1. Choose something that reflects the location. A church plant, unless you’re an on-line church, is about making the kingdom real in a specific place with a specific group of people. So what are some of the defining characteristics of the area?

    Hills? – how about mountaintop community church. Reference sinai and the mount of olives.
    Lakes/Rivers? – LifeSpring, SpiritFlow. Reference John 4.
    In our area, Lake Michigan is the draw, so you could call it Crosswinds or Deep Anchor

    If your church plant is tightly targeted, you can think about what sets your particular congregation apart from the crowd. A recovery focused group could be “Second Chances”. A young family focused group could be “First Steps”.

  2. John,

    In your community I’d stay away from names that begin with Saint (St.) or have anything to do with Mary :)

    I’d suggest exploring some word/theme that is found in Scripture. For instance, names like “Redeemer” or “Good Shepherd” have positive connotations (I don’t know if they are used in your community). Bethel is a good name: it means House of God. Providence is another good choice. Calvary, Bethlehem, Christ the King, Grace, New Covenant, Reformation, Trinity, etc.

    I’m not sure about the word “Baptist” – I don’t think that it has great connotations in this part of the country. I also don’t like the word “community” in a church name. First, it means little. Second, it is presumptuous for it attempts to speak for or represent the entire community.

    We chose Christ Covenant because we believe that the two great themes of Scripture are Christ (the Bible is a book about Him) and Covenant (God’s way of relating to humanity). We also chose not to use “presbyterian” in our name because of the mainline church (with whom we have no affiliation) but also because there are so few Bible-believing Presbyterians in this part of the world (we get lumped in with the mainline).

    I’m a little indifferent toward geographic names — the speak to a locale but not much else. Nondescript names like Willowcreek, Ridgewood, Woodland, Bayside, Bayview, Riverside are not all that helpful either.

    Must my two cents worth.

  3. Thanks, Marianne!

    Dave, you bring up some good points. Some of the names/themes you suggested we looked at in this process. One of the big problems we had were that all the “good” names were taken! Or, they were too close as to be confusing for people who might be finding us for the first time–there are four churches on our road! All of this started because people who are first seemed very interested in coming to the church, were immediately and dramatically turned off by the name “baptists.’ We are, convictionally, a baptist church, and while we do not plan to hide that fact, we also don’t want it to be an artificial barrier to people. We want to come, hear the gospel, see what baptists are like, then decide whether to stay!


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