Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Friday, June 23, 2017

On the Proper Naming of Churches

This is something that I feel rather strongly about, but I've never blogged about it before. I fully recognize that there are some excellent, healthy churches that do not follow this model for their church name. However, I am in contact with some people who are involved in church planting, and so I hope to help persuade them of [what I believe should be] the preferred method for naming churches.

Creativity is NOT desirable in a church name. Look at how the churches are addressed in the New Testament. They are simply "the church in __________." Because we now have different denominations, I believe that it is useful (and a matter of honesty) to indicate the denominational/theological position in the name. Therefore, I would argue that "Location" "Denomination" Church is the most appropriate name.

As someone who is Reformed Baptist by conviction, and who finds that my fellow Reformed Baptists usually value precision in church belief and practice, I have been surprised at how many Reformed Baptist churches depart from the model I'm advocating (usually by placing a doctrine/commitment, rather than the location, at the beginning of the church name). It seems to me that other names (for example: "Grace Church" [NOTE: this generic example is NOT meant to pick on any specific Baptist church of anyone I know]) is, at best, a matter of human will and that highlighting a specific doctrine/commitment in the church name relatively minimizes other important beliefs. Having the church location in the church name: 1) honors the fact that God, in His providence, has established a body of believers at a specific location; 2) shows love for the surrounding community, which the congregation should be reaching with the gospel.

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