Discover the Power of Changing a Church Name

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Bishop George L. Davis
Bishop George L. Davis (Facebook)

1. Never be flippant. Bishop Davis realized that names have meaning, and there’s an emotional relationship between a congregation and the name of the church.

2. Buy the URL. In a world with hundreds of thousands of churches, it can be difficult. But if possible, get the closest web address possible to your church name. Remember that virtually 100 percent of potential visitors will check your church out on the web before they attend, so a powerful and easy to find website is more important than ever.

3. A strong name can make a big difference in the community’s perception. Perception matters in a cluttered, distracted, and hyper-competitive world. A strong name cuts through the clutter and gets noticed.

4. Get your leadership team’s buy-in. They will help influence the congregation, and a name change should be a positive event—not a reason for criticism.

5. Get professionals in the room. The digital revolution has transformed how people find churches and shifted their expectations. Get advice from professional communicators or media consultants before you make a potential mistake.

6. Make sure the name change is birthed out of a new vision, not a novelty. Remember that Bishop Davis wasn’t looking for a new name. God was leading him over and over to stories of name changes in the scripture. In that process, God was revealing to him a vision and purpose for a new season in the life of the church. Don’t do it backwards, and look for a purpose that matches the new name. Make sure your new name comes out of a God given identity and mission.

There are thousands of churches today that may be great worship experiences, but a poorly chosen name keeps potential visitors from coming in the door. If that describes your church, then consider a change. Anything that keeps people away from hearing the gospel is a hindrance, so clear a path. If God is leading your church into a new purpose and season, don’t let a bad name hold you back.

Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a filmmaker, media consultant, and co-founder of Cooke Pictures in Los Angeles. Find out more at

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