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.
More from Thom
I realize this post has some mileage on it. I used to follow(2011-13?) your blog by another name that escapes me at the moment. I lost contact as we were missionaries in very rural Paraguay, South America. This post is so dead on and entertaining. I linked to it from a post of my own. That particular post is satire. In it my satirical company has just planted a new church called Pointe:Point. Pointing people to Jesus because Jesus is the point. I am excited to get caught back up with you writing,
There was a Winner’s Circle Church here. I assumed they had materialistic a outlook, sort of like the old Yuppy’s attitude.
There was also a Cowboy Church with an Old West motif and attitude, good values.
Anyway, the info is rather cutting-edge, so just like it.
Salvage. Like as in trash.
I just read all the posts about church names and it seems that the term tabernacle or temple is evidently way out of vogue. I pioneered a church in Wyoming in the 80’s and we called it Newcastle (city name) Evangelistic Temple. The acronym was N.E.T. so NET church is what we became known as. Our signs and logos showed Christ casting a net. It showed our heart for the lost and was an effective name.
Saw a Church in Detroit called “Chain-Breakers” Deliverance Church……
Traveling through northwest Arkansas, I stopped to take a picture of a sign; Fishback Regular United Baptist Church.
Does Second Chance Fellowship Ministries work for a new church?
You forgot the “Gathering” whatever … place, church etc at (city)
I am concerned about the number of people who find it necessarily manditory to include the denomination’s name on local church signage. It is often these very ones who are sitting in dying churches and its their attitudes that are driving away young people and stymieing growth. The naming of the local church is not essential to the maintenance of one’s salvation. But it can be essential to the evangelization of the unsaved. If they’re denominational name is working and the church is growing from conversion; then by all means keep the name. If the church is in decline, do anything that is not sinful, anti-scriptural or amoral to win people to the Lord. Even though I pastor a church with more traditional music, white ceilings and my children and grandchildren are in service with us… if they were not with us, I had rather dim the lights, paint the ceiling black, install smoke machines and stage lights if it would allow me to attract my lost children and grandchildren. to hear the tone and negative attitude of these folks causes me to be ashamed of the generation to which I belong!
its based on lies to trick people in and wrong. imagine a school named christ school. then you find its teaching your children tongues or its catholic or mormon or the moonies. the title keeps it honest. also some places say womens group and then they start attacking other faiths or tell you to get baptized at the group. you only wanted a secular moms group and wasted your day… its based on denying christ and he will deny you to his father. lies and tricks are not the gospel. better to open the doors to free meals and have the name jesus church on the sign. now thats evangelism..
Great post Thom. Nearly all the research we find is that every church should look for the best name possible, as your virtual domain home is, in our day, as important as physical real estate, and often that means a .church .org or something other than .com. GoDaddy has a number but afternic and uniregistry have great sites for churches.
I agree that taking “Baptist” out of the name often leaves the lost wondering what the church actually believes.
Baptists have a heritage. Are we becoming to “modern” that we have lost our foundations?
So many of the “store front” churches are “Revolution Church” – “Awaken Church” – etc., one wonders who owns the church and what it represents.
One church I know with a “contemporary” name recently bought a large shopping center. One wonders who owns it; word is it is registered in the preacher’s name.
When will we get back to “business” like we should? One preacher said it well: “When the main thing is the main thing, the main thing will continue to be the main thing; but when the main thing is not the main thing, the main thing will be replaced with something else that becomes the main thing.”
Of course, he was referring to evangelism as being the “main thing” for which the church should exist. Discipleship (teaching) and fellowship (ministry) should follow.
The church cannot grow beyond the spirituality of the most spiritual couple or family in the church or the most evangelistic couple /family in the church.
Churches have to focus on touching lives. They grow like pyramids grow. One can’t expand the edifices until the bases are broadened. Churches have to be touching lives where there are lost people.
Is the church too far gone to reclaim its original (Acts 2: 42-7) purpose? Are the “vogue” names a reflection of that?
i sent my child to a baptist school as a catholic. now the name is called academy. sad. just to trick people in. denying christ.