How to name a church

Let’s pretend that you’re planting a new church.

If you’re a typical evangelical church plant in the United States, you’ve probably gathered together a few families and individuals in a community, and are meeting in homes, rented office buildings, or more commonly, a school building.

Hopefully, you’ve decided (and founded your church upon) sound doctrinal tenets and at least a few church leaders. Next comes a phase that’s perhaps even more difficult: naming your church. While there’s biblical precedent for the naming of animals, support for the naming of a church is scant.

Thankfully, we evangelicals (who are typically disoriented without written instruction) have found a way to remedy this. It’s really a rather simple process. Start with the list of words below:

  • Life
  • Community
  • Covenant
  • Creek
  • River
  • Chapel
  • Spirit
  • Grace
  • Faith
  • Calvary
  • Cross
  • Hope
  • Fellowship
  • Light
  • Redeemer
  • First
  • Road

Take any combination of the above words, in any order, and add them to your denominational (or lack thereof) preference, and tack on the word “Church.” Bingo. A brand new church name.

There will be outliers, of course—the Chevrolet Missionary Baptist Church I saw once driving through Harlan, Kentucky certainly didn’t fit the mold—but as a general rule, it works pretty well.

If you can think of any other church-name-words that I’ve missed, put them in the comments below.

Next week, we’ll look at how to name your subdivision.

10 replies on “How to name a church”

  1. Actually, to be really hip, you leave the nasty, offensive word church out entirely and call yourself a community or something equally Po-Mo.

    I liked our church name in St. Petersburg. You knew what you were getting — Christ the King Presbyterian Church.

  2. What about Journey….that seems to be popular these days in church plants!

    H

    P.S. You know there is a name for how they name neighborhoods, my mind is blank at the moment but basically something to do with making things sound woodsy, rural, peaceful, etc even if said subdivision is in the middle of a blustering city.

  3. I’m exposed to quite a bit of this with churches being planted or established churches changing their names. In fact, the denomination I work for has changed its name to Converge. I’m hoping to see some of the local churches and plants pick names like Covert, Divergence, and Extreme. It seems the word ‘baptist’ went out with the ’57 chevy.

  4. We’ve been getting a lot of “The Church at (insert name of community name within suburb)” and “(name of community withing suburb) Church” …

    For example, Firewheel Church or The Oaks or The Heights (Richardson Heights) or The Church at Rock Creek, etc.

  5. Heather Spencer-

    “You know there is a name for how they name neighborhoods, my mind is blank at the moment but basically something to do with making things sound woodsy, rural, peaceful, etc even if said subdivision is in the middle of a blustering city.”

    My wife and I were joking the other day that if they had truth-in-labeling laws in Florida, all of the subdivisions would be named “Sand Pit Estates,” “Scrub Oak Homes,” or “Swamp Gas Gables.” 😛

  6. Hey Jared,

    This is so wierd, I just went to search naming a church and this came up! Maybe you can give us some insight, if you are still in town! God Bless, Annette from First Baptist(for now)

  7. Please disregard last post! Wrong Jared Bridges, sorry. Funny the guy I know also has a wife named Lori, but serves in Germany and they only have one child with another on the way!

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