Last week I wrote a short blog on five things I wish people would stop saying from the pulpit. I never imagined the robust response it received. Along with that response, I received other suggestions of phrases/expressions that could be chosen better by the person with the microphone in their hand. Here they are:
1. “The inspired pen”.
First of all, God inspires people not writing utensils. That is “insider” language that we understand but visitors do not. These and other popular “adventese” expressions are not limited to the one listed here. We use phrases like GC, AYS, ABC, GCC, Conference, Union, Division, and a host of others that if not explained can create a puzzled look in guests’ faces at the worship service. Speak English, Spanish, Korean, etc. No one likes to feel left out. Didn’t feel great in middle school. Still doesn’t.
2. “Lord, please hurry the steps of those who are on their way”.
What does that even mean? Are we down with teleportation now? One important fact we sometimes forget, is that just because a person is late, it does not mean they are less spiritual or don’t care about their relationship with God. There could be a host of reasons why people are late. I am an early arrival. That makes me prompt, not perfect. By the way, a smile and a hug for late arrivals communicates we are glad you are here. You are a greeter, not a judger.
3. “Without wasting any more time”.
This one is used a lot in Spanish churches. The person who is introducing the speaker, after taking all the time in the world, says “now, without wasting any more of your time, we will have our guest speaker preach”. The question I have is: how about all the other parts of the service? Was that a waste of time or just your part, the long drawn out introduction?
4. Can I get an amen?
No you may not. Jesus will. You won’t.
5. “Now, for the main part of the service”.
6. “Spanish is the language of heaven”.
No it’s not. It’s farsi. Please stop saying this. I want to jump off the third floor of the GC when I hear that.
These are small details, I know. But if our goal is excellence in everything we do, we must get better. Any prayer requests, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org