Should Churches Remove The Denomination From Their Name?

There is a trend for churches to change their names. Sometimes it is to find something a bit more trendy or hip (e.g. Explosion Church) but more often it is to just remove the denominational affiliation from their name.

Listen to this episode of Revitalize and Replant for an interesting discussion on name changes.

The name of my church is Queen Street Baptist Church. This is a perfect name for us because we are near the corner of Queen St and Church St. Makes directions so easy.

But why not change it to just Queen Street Church? After all, we live in a post-denominational culture. People are no longer loyal to denominations. People choose a new church by how much they enjoy the music and preaching or how friendly the congregation is.

Many churches are making this move. They may not legally change the name of their church but they leave the denomination off of their signs and bulletins. I can understand this and am sympathetic with the idea. To be honest, I find something attractive about letting the denominations go.

But here is another side to the story.

My observation from two years at QSBC is that we have seen new people come and join us specifically because we are a Baptist church. We are the only prominent Baptist church in the downtown.

Not only are there people coming to us because we are Baptist, we are attracting especially people from other countries. While many people born and raised in Canada are post-denominational, many others from different countries are not. If they attended a Baptist church in their birth country, it is natural for them to look for a Baptist church here. As a result, we have a very multi-ethnic congregation.

Keeping Baptist in our name and on our signs and especially on our website is actually a good thing for us. Although we primarily identify as Christian and we welcome people of all denominations and traditions, our Baptist identity does have value.

This is not meant to say that other churches that drop the denomination in their name are wrong. I’m simply sharing my observation of our experience.

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