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Alexis Waid

Alexis has a Master's degree from Denver Seminary and a Bachelor's degree from Colorado Christian University. She has been in professional ministry for over 15 years. She has served in ministry positions such as co-pastor, youth minister, and spiritual director.
She is a mom, wife, and passionate believer that Jesus changes everything.
Alexis Waid
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Youth group names

If you’re looking for youth group names, and need some guidance on naming a youth group for success, you’re in the right place! Not only do we have 94+ youth group names in this post for you to check out and use freely, we’re also here to give you some help in picking the name for your youth group.  And…we also want to make sure you are aware of another awesome free resource which is 50 no prep youth group games.

But first, we want to ask you a question to think through…

Why are you looking for youth group names?

Maybe you’ve just started out in a ministry position, or started leading a youth group as a volunteer, and you feel like the group would benefit from a name. Or perhaps your youth group is in serious need of revitalization, and you’re looking for youth group names as a means to a fresh start. Or maybe your youth group is doing great and the students have been asking to give the group a cool new name so everyone can stop referring to it simply as “The Youth Group.”

Those are all great reasons to be looking for youth group names, but I also want to caution you from the outset that youth group names are very important, so take the decision seriously. That’s also why we want to provide some guidelines for selecting youth group names to help you out. 

I’ve taken part in the naming of a handful of youth groups, and I’ve put this list together based on my own experience and earned wisdom on the issue of youth group names. Like I said, a name may not be everything, but it can definitely being a major factor in if your youth group becomes a place where students want to invite their friends to hang out, or if the group seems like a lame hangout for little kids.

Issues To Consider For Youth Group Names

You want the name you pick to be one that your kids will actually use. 

No one is going to use your name if they don’t like it or feel like it’s cool. You need to have a name that sounds fresh, accessible, and relevant to the youth. For instance let’s take a potential name “God Squad.” Sure, that seems relevant on the surface, but is it? Think about it – say the name “God Squad” aloud. Doesn’t this seem more like a children’s ministry idea? I’m not sure there are manyyouth out there wanting to tweet, Instagram or Snapchat, “Hey, I’m going to God Squad tonight!”

However, they’d love sharing on their social media something like, “Looking forward to going to HSM tonight!” What’s HSM? It’s this simple, High School Ministry, and it’s Saddleback’s youth group. Another really cool church, Passion City Church in Atlanta, calls their youth group simply “Passion Students”

Willow Creek takes a more traditional approach and uses a creative name, “Elevate” for their middle school youth group and their high school is called “Student Impact,” or “Impact” for short. 

A Few Big Church Youth Group Names:

North Point Ministries

Middle School Youth Group: Transit

High School Youth Group: InsideOut

Passion City Church

Middle School and High School youth group names are simply Passion Students. They do things a little different at Passion and it is pretty cool what they are up to, check it out here.


Saddleback Church

Middle School Youth Group: Saddleback JHM (Junior High Ministry)

High School Youth Group: Saddleback HSM (High School Ministry) 

Willow Creek Community Church

Middle School Youth Group: Elevate

High School Youth Group: Impact

But don’t get us wrong, it isn’t just about what the “big” churches are doing, we need to also look at what “smaller” churches are doing too, and that’s where exploring what other youth groups in your area are named might be handy when naming your group. 

So let’s get to a few guidelines for naming your youth group. We hope these ideas will help you navigate the sometimes tricky process of naming the youth group.

Guidelines:

Lead The Students Through The Youth Group Naming Process 

You don’t have to include students in the naming process, but they should be at least aware that changes are happening and provide some level of input. 

If you are planning to include students in the naming process, be sure to have a leadership plan in place before raising the topic with them. Although there will almost certainly be a small group of teens that are eager to own the youth group naming process, be sure to guide your students with an organized system. Make sure the students understand that you (if you’re the leader) have the ultimate decision. 

Don’t let the youth come up with a name that seems fun in the moment, but they’ll hate a month later when it is tired and goofy sounding to them. Brainstorming sessions with youth can be great idea generators, but make sure to include some time in the naming process for everyone to process.

Remember The Limitations Of Youth Brains

Teenagers tend to copy what they see, and will often have a hard time thinking abstractly, comprehensively, or with foresight to implications. They are also very likely to just copy ideas they see. For example, if a number of your students have friends in another youth group in town named “Extreme Discipleship Youth” (a terrible name, btw), then you’re very likely to hear students put forward name ideas like “Edgy Discipleship Youth.” Your job is to lead the youth through this process, so come prepared and ready to help them think through options they might love, but wouldn’t think about on their own.

Direct The Final Decision Making Process

If students are going to vote on the name, be sure to provide them a small number of final options that are all winners. Get the majority of students are on board with the final name, and eliminate bad names ahead of time so they aren’t even in the equation when it comes decision time.

Look For An Outwardly Focused Youth Group Name

In most circumstances, the youth group name is a marketing and branding tool. It’s a way to make the group appealing to youth and help them to make decisions as to if they will attend or not. Keep this in mind during the naming process and be open with your students about keeping the name outwardly focused. Avoid inside-jokes or information when naming, or naming the group around something very specific to the students already present with the group. The name should help include others, not exclude them. 

Think About T-Shirts, Signs, Posters, Social Media Posts And Other Marketing 

You might come up with a really awesome sounding group name, but if it’s too long, you’ll quickly find out it doesn’t fit so nicely into an Instagram post or on flyer promotions. Think about all the places where the name might be used once decided. What images or graphics might accompany the name? Try to come up with a cohesive concept from the start, with the name just being one part of the overall branding of the group.

Don’t Let Seniors And Juniors Dominate The Conversation

Many older students are eager to imprint their legacy, are gearing up for their final years in high school and youth ministry, and want to play major roles in decision making. While their experience and loyalty to the youth group are valued, remind them that the hope is to select a name that will last for years to come. Students that are younger will have to live with the name far longer than upperclassmen. Look for ways to get younger students involved in the naming process and feel ownership over the youth group name. 

If You Have A Combined Middle School and High School, Default To A High School Sounding Name

“Epic Youth Force” might sound cool to a 7th grader, but not many high schoolers will want to use that name in conversation and on social media. You want students to use the name.  Although younger students should have a say in the name, make sure that its something that the older students will want to be proud of as well. Upperclassmen are the most at-risk for dropping out of youth group, so you want the name to be as appealing as possible to them.

Be Sure To Keep Church Leadership Involved In The Naming Process

Before setting out on a quest to name the youth group, be sure to let your pastor or other leadership know that you think renaming the youth group is a good idea. Be able to articulate what you hope the name will do for the group, and help it to grow or become a stronger group. Bring in examples of other youth group names in your area, or nationally, to give leadership an idea of trends in youth group names. 

Remember, not everyone in leadership will be as familiar with youth ministry, and its your job to lead other leaders through the process. The last thing you want is to guide your youth group in picking a new name, only to find church leadership hate the name, don’t understand why you’re changing it, and are upset that you’d make such a big decision without thinking about the church as a whole. Remember, the youth group name will likely show up in church bulletins, on the website, and other places where the church shares information. Get leadership on board early on and you’ll avoid big problems. 

Ok, feel a little more prepared to rename your youth group? We hope so – so let’s get to our list of name ideas! But we don’t want you to simply just scroll through and grab a name to throw into a hat. Spend some prayerful time thinking about this group, what you hope to achieve with a new name, and all the students that are presently with the group or are to come. 

We’ve decided to organize the youth group names into different categories

As you’re going through this list, think about ways you might use a word or two from each category in naming your group. We’ll also provide some more guidelines along the way to help you think about when you might want to default to this kind of name.

Descriptive/Verb/Buzzword Youth Group Names

We’ve used this category to divide out our favorite youth group names that are somewhat abstract in nature, or are intended to convey an idea about the kind of discipleship that will take place in the group. 

You might want to use these phrases if you want the youth group name to describe the nature of the youth group’s ministry. For example, if you want your youth group to be a place to equip students for the future, you might like the phrase, “Crossroads.” If you hope the youth group will be evangelistic and focused on creating new disciples, you might like a name like “Collision” or “Encounter,” or “Shift.” If you imagine your youth group to be a safe, intimate place for students, you might call it “Oasis,” “Common Ground,” “Exchange.” 

Take this kind of intentionality into focus when selecting possible names, not just what sounds cool to you!

These names are often one-word or short phrases, so remember that you might often add additional words to them to designate them as a youth group. For example, the first name on the list is “Rooted.” If you choose this name, you might think about calling the group “Rooted,” but you might also commonly use phrases like “Rooted Youth” or “Rooted Students”.

List of Descriptive/Verb/Buzzword Names

Youth Group Names

Rooted

Colossians 2:7 CEB

“Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.”

Youth Group Names

Common Ground 

Romans 12:14-21 MSG

14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Youth Group Names

Collision 

Romans 12:1-2 MSG

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Youth Group Names

Cornerstone

Ephesians 2:19-22 NKJV

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Youth Group Names

Crossroads

Jeremiah 6:16 NIV

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

Youth Group Names

Eclipsed

John 16:33 NIV

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Youth Group Names

Elevation

James 4:10 ESV

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Youth Group Names

Elevate

Deuteronomy 28:1 NET

“If you indeed obey the Lord your God and are careful to observe all his commandments I am giving you today, the Lord your God will elevate you above all the nations of the earth. 

Youth Group Names

Impact

1 Timothy 4:12 NIV

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Youth Group Names

Encounter

1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV


Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Youth Group Names

Wellspring 

Proverbs 4:23 WEB

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life.

Youth Group Names

Fusion

Romans 12:1-2 MSG

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Youth Group Names

Oasis

Enlighten

Passion

Pulse

Amplified

Amped

Blatant 

Driven

Exchange

Flashpoint

Gravity

Infinite

One Way

Project

Shift

Gritty Youth Group Names

If you’re looking to build a youth ministry designed to stretch students with adventure, challenging ideas, mission and service, and other physically-driven activities, why not go for a name to match the mission?

Gritty youth group names convey the sense that we’re engaged in a battle for good and the future of souls. Be sure to back up the name with marketing to match. These are great names for boy-specific ministries or groups, but have some tact if you’re looking to name a general group with one of these names so you don’t exclude the girls too much!

List of Gritty Youth Group Names

Fire Pit

Bonfire 

Foxhole 

Pathfinders

Frontline

Gateway

Fortified

The Beachhead

The Desert

The Base

The Bunker

The Camp

Conditioned

Rugged

Unbreakable

Resilient

Ironclad (Iron)

Revolutionary

Resistant

Primal

Unrelenting

Titanium

Cobalt

The Trench

The Matterhorn

The Barracks

Basecamp

HQ (Headquarters)

Physical Environment Based Youth Group Names

Is your church or youth group meeting place located in a unique location or has a memorable landmark nearby? You might want to think about using the physical environment around your youth group’s primary meeting location to name the group. We have a list of names to help you think about this idea.

For example, if your church is located on the edge of a well-known lake in the area, a name like “Lakeside Youth” could fit the bill. These are great names for youth groups that will have a broad range of ministry focuses, or if you don’t want to commit heavily to a descriptor of the kind of ministry that will take place in the group.

Below is a list of ideas, just take into account where you imagine the youth groups with these names might be meeting as you browse.

List Of Physical Environment Based Youth Group Names 

Downtown

Eastside/Westside/Northside/Southside

The Mountain

The Vine

The Grove

The Valley

The River

The Sound

The Creekside

The Graveyard (Yes, seriously. Might be touchy with church leadership though!)

The Winding Road

The Highway

The Interstate

The Crossroads

The Rock

The Palm

The Forest

The Summit

The Oaks

Evergreen

The Dock

Dockside

Lakeside

Surfside

Bayside

Coastal

Monument

The Bridge

The Arch

The Crossing

The Field

The Meadow

The City

The Town

The Market

The Gathering

City Based Youth Group Names

Naming your youth group could be as simple as incorporating your town or county’s name. For example, if you’re from a town named “Lebanon” (there are over 43 towns in the USA with this name), your youth group could simply be named “Lebanon Youth.” City based youth groups are great if you intend for your group to be outreach focused and expect to have a number of students not associated with your home church as part of the ministry. 

Rather than giving you a big list, just think about your city, suburb, or community and ponder if that might be a good component of a youth group name. 

Don’t forget about a city’s nickname. For example, if your youth group is in Pittsburgh (my hometown), you could name it “Steel City Youth.” 

Acronyms Names

Seed (students encountering engaging discipleship)

EPIC (encouraging people in Christ) Isaiah 43:19

LIFT (love in fellowship and truth)

Phsyical Address

Our you could name a youth group after an address like your church street or even the numerical address like 1909 Youth if your church is 1909 Main Street. Or if your church is on Highland street you could name your youth group Highland youth.

That’s our list and we hope that we helped you with naming your youth group.

And don’t forget to sign up for our awesome Social Media graphic pack filled with over 20 graphics!

Youth Group Names