Thursday, March 17, 2016

Should they really "all know"?

On Sunday I preached for the first time since last November. Without going spectacularly, I think it went relatively ok.

But, while referencing a passage a few chapters previously, I made sure to avoid a phrase which always annoys me when used  during a church service.

"As you all know..."

This phrase should be cut from the ecclesiastical lectionary immediately.


Because it communicates that we don't expect new people, especially those from outside the Christian culture.

Quite simply, hopefully, everyone in attendance might not know what you're talking about.

And this phrase instantly ostracizes the lost person in the pew.

For nothing brands you as an outsider like not knowing the language or traditions.

This is especially true when we label the thing we're talking about - like a story from the bible - as something that "everyone is familiar with."

Worse still, there is an easy escape ramp if you do want to refer to a well-known topic.

Just say that it's a famous passage...
Or well known...

These phrases give both space for some not to know the story, but acknowledges that what you're referring to will be familiar to many present.

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