R.E.A.D. T.H.I.S. P.O.S.T. P.A.R.T. 1

8 05 2007

I am not sure who likes acronyms better churches or the government. In the government there is the FBI, CIA, DHS, FEMA, NSA the list goes on. As far as the church goes, when I first became the Children’s pastor of our church the name of the elementary ministry was R.O.C.K. Church, I honestly still don’t know what R.O.C.K. stood for. Better yet as a child of the 70’s I grew up in church during the hight of what I call the “Acronym Age”. I attended a youth group that was named…..are you ready for this C.R.A.C.K. Whether the name congers up thoughts of drug use or of a plumbers anatomy neither are pleasant and neither make you think “I would like to send my kids there”.

I do understand what acronyms are supposed to be for. Shortening long names to make them easier to say when you will be saying them quite often. Can you imagine how much less would get done by government agencies if they didn’t abbreviate! I digress. The main problem I personally have with acronyms is the present a “insider knowledge” jargon atmosphere.

The first reason for the overuse of acronym is cultural relevency with a side order of Jesus. At least the government does it right the shorten a long name, in the church we take a short “cool” name and try to cram Jesus into it (C.R.A.C.K.  “Christs Radical And Commited Kids”). Why, oh ,why must we do this.

The next reason I think people use acronyms is to help people remember your name. Yes, name recognition is good, but I think that we should be remembered by people because of the enviroment we create and the experiance that people have. People remember things that touch them emotionaly and spirtually.

The last reason I think people us acronyms to much is because they think if you name it they will C.O.M.E. Many times we put more brainstorming into getting a cool acronym than we do in creating enviroments where lifechange can happen. Ultimately that is our goal creating a place for God to move on peoples lives.

Our motivation must always be L.G.L.O. “Love God Love Others”

MOTT (more on this tomorrow)




One response

16 05 2007
Kenny Conley

Yes, yes and a resounding Yes!!!! At my previous church a man I highly respect began a ministry that got small groups to adopt missionary families we supported in Turkey. The ministry was called B.O.L.S.T.E.R. I think he spent a week coming up with the words to connect all those letters. I kind of just like the name “bolster,” That kind of says it all I think.

I took my team on a planning retreat two weeks ago and while on retreat we spent some time watching a few sessions of the purpose driven conference from several years ago. There were a few on my team that just couldn’t get past all the acronyms. I really love Craig. His teaching on philosophy of ministry (purpose driven) really had a big impact on my ministry. But it seemed like everything was an acronym. We all laughed out loud on cue when a new one would come up. I think that is a Saddleback thing though. However, I must admit, Craig’s acronyms were always very well thought out. Manytimes acronyms seemed to be a real stretch… someone jus trying to make it say something. But usually Craigs are good stuff.

But I’m with you Sam… say no to C.R.A.C.K.!


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