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How to Name Your Church Ministries

2. Think like a newbie.

When you consider naming your ministries or programs, think like a guest or like someone who is interested in getting connected at a deeper level. Sit in your worship service, read the email, peruse the bulletin from that perspective. What do all the names mean?

For some churches, all the communication is massively confusing. Imagine a new person reading or hearing things like: “Check out Iron2Iron on Tuesday night, Wednesday morning our Motionz group will be meeting, and on Thursday evening our RAKGoS will meet (Radically Awesome Killer Group of Singles).” While the illustration may seem extreme, it’s painfully accurate in some places.

As you whiteboard and brainstorm, think like the person who has yet to come to your church. Be sure your motivations are for those who haven’t yet been impacted by your faith community. Bonhoeffer was right — “The church is the church only when it exists for others.”

3. Consider names that are self-describing.

As you’re thinking like a newbie for the names of your programs or subministries, consider a name that doesn’t need a lot of explanation, a name that describes the ministry. For example, as you’re naming your children’s ministry — does the name clearly signal to parents that the ministry is for their children? While the name of the church with “Kids” attached to the end [Lifepoint Kids, Grace Kids, etc.] may not seem creative and original, it’s clear and obvious for parents.

These three points aren’t infallible nor are they meant to be exhaustive, but I do hope they encourage you and help you to think strategically as you name ministries and programs in your church.  

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Eric Geiger is the Senior Pastor of Mariners Church in Irvine, California. Before moving to Southern California, he served as senior vice-president for LifeWay Christian. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary and has authored or co-authored several books, including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. He is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, taking his daughters to the beach, and playing basketball.