"Hey, are you the pastor of MoCo? What time is the service on Sunday?" MoCo? Then I realized it's the short form name for Montecito Covenant at Westmont College. It's a better name than Montecito Convenient Church (because we are a convenient 5 minute walk from campus). Does MoCo sound like a church name or a hot drink? Is that good or bad?
My friend Kenton commented that this is primarily a white, middle-class evangelical problem. The African American Churches (historic ones) are named names like "Mt. Ebeneezer Missionary Baptist Church" They are not shy about good, long descriptive names. Liberal churches like names laden with theology "Trinity Episcopal" or "Incarnation Lutheran". And our Roman Catholic friends grab names like "Our Lady of Mercy" or "Queen of All Angels". These churches have names that stick.
But the new batch of names for evangelical churches sounds like an advertising campaign for an energy drink: Rock, Life, Reality, The Edge. Maybe some new names could be : Gottcha! Zinger, or Buzz (for those of us who love prayer and coffee). How important is the name on a church? And how much more important is the genuineness of love and passion for Jesus within the church? The church name (really denominational name) that I think is the best I ever saw was in Kenya. It's called "The Happy Church."