Sunday, September 03, 2006

New Church Names

Church names used to follow several basic rules: either a geographic marker, a good Old Testament theological term, or a denominational identifier: First Baptist, Third Presbyterian, Ebeneezer Baptist Temple, Harbor View Congregational Church, Plymouth Congregational (in downtown Minneapolis?!?), Snail Lake Free Church, Lake Geneva Bible Church, you get the point.
But the advent of seeker churches and emergent churches have thrown those rules to the wind: Willow Creek Church, Saddleback Community Church, have dissassociated themselves from denominational labels. In the Twin Cities Wooddale Baptist Church carved off the Baptist name and just go by Wooddale (among all the famous "dales" in Minneapolis/St. Paul). I do get that change. Far from helping people understand a church's theology or direction, too many denominations have detracted from local church vibrancy with fringe political issues that are far form the life of the local church.
But now, emerging churches (and other contemporary churches) are creating a whole new library of church names: Aqueous, Reality, River 57 (or some number), Life, Solomon's Porch, Mosaic, Spirit Garage, Scum of the Earth, etc. These are names that make you wake up and think. They are names that try to speak to the inner life of a congregation, marking its spirit and direction. I think this is great.
I have some suggested future names that might be explored: Possibly, Potentially, Maybe, Floating, Considering, Browser. Just a thought.


At 1:36 PM , Anonymous Isaac said...

Jacob's Ladder

That's the name of some new church/or varient of worship started by Bethlehem Cov near my house. i get "hip" fliers from them every few months to "meet up" at a nearby coffeeshop.

I actually wonder if the whole "groundroots" and "meet up" type lingo are more tied to the liberal political mechanism people in my hood are famaliar with more than edgy MTV lingo.


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