Naming your ministry

Posted on 26. Oct, 2009 by in Fresh Ideas

helloI’ve been thinking a lot about ministry names lately.

Currently the name of Gateway’s Children’s Ministry is Kid’s Quest. Kid’s Quest was well branded here, but I feel a new name and new look is just around the corner for us, maybe launching a new look near the end of 2010.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about. It seems like 5-10 years ago, it was a lot more common to find ministries with unique names. Now it seems it’s a lot more common for the Children’s Ministry to have some iteration of the church’s name. This makes total sense to me as you’re furthering the brand of the church through your ministry.

I’ve been a part of a few churches where we’ve renamed the ministry to sync up with the church’s name such as CT Kids (Cross Timbers), Anchor Kids (Anchor Church) and GBC Kids (Graceland Baptist Church). Even when I look around, I see other leading churches that do this as well: LifeKids (Life Church), KidSpring (NewSpring), Kids on the Move (Church on the Move) and so many others (Although there are still plenty of big and influential churches that don’t follow this thought).

So, what are you thoughts on this?

Meet Kenny

Kenny Conley has written 1780 posts on CMO.

Kenny Conley is the primary author of Childrens Ministry Online and the NextGen Pastor at Gateway Church in Austin, TX. In addition to creating the Illuminate Conference, a high quality kidmin conference designed specifically for volunteers, Kenny is a published author and speaker. For more biographical info, click here.

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  • http://www.jonathancliff.com jonathan

    I’ve stuck myself with an inherited name, because it was so identified by families within the church. I think if I changed it, people would still call it the old name.

    The only comment I have is to “respect the Z.”
    .-= jonathan´s last blog ..Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-10-25 =-.

  • Spencer Click

    If you can change the name of your Children’s ministry to be a reflection of your church’s name I think it’s great. You save yourself from having to put a tag line on everything. “The children’s ministry of…”

    It’s where we’re heading…right now the CM is called KidsWorld – in the spring we’ll be changing to Bethel Kids. We will become instantly identified with our church…

  • http://bekahlynn.wordpress.com Rebekah

    We have done the same thing at Oak Leaf Church. We were KidVenture for nearly 3 years. This August we launched a new curriculum and a new name, Oak Leaf Kids. What spurred the re-branding was when we chose to change the name of our student ministry from Fuel to Oak Leaf Students. Through many conversations about students and why so many teens are committed to their youth group and not the church, we have been emphasizing that they are a part of Oak Leaf Church. Since then, we have had students rise up as leaders and serve with Oak Leaf Kids with such passion.
    it’s just a name, but changing our focus with the name has made great strides for us as a church.

  • http://kidsministryrevolution.com Sarah

    We changed our name when our whole church re branded last year.

    I think it’s really good to have a name that ties in with the church name – partly for the un-churched community so that they can make connection.

    It’s also good for the kids and parents – a name that’s connected to the church shows that the kids ministry is connected. We’re building the house of God, not the house next door.

  • http://davidwakerley.com David Wakerley

    So we went with the simple Church inspired – Hillsong Kids kinda naming idea.

    My thinking is that with five age groups (Cubbyhouse, Ark, Fun House, All Stars and Voltage) parents don’t really care or don’t need to care about more names within a ministry. If there was a way to get rid of age group names I would.

    Keep it strong and simple is my thoughts.

    Dave
    .-= David Wakerley´s last blog ..Top Ten =-.

  • collin

    I inherited ‘Kids on the Rock’ and my wife hated it. So finally we’re changing/rebranding to C4 Kids. Our church’s strategy is C4 (Connecting to God, Connecting to Others, Ministry, and the World) so we’re jumping on board with that. Plus, we can get creative with C4, huh? Can you say Explosive Children’s Ministry?!

  • http://www.metacognician.com Kendra Golden

    I think Rebekah struck on something that is key. Renaming the same old thing is tough to create momentum around and can lead to confusion. Tying the change to a real difference (like curriculum or age groups or a remodel or church branding) is way better.

    We recently had to rename our 5th and 6th experience from FUSE (which I loved) to THE LOOP (which I think is silly) after only a year because another church wouldn’t grant us permission to use the name (Since we give away curriculum with the branding. Weird, huh?). People are struggling to get what happened, especially since the Fuse name was only a year old itself. It occurred with a real difference though, a change from a 4th-5th room to a 5th-6th room.

    To David, I think room names for age groups are important. If I’m in the kdg room and move to the first grade room, that’s pretty boring. But the names create mystique and anticipation. Especially ones like David’s which are each cooler and more exciting as you move up. If I were in any one of his rooms as a kid, I would be totally stoked to move up to the next.

  • Pingback: This Week in Children’s Ministry for 10/28/2009

  • Cheryl

    I have just been thinking about this! So glad I ran across your article. Our church is Liberty Hill General Baptist Church. (quite a mouthful) And to date, our children’s ministry has simply been Liberty Hill General Baptist Church Children’s Ministry. (an even bigger mouthful!) Our Youth is not necessarily called “The Hub”, but that is their location or where they meet within our church. It is called this because we are a growing rural church in the middle of several area communties, which is frankly, pretty awesome and I love the name and the idea that we are “the hub”. I think the youth simply choose to be Liberty Hill Youth.

    We use several different “named” curriculum within our children’s ministry and I don’t want to name our ministry to follow this, I would like a unique name. I like the idea of syncing with the church name and have even thought of “Freedom Kids” to go along with “Liberty Hill”, but am not necessarily fond of using all that one would think should accompany a name like this, ie…stars, stripes, red, white and blue…. Anyone else have a cool thought?

  • http://childrensministryonline.com Kenny

    I love Liberty Hill Kids! It’s got a great fell. Freedom Kids is cool too, but then you’ve got that separate name from the rest of the church you have to wrestle with it being ok or not. Just my opinion, but I’d run from “Liberty Hill General Baptist Church Children’s Ministry” as fast as you can.That’s just painful.

    Kenny

  • Name (required)

    We started a new church “New Beginnings Worship Center” do you have any comments to youth and children’s ministry names? Of course, ultimately it will be birthed through prayer.

  • http://www.krt.org KJ Coupland

    I am in the middle of planning a total rebranding.
    My thoughts are along the lines of a University theme

    Baby U
    Toddler U
    Junior U
    Big Kid U

    this will keep it pretty easy for parents to keep track of where their child should be…. I hope

    what do you guys think?

  • http://www.creative-lighting.com lighting gal

    How about trying an acranname

  • Beth

    I’ve loved reading your comments. I would love any thoughts you would have for me. We are a new church start and Orchard Path is our name. I was thinking something like OPC Kidz (or s) but have also like suggestions I’ve seen other places like naming the kids ministry The GROVE. Any thoughts?

  • http://childrensministryonline.com Kenny

    Honestly, I like Orchard Kids. OPC Kids is okay… kind of a mouthful. The grove is a cool name for a Children’s Ministry, and it’s cool when you see it in relation to the church name… but the only thing I don’t like is that it’s different enough from the church name that if you were communicating it separate from the church, you’d have to explain that it’s a part of OPC. Just my opinion though. Last comment. Stay away from the Z. This is the disease of Children’s Ministry. Again… just my opinion… but one of my quests in life is to influence Children’s Pastors to stop using a Z instead of an S. :)

  • http://www.beachcommunitychurch.com Scott Huggins

    Alright Peeps.

    I moved to Costa Rica 3 months ago and found a church to serve at as CM Leader. Let me hear your votes:

    Name Suggestions for Beach Community Church Children’s Ministry

    Son, Surf and Sand
    Coconut Hut
    PowerZone
    KidZone
    Surf Club
    KidzBlitz
    KWAM (kids with a mission)
    The Beach
    SonZone
    The Rock
    PowerKidz
    BCC Kids
    BeachKids
    BeachZone

    Thanks in advance. Peace in HIM!

  • http://childrensministryonline.com Kenny

    Personally, I vote BeachKids or BCC Kids. I tend to go with simplicity, clarity and broad appeal. Both of these names can fit with any age group and kids of any age could identify with it. You could always name specific age areas that are age specific… But your overarching name needs to not single any age group out.

    Also, both of these names clarify that they belong to Beach Community Church. No ambiguity there.

    Last of all, it’s really simple. You can “fun it up” with a logo or brand… But it’s just too easy.

    Those are my thoughts though.
    Also… For the love of all that is holy.. Stay away from the “z!”

  • franklin santhosh

    Till now we called our church children’s ministry as SUNDAYSCHOOL.Now we desired to replace this name based on our church theme(RAISING LEADERS FOR CHRIST)..
    CAN YOU HELP US TO NAME OUR CHIDRED’S MINISTRY?
    from:I.C.R.M.WISDOM CHURCH MANJOOR,NILGIRIS,TAMILNADU,INDIA

  • benjamin.A

    Iam starting children ministry in Bangalore , India i wanted some funky and good name for my ministry please help me out in this

  • http://www.crownoflifechurch.net Tim Johnson

    I just renamed our Children’s Ministry Crown of Life Kids which used to be Kid’s Korner. Now i am trying to come up with some age group names. birth-2 yrs, 3-5 yrs, and 6-12 yrs. Anyone got any ideas for me? Our church is Crown of Life Lutheran Church. Thanks!

  • Kaydee

    I like names that have something to do with the church if you are a part of a church. However, I am starting up a ministry for 4th and 5th grade girls, unaffiliated. Some ideas I’ve either come up with or seen in my search for name ideas:
    Fuel
    Base 45
    The Summit
    SHINE (Seek Him IN Everything)
    Blaze
    ACE (Always in Christ’s Embrace)
    BLAST (Building Lives Around Scriptural Truth)
    ATTIC (Always Trusting Together In Christ)
    The Forge
    Pulse
    SWAT (Students With A Testimony)
    Tag (stolen from New Life Church’s old youth group name in Colorado Springs)
    I liked Collin’s “C4″ posted on this page
    And I liked Kendra’s old name “FUSE”

    I can’t believe how hard it is to name a group for 9-11 year old girls! Any other ideas or comments anyone??

  • Chris

    This discussion has been very insightful. Any comments on using the “church branding” approach with a First Baptist Church? FirstKids sounds fine, but then there’s the “which First Baptist?” question (there are several small towns around and each has a First Baptist Church). If the prevailing thought is for our own kids to grasp identity with our ministry and church and not worry about others wondering which FBC we’re from, then FirstKids works fine. But if we’re promoting our church and children’s ministry through T-shirts, posters, postcards, etc., then what is a catchy way to fine-tune “FirstKids?”

  • Valerie Sowers

    I am looking for a new name for our children’s church. We are moving into a bigger area of the church which we just added and all will be new. I am searching for a new name which would include our church name, Grace Fellowship Family Worship Center. Also, looking for a new theme for the room. We have been called Sonforce kids and had a space theme. Wanna change it up for the new space and make it new and exciting. Any ideas?
    Thank you.

  • Jen

    Rebranding. Need a name that reflects a connection between church and home.
    Words reflecting on…connecting, sync, bridging, linking,…

  • Jackie

    For me, it is very important to rename your children’s ministry a name that prophecies over them each time someone speaks it. It empowers them and the church community.

  • Becky

    We are just starting a Childrens Ministry and looking for a name / brand logo for our group. Our church name is New Beginnings Worship Center. I want something unique. THanks for the help.

  • Sil

    Ok here is my dilemma in the process of transitioning from one church to another, and looking for a name for my new Kids Church. The problem is I love the name of the kids church from my previous church which is EXtreme Kids….do you think it would be ok to use the same name? I would probably add the initials of my new church to the beginning?

  • Kristen

    Hey everyone! Such great thoughts. I am at the point with developing major program changes by Fall 2012 and truly desire to have a catchy name for the ministry. RIght now, we don’t have anything except our church name which is a mouthful…Glen Ellyn Bible Church Children’s Ministry. I could just called it GEBC Kids or something but that sounds so lame. Any ideas? Would you have a name that sync’s with the new curriculum we are going to do?

  • DNewman

    We are exploring the possibility of renaming our kids ministry. Our church name is APEX and right now we just call our kids ApexKids… But we would like to have individual names for each age group? Any ideas? I’m thinking Apex means “Top” or “high peak so i was thinking of like climbing terms like base camp, summit things like that, but that’s as far as my knowledge goes for climbing. Any help would be appreciated.

  • http://www.childrensministryonline.com/ Kenny Conley

    I think this is a great idea DNewman. It might be a little weird if you’re in a state like, Florida. However, you could incorporate some great mountain climbing terms like base camp, Summit, Tree  Line and others. I’d connect with someone who is an avid climber/hiker and get all the verbage. What may help even more than just your room names is adopting terms that becomes a common language for your volunteer teams. Maybe things like “guides” or “expedition leaders” for your teachers/leaders, or even relate other training components to tools you would use while hiking. Maybe a harness, belay system, and other repelling/mountain climbing hardware. One of the biggest things about hiking is accountability. Never do it alone and always let someone know where you’re going to be. When it comes to ministry, safety is always found in numbers.

    I think you’re on to something good and it would be a fun environment for sure!

  • http://www.childrensministryonline.com/ Kenny Conley

    Personally, I say start fresh. Sometimes I get a little weirded out when I see someone go to a new church and completely transplant everything they did at their previous place at the new place. Sure, most things can be re-done, but this is an opportunity to be a little creative and tie into the DNA of your new church.

  • http://www.childrensministryonline.com/ Kenny Conley

    Yuck, that is a mouthful. I don’t love it. Could you get away with Glen Ellyn Kids? 

  • AMichael

    Hello, I stumbled across your blog doing research.I am in my very first long term children’s ministry position ( I had a 4 month interim position before being hired on where I am currently) and I get to rebuild the ministry however I want. The Church is Kingsway Christian Church and I want to stick similar to the church name when renaming the kids. The mens group here at the church is KingsMen and the women’s group is KingsDaughter. I was thinking either Kingdom Kids or KingsKids. I also want to repaint the entire kids area and was thinking some sort of kingdom theme would be awesome. Any insight would be very helpful. Thanks!

  • jc9415

    We started a ministry for 3rd-6th grade girls. We called it Salvation Sisters. It was important to us that the girls would view each other as sisters and not only grow a bond with God but themselves as well. Hope this helps :)

  • jc9415

    I am starting a position at a new church and want to include a new name in my 3 year plan for the board. So far I have come up with

    -Route 66

    -CIA (Children In Action)

    -KMotion (Some acronym)

    -Choas (some acronym starting with Children )

    - K-Boom! (Some acronym)

    - illuminate Kidz Church

    Any thoughts…

  • julie cochran

    we just finished a program with our kids (1st grade to 5th grade age) called “Agents in Action”… it was a secret agent theme…. the new program that we are starting doesn’t really have a “theme”… i’m trying to come up with something catchy- to call our Sunday night program for the kids… I need some advise :) please…

  • BC

    Looking for names for our children’s ministry “Power Up” for the specific age groups Ages 3-5 and Grades 1-6 related to the Power theme – Ephesians 3: 16-19. Any ideas?

  • Ann

    I like the idea of having the children’s church name related to the name of the church. We are Wenatchee Valley Baptist Church, quite a mouthful. What is your thought on calling our children’s church Wenatchee Valley Kids?

  • Diane

    Any ideas for renaming a first-sixth grade ministry in an old historical church in a downtown area? First year for us being in this historical building from 1867.

  • Angel

    OK so I have read through most of the posts, and I truly appreciate all the help there is! I too am in need of naming help!
    1.) Family monthly ministry name
    2.) Childrens (Sunday School) ministry name
    3.) Youth Group name!
    My church name is Aldersgate so I would like to try to get something catchy that will stick and sound fun for them.
    Any ideas out there> PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

  • Mark

    I would do something different than Big Kid U. Not sure a 4th or 5th grader would be care for that name.

  • tosha

    When I think of power I think about flipping on a switch, pole lights, starting a car, turning on the a/c. Names could be flip your switch with a light switch as your design, power beam and design could be the pile light, crank it up with a design of a car engine, heat up out cool off with a design of a/c or a breeze/wind

  • MRSidwell

    My immediate reaction was “KingsKids”, before I got thru your post. The “click” of the K repeated is a well known marketing strategy publicists have used for years. It’s memorable and recognizable.