Taking Back Kingdom Vocabulary

David Mills
Post by David Mills
September 13, 2023
Taking Back Kingdom Vocabulary

What happens to words when they lose meaning in the marketplace?

The marketplace has a bad habit of taking words that used to mean something important and adapting them for a less noble use. You can probably think of lots of words that no longer have their original meaning and some important terms that are being hijacked for a new purpose. Sometimes the shift goes unnoticed, but when you start adding them up, you can discover that a big element of culture has changed.

At Brand Disciples, our interest is in living out Jesus' ways in every part of our lives, including business. The words that go along with those values carry meanings that were delivered via the lives and ministries of both Jesus and His disciples. Like all cultures, our modern era has taken important words that speak to the life of faith and appropriated them with new meanings. Today, some of these terms are used more by marketing leaders and salespeople than by Christians who lead a business. And they aren't just extra or supplemental ideas, but core concepts such as:

  • Evangelist 
  • Epiphany
  • Conversion
  • Disciples

While the use of these words has an interesting meaning in the public space, over time the new meanings might be the only ones that some people know. When that happens, not only does Webster have to edit the dictionary, but the values they are attached to can be lost as well.

It's time to take those ideas back. 

What these ideas actually mean, according to Scripture.

Epiphany isn’t just a great idea that drops on you like a lightbulb. It refers to that moment in which God gives you His vision of Himself or His ways. In theology, it is when God reveals Himself. Think Moses on Mount Horeb or Jesus emerging from the Jordan River after being baptized. Can people still have an epiphany (the God kind) today?

Did we banish "evangelist" from our thinking and now only use it to refer to someone who cheers on a brand, as in "brand evangelist?"

An evangelist is neither a television personality nor a corporate cheerleader. It's someone who winsomely brings the Good News about Jesus to everyone they meet - and this term applies to a significant percentage of those who are Jesus followers today.

Conversion is more than just the process of moving prospects toward becoming customers. It means a personal transformation to faith. A disciple isn't just someone who is a close follower of a social media influencer. It's people who are in learner mode, and who are still following Jesus.

We’re offering a new definition of Brand Disciples.

In marketing speak, a brand disciple is someone who is a devotee of your brand. That's an important goal. We want people to love your brand for something more than how well it fits, drives, or supports their lifestyle. We believe that they should love it because it is a place where they experience the character and reality of God’s Kingdom. And yes, that can happen through businesses, too.

A brand disciple is someone who has grown closer to Christ through your organization. They are a disciple influenced by your brand.

All of our efforts at Brand Disciples are designed to help your business become a practical epiphany, operating as effective evangelists leading to conversions that result in brand disciples - that is, disciples who came to know or grow in Christ through your company.

Just like the shifting meaning of these important words, it's easy to let the truth remain obscured. Yet, God intends every business led by Jesus' followers to become an outpost of heaven, a place where people can experience and hear about Him.

If you'd like your company to stand for more of that (in its original meaning), then attend one of our roundtables, or participate in our 12-week intensive: Unlocking the Kingdom DNA in Your Business.

David Mills
Post by David Mills
September 13, 2023