Yesterday I talked about what “missional” means. “Missional” is underlined by my spell-checker because IT’S NOT A WORD!
Words like “missional” give me the creeps. When someone wants to “dialogue” with me I want to, frankly, just die, whether a log comes with me or not.
Lately there has been much talk about the church needing to be more intentional with stuff. Intentional. Intentional means to do stuff on purpose. “Intentional grounding” is when a quarterback purposely throws the ball into the ground to avoid taking a loss of yards on a play. He purposely fired the ball into the ground so the play would end.
I typed “the church needs more intentional” into search engines and came up with the following suggestions:
the church needs more intentional communities
the church needs more intentional infliction
the church needs more intentional living
the church needs more intentional interim pastors
the church needs more intentional discipleship
I don’t know. I really don’t know about “intentional infliction.” What?
Have we been unintentionally doing these things? I remember that one time I unintentionally hired an interim pastor! Oh man, that was a mess.
The list of non-sensically complex words could go on:
progressional dialogue (I kid you not)
I hope you don’t hear these much. If you do, I encourage you to change your hangouts.
People who have to invent new usages of words in such ways are doing one of a couple of things:
1) Trying to look smart
2) Hoping to intimidate you into awed silence, proving they are better than you
3) Trying to sound hip
4) Making stuff up and hoping you don’t ask questions
Most of it has to do with appearances, trying to dress up the outside to appear better. Trying to impress people is a bad sign. Not that we’re trying to un-impress (depress?) people. The point is that we live for the Lord and do things for Him not for people. Certainly God doesn’t need us to talk this way.
In the end, it might be innocent fun, but I honestly believe people who play games with words like this, actually have no idea what they are talking about. If they did, they’d be able to explain it in a way that would help others understand their thought.
It may not always be true, but when people use verbs as nouns, or nouns as verbs, or weird things with adjectives in adverbial forms or whatnot, it’s a red flag in my mind. I begin to tune out.
Paul warns about using “enticing words,” words that sound intelligent and yet have no real meaning.
It is highly discouraging to hear Christians do this with the Gospel. The Gospel is so straight-forward, and to hear us hip it up to be cool and trendy, while all we are doing is burying meaning, is a travesty.
Theologians do this. Corporate Christianity does this.
You don’t hear this sort of talk in the line at the food pantry.
Stop trying to fit in with the uppity-ups of the world, and go serve the least of these, even in your language.