What Will Your Church’s New Name Be?

February 5, 2020

New Church Name

Most likely there are several United Methodist churches that will no longer be United Methodist a year from now. Yes, it’s sad and frustrating. There are reasons to be concerned and reasons to be optimistic.

One practical thing these churches will have to do is find a new name for their church. Here are a few random thoughts for the process:

  1. You do not have to lead with whatever your new denominational name is. My current church is Twin City United Methodist Church. We could easily just change to Twin City [insert new denomination title here]. But here is the key, you do not have to! You could be New Cool Jesus Soaked Church, a [insert new denomination title here] church. This way you can lead with whatever descriptor best fits your church. For some that may be to stick with the former example but for others you could go with the latter.
  2. You can start re-branding now! I recently have just started asking people, “what should we call our church next?” Here’s why: what if we had our new church name and were developing our identity at the same time our new denomination was forming? I already hear you push back, “That’s too much at once!” Maybe you are right. But what if the re-branding process helped us remember that our local church ministry was just as important as our denominational affiliation? What if re-branding made it easier to cast vision for the local church’s future in a new denomination?
  3. Your church has had several names before. My current church was a Wesleyan Society, Summit and Graymont Methodist Episcopal Church South, Twin City Methodist Church(Summit and Graymont combined cities!), and Twin City United Methodist… at least this many names. Who knows? We may even have several more names before God is done with us. Name changes are not new to our church. Changing our name has been a part of our DNA.
  4. Remind your church they are picking the name. I already have the perfect name picked out… at least until I find my next favorite perfect name. Guess what though? I am not the one who is picking the name. Our church will pick the name together. It will be a collaborative and prayerful process.
  5. Mission is most important. At the end of the day, the name is not what is most important. Our church has a history of worship and serving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior under many different church names. We will continue to serve and love our neighbors! As I like to say after updates to my church on what is happening, “denominations may crumble and fall into the sea but God will still remain.”

So does your church have a process for it’s upcoming name change? Am I way over my skis just asking this? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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