What Would You Call Your Hipster Church?

What’s in a name? A lot, if you’re a hipster church. Last week it was announced that Ted Haggard was starting a new church in Colorado Springs that would meet at his family’s home and would welcome any and everyone: “Democrat, Republican, gay, straight, bi, addicts, tall, short.” The church’s name? Saint James. “Because faith without works is dead,” says Haggard. The church’s slogan is “Doing our Faith.”

These days, if you want to start a cool church, it must have a name that either a) has a “deep” meaning, b) has only the obscurest connection to Christianity, c) is shocking in its unorthodox originality, or d) could easily be the name of a Las Vegas nightclub.

It must also have a somewhat explanatory slogan or motto (i.e. Saint James… “Doing our Faith”). In the olden days (the 90s), a church might have had a name like “Riverside Baptist Church” with a motto like “A Place for Families to Grow in Christ.”  These days, a church might have a gloriously esoteric name like “Saint Cyprian’s” with a motto like “Mysterium Fidei.”

If I were starting a hipster church, I might go with one of the following name/motto combos:

Phil Love is the greatest commandment.
Blank We don’t believe in labels.
CorpusWe are the Body of Christ.
TresIn the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
GammaIt’s another cool way to say three.
ParabolaJesus also taught using math.
St. Nothing’s No one is righteous. No not one.
The MorgueFor Sinners Dead in Their Trespasses
Leper ColonyA church for outcasts and sick people.
Viscous Spirit-molded, malleable and not as nerdy as “Liquid.”
BleuIt’s a primary color (and sounds cool).
SehnsuchtIt almost sounds like “sin-sick.”

If you had to come up with a “cool church” name and motto, what would it be? Post your ideas here, or on the book’s Facebook page.

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10 responses to “What Would You Call Your Hipster Church?

  1. shakespeherian

    Admittedly I’m pretty far out of the loop on trendy spiritualism, but I had no idea that Ted Haggard was cool. (I’m also curious as to why he stipulates that homosexuals can’t lead in his church, considering that he’s leading in his church.)

  2. I’d go with “Saint Quodvultdeus’s Icthusiastium” – the “Ic” for short. Obscurity is the name of the game!

    Insightful critique of mainstream hipsterism at Whiskey and Car Keys: http://whiskeyandcarkeys.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/hipsters-are-evil/

  3. I think a big oversight in this whole hipster church naming is that some of the combinations might result in the name of actual fraternities or sororities.

  4. Have you heard of Scum of the Earth church in Denver? :)

  5. What’s the difference between an emergent church and a hipster church? Or is there one? I see that obviously a church like Mosaic and a church like Rick Warren’s would attract very different people; even though they both seem set up to attract people to church. What makes the difference?

  6. God’s Cafe.

  7. I’m not sure about a motto, but a couple more strategies:

    Alternative spelling of a common word (ideally to make it look old and/or foreign, often by adding one or more silent “e”s): “Faithe,” “Authenticee” “Reste”

    Greek words used to be really cool, but their played out now – the true hipster churches have switched to Latin. How about: “Lectio” “Oratio” or “Caritas”

    Finally, I genuinely do like the name “Abide” for a church. It has a simple sound and the rich spiritual meaning from John’s gospel, but it might accidentally lure in “Dudeists” (followers of “The Religion of Lebowski”).

  8. make that “they’re” played out

  9. Also:

    “The Search” would be a pretty great hipster church name.

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