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Church Word Search

Church Word I ve been in church most all of my life. (Please don t hold that against me.) Every week I hear words and think that if I hadn t grown up in church I would have never heard them.  Let s go ahead and remove true Christian and/or Spiritual words like righteousness, holiness, sin, forgiveness, or atonement.  I m talking about good clean fun church words; the kind of words that we ve adopted from the King James Version and woven them into the normal church vernacular.  These are words you just NEVER hear outside of a church setting.  Get it?





Here are some I ve come up with:

  1. Appropriation
    1. I understand that this is a theological word; but I ve been told to appropriate my faith for just about every area of life.  I m still not totally sure how I appropriate things into my marriage
  2. Devourer
    1. This is commonly worked into offering sermons.  As a kid I always thought of the Devourer being some sort of villain that would battle Superman.  I get the principle of Malachi 3:11, I just think the word Devourer is a weird overused word.
  3. Condemnation
    1. As a pastor I regularly work Romans 8:1 into counseling meetings, but I m not sure I would hear this word outside of church.  Isn t there a more understandable word?
  4. Deliverance
    1. I dare you to suggest deliverance to the next co-worker that complains about their teenager.  Double-dog dare you!
  5. Testify
    1. Anyone want to testify?
  6. Anoint
    1. Usually involves cooking oil; and sometimes requests for a double-portion.


I have a few others in mind, but I d love to hear some others   If my descriptions confused you, then check out this great resource. Church-Speak 101

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. KC · January 26, 2009

    Church speak really kind of sucks.

  2. Tim Gabbard · January 26, 2009

    Love the post, it really made me laugh. You have most of mine. I don’t enjoy hearing during a sermon “Are ya tracking with me?” or “Come on somebody”.

  3. Cash Clan Japan · January 26, 2009

    HA! HA! Love it! Comfort zone? That’s pretty much churchy, isn’t it? I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say that except Christians. I’ll be thinking. I’ll be back. I need time to think about this.

  4. Sam · January 27, 2009

    I would like to disagree

    1. House Appropriation committee

    2. My two sons eat quickly they Devourer whatever is in front of them.

    3. America has become a “Condom-Nation”

    4. I thought clint eastwoods worst movie was “Deliverance”

    5. Gov. Blogoiavouauaahauach will not Testify at his Grand Jury hearing

    6. The Kobe era has passed and King James has been Anointed the best player in the game.

    I see your church speak brother and raise you one. How about “it’s under the blood” translation all the bad stuff I did BC (sub translation BC= Before I became a Christian).

    Great post and PTL from a fellow hater of Christianesse.

  5. Starr · January 28, 2009

    Sam’s comment cracked me up!

  6. Unknown Nobody · January 29, 2009

    When I was in Bible college we have this really great teacher and when you asked him how he was going he would answer with, “I’m saved and sanctified brother!” (with a smile on his face)

    So my word would be SANCTIFIED

    Who uses that in the real world?
    I had to go look it up after hearing it.