Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things To Do In Church Besides Fall Asleep

I gotta admit, I struggle to sit through church service.  I love the worship but I despise how the flow of Holy Spirit is interrupted by announcements and the beggars bucket, errr, tithes and offering basket. I have heard some really great teachings, sermons, messages....  There have been a few times in which the Words preached convicted me and I ended up confessing a 'forgotten' sin or dozen.  But it is still tough for me to sit still for 30+ minutes in a stiff chair looking at the back of someone's head.  But amazingly in the past, I have easily fallen asleep in the same type of uncomfortable chair.

There have been several times that I have fallen asleep at church.  And there have been several different ways I have been woken up:
  • With a hand full of drool
  • After my head jerked back
  • With ink on my face. ( I think it was one of my kids)
  • After a stranger tells me that I had been snoring.
  • After the congregation was dismissed.
In order to not repeat the embarrassment of similar situations as listed above, I have discovered a couple of things to do to keep my mind active and my eyes open.

At the beginning of service, when someone feels its all right to interrupt me when during worship, I make it a point during the sermon to interrupt their note taking and ask them their name, about their family, how they heard of this church, where they work...

During worship, particularly in a more 'stiff' church, I will do the running man, the electric slide or the hokey pokey as I dance unto the Lord.

Before He begins his sermon, most pastors tells the congregation to take time to introduce ourselves to each other, so I like to approach the pastor and worship leader up front and ask them their name, about their family, how they heard of this church, where they work...

During the sermon, I will  fill out the visitors packets with friends' information. Or count the number of times a preacher will say amen.... Spanish. OR I have asked my kids to count the number of times the preacher says amen, knowing they will let the rest us know the tally. If the sermon seems to be going in circles or I will call the cellys of the people I know that I think might be in church to see if they have their ringers off. I have used the church directories that are provided at the information booth when I have visited a church for the first time. It is particularly amusing when it is someone up front that has there celly go off. One last thing, by far the most outrageous and potentially hazardous is if my wife, Nikki puts her purse out of her reach. I will call her celly to see if she has her ringer turned off. When it's not, I then, very dramatically, act embarrassed.

And then just for my own amusement, at the end of service when we are told to step into the aisle and hold hands of the people next to us, I make it a point when the pastor prays for the person on my left, to squeeze the hand of the person on my right and vice versa. Or, if I wanna shake up the prayer team a little, I may ask for hands to be laid upon me in prayer for healing for lice, dandruff, hemorrhoids or jock itch.

Honestly, Sunday service ain't that bad and I don't view it as a time to entertain myself.  My wife will get annoyed when my mind wanders and I pull out the celly and update my fantasy team or facebook.  There are times that my short attention span will get the better of me but I would never have done anything like I have just written about.  Or have I?


David said...

I tried calling the cell phones from the member’s booklet they give away in the lobby. I was impressed with the polyphonic quality of the worship leader's "Crazy Train" ring tone.

The pastor had his on silent - I saw him wiggle a little and look towards his pocket. Although tempted, I thought it would be a sin to do it a second time.

I regularly update Facebook - while those sitting close to me think I am using my online Bible.

My Spanish is pretty good too.

I wonder if I can be excommunicated from a church I am not a member at?

Thanks for the tips that will shake up the religious!

Joyce Lighari said...

Wow is this going to be true confessions? I love it. I have my own techniques for staying awake. Thanks for giving me some more ideas.

Daryl said...

you are tooo funny David, but sleeping is church is a very spiritual activity and backed by one of my favorite verses: "...your old men will dream dreams..." - it is hard to dream when you are awake. As for the offering, didn't Jesus say, "the poor you will always have with you"; and Paul was admonished to "Remember the poor...." HA ha , so you are more spiritual then you think ha ha

Tony C said...

You're the type that would memorize someone from a church directory at a new church, walk up and introduce yourself, and when they ask if you like the church...proclaim "I've been coming here for over a year!" in complete disbelief they don't already know you.

I'm stealing a few of these...

David said...

LOL @ Tony - well, I have been going to my church for over a year and most folks don't know me. That's how I get away with the cell phone pranks.

Joyce Lighari said...

I can't imagine how that would go over here in the stoic upper Midwest. They are just different folk up here... I might try it :-)

photogr said...

For some reason I think Dave and David were Holly terrors as children if they went to church then.

Got a tip for the Daves. Wear a big hat ( sombrero works great) and refuse to take it off while in the celebration. I can guarantee you, that you will be noticed and approached by the church leaders to take off the hat.That is one way to get some atention.

~ Jan ~ said...

If anyone wonders why Nikki wears such light colored, liquid foundation on her face when going to church, it's because she is trying to cover up the flushing caused by Dave's pranks during services.

Try as hard as she will, Nikki still leaves with a glowing blush to her face, giving others the impression that she has had an encounter with Holy Spirit, when all along she is red with embarrassment.

Dave, during the times you have fallen asleep in church, did you ever take into consideration the possibility that Nikki may have slipped something into your Sunday morning coffee to induce your sleep? Just a little something for you to ponder on the next time your in church and begin to yawn.

Be blessed,

Tracy said...

Thanks for a good laugh David.

Does make me think I should refrain from letting my cell phone # be in the church directory; just in case we've got some folks like you at our church!

David said...

@Tracy - we're everywhere.

K. Keith said...

This was hilarious - thanks for the pointers!