'Go To' Phrases

Posted on April 19, 2008

Have you ever noticed how certain people are remembered for their ‘go to’ phrases? Take Dick Vitale, the college basketball guru. He always says, "Yeah, baby!" Well one of the things I love to do is observe different speakers and leaders in the church. And it’s fascinating to me to see how often these guys go to their ‘go to’ phrases.

     Rob Bell – "Um…um…um…" and "Are we trackin’?
     Andy Stanley says, "Isn’t it true…?"
     Charles Stanley always says, "Watch this…watch this…watch this…."
     My dad – "Let me tell you…let me tell you…."
     Bill Hybels – "Sort of…sort of…sort of…" and "Friends…."
     Tommy Barnett – "Amen…amen…amen…."
     Perry Noble – "Dude!"
     Brian Houston – "Ah, church! Ah, church! The best is yet to come…."
     Bishop T.D. Jakes – Nah. He’s too good. He doesn’t even need a ‘go to’ phrase!

But it’s even more humorous to look at my own. Lisa and the kids sat down one day and listed my ‘go to’ phrases (during one of my messages!) So here are a few of those phrases I may have overused a time or two:

"Bling-bling, ca-ching, ca-ching."
"Off the chain!"
"Over and over on the rotisserie grill of your mind."
"Don’t tell me what you’re doing; tell me what you’re not doing."
And of course…

"’Hole ‘Nutha Level!"


25 Replies to "'Go To' Phrases"

  • HEATHER
    April 19, 2008 (1:01 pm)
    Reply

    That is SO true! With Pastor Troy, I call them “Troy-ism’s,” such as: “Doing life together,” “All-powerful, all-knowing, every where at one time God,” and, “Man!”

  • dewitt
    April 20, 2008 (7:33 am)
    Reply

    I know Charles Stanley hypnotizes me, I wonder if his “go to” phrase has anything to do with it.

  • Sue
    April 20, 2008 (2:52 pm)
    Reply

    Pastor Young,
    Your teaching style is like no other. You can say as many “go to” phrases as you want and your message always hits on cue. I love the way you can share and make laughter come to the surface and a deep message is bursting through loud and clear in God’s voice. That “Hole Nutha Level” is exactly where I want to be.
    Sue

  • Terrace Crawford
    April 20, 2008 (7:45 pm)
    Reply

    So true! I love Rob Bell’s ‘go to’ phrases. I use “are we trackin” myself when I preach. I also love when he says “are you smokin’ what you are sellin’?”

  • Scratchin' the Surface
    April 20, 2008 (9:10 pm)
    Reply

    We’ve visited FC many times, when we travel down to spend time with family there; your last one ‘ whole ‘nutha level’ has been put to use in this house many times after hearing you preach a few times.

  • Eris Papas
    April 21, 2008 (2:50 am)
    Reply

    I do find my self using phrases that are so very clear to me, but am not sure that everyone gets sometimes.
    Like, “bearing testimony”, “we are ushered”…or ” called to live counter culturally”. I guess what is important to us is what first comes out of our mouths.
    By the way, Ed I wanted to thank you and your team for being a clear voices of truth. Because you have labored I have grown.
    Thank you, Eris

  • Jonathan
    April 21, 2008 (7:32 am)
    Reply

    Another Perryism: “Seriously!”

  • Ryan Day
    April 21, 2008 (8:41 am)
    Reply

    I am a huge Andy Stanley fan, but he uses the word “leverage” in every message at least once – my friend & I were just talking about this yesterday!

  • Candice
    April 21, 2008 (9:57 am)
    Reply

    My favorite phrase from Ed that I think of everyday and tell people most is “God is always preparing us for what he has prepared for us” this is so true in our lives today!

  • LeeBeth
    April 21, 2008 (1:50 pm)
    Reply

    Um Dad! you forgot to mention a few others…..
    -the beloved ‘rewind’ noise you make’
    -fast things are always done in a “nascar type pace”
    -“wah wah waaahhhhhhhh….”
    -“doggie downer”
    -“ain’t not lie, Bye, Bye, Bye…”
    -“on the rugged planes of reality”
    -“on the bleeding edge….”
    there are about 100 more… that I don’t have time to list! 🙂
    I love you dad, ‘go-to’ lines and all!

  • Buddy Cremeans
    April 21, 2008 (2:16 pm)
    Reply

    Ed,
    Thanks for sharing your go to phrases…
    I think a lot of guys out there have stolen your phrases and made them our own. Personally, I’m motivated now to take up fishing so…….I can go open up a can!
    Thanks for the laughter Ed!

  • Loui Canchola
    April 21, 2008 (8:15 pm)
    Reply

    One of my favorite of Ed’s “go to phrases”:
    “Put this in your frontal lobe…”
    Good stuff Ed.

  • Ariel Martinez
    April 21, 2008 (11:35 pm)
    Reply

    One of my favorite pastors (besides you of course) is Linn Winters from Cornerstone Church in Chandler, Arizona. Ever since you wrote this blog, when I listen to his podcasts I’ve been noticing that his go-to phrase is “you realize …”
    He seriously uses it about 20 times a message. You should download one of his podcasts and you’ll see what I mean.

  • The Bargain Shopper Lady
    April 22, 2008 (4:21 am)
    Reply

    Our to go phrases seem to change in the various stages of life. I grew up in Houston hearing your dad and currently live in Dallas. We are moving to follow God’s call to Connecticut and saw that you are linked with East Hampton Bible Church.

  • Jim
    April 22, 2008 (7:47 am)
    Reply

    What about the go to’s in prayer. Have you ever noticed how much the phrases “Lord just”, “God just”, or “we ask you to just”. Just is a part of the most over used phrases in prayer. Listen and you will just hear that I am aright on this.

  • ted
    April 22, 2008 (9:41 pm)
    Reply

    jim:
    i heard there was actually a sociological study on the word “just” in prayers. i believe it was john ortberg that pointed it out in service at willow creek.
    i don’t recall the sociologist, but i heard it a couple years back.

  • val n
    April 23, 2008 (8:34 am)
    Reply

    Ed,
    My son came home from school after taking his SAT’s which he was very nervous about. He conveniently was sick the first day of testing before getting his nerve up to go the second day. When I picked him up he ran to the car and yelled “Mom I took that test to a WHOLE NUTHA LEVEL, I was OFF THE CHAIN!”
    He was just as proud to be able to quote his Pastor.
    Thank you,
    Val N

  • Mike Norris
    April 23, 2008 (12:10 pm)
    Reply

    Hey wait a second! Val N. wrote about her son and the SATs with him saying H N L and Off the Chain.
    Last night he told me after going on the lake tubing “Hey Dad can we take it to a Hole Nutha Level”?
    So I was excited to write a post about it. And loe and behold my wife (Val N) beat me to it. Even though it was a different circumstance.
    As Perry Noble would say “DUDE”

  • Greg - The Bow-fisherman
    April 24, 2008 (5:59 pm)
    Reply

    we’ve added “go big, or don’t go at all” to our ‘go to phrases’ in our family….in honor..

  • Renee
    April 26, 2008 (9:55 am)
    Reply

    Don’t forget these phrases:
    The Church should be the most Creative Entity out there because we are made by the Ultimate Creator.
    Change + Conflict = Growth
    When you go to a Whole Nother Level, there is a whole new devil.
    We have to get comfortably uncomfortable.
    We need to get under what God has placed over us, so that we can be over what God has placed under us.
    You need to live In The Zone, the Sweet Spot of God’s Success, not teatering and tottering on the Edge and Ledge.

  • Cheryl
    April 26, 2008 (12:07 pm)
    Reply

    My husband is a pastor in south Ga. and we watch you most every Sunday morning while we’re getting ready.
    We came out of 1st Woodstock and Pastor Johnny’s ‘go to’ phrase: “Are y’all alright?”

  • texasmom4
    April 27, 2008 (4:13 pm)
    Reply

    My favorite Ed quote is this….”WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING?” When I heard him say that on tv one morning I knew I had to come check out this church!

  • Colleen
    May 5, 2008 (12:22 pm)
    Reply

    Certainly worth mentioning is the most recent… “whole mutha level” to celebrate Mother’s Day!!
    WOW- Ed, I think you have got to be the only person in the human race who can actually pull that off! I’ve tried to repeat it, and well, the response I get isn’t quite the same.
    We all love you for who you are Ed, keep the Go-to phrases coming!!

  • Gerry Rogers
    May 5, 2008 (9:16 pm)
    Reply

    Pastor Ed,
    I watch you often and hear you also go to the U-G-L-Y you aint got no aliby You UGLY
    phrase.

  • chelan rene'
    May 20, 2008 (1:01 pm)
    Reply

    Don’t forget Pastor Jon Courson’s go-to’s: “You see,” used before or after a point, also: “It’s a great deal” and “Interesting” – Craig Groeschel has a few of his own ~ “To all of our campuses” “fully-devoted followers of Christ”
    Thanks, Ed Young for your transparent talk about the Lord & life!!


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