Language matters - josh sperry

I recently read a book that I highly recommend called Axiom by Bill Hybels. It is full of powerful leadership proverbs that are both moving and challenging.

But one chapter in particular captivated my attention. The chapter was simply called Language Matters. Bill Hybels will take weeks to come up with one word that will change a vision statement from a slogan to something that captures the heart and attention of every individual that hears it.

For example, the 3 core values at his church are evangelism, discipleship, and compassion. We have heard these all in different ways in the church. But the core value of compassion is explained this way: “to unleash unprecedented amounts of compassion into our broken world.” This statement captivated me! It makes you want to be a part of putting it to action.

Our language and the words we use matter. Our words can take a crucial conversation with a coworker from being offensive and changing the relationship negatively to being a crucial conversation that gains respect and also results you were hoping for. Our language can take a conversation in discipline with our children from being hurtful to bringing hope and positive change. My language as a pastor can bring a vision statement from being something people have heard before to a vision statement that captivates the hearts of the church and moves them to action for God’s kingdom. Language matters.

“My language as a pastor can bring a vision statement from being something people have heard before to a vision statement that captivates the hearts of the church and moves them to action for God’s kingdom.”

I am reminded in James 3:3-5, “We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mount. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way,

the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.” Our tongue is the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal. But used wisely, it can do incredible things. Today, think about the words that you use in conversation and life. They have the power to do great things and make an eternal difference. Spend the time today to think through the power of your words. Our language matters!

Today, think about the words that you use in conversation and life.”

 

Josh Sperry is the youth pastor at Life Church Tricities

Follow him on twitter: @joshuasperry