One of the interesting things about being on the road is the places it will take you. Waffle House is one of those places. It's like going on a missions trip without leaving the country. Trust me, the same thing happens a few hours eating Waffle House that always happens on a South American missions trip. The most "interesting" people end up in Waffle House, especially late at night.
Waffle House even has it's own language. Just try and order Hashbrowns without knowing the language, you may get hurt. It's the Hashbrowns where the Waffle House really shines. The Waffle House Hashbrowns come six ways: Traditional; Scattered & Smothered (Onions); Scattered, Smothered & Covered (Onions and Melted Cheese); Scattered, Smothered, Covered & Chunked (Onions, Cheese and Ham); Scattered, Smothered, Covered, Chunked & Topped (Onions, Cheese, Ham & Chili; Scattered, Smothered, Covered, Chunked, Topped & Diced (Onions, Cheese, Ham, Chili and Diced Tomatoes). Oh and "all the way", which really just means you should head to the bathroom and eat there!
If you don't know the language, you are going to feel left out.
Then, there is twitter where you can #hashtag, which you I don't think you get Scattered, Smothered, Covered, Chunked, Topped & Diced (Although I am sure some will try). Hashtags are even coming to Facebook. There are normal hashtags like #camp #nameofconference and then there are the people who just don't know where to stop and try and get a whole sentence that no one can read or begin to understand. Stuff like #thisisablogiwroteinahotelroomlateatnight or #uhohIthinkiamabouttopayforthosehashbrowns. It always feels like someone is throwing a party you weren't invited to.
I feel the same way sometimes when I am talking to Christians. It's like they are speaking a language from another planet. You know what I am talking about. The first time someone called me brother, I had to stop and think what is my Mom not telling me. We say things that the rest of the world would never use in a sentence. I am still not exactly sure what fellowship is, butI think it has something to do casseroles.
No where does this language play out better than in church signs. I have been a Christ follower for almost 30 years and still don't understand what they are talking about.
People are always asking me, "How to do we reach this generation?" It's simple, know what they are talking about. I am not suggesting that you start not talking to them because that is a terrible idea. You need to stop talking like an insider or in a "special language." It makes those outside of the church feel like outsiders. We wont reach them unless we speak a common language.
You don't need a Smothered and Covered sermon series, unless you are Perry Noble cause I think he could really pull that off. The world is not looking to connect with insiders with their own language and a secret handshake. Those outside of the church honestly don't want to hear our "church language." People want to know that they matter to you and that they matter to God. Don't be upset that they don't want to come to your Fellowship Night of Blessed Brethren. Apologize for the church sign and then just be real talk about life, if you life is saturated with Jesus they will get smothered and covered too!