As a church, we’ve been known as the ‘Jesus Army’ since 1987. It grew out of a desire to be Christians living as ‘soldiers’, fighting in the spiritual war (e.g. in Ephesians 6:10-17).
To quote a blog post, written in 2016 on this topic, “We find ourselves in a world that’s increasingly globally connected. People are sick of militarism, especially of the religious kind. Since the turn of the 21st century events like 9/11, continued wars in the Middle East and the rise of global jihad have shifted public perception.
“Closer to home the warlike language used by some religious politicians confuses and alienates curious unbelievers who love Jesus, the prince of peace.”
Over the years, the connotations of being an ‘army’ have become a bit dated, and don’t really express where we are as a church anymore. So we have been talking for a while about changing the name. There were many suggestions but none of them seemed right.
We have now come to a decision, having looked at what’s most important to us – our love for Jesus and our love for each other and those we meet. We’re going to stick to our original name “Jesus Fellowship Church”.
We’re not so much the militant army of Jesus, fighting the darkness in organised prayerful combat at the moment, but we are wanting more of Jesus, belonging to Him and in Him we are working out our fellowship and belonging together as His church. We are the Jesus Fellowship Church, working out our love for each other and those around us.
– From the National Leadership Team