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Language

Starbucks did it.  They gave us a new language.  Do you know what a “venti” is?  If you do, you’re drinking too much coffee at a single sitting.  If you don’t know what it is, try ordering a big coffee.

The world cup did it.  If you found yourself asking the question, “What is offsides?” you are entering a new language.

Alexander the Great did it.  He spread a language that would eventually be known as Koine Greek…a common language for all the known world to share.  And, consequently, paved the way for good news to be spread throughout the world.

The church did it a long time ago.  When they were in a position of power in the world (the argument about whether or not the church should ever be in “power” can happen elsewhere) they were able to force a language upon the world.

It won’t work anymore.  The church is no longer the power center of our culture.  That is scary to some and exciting for others.  I’m excited because it allows God’s people to speak into the lives of the powerless in a real and fresh way.  Here’s the problem: the church doesn’t know how to talk the language of the masses.  It’s plugging its ears and covering its eyes and not willing to recognize the plain and obvious truth: People don’t understand the old language.

When the preacher says, “sin”, people don’t recognize what that means…they don’t get it.  But what they do get is “selfishness”.  They get that they’re selfish, but not sinful.  The language of the church must MUST MUST join the new common language of the world.  The story mustn’t change, but the way we say it must.

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