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Q&A: How to come up with a youth group name

Casey writes with the following question:

“I am sitting here trying to burn my energy and all my time and can not seem to come up with a youth group name. Are there any resources for this or websites that can help me out?!?”

Hey Casey! There’s no website for it or anything that I know of. When I try to think of a name for a ministry program, I start by asking, “What is the desired outcome from this program/meeting time?” Call your ministry something that reflects whatever your answer is. That helps everyone, including myself, stay on track and remember what that ministry is all about. Honestly, sometimes the process of thinking of a good name takes a couple months, but keep praying about it and discuss ideas with different people until the Lord brings something to mind that just clicks.

For example, our high school large-group meeting on Sunday nights was called just that for a long while — “Sr. High youth group on Sunday nights.” lol After several months of dreaming and thinking, we decided to call it, “Impact,” which honestly just popped into my head when I woke up one morning. The meaning is two-fold: we’re here to be spiritually impacted so we can go out in the world and make an impact for Christ. Maybe “Impact” isn’t a highly original name, but it fits our sr. high large-group time well as a constant reminder of what that meeting is all about.

Other Responses
I asked this question on Twitter last night and got a couple responses from other youth workers, too.

Kevin Twombly said: “ask the youth – pray – match a name with what the vision of the group is – pick out of a hat (sarcasm…)”

ruthEbabes said: “we wer tryin 2 get a new yth grp name & set a nite aside 4 them 2 share their fav bible vrs/passage. We used a key word from 1 of them.”

Ben Kraker had a longer response and messaged me on Facebook:

Use the Bible as your guide to develop a name for your youth ministry. What passages of Scripture have been encouraging for you and/or your students since starting at your church? During my ordination service as youth pastor, my senior pastor read Ephesians 3:14-21 as a prayer over me and my work with the students. He prayed that I would be rooted in Christ’s love, and help my students find their “ROOTS” in Christ’s love as well. Choosing a name is easy when you can “name” what God is doing in you, through you, and sometimes in spite of you in your youth ministry setting.

Our name, “Roots,” comes from that passage which was prayed over me during my ordination service. I try to base all of what we do as a youth group and all of what I do as a youth pastor on those verses. It gives me a framework to work from.

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Have a youth ministry question you’d like me and other readers to answer? E-mail it to me! Please keep your question brief and to-the-point. Thanks!


Posted on July 15, 2008

  • Swish

    We recently went through this process with our group. I picked out 4-5 verses, with the help of the student leadership team, then brought our Jr. High and Sr. High groups together to determine what our theme verse for the year would be. The week before I had been praying about a vision statement for the ministry, and it was "to share God's hope by transforming and preparing youth for life in Christ after high school". The theme verse that our youth picked out (without me telling them what the vision statement was) was Romans 12:2 – fits perfectly. Afterwards, I split the two groups apart to come up with a name that they could agree on as a group, and now our Sr. High group is The Uprising, and our Jr. High group is Change. It was a pretty cool process.

    Peace!

  • It's cool to see kids taken ownership over the group through a process like that, too.

  • Tim Jones

    Im only three weeks into my current youth ministry position

    and we are thinking about this now…

    I took the first week to get to know the ones that were there

    and last week we did a 'word game' and went through a few verses.

    I am still trying to nail down what our youth night will look like,

    any ideas ?

  • @ Tim Jones: Welcome to your new youth ministry position! I think your youth night should look like whatever the Lord lays on your heart after praying about it for a while. Also talk with the kids, parents, youth workers and your pastor and find out what they'd like to see.

  • Nick

    When I asked my kids what they wanted to call their midweek program, they said they wanted "Ninjas for Jesus." ;)

    I obviously need to guide them a bit more in the process. :D

  • David

    I went through the same thing about a year ago when I showed up at my church. I wanted something that would symbolize what we are doing and be the umbrella that everything falls under. We settled on "the walk" and it comes from 1 John 2:6 – "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."

    Other than that, the best one was, "Krunk4Christ".

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