I want to be careful with this post, as I recognize that all of us have different opportunities for education. I don’t want to offend any readers. Still, though, I want to get a discussion on the table.
Here’s my point in this post: we who preach the Word should strive to use the best grammar when we speak. I am not asking for formality, and I’m certainly not asking for perfection – but I am suggesting that we give more attention to the way we speak. Here’s why:
- Much of our ministry is oral communication. God has called us to proclaim His Word, and that Word is just that – God’s Word. Very little that we do is disconnected from the spoken word; so, our calling demands that we communicate with excellence.
- Grammar rules help us communicate well. There is a subtle but important reason we should say, “When I was 16, God called me to preach” rather than, “At the age of 16, God called me to preach.” Some grammar rules seem irrelevant, but most of them help us communicate better.
- Most of us live in an educated society. For that reason, we need to be the best communicators we can be. Whether we like it or not, poor grammar often leaves a negative impression.
- Some listeners may not get past our bad grammar. It may be unfair for a listener to stumble when we say something like, “Me and my wife went camping,” but it happens. Poor grammar makes it hard for some listeners to hear us at all.
- We are role models. I understand that we are primarily spiritual role models, but some people who hear us regularly do pick up our verbal habits. Our modeling good grammar only helps others.
What are your thoughts? Have I raised an issue that simply reflects my biased English education background, or is this issue a real one?