Writings on Christianity

How To Choose a Church Name: How We Chose “Cross of Christ Fellowship”

How to Choose a Church Name: How We Chose “Cross of Christ Fellowship”

The church we are planting next year in Naperville is called “Cross of Christ Fellowship.” How did we decide on this?  Well, it was a very difficult process, but we landed on Cross of Christ Fellowship for the following reasons.

1. Cross of Christ Fellowship is biblically and theologically rich in its meaning.  The Apostle Paul uses the phrase “Cross of Christ” to speak of the message of the gospel (Jesus’ death on a cross to reconcile sinners to God [1 Cor 1:17; Gal 6:12,14; Phil 3:18]).  Since we hope that our church will have a strong Bible and theological emphasis in its preaching, teaching, and ministry, we wanted a name that would reflect this reality.  The term “fellowship” is also drawn from the Bible and speaks of a partnership or shared life together over a mutual purpose (our purpose being to glorify God and make disciples [Phil 1:5]).

2. Cross of Christ Fellowship is somewhat unique.  A simple google search will not turn up with many churches named ‘Cross of Christ Fellowship.’  This fact alone makes the name very appealing, since we hope that our church will be relatively easy to find online.  Also, we chose a name that is not similar-sounding to other churches in Naperville, which will avoid any confusion that would create.

3. Cross of Christ Fellowship is strategic in reaching out to those with a ‘religious’ background.  Many people in Illinois have a religious background but are not Christians.  They would call themselves Catholic, Lutheran, or Christian, but never attend church, pray, read the Bible, or repent of sin.  If of these individuals do become interested in attending a Christian church, we hope that our name would be familiar to terms they’ve heard in their past and communicate clearly that this is a Christian church.

4. Cross of Christ Fellowship has a nice sound to it.  I personally really like the name, and so does nearly everyone we have shared it with.  I like Cross of Christ Fellowship because it is not too long, too obscure, or overly particular in its geography.

Church Planters: How have you chosen your church’s name?  Would you add any steps to this list?

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

4 replies on “How To Choose a Church Name: How We Chose “Cross of Christ Fellowship””

Hey Tom, I like it and love the rationale. Why, in #4, do you want to avoid particular geography? Seems like it can be a great way to begin to do localized theology.

Thanks for the comment!
I went back and forth about deciding on a name that featured ‘Naperville.’ There definitely are advantages to it: explicit localized theology in the name (as you rightly notice), easier to locate geographically if found on a list, emphasis on reaching out to the city… I decided to go against this approach many due to our suburb-culture: many commute from neighboring towns, so our church will likely have those from surrounding towns. While we’ll focus on Naperville, but we hope we can reach those in the neighboring towns too (Aurora, Bolingbrook).


Many good thoughts. Seems like I was taking “geography” more broadly to also include a marker of the physical, cultural, and ideological landscape. Yet, Wealthy Utopia Fellowship sounds pretty terrible, doesn’t it?

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