Satan’s Coffee and Churchy Speak

Today, during my lunch break I drove past what looked like a little coffee shop called Fruit of the Spirit Wisdom Café.  I’m only guessing it was a coffee shop. I drove by too quickly to fully examine the store front; but assuming I’m right, it serves as a great illustration of one of my pet peeves.  Why do churches use church speak (churchy words and phrases) to name their outreach endeavors? 
It seems to me that church terms either go right over the heads of those who aren’t familiar with those terms, or offend those who are marginally familiar and have hostility toward the church.  In both instances I don’t think they reach their target audience. Churches could be much more effective if they stopped using church speak in outreach. Now, I’m not advocating that they misrepresent who they are. I don’t think they should call their coffee shop Satan’s Coffee to attract worshipers of Satan.  I just think churches can, and should, be clever with the names of their coffee shops, cafes and bookstores in other ways.  There are already enough road blocks between the church and those they are trying to help.  Why add another?
What do you think? Am I way off base here?

Published by Brian

Christian, husband, father, Pepperdine alum, marketing account manager and more. Passionate about music, movies, religion, communication, nonprofits and the Lakers.

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  1. You are right. We all struggle with speaking the language of the people and get out of jargon speak.


  2. I agree, mostly. Just to offer a slightly different perspective – one of my major problems with the religion that I left was that they purposefully didn’t use their own name in many of their community-outreach programs. The idea behind that practice was that you get the public to decide that the program is a good one, and then you tell them what it’s affiliated with. This practice always seemed a little disingenuous to me. Obviously, that’s not what you’re proposing, but I think there’s a balance to strike. 🙂


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