At first everyone thought it was just a misstep: The college ministry’s banners proclaimed “WTF” in big bold letters. But rather than the familiar if profane abbreviation we’re used to, the words “worship,” “teaching” and “friends” appeared below each letter.
As some noted on Twitter, “this is what happens when churches don’t stay up on current trends.”
After I had a big laugh and then felt guilty for laughing at someone else’s misfortune, I contacted the church. Turns out ‘WTF’ was no accident but intentional.
“We are aware of what ‘WTF’ originally stands for, and that is actually why we chose it,” says Rob James, with Copper Pointe Church, the Albuquerque, N.M., church behind the college and young adult ministry, Wake. “It is something that our target audience is very familiar with. We are a progressive college group located in Albuquerque, N.M., and we know that any college-aged person is a phone-weilding, text-sending machine. So why not use what they are familiar with?”
“We have taken precautions so that nobody gets the wrong intention,” says Rob. “For example, it will never be seen on any of our media as a question. It is always a statement. WTF is Wake. Worship+Teaching+Friends is Wake. Those are the three standards we have based our college group on.”
And so far the response has been positive, at least among the college students they’re trying to reach, with more than 300 students on seven campuses attending.
As Rob explains “We often hear the question in excitement, ‘You guys are the WTF church, right?’”
It puts Copper Pointe’s tagline in a new light: “Church like never before.”