What's in a church name?

You've seen them, you may attend one on Sunday mornings. The latest trend is to have a really cool name for your church. After being in and around different types of ministries over the last 15 years it gets more noticeable the way we follow trends. Even the trends of not following trends. This has even affected the way we name our gathering places or the name of the group of people congregating in the name of Jesus. I think maybe these groovy names for churches came about as a reaction to to the folks outside the church walls who had become indifferent to names like 1st Baptist, or ST John's or Antioch Methodist. Maybe the new church name movement came about as a way of assigning identity to that particular group of people. It may have been as well a breaking away of religious typology. Whatever the reason now the hottest thing going that I have noticed is to name your church with one word. Not two, just one word. Something that is catchy on a bumper sticker and you have to have Macbook generated graphics as well. The names usually have to do with looking or lifting up, or where we are going or it may be some cool Latin word that you have to look up to find out what it means.

Tammy and I were driving through a small town here in NC and we spotted another one today. I got to thinking about what I would name my church. I told Tammy that Fire Hydrant church might be good with the obvious hell quenching motif, but then realized that wouldn't work because it is two words. She agreed.

So I got brainstorming so here is my list for my fictional hipster groovy community fellowship.

  1. ichurch- But we all know there is no I in church and I'd hate to get sued by Steve Jobs
  2. Tree Church- Sounds kind of cool and if it was a Walnut tree would account for all the nuts I'd probably attract
  3. Up Church- But that sounds too much like Up-Chuck and would not be good for obvious reasons
  4. Shrute Church- This would be a place that all lovers of The Office could come and worship and then tend the community beet farm, plus it would be a really cool bumper sticker
  5. Gomorrah Church- Hmmmmm? Nope, attendance would be a problem
  6. Reaction Church- Obviously we'd have political sermons every week and there would be all kinds of classes on how to make placards for all the protests that we'd go to.
  7. Oatmeal Church- No brown sugar, no butter....just oatmeal
  8. Crossfit Church- Now we are getting somewhere....the workouts would crush the devil out of people
  9. Airborne Church- This would be held in the back of a c-130 every week, we'd pray and then jump....the leap of faith illustrations would be awesome!
  10. Mossy Oak Church- I know its two words, but having everyone wearing mossy oak camo each week would be very cool. 
I guess my favorite name for church would be the one that Jesus said, he said it was His church. We belong to Him; all of us in these fragmented bodies, some that are mega and some that are minuscule. Whether we come together We are His. In spite of all of our deficiencies, Jesus has seen fit to include people in His Kingdom and meeting together and expressing love for and enjoying fellowship with each other is a good thing. Church means ones who are called out, out of darkness into light, out of slavery into freedom, and out of death into life. No matter what you call it that is a good thing.

Till next time


Jim Pemberton said…
Perhaps it's cool when the name of your church starts with "The" and just drop "Church" altogether:

Jane: "What church do you go to?"

Joe: "I go to 'The Grove'"


For myself, I think it's cool (and interestingly confusing) to name a church after the road it was on at it's previous location.

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