Day 43: Pronouns Matter

Read Acts 16:6-10

Pronouns like ‘they’ & ‘we’ are important. In Acts 16, these words provide clues to when God purposefully put people together. Starting in Acts 13, Paul and Barnabas are sent on a mission by the church at Antioch and “being sent by the Holy Spirit, they went...” (13:4). After many miles and missionary chapters, Paul envisioned “a man of Macedonia” calling to him (16:9). Thereafter, the story changed from they to we got ready at once…. (16:10). Luke became a part of Paul’s mission team (and the historian who recorded these events).

Author Daniel Pink describes the significance of pronouns for organizations in Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Based upon a diagnostic test, listening to whether employees refer to their company as they or as we tells whether individuals feel engaged or alienated from an organization’s purpose. When workers say we, they demonstrate ownership of the company’s goals; when workers say they, this exhibits that the team feels less a part of the corporate mission.

This rings true for our church, too. Each week at worship newcomers say, “I like your church”. Better yet, regular attenders begin to say, “I just told someone that they gotta try our church, cause I love it!’” When your pronoun switches from your church to our church, you have stopped ‘going to church’ and you are now part of it. The congregation has become your faith family and you know that you play a significant role! You don’t just get the vision, but the vision has gotten you! You seek to grasp the mission and ministry (i.e., become a member). You strive to learn your place(s) of service (i.e., apply your time & talents). You invite your unchurched family & friends. You’re a blessing to your church. God put us together on purpose!