Fast forward 30 years. Are you still attending a church with a church name like First (Insert Denomination Here) Church of Podunk Town? Maybe you attend a more contemporary church with something like “community” built into the name. yea, well... the 1990’s called, they want their church name back. Here in the future, we have more progressive ways of naming churches. Walk down any street in the mid-21st century and you’ll find well-designed warehouses with names like Vector Worship Center, Thin Air Center for Worship, Lateral Worship Center, or the multi-site mega-church, Many Mansions. Those too are outdated. They make hoverboards there now.
This just in: cool churches are still the place to be. Instead of worrying about people leaving your church for the cool one down the street, maybe you can change the future and come up with a pelvis-kicking church name before people start to leave yours. Here are three surefire tips to making sure YOU are at the cool church.
1. Relevance is key. Now, relevant is a great word. But it should not be the focus of your church name. Instead, whenever talking about your church, try to work the word relevant in as much as possible. It’s even better if you’re able to make it a church name that’s not too wordy in and of itself so that subconsciously, the word relevant becomes attached to it in your listeners’ minds. “Hey, have you been to Cup o’ the Holy Grail, down on East 5th?” “Oh, you mean that supe-supe relevant church?” “Yeah! They’ve got a GREAT fireworks display during their PM service!” “Awesome! I’ll totes have to check it out!”
2. The more obscure your church name, the more memorable it’s going to be. In a town where churches come and go faster than coffee shops, there are a lot of church names working against you. So you have to make it memorable. What better way than an obscure reference no one understands? You don’t understand the phrase “Hedge of Protection” now. Just think how obscure but memorable that will be in thirty years. “Hi, I’m Pastor Mike from the Hedge of Protection church down the street. Yes, we DO have an actual hedge!” Greenery is rare in the future. Some people are still blaming global warming. Personally, I blame Obama... Yes, he’s still the president... but get this! He’s a Republican now! But we digress... #Spoilers
3. The logo is key. Always plan the name of your church so that the logo will have something awesome in it. Like a mountain. Or an eagle. Everybody loves eagles. Let’s go back to the Hedge of Protection Church. Not only do they have an actual hedge with its name spelled out, their logo is, in fact, a hedge. We’d show you a picture, but it’s copyrighted. Use your imagination. Really, that’s what these names are all about. The more imaginative, the more memorable. And here in 2045, we like to say, a name says everything about you. That’s right, we go to the Shepherd’s Gate Church and if you’re anything like your future self, you know exactly what that means.
All this to say, you are at a crossroads. Before you lie two roads; one leads to this ridiculous version of the future while the other leads to becoming more and more like the Church depicted in scripture. Being cool and trendy and “relevant” is great and there’s nothing wrong with it. But if people are more likely to recognize your church for being cool and trendy than how well you love others, each other, and God, there’s something wrong. Your focus may be a bit misguided.
Personally, we appreciate cool things. We’re twenty-somethings. But we’d rather experience true Christian fellowship with a group of people who love God and have a heart for the lost. A trendy church might initially draw us in but if there is not a strong theological foundation and a relationally sincere group of people, it won’t hold our attention for long.
We know we’re not there yet… but we’d like to be.
So, what do you think? Is the world ready for Future Christians who sincerely love God and others? Are they ready for the hard truths and doctrines found in scripture? Are you ready to be a part of a church that dares to set aside appearances in favor of whole-hearted dedication to the Gospel?