Should a Church Replant Change Its Name?

Episode #018
December 7, 2017
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Conventional wisdom may say “change the name, start fresh.” Today, we explain why that often is bad advice.

Today’s Listener Question:


In a replanting situation, should we rebrand the church and change the name?

Episode Highlights:

  • When you change the name of a church, it typically gets changed to something generic and nondescript.
  • Quick fixes may change the results, but they typically don’t change the heart of the people in your church.
  • There aren’t any easy pathways to church replanting.
  • Changing a church’s name shouldn’t be the first thing you run to in a replant.
  • Christ will never give up on us. What Christ has started in us, He will finish.
  • It takes a lot of work to reclaim with a community the name of a dying or dead church.
  • Want to change the perception of your church in the community? Serve the community with abandon.

The five reasons you might not want to change a name are:

  1. Conventional wisdom is not always wise.
  2. The unchurched community is not easily fooled.
  3. Shutting the church down in does not ensure a good restart.
  4. A better approach is to reclaim the name.
  5. The remaining members need to gain a new heart toward the community and one another.

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

Revitalize & Replant is sponsored by the North American Mission Board and More than 10% of churches in North America are at risk of closing and the North American Mission Board is committed to reversing this trend by decreasing the death rate of existing churches while simultaneously increasing the birth rate of new churches. To learn more about what it means to become a replanting pastor or to explore resources for replanting and revitalization in your own church, visit

Submit Your Question:

Do you have a question about church revitalization or replanting for us to use on the podcast? Visit the podcast page to submit your question. If we use it on the show, you’ll get a copy of Autopsy of a Deceased Church and Reclaiming Glory.