A Church by Any Other Name ...
How Url Scaramanga thinks about cool new church names.

Have you noticed that church names are getting increasingly strange? Our friend Dennis Baker has. He's been keeping a list of church names in order to document how far we've come from the days of "First Presbyterian" and "Springfield Baptist." He sent us the following list of 129 church names. I've added my reactions in parentheses.

1. Resonate

2. Revolution (Where only senior pastors get beheaded.)

3. Radiance (Where the female vocalists all glitter like Mariah Carey.)

4. Elevation (U2 songs every bloody Sunday.)

5. Restoration

6. Renovation (You can do it! God can help.)

7. Mosaic

8. enCompass (Wii th-|-nk [outside] the box. We R crAtiVe.)

9. Epiphany Station (Next stop, Conjunction Junction!)

10. Soma (Our pastor knows Greek.)

11. Sanctuary

12. Rock Harbor (If your life hasn't run aground yet, we can help.)

13. Journey ("Don't Stop Believing" is our theme song.)

14. The Rock (If film producer Michael Bay ever created a church…the pyrotechnics are amazing.)

15. The River (The pastor ends every sentence with "… in a van down by the river.")

16. The Flood (Natural disasters always provoke worship.)

17. The Bridge (William "the Fridge" Perry's post-ordination nickname.)

18. Bridges

19. Real Life Ministries (Where reality TV stars come for healing.)

20. Mars Hill (Mars was the god of war … prepare for battle.)

21. Imago Dei (Our pastor knows Latin … well, one phrase anyway.)

22. Corem Deo (Our favorite movie is Dead Poets Society.)

23. Celebration Church (We don't do funerals.)

24. Passion City (Not to be confused with the adult superstore on I-94.)

25. Oasis Church (Serenity Now! Serenity Now!)

26. Paradox (Modernity sucks.)

27. Renaissance Church (Are nude frescoes a distraction in worship?)

28. Origins (Home of the Young Earth Gospel. Darwin was a chump.)

29. Legacy (We're scared to death we won't have one.)

30. Tapestry (Our pastor really loves that "the threads don't make sense until you turn the cloth over" illustration.)

31. Church w/ No Walls (And a never-ending building campaign.)

32. Sojourners (Wait. We didn't know it was liberal Christian magazine too. Dang.)

33. Out Post (The parsonage is known as the "Out House.")

34. Generation (which one? X? Y? Pepsi? I'm confused.)

35. Encounter (Sounds like a ride at Epcot. Where are the aliens?)

36. Warehouse (Where Christians are organized, packaged, and safely stored until the rapture.)

37. Warehouse 180 (If we can't grow a church we'll start a nightclub.)

38. Relevant (Our name is writing checks the preacher may not be able to cash.)

April 16, 2010

Displaying 1–10 of 42 comments

I am Ed

October 25, 2013  4:29pm

Great list because every name represents a church that's sharing the Gospel and reaching people in the context God has called them. Thank God for creativity, diversity, church plants and church planters. There will be more people in the Kingdom because of it.

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adrian matongo

May 13, 2013  4:33am

Dear Beloved in Christ's family, Holy greetings in the above name of Jesus Christ. We have gone through your website and seen the wonderful work God has given you to fulfill for His Kingdom purposes Glory and blessings to our almighty God Amen! We are a young Christian fellowship from Africa, since we do not have enough resources to make the work of God expand according to Mark 16, 15 and 17.Please if possible through you we can grow in the Lord. We need you to be our spiritual parent. Humbly and Kindly if our almighty God would allow you and open your hearts, we are attached in this work you are doing in the lord for building God's bridge to enter the Kingdom, to unite one spirit with you and further the Kingdom. Yours, Pastor Adrian Matongo

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Yemek Tarifleri

September 23, 2012  5:24am

thank you very goodddd

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September 19, 2012  1:46pm

I am the pastor of a conservatively theological church without a fancy name. Our name actually has the city name in it... With all that said, whether the original post was meant to be mean-spirited or not, some of the parenthetical commentary was spiteful and a bit unbecoming of a fellow member of Christ's body. Not a fan of "hip-sounding' church names? Fine. It's a "conscience" thing. In such matters, Paul instructed us to let things go and seek unity. Who are you to judge another man's servant? Rom 14:4. Furthermore, with the drastic decline in American church attendance, and the microscope that the church lives in as far as unbelievers go, it doesn't do us much good to argue and tear one another down for such inconsequential things as names. If we can't respect one another, why would they ever respect us? Paul wrote to the Corinthians (1 Cor 3) that we are all being used to build up the building that is His church, and woe to anyone who tears it down. There is enough false teaching and doctrinal heresy out there to fight against. We're really going to give the body of Christ black eyes over names? (This sounds amazingly similar to the division that Paul was fighting in 1 Corinthians. "I'm of Apollos... I'm of Paul... I'm of a traditional church name...) To be honest, I saw more names that glorify Christ in this post than parenthetical commentary. For instance: " Life On The Vine (Even poop is organic.)" A name that asserts the Biblical reality, as taught by Christ, that our Christian life is fruitless without a constant, intimate connection to Christ... Commentary that literally "poops" on the idea. Well done?

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Scott Perreault

April 10, 2012  9:53am

Be quick to listen and slow to speak. I'm not sure I see any kind of spiteful shots towards other churches rather than just plain fun-poking. Folks seem to take themselves too seriously. When your church name is odd, expect some odd comments. Isn't that why we do it? To illicit a response? Your church name often tells a story of the people inside it. If the name is goofy, chances are there are some goofy, lighthearted folks inside who don't mind the laugh. I'm pretty sure God invented the sense of humor, and probably giggles quite a bit at us Himself. If the post is meant to be lighthearted, than laugh along. If the post was meant to be cynical and condescending, than the only ones who know that is the post-er and the God who knows how to read as well. Let Him be indignant, the rest of you are wasting your time getting mad.

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April 24, 2011  3:26pm

My contribution: I have some friends who belong to the "Cathedral of Joy", and they are the nicest, friendliest, and happiest folks I know, and are very good to this atheist. I think they get the point.

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J. Harris

October 02, 2010  9:13pm

I must add "Synagogue Baptist Church" to the list.

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Butch Maltby

May 06, 2010  4:25pm

Curious names for curiously marketed churches.......

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May 01, 2010  7:08am

I've heard that there is somewhere (I think California) a church called Saint John Coltrane. Where one can experience a Love Supreme, I guess.

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Ed Gilman

April 29, 2010  10:18am

Here are a few from our area: Abiding Spirit, Abundant Life, Bay Pointe, The Bridge, The Community, Cross of Life, Crossroads Community, Eagle's Landing, Faith Fellowship, Grace Community, Gulf Coast Fellowship, The Island Chapel, Liberty Outreach, Life Path Christian Center, The Living Church, New Covenant, New Life in Christ, Pathways Community, The Refuge, The Rock Baptist, The Rock of Tampa Bay, Salvation Saloon, Sea Breeze Community, Shepherd's Way, Solid Rock, The People's Church, Warehouse 727

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