One of the core values at our church is accessibility. It basically means that we don’t speak in Christian code, one doesn’t need to know the handshake in order to come in, and we don’t filter attendees based on things like behavior.

As this distinctive, as we call it, was being out in place, I had chosen the song “Days of Elijah” as one of the songs for the week. I like that song…great encouragement, easy to play and sing, and a lot of people know it. And as I was speaking with my pastor (also my bass player) about the list, he said something profound.

“Days of Elijah isn’t accessible.”


I examined the words…sure enough, he was right. The words were true, telling us that the God that did amazing things in the times of Elijah, David, Moses and Ezekiel is the same God that lives in us today. What a fantastic message! But without extensive knowledge (and even with it, for some folks) of those times and what events the song is referring to…it is like we are singing in code. It isn’t, in our context, accessible.

So I dropped it, saving it for another, more exclusive event like a conference. That wasn’t the easiest decision…after all, it was a handy “free song” for those weeks when a gap needs to be filled, I know it well and can lead it fairly easily. It was comfortable.

But “comfort” is not a distinctive of my church. Being accessible is.

What kinds of concessions have you had to make, or should you make that you’ve been putting off? Do you find yourself speaking “Christianese” sometimes?