Some advice for those in ministry: Pay attention to grammar!

I just found some new required reading for my students. Kyle Wiens has a great post on the HBR Blog Network about the importance of proper grammar. As a business owner, he argues two important points: Grammar is essential for his business, the production of repair and technical documentation, and attention to grammar indicates attention to detail and quality, key characteristics of good employees.

These issues are just as important in ministry, though. Writing is more important than ever for those who communicate, and ministry nowadays is nothing if it is not communication. Even when communication involves only 140 characters, those letters and words should still be written correctly. Grammar makes writing work well, and our communication suffers when we ignore it.

Wiens' point about character is also pertinent in the context of ministry. Ministry requires trust. If I read a Bible study or blog post on a biblical topic, I need to know that the author has handled the Word properly. I can't trust that an author has done that if they don't even take the time to proof their document for grammatical mistakes.

Here's a quote from the piece which raises the stakes even more for the minister:

Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can't tell the difference between their, there, and they're.

At the risk of making too much of this, grammar gives us credibility in our ministry and reflects well on the one we represent, the Lord Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, we ought to take the time to get it right.

Long and short: If you're in ministry, pay attention to grammar!