Remember when denominational names were en vogue? Remember when you could figure out which denominational church came to the city first: First Methodist; First Baptist; First Presbyterian? Remember when you could tell two churches that split: Harmony Baptist Church and Greater Harmony Baptist Church?
Those days are gone. But what has not changed is that many churches have commonalities in names. In their attempts to be different, they have become common. I went to social media and to Church Answers to learn from my community about church names. Their responses were both fascinating and funny.
- “Point” has become ubiquitous. LifePoint. CrossPoint. Add an “e” to be fancy: GracePointe; LifePointe; CrossPointe.
- “Life” has a new life: Life Church; Real Life; New Life; LifePoint or LifePointe (see above).
- Tim Keller put Redeemer back into vogue. Both Redeemer and Redemption get a lot of love.
- City Church, usually with another name in front of it. These churches can be found in the city, suburbs, and the country.
- Christ Church. It’s simple and popular.
- Five biggies the past ten years: Journey, Bridge, Foundry, Mosaic, and Generation.
- Cross has made a surge. Cross Church. Cross Fellowship. Cross Roads. CrossPoint or CrossPointe (see above).
- Simple Church. Sorry, that was a book (available at LifeWay.com).
- Meaningful names. Impact. Potential. Epic. Transformation. Renovation. Innovate.
- Fellowship can be found in almost any town. It usually has other words, but sometimes it’s just Fellowship Church.
- Grace. Especially in the Reformed churches.
- Many churches like the new factor: New Life. New Hope. New Song. New Now (I made up the one). NewPoint. NewPointe (see above).
- Moving on up. Elevate. Vertical. Summit.
- Not English. Pick a Greek or Latin name you remember from seminary. Eklessia. Ecclessia. Koinonia. Agape. Many others.
What are some contemporary church names you could add? Got any funny examples? Let me hear from you.
Posted on June 18, 2018
With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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One of Lincoln’s churches which my wife and I attended started of as Lincoln AOG Church, a pentecostal church. It later became known as Evangel Church, remained using the name until months after joining together with a charismatic church, changed the name to New Life Christian Fellowship.
The leadership later changed the name to New Life Church and finally after revamping the name called itself Alive Church.
Before the merger, it was affiliated to the Assemblies of God, left the AOG after naming itself NLCF, became part of the Restoration Movement but still a charismatic church, then the leaders changed course to become part of an apostolic movement network of churches.
It uses all sorts of descriptive terminology as shown on the One Event for 2018 here on https://www.one-event.org.uk/
In the past, organised Marches for Jesus, held a vision in taking the city for Jesus, once prayed for the city with other church ministers, had an evangelistic team that prayed for people in the city centre – sang songs praising the Lord – gave personal testimonies -encouraging people who listened – and preached the message of the Gospel. This was disbanded due to being considered obsolete and people were expected and invited to attend church services and meetings.
Entertainment, and an emphasis on “revival” whether local or global, appear to be spotlighted!
I find it interesting how so many times we get all up in arms over church names. Do we have the denomination associated with our name or do we leave it out? I do agree that it is important that we remain true to the heritage of our denomination, but sometimes that can become a long name. For instance, if your name was Anytown Community Church of the Nazarene it is natural to just say you go to Anytown Community Church or ACC. You can still have the “of the Nazarene” (or Baptist or Free Methodist or whatever other denomination) on your signs, letterhead, etc. We need to not get all up in arms about things like this and truly focus on winning people to Christ. #nufsaid
Ours was the ubiquitous “First Assembly of God”. Since there is only on AG church in our town of 2500, it’s obvious we’re first. So we just added the word “Grace” and by so doing, repurposed the word “First”. Now we’re GRACE FIRST Assembly of God.
I can’t wait to see the “Matthew 71 Don’t Pointe” church.
I was on staff at a church called “The King’s Place.” Most of the other churches in town thought that was a bit presumptuous.
I’m very concerned with the proliferation of Baptist Churches that take the word ‘Baptist’ out of their name. Seems like false advertising. Even my own church is referred to as ‘First _________’ Baptist & Church have been removed. No announcement it just happened. Also, seems to be the thing now to refer to ‘Life Groups’ and Sunday School has disappeared. Also Bro Thom, take a look at church websites, I do. Of the top ten SBC Churches six do not directly mention God or prayer on their home page, just activities, events, and ‘life together’. Seems like most of us are using the same church consultants, and that is very sad and dangerous.
Saw one the other day called, “Watermark Church”. Still trying to figure that one out.
Dr. Junior Hill said, “If the bottle is empty, it really doesn’t matter what the label says.”
They sound like fancy schmancy subdivisions. Not saying it’s wrong, just sayin’
Driving through a town in Texas years ago and I saw the “Apostolic Pentecostal Holiness Church of God in Christ with Fire and Signs Following.” At least one would know what to expect on the inside.
This new trend of misleading people by removing the word church (and especially “Baptist”) is as appealing as a grocery store aisle full of can goods without any labels.
Driving through a town in Texas years ago and I saw the “Apostolic Pentecostal Holiness Church of God in Christ with Fire and Signs Following.”
“Life” church names everywhere! My city has Life on every corner!
in Miami the Vous is a very popular new church. Rich Wilkerson is the pastor.
they have 5 services and reach a very young adult, artsy type of congregation.