13 Things Christians Say (and What They Really Mean)

If you have been in Christian leadership for any length of time, there have been more frustrating conversations than you can count. Christians are very kind people. Therefore, they often spiritualize their words to sanitize what they are really thinking.

In an effort to help Christians develop a glossary of terms and cut through the fluff, the are following 13 Things Christians Say and 13 Things Christians Really Mean. This will help you during your next leadership meeting.

1. Christian leaders say, “I’m not interested in church growth. I’m interested in church health.” What Christian leaders really mean is, “We are plateaued or declining and I don’t know how to turn it around.”

2. Christians say, “We need to pray for revival.” What Christians really mean is, “Our church needs to start growing but we’re not willing to change.”

3. Christians say, “I’m not being fed.” One of the many things Christians really mean is, “I do not like the preaching.” For eight more things “I’m not being fed” really means, click An Open Letter to all Christians Who Say, “I’m Not Being Fed.”

4. Christians say, “I’ll pray for you.” What Christians mean many times is, “I really do feel bad for you, but I’ll probably unintentionally forget about this in five minutes.”

5. Christians and non-Christians both say, “Don’t judge me.” What Christians and non-Christians really mean is, “I know what I’m doing is wrong but I don’t want to change so mind your own business.”

6. Christian leaders say, “No one does ministry like we do.” During the ’90s, Christian leaders meant, “We have a drum set.” During the 2000s, Christian leaders meant, “Our pastor is bald, has a goatee and we show movie clips during the service.” Today, Christian leaders mean, “Our pastor has tattoos and torn jeans, our church meets in a storefront and we play secular songs during our service.”

7. Christians say, “We’re led by the Spirit.” What Christians often really mean is, “We don’t have a plan nor do we want one.”

8. Christian leaders often say during a board meeting, “Well, I think we need to make this an item of prayer.” What Christian leaders often really mean is, “This is a good idea but I don’t want to implement it. Maybe if we stall this initiative for a month or two it will just go away.”

9. Christian small group leaders say, “I think …” or “I feel …” What Christian small group leaders really mean is, “I don’t know what the Bible says but my comments must be right.”

10. Christian worship leaders say, “Worship is not about us. It is about God.” While technically true, what Christian worship leaders really mean is, “I don’t want you talking about how bad our song selection and set was.”

11. Christians say, “It seems like all we do is talk about money.” What Christians often really mean is, “I’m not giving and I wish we’d move onto something else.”

12. What Christian finance team leaders often say is, “We don’t want the pastor knowing what anyone in the church gives.” What Christian finance team leaders often really mean is, “I’m personally not giving and I don’t want him to know.”

13. And now a well-known favorite: Christians say, “Oh bless your heart.” What Christians really mean is, “That was dumb.”

I hope this helps you during your next meeting.