Wake Forest church uses WTF to attract college students

A church in Wake Forest has decided to build its logo around the acronym WTF (to them it means “worship, teaching, friends”). A picture of the church has recently received lots of attention on the web, with most people assuming that the church is clueless and has no idea what the acronym actually stands for. But, according to the church’s blog, they’re well aware of its usual meaning, but have used the acronym as part of an intentional strategy to market the church to college students. (Don’t you love it when we use the words “market” and “church” in the same sentence?) So, the church is pretty excited about all the attention that they’ve received from this photo.



About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on September 6, 2010, in Ministry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. surely WTF is only funny when it is accompanied by a question mark? Otherwise it means Water Treatment Facility.

    • I looked this up out of curiosity (i.e., I’m supposed to be doing something else and instead I’m wasting time looking up useless stuff on the internet). Apparently, WTF commonly refers to the World Taekwondo Federation. Other possible meanings include Worse Than Failure, What the Frak? (Battlestar Gallactica, of course), Wow That’s Fantastic, Welcome to Finland, Where’s the Food, World Trade Federation, World Tennis Federation, Wrestling Takedown Federation (South Park), and as you point out Waste Treatment Facility. I’m pretty sure that if I was one of the federations, I’d be changing my acronym right about now. And, I’ve definitely decided that whenever I type WTF in the future (something that’s rarely ever happened in the past), I will definitely mean “Welcome to Finland!”

  2. Sad.

    It’s one thing if they were naive to its typical/vulgar usage today; the fact that they are using it as a play on its typical usage is just plain ole’ sad . . . and theologically, Pelagian (yep, I said it 😉 ).

  3. I’m not sure I see a connection to Pelagius or the theology he inspired Bobby…

    But, instead, what I see is an unwise attempt to be witty.

  4. Matt,

    My point was, in re. to Pelagius, is the need that some feel to market the Gospel in ways that are motivated by the idea that “we’ve” go to figure out how to make it appealing to the world. You know the whole “felt need” “real need” dichotomy (which I also see, theologically, as Pelagian). It may not be a conscious pelagianism, but most things in the Evangelical church aren’t much conscious now-a-days are they 😉 ? [sorry for the cynicism, but it’s true, given our Fundy heritage grounded in pietistic individualism].

  5. wtf?

    The picture is from the University of New Mexico N side of their student union building, and the church is in Albuquerque, NM.

    What’s with the “Wake Forest?”

    Did you know that their group used to go by “Wake” and possibly mistake that?

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