Engaging Culture

Are You Washed in the Blood? Communicating in a Language and Style the Culture Understands

In my books I write frequently about making sure that in our scripts and programming, we stop the “Christian Lingo” and speak in a language and style the culture understands.  As an example, a few years ago I received this e-mail from a media executive that brilliantly illustrates the point:


This month in your newsletter you mentioned how sometimes we as Christians don’t communicate very well with non-believers. My wife and I bought a radio station in a small market several years ago in rural Indiana. We decided on a positive country format, and included select Christian artists that fit that format.  One DJ was given a Christian CD and told to listen to a particular song. In a few minutes he came out of the studio and announced that that was a gross and disgusting song. We were surprised and asked him why. His statement was “That song talks about being washed in the blood”.

To us, being active in church all of our lives, it was common church language but to an unchurched person that took the literal meaning, it was gross. My wife had the chance to explain it to him, but we have used this example many times trying to get “church” people to see how our familiar use of words is not understood by the world.

Thanks for all you do. We appreciate you and your forward thinking. You do good stuff!!!!!!!!!


It’s a perfect example.  Drop the lingo.  Let’s write scripts, speak, and share our story in a language and style the audience understands.  Have you discovered any other good examples?

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  1. Yesterday a very intelligent well educated friend of mine mentioned that he never understood what ‘Hail Mary’ actually meant. Until recently when he heard it in Arabic and realized that instead of meaning Honor or Worship, that it actually is more like ‘Hi Mary’, or ‘Dear Mary’ as in writing a letter.

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