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Words communicate

Words communicate

Well, of course they do. But when was the last time you’ve put the words we use in our churches through the filter to see how folks may be hearing them? Read on.

Church Vocabulary Lesson

From Church Marketing Sucks

What I’m about to say may seem ridiculously basic. Ready? Here goes:

Words communicate.

Mmhmm. Call me Captain Obvious.

OK, but seriously. If you’ve been in the church communications world for much time at all, you likely recognize that everything communicates something. That’s why we get wrapped up in conversations about adding diaper changing stations to the men’s restrooms and eliminating those front-row, “Reserved for Pastor” parking spaces. That’s good stuff. But how long has it been since you assessed the actual words your church is throwing around? Here are my current pet-peeves:

Push, as in, “We need to push people into Membership Class” or “We need a volunteer push for Vacation Bible School.” The problem is that people don’t want to be pushed into anything. They don’t mind being invited, encouraged, or even challenged. But pushed? No thanks. . . .

Insider language. This has been covered by dozens of blogs—like this one—but I wanted to offer it up as a reminder. Review your communication through the eyes of someone who has no idea what you’re talking about and fix what could feel exclusive . . .

Talking about “the unchurched” as if they’re not in the room, as in, “Be sure to invite your unchurched friends!” and “Movie Night is a terrific evangelism opportunity!” Imagine being a first-time guest reading those words. . . .

Sermon. You ever looked up the definition of sermon? It’s a “religious talk” or a “long lecture on behavior.” . . .

!, as in the exclamatory statements tacked on to every announcement. “Don’t miss it!” “You’ve gotta check this out!” . . .


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Frederick W. Schmidt

An important question…and as little asked as it is obvious…one possible solution….apply “The Dave Test”

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