Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Be Aware of the Pronouns: "My" or "Ours"?

Try writing a blog without using the singular personal pronoun "I", "my" or "me." It's really tough. We experience something, we observe something, we dream about something, we fear something. But when it comes out of our mouth with a strong singular personal pronoun, it builds walls and not bridges.
"Who took MY chair?"
"MY church is ........"
"I'd like you to meet MY staff person."
"MY vision/dream for this ministry is........"
"Is that coming out of MY budget?"
"Who did not clean up in MY room?"
"Hey, those are MY volunteers!"
"MY mission is to........"
All this language shows great intensity for ministry and mission, but it is not very inviting. The passion and use of singular pronouns tells everyone that the person speaking really owns the topic, so much so that there is little room for any other opinion. This is a tendency in every area of church life: budget, building, babies, calendar, music, sacred traditions, camps, retreats, etc.
But when the conversation becomes "OURS" and it is "OUR budget that needs attention, then there is an invitation to others who, by the plural pronoun, are also owners.
Listen to yourself....."MY" or "OURS?"


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