Choosing a church name



“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

One of the first decisions that has to be made when planting a new church is choosing the name. The name sets the tone,establishes the brand, starts an identity – it’s how your congregation will be known in the community and around the world! Should it be contemporary or classical? Should it include a reference to the denominational affiliation or not? Should it include the term church or alternatively use chapel, congregation, fellowship, assembly, house, tabernacle or nothing at all? Should it include the name of the city or area?

In the market place, does the name of a company, business or product have an effect on it’s success? Consider this, have you ever heard of the following companies:

AOL (renamed in 1991 from Quantum Computer Services),
Google (renamed in 1998 from BackRub),
Healthy Choice (originally Diet Deluxe),
IBM (renamed in 1924 from Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation),
Nintendo (renamed in 1951 from Marafuku Company),
Pepsi-Cola (renamed in 1898 from Brad’s Drink) or
Yahoo (originally Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web)

Just think instead of googling it you could be backrubbing it while sipping on a Brad’s Drink. Does the name of the church have any impact on the success of a church?  I guess that might depend on how you define success. Naming a church is obviously not the same as naming a business but  is it something that needs to be done with careful consideration and with much prayer.

Most Common US Church Names:

Church Name Churches
first baptist church 5,115
church of christ 2,854
first united methodist church 2,149
first presbyterian church 1,960
united methodist church 1,488
seventh-day adventist church 1,478
first christian church 1,309
calvary baptist church 1,197
church of the nazarene 915
trinity lutheran church 892
salvation army 867
first assembly of god 744
church of god 677
faith baptist church 663
st john’s lutheran church 601
grace baptist church 600
first congregational church 575
assembly of god church 565
new hope baptist church 540
zion lutheran church 523

(Source: http://www.openbible.info/blog/2010/06/church-names-in-the-u-s/)

A couple of other church naming posts:

http://chapeldoor.blogspot.com/2011/09/your-church-name-is-horrible.html

http://www.churchmarketingsucks.com/2005/05/choosing-a-church-name/

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