I always feel awkward calling our sanctuary a sanctuary. It is a sanctuary, but it functions more as a worship room, or programming room, or assembly room, or auditorium. So when I am typing emails and talking with people, I always catch myself saying, “this is for the worship room, or whatever we call it, you know, the sanctuary”.

Does anyone else have this problem?

9 thoughts on “Vocabulary

  1. Brandon

    i have this problem! we just recently moved into a new building and i really dont know what to call it.

    to me, “sanctuary” just seems a little dated so i have been trying to refer to it as the auditorium as much as possible but there are those moments that sanctuary just comes out.

    anyways, just my thoughts on it!!

  2. bobby

    Not too much with that one, but with other churchy words. Like I always feel weird referring to our body as the congregation. I don’t give the sermon. I share the message for that morning. And should I call it a bulleitin? Program feels too performancy. How about worship guide?

    But oddly enough, the one I hate the most is when I hear other people refer to me as “Pastor Bobby.” I’m just Bobby darn it. I don’t go around calling other people, “stay at home mom Janet” or “student Katie” or “Dental Hygenist John.” Random. Done.

  3. Chris

    Yep! Same thing – gym with chairs and setup/takedown every week. We call it our auditorium on Sunday but it’s our gym the other 6 days of the week.

  4. pete

    we meet in a middle school cafeteria… I have a hard time calling it a “sanctuary.” we just call it the cafeteria.

  5. Chris Moncus

    The last church I was at in Las Vegas had an auditorium. The church I’m at now has a Sanctuary. Previous to Vegas the church I was at had a Sanctuary.

    It was fun going from one to the other and being constantly corrected. Especially talking to people at those other churches and calling it the wrong name.

    AHHHH 🙂

  6. WorshipCity

    I always hunch my back and go this is our “Saanctuuary…saaaanctuuary!” Hahaha. Seriously, though yeah we have “church” in there and we have girl scouts in there and we have concerts in there and graduations for the home schoolers in there, dinner in there, you name it! So it feels weird calling it a “sanctuary.”

    I’m also with “Brother Bobby” up there 🙂 I’m not a huge fan of labels.

  7. Billy Chia

    If you get really hardcore you can draw a distinction between the sanctuary and the knave. When your tired of chilling out there you can walk out the narthex.

  8. Mike

    You probably won’t like my solution to the whole issue of confusing a building with the church, but I simply don’t “go to church.” We (God’s people) are the church and should behave accordingly.

    In reality, nobody “goes” to church, even if they think they do. It’s impossible to go the what you are.


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