Thursday, January 3, 2008
Buzzword Bingo - A church lesson from Google
I found out how Google runs their meetings and I think the church could take a cue from what they do. Whenever they have a presentation meeting, everyone is giving a bingo-type of card. But they aren't filled with numbers, they are filled with buzzwords. As the presentation goes on, everytime the presenter says a buzzword, cliche or jargon (i.e. "At the end of the day", "the bottom line", "win-win situation", "in the 11th hour", etc.) that's on your card you mark it off until you get 5 in a row, diagnal or 4 corners. When you win you just shout bingo right in the MIDDLE of their presentation! You don't win anything, but the presenter realizes they are speaking in jargon.
I think we should use these cards in church! They would be cards that read church buzzwords like "Sow a seed" or "stand in the gap" or "intercessary warrior." Or what about random statements like "It was the blood." If you don't quickly explain that one, you should have NO questions as to why people call your church a cult! Just a thought... I bet if we'd hand those cards out, preachers would stop confusing the crap out of people and stop speaking in Churchese. Most people think "standing in the gap" has something to do with buying clothes. Lots of people will sit confused if you talk about sowing seeds. Most of us begin to envision a needle, thread and sunflower seeds and making some type of strange necklace for Jesus or something.
Why not just say "give" instead of "sowing seed?" Why not just say "pray for someone" instead of "standing in the gap?" Why not just speak normal english language instead of churchese? The average person won't understand what you are talking about and the rules of sales say confused buyers won't buy. Now, while we don't "sell" salvation, a person does mentally and emotionally have to "buy into" what we are saying to apply it - and confused buyers won't buy! Then we wonder why noone answers the altar call when we use the infamous churchese statement: "The doors of the church are open." The doors of the church are open? Well close them because its cold outside and somebody might leave out the door before we ask them if they want to give their life to Christ! Oh...wait...that's what you meant? WELL THEN SAY THAT!
So, the next time your at church on a Sunday morning or a Wednesday night and you hear someone say "Bingo!" mid-sermon - just know that I came to visit your church.
What are some of your favorite church cliches or buzzwords?