#102 Stuff Kids Pastors Like

Acronyms

I am not sure who likes acronyms better churches or the government. In the government there is the FBI, CIA, DHS, FEMA, NSA the list goes on. As far as the church goes, when I first became the Children’s pastor of our church the name of the elementary ministry was R.O.C.K. Church, I honestly still don’t know what R.O.C.K. stood for. Better yet as a child of the 70’s I grew up in church during the hight of what I call the “Acronym Age”. I attended a youth group that was named…..are you ready for this C.R.A.C.K. Whether the name congers up thoughts of drug use or of a plumbers anatomy neither are pleasant and neither make you think “I would like to send my kids there”. Another youth group I attended was T.R.E.K. (Kenny my sci-fi friend would have loved it.) Totally Radical Embassies of the Kingdom. Live long and prosper.

There are two basic methods for naming something with an acronym.

Method 1 – Start will a cool name that has nothing to do with church and cram one of the following words or a combination of the following words: Christ, Radical, Kingdom, Kids, or Christian into your cool name to make it sound “more Christian”

The Less popular Method 2 – Start with a cool name and then shorten it. This one has more to do with luck than it does with wit. Like accidentally finding out your phone number spells a word.

I do understand what acronyms are supposed to be for. Shortening long names to make them easier to say when you will be saying them quite often. Can you imagine how much less would get done by government agencies if they didn’t abbreviate! I digress. The main problem I personally have with acronyms is the present a “insider knowledge” jargon atmosphere.

The first reason for the overuse of acronym is cultural relevency with a side order of Jesus. At least the government does it right the shorten a long name, in the church we take a short “cool” name and try to cram Jesus into it (C.R.A.C.K. “Christs Radical And Commited Kids”). Why, oh ,why must we do this.

The next reason I think people use acronyms is to help people remember your name. Yes, name recognition is good, but I think that we should be remembered by people because of the enviroment we create and the experiance that people have. People remember things that touch them emotionaly and spirtually.

The last reason I think people us acronyms to much is because they think if you name it they will C.O.M.E. Many times we put more brainstorming into getting a cool acronym than we do in creating enviroments where lifechange can happen. Ultimately that is our goal creating a place for God to move on peoples lives.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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14 thoughts on “#102 Stuff Kids Pastors Like

  1. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!? Z, K, X, Abbreviations, all things that come out of the fanny pack.

    I honestly think that many spend way too much time trying to be cool. If you're not 16 years old then your just not cool, so get over it. Trying to be cool is way less cool then just plain not being cool. Mind as well focus on the things that really matter, like as you say, creating a place for God to move, building meaningful genuine disciple making relationships.

    P.S one that really bugs me is "Boys and Girls", maybe that sounds less cheesy to you lot, but to me it sounds patronizing. I get this nasty image of a middle aged guy with a nasaly voice (wearing a fanny pack) with a puppet doing a terrible job of ventriloquism saying "Hello boy's and girls, how are you today?" Seriously, does anyone else on the planet still address kids as "boys a and girls"?

  2. That's a good word, Sam! At the church I'm working at, our pre-school service is named L.A.M.B.S. but I can't seem to find anyone who knows what that stands for.

  3. great post, Sam.

    I've been guilty of this one myself… luckily I currently have a team around me that won't let me do lame things like this without first verbally assaulting me.

  4. Sheik,

    Thanks for your comment. I am actually a huge non-fan of all things acronym. I grew up in a church that revered them. I have mad create acronym skills as I spent most of my formative years making up other acronyms other than the intend acronym for my own sanity/pleasure.

    Anthony,

    Ha! Verbally assaulting you that is hilarious. Count me in. Send your acronyms my way and I will verbally assault you from the East coast.

    Jonathan,

    I considered it but out of deference to my few but verbose international readers. I can name nothing on my blog Fanny.

  5. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!? Z, K, X, Abbreviations, all things that come out of the fanny pack.

    I honestly think that many spend way too much time trying to be cool. If you’re not 16 years old then your just not cool, so get over it. Trying to be cool is way less cool then just plain not being cool. Mind as well focus on the things that really matter, like as you say, creating a place for God to move, building meaningful genuine disciple making relationships.

    P.S one that really bugs me is “Boys and Girls”, maybe that sounds less cheesy to you lot, but to me it sounds patronizing. I get this nasty image of a middle aged guy with a nasaly voice (wearing a fanny pack) with a puppet doing a terrible job of ventriloquism saying “Hello boy’s and girls, how are you today?” Seriously, does anyone else on the planet still address kids as “boys a and girls”?

  6. That’s a good word, Sam! At the church I’m working at, our pre-school service is named L.A.M.B.S. but I can’t seem to find anyone who knows what that stands for.

  7. Youth group used to be called S.W.A.T.
    (serving, witnessing, and training)
    I hate acronyms and make up bizarre definitions for them too.

  8. great post, Sam.

    I’ve been guilty of this one myself… luckily I currently have a team around me that won’t let me do lame things like this without first verbally assaulting me.

  9. Sheik,

    Thanks for your comment. I am actually a huge non-fan of all things acronym. I grew up in a church that revered them. I have mad create acronym skills as I spent most of my formative years making up other acronyms other than the intend acronym for my own sanity/pleasure.

    Anthony,

    Ha! Verbally assaulting you that is hilarious. Count me in. Send your acronyms my way and I will verbally assault you from the East coast.

    Jonathan,

    I considered it but out of deference to my few but verbose international readers. I can name nothing on my blog Fanny.

  10. Youth group used to be called S.W.A.T.
    (serving, witnessing, and training)
    I hate acronyms and make up bizarre definitions for them too.