Background is more a description of how we want to function than an organization name.
For each local ministry we partner with, God has already given a calling to a place or a people. Our desire is to come alongside what God has called them to do and help how we can. Basically, be in the background.
We’ve also seen stories—because they are so natural—blend in the background in hard to reach places. People who have been resistant to Christianity find themselves comfortably talking about God when a story is presented over a meal or sitting under a tree or walking a few miles on a road or… well, think of any setting Jesus taught in.
I wish I could say all this was in mind when coming up with the name. It wasn’t. I was in Central America. I had all the paperwork filled out to register the ministry, which had to be done once I returned to the US the next day, but I still didn’t know what to call it! I had pages of name ideas, but none were right, so I just kept walking a trail the last night in-country, waiting for one of the names to start glowing or for a lizard to walk up to the right name on the paper or to find some writing on the riverbank, none of which happened.
Finally I yelled ‘God, this is so stupid! I don’t care what it’s called! I just want to be in the background of what you’re doing and not screw it up…’ Twenty-four hours later the paperwork was filed as ‘Background Partners’—be in the background and partner with God. Simple.
When I asked a graphic designer friend for logo ideas, he sat me down for an hour to hear the vision. A week later he shared a few ideas with me, and they all stunk. All were kind of bold colors and corporate feeling fonts with abstract swooshes or an overly Christian-ese look. He realized we were disconnected in a major way after my fifth, “Oh, wow, um…” I told him none of them worked.
So he pulled out a final page buried in his backpack. “Well, this is a different one. I didn’t spend much time on it, so it’s just a doodle, but one of the stories you shared stuck with me…” PERFECT!
In most of the places we serve, church is literally a few people sitting under a tree talking about Jesus.