How to Rename a Church

Featured / The Church / Top Posts / April 30, 2013

Ever wonder how to rename a church? This post is a detailed look at Kinetic Church’s rename strategy and creative process.

Our hope is to fully involve our church family in the renaming process. We have no desire for leadership to independently devise a new secret identity and ambush the membership with a Sunday morning announcement. Renaming should not be done in secret.

Critical Criteria:

The goal for the process is to prayerfully chose a new identity that meets the following three critical criteria:

  1. Name must describe our church and glorify God.
  2. Name must integrate well with our area.
  3. Name must be unique and marketable to our area.

Finally, our efforts will be futile unless prayer remains an integral part of the entire process.

Top 300 Names

Stage One: Brainstorm

The goal of this stage is to compile a list of 300 new potential church names and to engage the entire church body in the process.

text new names

So, here’s how we do it: a special rename hotline has been created to allow church members and creative people to submit new name ideas via text message. (see image) Every suggestion will be added to the master list and become a candidate for our new church name. Our goal is to compile a list of 300 names. You can easily get a free phone number for texting with Google Voice and any gmail account.

Top 50 New Names


Stage Two: Forging the Top 50

After 300 names have been chosen, a survey will be created and sent to all current tithing attendees, plus up to 10 other individuals. (as selected by the elders). This survey will contain all 300 names randomly subdivided into 30 lists of 10. Individuals completing the survey will be asked to select their top 1-3 names from each list.

A list of the 50 highest ranking names will be assembled.

Top 30 Names

Stage 3: Choosing The Top 30

The Top 50 list will be narrowed by testing the uniqueness and marketability of each name. The list will be equally divided among the eldership to perform the following tests:

The Uniqueness Test:

Any name that is similar in sight, sound or means to the name of any other church body within 50 mile radius of our current location will be eliminated from the list. We have no intention of creating the same confusion that caused our need to rebrand.

In addition, elders will perform an online search of nationally registered trademarks to ensure that we will remain in compliance of all federal trademark laws. Plus, we will double-check the availability of each name with the corporation division North Carolina’s Secretary of State.

The Marketability Test:

Every name without an acceptable URL will be eliminated from the list.

Finally, the eldership will convene to narrow the list to 30 candidates based on the criteria listed above.

Top 5 names

Stage 4: Forming the Final 5

The Final 5 List will consist of 3 names chosen by the church body and 2 names chosen by the eldership.

The Church’s 3:

On promoted Sunday morning, the Top 30 List will be compiled and printed in list format. Every person in attendance on that Sunday morning will be given an opportunity to chose their favorite 3 names from the list of 30. No absentee ballots will be given. Once the results are compiled, the church’s top 3 choices will be added to the list of 5 finalists.

The Elder’s 2:

The final 2 names will be submitted by the elders to complete the Final 5 List.

Final New Name

Stage 5: Choosing the Official 1

Once we have narrowed our list to 5 names, we will complete 2 additional independent surveys:

Target Demographic Survey

A survey of our Final 5 List will be conducted at a local point of interest matching our target demographic. (a box store, super market, etc) All 5 names will be printed in random order on small sheets of paper in a traditional serif font. A random sampling of at least 200 area residents will be taken. Each resident surveyed will be asked the following question,

“If you were to see these 5 church names online, which name would you click on first?”

Results will be recorded and compiled.

Church Member Survey

On chosen Sunday, the attendees of Kinetic Church will be given a copy of the Final 5 List and asked to identify their favorite 2 names. No absentee ballots will be permitted. Results will be recorded and compiled.

Final Decision

After survey results become available for reference, the elders will convene for prayer and to finalize the new name for Kinetic Church.

Dave Milam
Dave Milam is a pastor, communicator and the founder of One Life Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a a gifted communicator Dave's right brained style of delivery helps his listener connect and remember God's truth in a uniquely visual way. Connect with Dave on Google+

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Kinetic Church Changes Names


on May 3, 2013

[…] You may be wondering what our new name is…and so are we. Honestly, we don’t know, but we’re on the journey to discover the name God has chosen for us. If you’d like more details on how we plan to move forward, read my post entitled “How to Rename a Church.” […]

on May 3, 2013

Love your name change process. Will be in prayer for your congregation as well.

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