Thanks to Stephanie Reeves of Worldwide Challenge for this guest post.
Anyone who cooks knows that it’s very helpful when recipes use universal language for measurements. While realizing that if you get a recipe from another country, translation will need to be made, a cook appreciates it when “t” means “teaspoon” and “T” means “tablespoon.” If one recipe reversed those two terms, or used something completely different, the result is highly affected. Clarity makes the difference between delicious and disastrous.
The same thing could be said for our communication within the ministry. In order for there to be clarity, and professionalism, we need to make sure our terms are consistent. This leaves a good taste in the mouths of the watching world.
In the journalistic universe, newspapers depend on the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook. It is constantly being updated with terms and names that are in use around the world. As technology changes, terms are added. When a volcano erupts in Iceland, all the writers know where to look for the accepted spelling of Eyjafjallajökull. You’re not going to find that one in your spell check.
You might not be aware of it, but Campus Crusade for Christ has a style manual also. It’s called The Gospel of Style. Worldwide Challenge™ magazine uses this manual, commonly referred to as GOS, along with the AP Stylebook, for all its print and online articles. As the senior copy editor, it is my job to make sure we are in compliance with all the accepted usages of terms and names.
You can find everything you could ever think of in GOS, from how to properly refer to the Four Spiritual Laws booklet, to the accepted spelling of “email.” Did you know that “Bible” is always uppercase, but “biblical” is not? Or that it’s proper to say “prayed and accept Christ” instead of “prayed to accept Christ”?
Whenever we are writing as representatives of Campus Crusade for Christ, whether in prayer letters, blogs, ministry communications or whatever, it is important for our professionalism as a ministry that we keep our terms consistent.
I would encourage you to download a copy of GOS, and keep it handy on your desktop. That way you can always just run over to it anytime you might question the way you write something. When you refer your ministry partners to a Weekend to Remember, do you mention that it’s put on by FamilyLife a subsidiary of Campus Crusade for Christ? Do you know that our international headquarters at Lake Hart is referred to as the “World Headquarters”?
You can find a downloadable PDF of GOS on the staff web at https://staffweb.cru.org/news-events/sw_01_gospel-of-style.pdf. Let’s be consistent in our publications in order to show unity and professionalism to the world around us.
Bio: I have been on staff for 26 years, all of it with Worldwide Challenge as a writer, editor, production manager and copy editor. I am married to JESUS Film Project staff member David Reeves and have three children. Writing and helping others communicate better are my ministry passions! I’m also an avid Mac user and can’t survive without my Macbook Pro and iPhone. You can find me on Twitter as stephcreeves, on Facebook as Stephanie Allan Reeves and read my blog, Compelled, at http://www.stephreeves.wordpress.com.