By Grant Norsworthy
But how many of us see our own contribution to the gap? It’s easy to point fingers, but it’s harder to take an honestly look at myself and ask if I am part of the problem.
Could it be that I contribute to the gap more than I currently recognize? Does the way I use (or misuse) words like ‘worship’ and ‘ministry’ and ‘church’ show that I too am contributing to the gap? After all, The Bible tells us that our language shows what’s really in our own heart:
“For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34b
… and that the way we speak sets our course and directs us:
“Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.” James 3:4-5a
… and the ramifications of careless, thoughtless speech:
“If anyone considers himself a worshiper, yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his worship is worthless.” James 1:26
Perhaps the Christian-ese language we use indicates our own contribution to the ‘gap’. For example, when we say the word ‘worship’, what do we mean? Songs in a church service? Does that meaning match the true, bigger meaning of worship? Does it match scripture? No, it does not.
When we use the word ‘worship’ to mean what we know it does not mean, does it perhaps hinder us from surrendering ourselves to a more true and full expression of worship? Does it contribute to the misunderstanding of worship in those who hear us speak? Does that hindrance and misunderstanding, in turn, effect the whole Church? For my part, I believe YES and ABSOLUTELY! I would suggest that this thought is at least worth wider consideration.
I discussed this topic in a recent interview with legendary Nashville artist manager Mike Smith.
“I’m not passionate to change the verbiage of the Christian Church; I’m not going to change how everyone uses these words.”
But, “The catalyst for change in me was when I decided that I was going to change how I said some words. For me, things started changing when, for example, I decided to stop using the word ‘worship’ to mean what I know it doesn’t mean.”
“As a communicator and teacher, I’m trying to offer you … something simple and practical like this that you might consider doing as well.”
This video excerpt was recorded as part of Mike’s online artist management course.
More info from michaelsmithandassociates.com