My lovely bride works in the world of business and finance while I’m usually squirreled away in my study doing research and writing sermons, blogs, books, and curricula. Consequently, she picks up on all the latest jargon while I’m still locked into twentieth-century vocabulary.
One day I was attempting to do something I obviously couldn’t achieve. She looked at me and said, “You don’t have enough bandwidth to do that.”
I immediately burst out laughing. It’s not that she wasn’t correct because she was. It was her terminology that tickled my funny bone.
“Let’s run it up the flagpole…”
I know what bandwidth is (sort of), and it had nothing to do with what I was trying to accomplish. I immediately recognized the phrase as new, twenty-first century, business vernacular (I’m quite perceptive that way). For some reason, it struck me as funny.
You may remember some of the old phrases used by business types. Ones like, “Let’s run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it.” Those are now apparently passé. They now use ones like, “Let’s whiteboard that.” Okay. I think I have enough bandwidth to do that.
I’m pretty sure we will soon see a BVV Bible (Business Vernacular Version). We have a modern language version coming out every couple of years anyway. Why not have one for the commercial crowd as well? It would definitely be popular with the CEO types on Wall Street.
I’m sure it would have wonderful verses such as Jesus saying, “But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without forward planning.’” (John 15:25) Or this more famous one, “Jesus replied, “I tell you truly, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they experience a paradigm shift.”
I realize some of you are still stuck on the King James Version of the Bible. After all, it was good enough for Jesus (at least that’s what I’ve been told). Still, I don’t hear very many business people using any thee’s and thou’s. How are we going to reach them with Scripture written in Olde English? We’ve got to beef it up, take a high altitude view, and drill down on where the modern corporate person is coming from. After all, we wouldn’t want to wrongside the demographic.
“Live by the strategic staircase…”
As long as we can get the message out, what’s wrong with a little modern upgrade. Scripture is Scripture regardless of the lingo. As long as we hold to the truths of the Gospel, we’ll be okay. Like the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “The righteous shall live by the strategic staircase.” (Romans 1:17)
We have the Great Commission to fulfill after all. We can’t ignore Jesus’ parting words to us when he said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, incentivizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
If you don’t agree with me on any of this, feel free to give me a call. We can touch base about this offline.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]