God and Verbs and Nouns by Dan Wolgemuth

A post about verbs and nouns! I love articles about words! Dan Wolgemuth, a dear friend and the President of Youth for Christ, is a good writer of simply profound spiritual thoughts.  He was so kind to let me post one of his essays here on Kindling.  I love how he brings verbs and nouns--and adjectives--to life.

This week I made a trip to Oregon, to visit several wonderful friends and partners of our ministry. While I was driving through this college town I drove past a Universal Unitarian Church.

It was a large and distinctive building and it caused me to think through the general premise and promise of the Unitarians. In essence, it can be summed up with a pithy statement that emanates from this belief system that states that “God is a verb.”

While I don’t pretend to fully understand the implication or definition of this statement; and while I don’t claim to fully know the comprehensive nature of literary components such as verbs and nouns, I know enough to surmise that the Unitarians are celebrating the nimble and agile definition of god. Whatever you want “it” to be… god is fluid, flexible and at your disposal.

More than a verb

The powerful contrast to this philosophical perspective had just played out for me a short while before this. I had been with our ministry team in Oregon for just over an hour. Lane County YFC is vibrant and engaged. Young people in middle schools, high schools, detention centers and maternity wards are hearing about a God that loves and cares for them. A God who sent His Son to rescue a lost and self-destructive creation. A God who extends grace and mercy in a reliable and consistent and powerful way. A God who is anything but a verb.

Yes, the answer to the uncertainty and brokenness in life is not a verb but a noun. And not just any noun, but the noun of all nouns.

Timeless and relevant.

Solid and gentle.

Consistent and merciful.

True and loving.Reliable and compassionate.

Noun above all nouns

The hope for teenagers in Lane County, Oregon; and the hope for every one of us is not a god that we can construct and define; not a verb to be played with or manipulated… oh no, the hope of all hope is a noun above all nouns. A noun with a name.


The name that wise people build their lives upon. A rock. The Rock.

Verbs are like sand. Beautiful to look at, but disastrous to build a life on.

Not in Lane County, not in Denver, not in any corner of the universe… the one true God has never been a verb.

And as the noun above every noun, He can live out the most beautiful verb ever created.


Yes indeed… for the One True Noun loved the created nouns so much that He sent His Only Begotten Noun so that whoever believed in the Noun of all nouns would be able to build a life on something unchanging and powerful and beautiful, so that we could live forever with Him: The Noun.

After all, verbs don’t have relationships, and the God I know is a God of relationship.

He is only and forever the Noun to be worshiped.

Majestic. Magnificent. Radiant. Beautiful Noun.


Dan Wolgemuth serves as President/CEO of Youth For Christ USA, a movement focusing on multiplying fruitful and sustainable ministry sites across the nation to reach 11-19 years old with the message of the gospel. Dan is a gifted communicator and a passionate leader whose heart beats for the youth of our nation.