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The Word ‘Gospel’ is Confusing

The word “Gospel” is the most meaningful word used in Christian vocabulary.  It is “one” word that means the totality of the life and work of Jesus. But, the word “Gospel” is a strange/unusual word on the streets of our cities where people who are far from God live.  Try using the word “Gospel” in a sentence with someone who doesn’t go to church.  Notice how they pretend to be tracking with you.

As Christ followers who dearly love and are overwhelmed by what the gospel means to us….the word makes no sense to others.  Talking to people on the streets, who are far from God, using the word “Gospel” would be like us using the word “Godspell” with churched people.  What is a “Godspell?” (Godspell is the original Anglo-Saxon translation of the Greek word for Gospel).  It reads strange doesn’t it?  Godspell?  Is this sorcery? I’m confused. Unleashed for the GodSpell?

When talking to people who are un-churched we must be careful with the language we use.  Using the word “Gospel” is confusing.  Lets have conversations with people where we talk about Jesus.  Tell the stories of Jesus encounters with people we know about from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  How did he act, what did he say, why did he do what he did?  Jesus is the story.  Not the word “Gospel.” Be intentional with your language with people outside of the church. It serves them.

Is the word “Gospel” getting in the way of our communication with people outside of the church?  Is it a hindrance to actually communicating the most important truth we believe to those we want to hear it?

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Kirby Holmes is a Groups and Growth Pastor at Gateway Church in Austin, TX. Gateway is a No Perfect People Allowed church where we often say Come as You AreÂ…but DonÂ’t Stay as You Are. Half of the people who attend Gateway would say they were far from God when they started attending. Gateway is a place where God is helping un-churched messy people become beautiful masterpieces of GodÂ’s design. Twitter: @KirbyHolmes Web: www.KirbyHolmes.me Church: www.GatewayChurch.com