We Gotta Stop Saying These Things

Ever notice how Christians tend to develop their own lingo?

We who are in Sovereign Grace Churches have done that over the years, and thankfully, some of our old terminology has been relegated to the church lingo junk yard. ?I can?t believe some of the language we used in the early years of our church. Visitors must have wondered what planet we came from.

For example, in the early 80?s in our church we called our worship team ?The Music Unit.? What were we thinking? ?Sounds like a name Frank Zappa would have come up with (he named his daughter Moon Unit). Maybe we should have had Styx come in to lead us in singing “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto.” “Music Unit” also sounds like some kind of Swat Team. ?I can hear Jack Bauer calling CTU saying, ?I need you to get me the Music Unit over here NOW!? ?Suddenly, a helicopter appears over the church building and black-clad commandos descend on ropes, bust through the sanctuary doors, storm the stage, and begin to lead us in a rousing chorus of ?We’re Gonna Take Back What the Devil Stole From Us.?

Another name for worship teams that some of our churches used was ?The Minstrels.? I am glad to say I never used that term. ?What were we – medieval kings? ??Let the Minstrels come forth!?? Suddenly singers come out in tights and jester hats playing their lutes. ?What were guests thinking? ??When does the jousting begin?? ?What were guests who?d been to the Genesis concert the night before thinking? ??Last night I saw a super band; this morning I?m being entertained by minstrels.?

This may have been limited to our church, but back in the early 80?s we had ?pot faith? meals, because there is no such thing as ?luck? for a Christian. Of course, no one would tell anyone else what they were bringing, we would just be in ?faith? the Holy Spirit would lead each of us in what to bring. ?I don?t know how we explained it when everyone showed up with macaroni and cheese.

As weird as we were back then, we still have things we have to quit saying. We have got to stop saying ?Released,? as in ?Those of you serving in Children’s Ministry may be released now.? ?What? ?Do we have them in cages? ??Run free Children’s Workers! ?Run home to your burrows.? ?Or, ?Thank your wife for releasing you to come and speak at our church this morning.? ??Ok, I?ll do that. ?I?ll thank her for unlocking those manacles on my wrists and ankles.? ?What do visitors think when we say, ?For all our guests this morning, please be released from giving any currency in the oblation when the ushers come hither from yon ushers? chambers.?

I know I?ll get flack for this one, but can we stop calling the Communion bread and juice ?the elements??
What are we taking this morning – Chromium and Manganese?

And we?ve got to stop saying, ?So if you?re here this morning? as in, ?So if you?re here this morning and you?re depressed…?
Of course they?re here. ?Where else are they? ??So if you?re not here this morning and you?re depressed…?

And I think it?s time for guys to stop calling other guys, ?Bro.? That was cool at one time but we?ve got to ditch it. ?Along with overuse of the word ?serve.? ??Bro, it really wouldn?t serve my wife, Bro, for me to help you move your piano this weekend. ?And Bro, it wouldn?t serve me either, Bro. ?And Bro, I?d love to serve you by sharing an observation with you, Bro. ?Be released from asking me to serve you in the future, Bro.?

And can we all stop saying, ?At the end of the day? and ?It is what it is?? ?Can we, Bro?

Now it’s your turn.? What other lingo do we just need to stop using?

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Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.

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