There is a new vocabulary current in the UK church scene. People speak of churches “crossing over”. It is the jargon of leaders attempting to bring people through change to say, “We are crossing over”. I heard talk of it at the conference I attended recently.
The appeal of this short-hand is that it conveys a motivational message succinctly.
A well constructed mission statement can hook passion and devotion
It has been demonstrated in business that a well constructed mission statement can hook passion and devotion. Yet I have problems with this use of language, “crossing over”. I have heard of it being used brutally. I know of one church where the older people are being warned they must “cross over” or they will be left behind.
Spin is in The Kingdom!
It is a seductive term in all the promise that it implies. But nobody is ‘crossing’. They are not moving anywhere. Language is being used to disguise and conceal. Spin is in The Kingdom!
The problem with jargon is often not with those who coin the terms, but those who pick them up second-hand. In amateur fashion they try in their turn to handle them and do so unskilled and clumsily.
“Crossing over” suggests only one journey, with one destination. A cultural shift within a church fellowship can hardly be compared to a single short journey. I suggest it is not a single change. We have a continuing life-long journey with Jesus. Our journeys, both personal and as churches, will have a series of intermediate, shorter-term goals or destinations.
After selling the one-journey-crossing-over-myth, they will be at a loss to explain the next journey and the one after that.
The leader who thinks they can build faith for change into those they serve by suggesting only one period of change will fail. They are either fooling themselves or are not telling the whole story. After selling the one-journey-crossing-over-myth, they will be at a loss to explain the next journey and the one after that, unless they intend to go back and forth across the same street!
Save me from ‘spinning’ church!