On Sunday nights I am teaching a series called Huh? It’s a practical set of talks geared to help us all increase our level of effective communication.

One huge hurdle to effective communication is the lingo into which we so easily slide. The dictionary defines lingo: a characteristic language of a particular group that is unfamiliar to those outside that group.

Last night—even as I am teaching on effective communication—I discovered how guilty I am of using Church Lingo. After our service was over, my daughter Samantha handed me an offering envelope on which she had written a Church Lingo lexicon.

Street Word           Church Lingo
Yes                          Amen
Mr. & Mrs.                Brother & Sister
Goodbye                  God bless
Ticked off                 Grieved
Sing                         Worship together

Ouch! A good reminder that I can so easily slip into Church Lingo and leave people all around me saying, “Huh?” I’m trying to get better.

What Church Lingo have you heard (or adopted yourself) that needs to be changed?

3 Responses to “Lingo”

  1. Nate Elarton Says:

    That is pretty funny and revealing. Great post Craig.


  2. Cathy Harris Says:

    For many years, I’ve tried to pay attention to
    “Church talk” especially since I heard this story. Forty years ago my friend Becky attended a well known large Baptist Church in Dallas Vacation Bible School. On the last day, they offered an invitation inviting one and all to come forward to get saved or go straight to hell and burn in flames. Those words were used. Ten year old Becky, being Methodist, had never heard the words “Saved or Burn in Flames” so didn’t know what was going on. When other kids started going to the altar to repent of their sins and be saved, she was unsure what to do, so she hid under the pew, terrified. She said she didn’t want to go forward to the altar to the people who scared her, but didn’t want to be burned in flames either so she took refuge under the pew and hid. She told me this story ten years ago. I can still hear her telling me her big question was “what are we getting SAVED from.” Needless to say she never went back and was cautious about allowing her kids to attend events at churches other than their own. BTW Becky is a sweet wonderful Christian if anyone wonders. She was just stressing a point about “church words.”


  3. Tom Says:

    A pastor’s wife related, “Before she was ‘saved’ and attended a church for the first time, heard them talking about being ‘washed in the blood’ and thought she was in some cult meeting and wanted to run out.”


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