Tag Archives: children’s ministry names

Why I Renamed My Children’s Department


When I first started full-time Children’s Ministry, I had a pretty narrow view of what children’s ministry was. In my mind it was all about the Children’s Church service. Sure, I had other programs I was over (Rangers, Missionettes, JBQ, etc.) but they were just the side show to my three-ringed circus. Therefore when it came time to name my department, I naturally went with the name of the kids church. JAM City became JAM City Children’s Ministries.

Not a big deal right? Maybe not, but I soon realized that without intending too, I had set the ministry I was directly involved in as the most important program in the department… and the cost of demeaning the role of the other groups. It took me a couple of years to realize this fact… and for the feelings of my program leaders to get to me. They felt that all I cared about was “my” ministry… and everyone else got whatever was left over. This was my wake up call.

I needed a way to quickly get the point across that things were going to be changing. So along with making myself more available and getting more involved, I made another small change that made a big difference. I renamed the Children’s Department. JAM City Children’s Ministries became The Kids Life Department. I kept JAM City name for kids church only. What did this do? It was a neutral name that showed no preference to any particular program, and it equalized all of the ministries. After all, each program fulfills an equally important role in the spiritual development support we provide to our families.

  • Sunday School provides the raw materials.
  • Children’s Church is about fellowship and life application.
  • Mid-Week Programs are typically about mentoring and teamwork.

The renaming didn’t work miracles… but it was the first step in a process. Now that I’m in a new position, I’m going to be changing the name again. Kid’s City Children’s Ministries will become Suncoast Kids Department, the first step in unifying our volunteer staff and leaders and letting them know that they are valuable and valued.

Thoughts On Different Types of Children’s Ministry Names

What’s in a name? For some people, quite a bit, especially when it comes to their children’s ministry. Some consider the selection of the name to be on the same level as their mission statement. Some go for something that sounds super fun. Still others keep it simple and pattern their name after the Big Church’s name. No matter where you fall, a name for your children’s ministry or children’s church is an important decision. Let’s look at the different kinds of names.

The Acrostic

Though this style of name has lost some of it’s popularity, giving meaning to every letter in a particular word is still a popular choice. I recently saw a Nursery called F.R.O.G.s which meant that they were Fully Relying On God. Maybe a bit much for babies to achieve (or is it)… but all the same… that’s what they went with.

My own children’s church uses a version of this. JAM City is a place where Jesus And Me get together. It’s far from a mission statement… but it clarifies each week why we come to church.

The only downside of this is sometimes trying to find meaningful words for each letter can be limiting. I’ve seen some pretty strange things come of trying to make something fit in just the right way. Just be sure not to compromise your mission or message because of a name limitation.

The Spiritual Name

Personally, these are my least favorite types of kids church names. This is mostly due to my spiritual background… most of the churches I went to were long on charisma and short on real spiritual depth. So disregard my opinion if this is your cup of tea. To those going with this style of name, I would urge them to keep the balance between the spiritual depth and the fun of learning. A child’s experience with your message is just as important as the message. If we do not make the message attractive, applicable and yes, fun… they will typically not receive the message in the first place. So go with Spiritual Warriors of God if you want… just make being a Spiritual Warrior is practical and fun.

The Theme Name

For many ministers, their name determines their theme. Unless you’re tied to your theme… you need to be careful. My own kids church name is guilty of this. JAM City dictates that our theme will always be a city, but I’m good with this. I’ve used it for 8 years now and have found the city theme to be very flexible. City’s can have parades, celebrations, conflicts, new construction, fairs, struggles, storms and just about anything you can imagine.

I’ve seen ministries named after Movie Studios, Jungles, Water or Oceans, Space and even Power Companies. With these types of names, I’m a fan of restricting it to just the children’s church. The Children’s Ministry, on the other hand, can have a different name that is broad and can include all of the ministries of the department.

The Practical Name

For some churches, simple is better. They like names that simply give it to you straight. Names like Kids Church (sometimes with a ‘z’) or Children’s Church. It may not be very creative… but it gets the point across. There’s no question what the ministry is about.

I’m a fan of using the practical name in publications for visitors and on the church website. Visitors will not know what PowerSource is… is it a healing service, youth service, single’s ministry or what? So I always lead with Children’s Church… then put the ministry name in the description.

The Church Name

Sometimes you’ll see the church’s name or theme as the driving force behind a name selection. Sheffield Kids (or with a ‘z’) is a perfectly acceptable name. I know of a youth ministry from a church with a water-type name… so their youth group is called Surge with a huge wave as their logo. These types of names are great because they have a built-in connection to the church and yet allow for limitless themes and such. Sheffield Kids (or with a ‘z’) can have a sub-title that introduces the theme of the year (or eon).

Choosing a name is an important step… but personally there is no best style of name. Whatever works for your church is the best. If you see a name you like that’s already in use… and it’s not copyrighted… use it! I know for a fact we’re not the only JAM City out there. The important thing to remember is that a name is just a title. It is not an edge or an advantage. It will not guarantee success. That’s not a title’s job. Your ministry will define the title… not the other way around.