Writing About People

We write the same way we minister: with a person-first perspective. Whether you’re writing for an internal or external audience, it’s important to write for and about other people in a way that communicates their worth as a person created in God’s image. Being aware of the impact of your language will help make the EFCA a better place to work and a better steward of our values in the world.

In general, don’t reference a person’s age, disability, gender, sexuality, physical and cognitive functions unless it’s critical and relevant to what you’re writing. If age is relevant, include the person’s specific age, offset by commas.

  • The CEO, 16, just got her driver’s license.

How it is lived out

Our work communicates the priorities of the EFCA and has the power to welcome as well as alienate people.

Seek counsel

  • When writing, search out direction from non-majority and underserved groups.
  • Take a listening posture when it comes to topic expertise.

Elevate non-majority voices

  • Elevate people and ministries to reach all people.
  • Whenever possible, use a non-majority voice to communicate on the topic.


  • Respectfully refer to people by their preferred nomenclature; if you aren’t sure, use their name.
  • Don’t use age-related descriptors like “young, “old” or elderly.”
  • Don’t use the words “suffer,” “victim” or “handicapped,” when talking about someone with a disability, medical, mental or cognitive condition.
  • Don’t call a group of people “guys.”
  • Don’t use gay marriage.
  • Don’t use “same-sex” marriage, unless the distinction is relevant to what you’re writing.
  • Use “deaf” as an adjective to describe a person with significant hearing loss.
  • Use “blind” as an adjective to describe someone who is unable to see.

Cultural differences

  • Write for translation by default.
  • Seek out biblical resources when writing about cultural differences.
  • Use active voice.
  • Avoid double negatives.
  • Use contractions with caution.
  • Avoid slang, idioms and cliches.

Multiplying transformational churches among all people.