Sunday, September 17, 2006

The new 'Company Talk'

Churches used to talk all the time about removing jargon from our language. This was ‘company talk’, and those looking to join the company didn’t know the lingo. So words had to be explained or avoided.

So we worked hard at not using words like ‘sin’, ‘righteousness’, ‘judgment’ and ‘atonement’. These words needed to be avoided or explained. Interestingly, you could freely use words like ‘love’, ‘peace’ and ‘hope’. I’m not sure whether jargon was the problem, so much as fear of confrontation.


Anyway, times have moved on. And the company is not quite the same as it was. So, I give you now the new company jargon. I've picked up many of these in this last year.

  • Missional
  • Worshipful
  • Emergent
  • Emerging
  • Lead Pastor
  • Wholeness
  • Wellness
  • Healthful
  • Conversant with...

I don't know what half of these words mean, and I work here.

Love, Justin.


chelsea said...

> I’m not sure whether jargon was the problem, so much as fear of confrontation.

I think that would be a fair conclusion to make there justin!

I have to stop myself using jargon at my TC B/s sometimes, especially with new kids, but you're right, it always seems to be those 'big' words that are just too contronting that we 'explain' but perhaps to soften that blow?! hm interesting thought anyway....

Niphal said...

You know it's funny - I think 'sin' is a word which we expect people not to know but they actually do (maybe not the way we think of it but they recognise it - at least here in Australia).

Take for instance the new song from Robbie Williams - the first three words of the chorus are "sin sin sin" - it's not a word that's outside of public view. There are quite a few songs I've heard (don't ask me to name them 'cause I have NO idea) which would include 'company talk'.

Scott said...

Some others we might want to add (not quite as odd but equally obscured from over use)

just ("we'just' want to pray that . . ." )

michael jensen said...

hows about 'worship pastor'?

or 'purpose-driven'? I mean, what does 'purpose-driven' mean? What a load of gobbledygook!


oh, and some adjectives:

godly (shame to list godly, used to be a good word)

Brandon Fibbs said...

I was once given a paper in Bible college that was trying to convey the language barrier Christians have to overcome in order to talk about their faith to the unchurched. It contained language such as "washed in the blood," "eating the flesh," and tons of others that specifically escape me at the moment but whose impression has never left me.

We do love our language and today's power words will be tomorrow's pariahs. Nothing like being distracted from the real issue. Makes me think of St. Francis' quote: "Preach the Gospel, if Necessary use Words."

Eb said...

The term "wellness" seems to be appearing all over the place. Not that I know what it means...