11/6/06

See, they get it.

Heads up, blue sky thinking can alienate staff | Oddly Enough | Reuters.com

Ok, so the thrust of the story is really that they don't get it. But at least Reuters cares enough to report on its dangers. And what is "it"? The misuse of office jargon. The Christian equivilant would be Christianese.

Why is it so difficult to understand? Cliches end up being the inside jokes of originating group. No one outside of management really understands office jargon and no one outside of the church really understands Christianese.
Almost two-thirds of employees (60 percent) would prefer no jargon at work...

Nearly 40 percent of workers surveyed believed jargon betrayed a lack of confidence, while one in five thought those who used it were untrustworthy or trying to cover something up.
I think the same survey about Christianese would yield much the same results. When we use phrases like "saved" and "ask Jesus into your heart" and "anointing of the Holy Spirit," people don't understand and automatically mistrust what we have to say.

This seems like such a simple concept, but breaking from old habits can be hard. The next time you're talking to an "unsaved" (see, another Christianese word - I'm not even sure you could find that in the dictionary) person, think to yourself "how would this come across to someone who hasn't grown up in the church?"

If there are any non-Christians in my readership, I appologize on behalf of all Christians everywhere who have made themselves look weird by using terms only they understand. We clearly didn't get that as an example from Christ. Maybe we got it from our bosses.