20th Sep 2013
By David Webber
A Beginner’s Jargon-Busting Guide to South Molton Baptist Church
We try to make sure that the things we do and the things we say are clear, simple and understandable. The thing is, if you look at any group of people, whether it be employees at a company, or members of a group or club, they will still have a way of talking and doing things which can take time to get used to. When you throw in the fact that the bible contains quite a lot of picturesque language, and Jesus often used metaphors to get a point across, we can be the same.
So listed below is a selection of words, phrases and things you may expect to see if you visit us on a Sunday morning, explained using as little jargon as possible.
On a superficial level, worship can be seen as the time spent singing, praying etc before the talk happens. In this context, the Worship Leader is the compere, choosing what we sing and doing the ‘front of house’ stuff.
Writing as one of these Worship Leaders, I like to think that there is a little more to it than that, though:
First of all, worship is about taking time to praise God, to tell him how great he is and thanking him for loving us, which reminds ourselves of this as we do it. Songs and prayers are just tools to help us do this. It isn’t about what we get out of the experience, although it is inevitable that spending time with God will also benefit us greatly.
Secondly, worship isn’t just about the time in church when we sing etc. Doing things well in our jobs, helping other people, doing anything at all to serve God can all be acts of worship. There is something special, though, when we meet with other Christians and take time together to praise God.
Communion/Breaking of bread/Bread and Wine
We don’t have much in the way of rituals, but this is something Jesus specifically told us to do. We believe that Jesus willingly gave up his life for us, taking the punishment for our wrong actions instead of us. Because of this we have the opportunity to know God both now and after we die.
Just before Jesus did this, he was trying to tell his disciples what was going to happen, and what it meant (they were slow to catch on at the time!). He shared bread with them, saying that it represented his broken body, and then they shared wine, which represents his spilled blood.
Jesus gave the instruction that they should do this when they met, to remember him until he comes back - so that’s what we do.
This is a great example of the use of metaphor I mentioned earlier. When Jesus was on earth, he was largely rejected, certainly by the religious and political leaders. However, as the Son of God, and because of his achievement on the cross, God the Father has lifted him up to a place of glory and authority.
To explain this, Jesus compared himself to a stone used as building material. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. The cornerstone of a house was the most important part. It was put in place first as it gave stability to the whole thing. The word comes up in songs sometimes, most recently in a song of the same name which has become quite popular at Christian festivals and in churches over the summer.
This is a group for children of senior school age. It meets in the house next door to the church (cunningly called Church House). The name comes from the fact that they enjoy toast etc (Breakfast, maybe?) before studying a part of the Bible (another word beginning with B). So, Bible and Breakfast it is, then.
The name of another group, which meets a couple of Sunday evenings each month. Look at the name, and brace yourself. It is a group for those aged sixteen (youth) and upwards, actually including some significantly older than sixteen (plus). So… it contains youth, plus those not quite as youthful.
This list is anything but complete, but hopefully makes things a little clearer. If you visit us and don’t understand something, or read some words or terminology you don’t understand, please ask someone. We won’t think it’s a silly question, and will be very happy to share what we know.