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For my Christian and ex-Christian friends: What have your churches been named?  Do the youth groups/small groups/Sunday school classes/ministries have catchy names?

I’ve been entertained lately by the four distinct themes I see in church naming:

Name-dropping: “St. Rhubarb Our Lady of Grace Holy Catholic Church”
Please Take a Number: “Fourth Baptist Church of Savannah”
Damn-long Denomination: “Holy Lovers in the Congregation of Christ’s Menorah”
Catchy Camouflage: “Peacewalk Community Mosaic”

As for youth groups, they want to attract kids who need action, excitement, a sense  of purpose, and an identity to rally around. In a (not much more) mature way, so do adult groups. Some group names I know or have seen around (and yes, I got a bit carried away with this):

  • Turning Point
  • Freedom 56
  • The Call
  • Bibles and Beer [no joke, they brew their own!]
  • Fusion
  • Crux
  • Da Jesus Chicas
  • Pathfinders
  • J. C. 24: Seven
  • Red Sea
  • Merge
  • Regener8
  • The Flock
  • Fireproof
  • Unplugged
  • Souled Out

And of course Christians loooove their acronyms and will stretch them as far as possible:

  • The ROCK (Reaching Others for Christ’s Kingdom)
  • D.A.W.G.S. (Dynamically Annointed With God’s Spirit)
  • ZAPT! (Zealous About Praising Together!)
  • PIERCED (Prepared In Evangelism Receiving Christ Every Day)
  • PHAT Ministries (Pursuing Holiness And Truth)
  • PULSE (Purposeful Under our Lord’s Satisfying Expectations)
  • VARSITY ROCKS (Victoriously And Responsibly Sustaining the Integrity of Today’s Youth by Righteously Obtaining Christ’s Kindness and Spirit) [you’ve got to be kidding me!]
  • TUXIS (Together Under Christ In Service)
  • TRASH! (The Real Answer Starts Here!)
  • R.A.D.I.C.A.L. youth ministry (R.eaching A.nd D.iscipling I.n C.hrist A.s L.ord)
  • TNT (Twenties and Thirties)
  • WHAM (We Have A Mission)
  • DUNG (Deliberately Uncreatively Named Group) [please say this is real!]
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9 thoughts on “A Church by Any Other Name”

ray · November 10, 2009 at 11:06 pm

I would not attend a church that can't even spell 'pastor' correctly.

    godlessgirl · November 11, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Well I suppose we all have our standards 😉

Rob Crompton · November 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm

My favourite church name is in Bruges, Belgium. It's Onze LieveVrauwekirche. I reckon that if you know a couple of European languages, especially German and French, you can muddle through in the rest. So translating this church name on this basis:
Kirche is easy _ from German Kirk. church
Vrauwe – must be from German Frau, lady
Lieve – German, lieb or English Love
And Onze. This is either German Unser or French Onze
So that's it! It's the church of the eleven lovely ladies!

    RoofWoofer · November 11, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    The translation of the name of that church is "The Church of our Blessed Lady". It's in Dutch.

    Lynn Black · September 28, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Proverbs 26:10-12, “The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors. As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.”

RoofWoofer · November 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Please tell me there isn't really a St. Rhubarb out there. You're being creative, right?

Amber · November 11, 2009 at 3:40 pm

THIS IS SO GOOD! Ah, memories. I believe I was in "Crossfire" the youth group and then something about Team 55, but it was catchier than that. I had the tee shirt and everything. Maybe Route 55? No idea. It was because "55 saves lives" and we were saving souls! Yee haw!

Stephanie · May 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

So let me get this right? You think that because these youth groups have odd names that they are wrong? Or stupid? Or unimportant? See what I don’t understand is why atheists feel the need to go out and bash Christianity just because they don’t believe it! Especially former Christians like yourself…I don’t really understand how someone can go from believing in an all powerful, all loving God to believing in absolutely nothing and going around bashing God and His church(es). It makes no sense to me whatsoever…

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