Youth Group Names

By Jennifer Bradbury | Director of Youth Ministry, Faith Lutheran Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinois | January 8 2010

Despite the fact the name's meaning had been lost over time, Fogle decided to keep the name but focus on revamping its meaning: Now Fusion is about connecting youth to one another and to solid mentors, and its name is widely known and used by those who attend.

The Forge in Colorado

The Forge is the Student Ministry at Covenant Presbyterian in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This unique name came about because of this ministry's efforts to live out Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

To help sharpen one another, each month a youth shares his or her faith story. As youth worker Jeremy Phifer recalls, "These nights were insightful into the lives of the students. You could see who was going through the refining process and who was trying to appear as though they had it all together. The image of a forge where the refining process took place came to me. The idea is that when kids were left to their own devices they "forged" an identity on their own and became a fraud also rang true. It was the perfect name."

Velocity in Illinois

For six years, the junior high ministry at Westside Christian Church in Springfield, Ill., was known as Student Explosion. Junior High Minister Chris Sandel says that when the church's new high school minister decided to change the name of the church's high school ministry, Sandel felt it was time to rename the junior high ministry, as well.

For Sandel, it was important that the ministry's new name reflect the energy of a junior high ministry; that it be short and easy to communicate verbally and visually; and that it be connected to the name of the high school ministry, which is the culmination of the church's family ministries. When the high school ministry chose Fusion for its name, it seemed logical to name the junior high ministry Velocity.

Because Velocity was a name change, publicizing it was key. To help build mystery and excitement about the ministry's new name, Sandel kept it a surprise until the fall kick-off and then did a series built around the ministry's new name. He also launched a new Web site,, featuring the ministry's new name and logo. This excitement generated momentum for the ministry and allowed it to communicate its values in new ways.

Good Shep Youth in Illinois

David Perez is the Director of Youth and Children at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Bartlett, Illinois. As a new youth worker, he didn't have time to give a lot of thought to coming up with a more creative name for his ministry than Good Shep Youth, a name his youth have now accepted.

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