areas of the world.
- Who made the decision to change the name?
The Board of Directors, elected by our Corporation Members, unanimously approved the decision to change our name.
- How was the name chosen?
Extensive research and interviews were conducted with current staff, pastors, and prospective missionaries to identify how they perceived GBIM. This led to a reaffirmation of our vision, mission and values, and revealed the strengths in our organization. It also revealed areas where we are taking steps to grow. Out of this research we developed a set of names chosen for their potential to reinforce our ethos. After narrowing down the possibilities, the final list was checked for potential legal trademark conflicts and was extensively tested with our current and future target audiences.
- Why is the legal name now “The Grace Trust”?
During our recent Corporation Meeting in Wooster, OH (July 2011), our membership voted to change our legal name from The Foreign Missionary Society of the Grace Brethren Church to The Grace Trust. Perhaps you are aware that our global movement is known as charis, which is the Greek word for grace. When we adopted The Grace Trust as our legal name, we intended to send a strong signal of our ongoing identification with the Grace Brethren movement within the USA and around the world. With the subsequent change of our dba (doing business as) to Encompass World Partners, we believe we are now well positioned to simultaneously celebrate our rich heritage while moving forward with an aggressive commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission.
- Who was involved in the process?
A cross-disciplinary team of current staff, pastors and other supporters provided input. Additionally, extensive research was conducted with groups of aspiring global workers.
- How were GBIM staff and FGBC churches involved in the process?
Our team conducted interviews with dozens of current GBIM staff and FGBC leaders to gain their input into the process. Later, close to 1000 of our constituents participated in an online survey to assist us in sifting through the best name candidates. Our final choice was the overall favorite of those who participated in the online survey.
- Why did we hire an outside brand consultant?
A consistent piece of advice we received from other organizations that have changed their name was to seek the assistance of others. To utilize expertise that we do not have among our staff, we sought the help of a consultant who is an expert in branding research, strategy, and best practices. The CSK Group has been our partner through this process and has helped us develop a strategy that enabled us to better understand and articulate our organizational vision, mission and values.
- Encompass World Partners doesn’t directly reference Christianity. Why was it chosen?
The absence of an overtly Christian name was intentional. We needed a name that was flexible. GBIM was too overtly Christian for us to gain access to countries hostile to freedom of religion and the Word of God. Additionally, Encompass World Partners permits us to strategically respond to questions about our organization’s goals and ministries. While Grace Brethren International Missions often presented barriers to dialoguing with non-believers, Encompass World Partners will allow our field staff to tailor our organizational story based on the audience they are trying to reach.
- Doesn’t Grace Brethren International Missions have name recognition, and won’t it be hard to gain that in another name?
GBIM has strong recognition among those who are familiar with our organization. But those who are new to the organization, including prospective missionaries, are unlikely to engage with a name that may potentially feel exclusive. We believe that Encompass World Partners will connect well with our current staff and supporters while increasing a sense of connection and interest among new potential partners.
- What does Encompass World Partners mean?
- Where can I go for more information?
We are happy to answer your questions! Please contact