I remember when e-mail was the coolest thing going. Now e-mail is for us old guys, as the millennial generation has stepped things up to communicating with each other via text-messaging.

You’ve seen them – young men and women pounding away at their tiny cell phones with their thumbs, sending each other important messages like RUOK (“Are you OK?”) and IBCNU (“I’ll be seeing you”) in an obscure code known only to people under the age of 25.

In case you aren’t familiar with this peculiar digital dialect, here are some popular phrases and their texted translation:

AYT “Are you there?”

BB4N “Bye bye for now”

404 “Clueless”

DKDC “Don’t know, don’t care”

fwiw “For what it’s worth”

IMHO “In my humble opinion”

imya “I miss you already”

LY “Love ya”

MMD “Make my day”

paw “Parents are watching”

<s> “Smile”

TTYL “Talk to you later”

WTG “Way to go!”

YYSSW “Yeah yeah sure sure whatever”

There are scores of these little code messages that form a secret language among the younger set. And your kids said they had a hard time with foreign languages!

Because preachers have, for centuries, gone to great lengths to translate the gospel into new languages, it seems only right that we find ways to text-message our sermons. I hereby propose a set of text shorthand to assist us with those common phrases often heard in our pulpits:

gud AM, n welcom 2 chrch

(“Good morning, and welcome to church”)

opN yr bble 2 d Gspel of LUK

(“Open your Bible to the Gospel of Luke”)

I hurd a funE tale bout

(“I heard a funny story about . . .”)

n finly

(“And finally…)

nw lts taK ^ d $

(“Now let’s take up the offering”)

And perhaps there are a few phrases you’ve thought on Sunday morning but don’t typically say out loud. Here are some messages you can text to your preacher friends while the choir is singing that last anthem:

whrd we gt dis muzc ldr?

(“Where did we get this music leader?”)

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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