Churchy Talk: “I’ve Got a Burden”

We’ve all heard it. There is a generic language we here in most places – home, Walmart, work, and on the ball field. Then there’s “Christianese”. It’s a special language only known to those in church culture. It varies from church to church, but much of it is the same across the board.

I asked my Twitter audience for thoughts on the subject, and you will be ready about my top picks from that as I continue the series. While we joke about the language of the churched, I will strive to explain these words and sayings that seem to make no sense (especially to those who are not so familiar with the church).

I remember hearing missionaries speak in churches about having a “burden for the lost”. It sounded horrible. Who wants a burden, right? We typically think of a burden as a heavy load or something oppressive. Why would pastors and missionaries go on and on about having a burden?

A definition that is often unconsidered is “duty or responsibility”. When pastors or missionaries speak of having a burden for the lost, they speak of the responsibility they have from God to share the gospel. While that can seem oppressive (or any other burden/responsibility for that matter), it also motivates us. I, to a fault, am duty-driven. I do things because they have to be done. It took me several years to move from duty to delight in Christian service, so being able to minister from joy rather than drudgery is liberating.

So, the next time you hear someone in church talk about having a burden for something that is a command from God, I hope you’ll understand it a little more.

7 responses to “Churchy Talk: “I’ve Got a Burden””

  1. I was just reading in Psalm 119 (which inspired today’s post on my blog, that was a blessing), and there was verse that talked about being disgusted with sin and another verse of being so upset with sinners that it caused David “rivers” to flow from his face. Charles Spurgeon has a number of quotes in which he talks about the weight of sin or what Christ has done for us, and all of this just reminded me of what you were writing about. It truly is a burden.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank God for Matthew 11:28

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm…interesting perspective Matthew. I liked your tagline. Care to share a bit more about it? Meanwhile here’s something I thought you might like as you begin to reach out to many around the world. There’s people across the nations waiting to be blessed. Keep doing what you do and let’s pray together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Which tag line would that be?


  4. I meant “wounded Yet Healed” I liked that a lot. Did you coin it yourself? How did it come about? Just curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Someone may have used it before, but it came to me one day while I was driving. I was considering the wounds of ministry and divorce along with the healing God has brought to my life. It seemed fitting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome! Also connects with the message of Jesus being wounded for our transgressions and healing us by His stripes. May your testimony be sure that the same God that raised Christ from the dead is working in your life great signs and wonders through Christ.

        Liked by 1 person

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