Have you ever thought that there are words that the church and congregations use which aren’t helpful? Perhaps they are misunderstood? Perhaps over time they have lost their meaning, or their meaning has been drastically altered?
There was a helpful post in the Washington Post last week by Addie Zierman. She offered, “5 churchy phrases that are scaring off millennials.” I encourage you to please read and reflect on it. This reflection is a good starting place I believe for pondering about words and phrases that churches and congregations use which either are not helpful, or perhaps need to be reclaimed or recast.
With this in mind, this post marks the beginning of a new blog post series called “Words in Our Mouths.” It is a series that emerged out of conversation both in a seminary classroom, and by recent seminary students who are in the midst of seeing the good, bad, and ugly of some words and concepts in the life of a congregation. This blog series will be fun and unique as it will be mainly co-authored and co-led by my friend and colleague Emmy Kegler and myself. Posts in this series will appear on one or both of our blogs. So, if for some reason you have not followed the other one of us, Emmy’s blog can be found here, and mine is here.
We have a list of words, phrases and concepts that we are going to start with. If you have particular words, phrases, concepts, or ideas that you would like to add to our list, please let us know either through commenting here or by tweeting or e-mailing us. The first concept that we will offer reflection on will be “mission statement” in the next post in this series.
Until then, take some time and reflect on this concept. Ask yourself, what word, concept, or phrases that are used in churches and congregations need to be changed? What might need to be better educated around? What might just need to be tossed out altogether (if anything)? We are looking forward to the ensuing reflection and conversation.
Blessings- Timothy (and Emmy)