Meditations (Web)Church

A year (and a bit) in the life of NewSpring's first Web pastor

Hey Jesus lovers, watch your mouth!

with 7 comments

It might seem simplistic, but it seems to me that our only reason for living as Christians in this world is so we can evangelize our great God.

As someone who came to faith at the age of 30, I had personally experienced the cost of having my cognitive understanding of Christian faith junked up by all sorts of unhelpful rubbish.

That’s why I was always a little nonplussed by criticisms that NewSpring was somehow “dumbing down” or oversimplifying the gospel because it was seeker-sensitive. The Apostle Paul, for one, is amazingly clear about how everything we do in gathered worship should be seeker sensitive.

So I wasn’t expecting the conviction I felt after reading Internet Evangelism Today‘s challenging post on the use of Christian jargon.

On the NewSpring Web Campus, we’re coaching our chat hosts not to use any Christian jargon so that if someone stumbles into the service, they’re not left scratching their heads.

And then in Sunday’s services i caught myself using the word “saved” several times in my segments as I explained that Pastor Perry Noble believed on faith — and was asking NewSpring to pray for — more than 1,000 people to come to know Jesus.

The core point of the article is that we have to assume that our hearers no nothing about Christianity or Jesus. That’s a fair bet in our post-Christian world.

And that seems even more important in the online world of YouTube, Twitter and other mass social media where accidental collisions between believers and unbelievers are an everyday reality.

Here’s a helpful starting list of words to avoid with alternatives. What would you add and why?

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Written by NickCharalambous

March 30, 2009 at 10:00 am

Posted in evangelism

Tagged with ,

7 Responses

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  1. […] was a great reminder from Nick C. and his thoughts about “watching our […]

  2. Jesus spoke with the language of the common man so I think we should do the same. I’m okay with the risk of sounding simple or “uneducated” to my Christian peers in order to effectively spread the message of Jesus.

    I remember a local church marquee that read: “Join us this Sunday for a morning of sanctification!”

    Chris Hill

    March 31, 2009 at 8:19 am

  3. Rock on. That marquee is hilarious.

    ipiphanist

    March 31, 2009 at 8:41 am

  4. […] Hey Jesus lovers, watch your mouth – Discusses the importance of avoiding Christian jargon and terms non-Christians don’t understand. […]

  5. […] a few hopeful seconds, I thought NewSpring was about to reform its approach to profanity when I saw this watch-your-mouth headline from the church’s web […]

  6. […] Newspring Internet pastor Nick Charalambous’ blog I saw him using 1 Corinthians 14 to back his claim that The Apostle Paul, for one, is amazingly clear about how everything we do in gathered worship […]

  7. […] Nick Charalambous, in advocating that we put saved in our back pockets for awhile, pointed his readers to a list of traditional Christian words and their suggested replacements. While not everything on the list is disagreeable, there are quite a few that do a great injustice to the carefully cultivated meaning of the original word. […]


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