You’re not welcome here. This is an exclusive club.

You’re not welcome here. This is an exclusive club.

These are not messages your church - or hopefully any church - wants to send. But for some, these misperceptions can be rooted in something as simple as a name. Church names play many roles, but one of the most critical is the invitation. Choosing a name that speaks to who you are as a congregation and rolls out the welcome mat can be a challenge.

An upbeat, vibrant church on the far west side of Indianapolis took on this challenge head first. First Baptist Danville had been evolving in significant, exciting ways. Their name - rooted in tradition and a rich history - no longer best conveyed who they were and where God was leading them.

After working through a renaming and rebranding process with Fishhook, West Bridge Church was renamed and launched (both internally and into the community).


While the new name was embraced by many within the church, not everyone was head over heels.

One long-timer - who was deeply invested at the church for decades - was quick to say the new church name wasn’t something he liked. Months later ... after much prayer and conversation with church leaders, his understanding and perspective has changed. He now says: "I know our church name/logo isn't for me. Instead, we use our new brand to speak to those in the community who don't know West Bridge or maybe even God."

WOW! It's awesome to hear this kind of Kingdom-focused and strategic thinking coming from lay leaders in a church! 

And check out another story from West Bridge ...

A woman and her teenage son have been coming to West Bridge for two years now. She says: “I wouldn’t be here as a new member had the church led with its 'Baptist Church' name.” The new name clearly removed a stumbling block for her and extended an invitation that wasn’t there before.

Pause for a minute: Does your church name open or close the door for newcomers? Tell us about it!