After church this evening, a group of us were sitting in the pub having a drink and a chat, discussing the service. The conversation moved on to distracting things we’ve experienced in churches. A friend mentioned that in another church, she had heard of someone sitting at the front of the balcony right in the minister’s line of vision, opening up a flask of tea and having a nice hot drink in the middle of the sermon.
It got me thinking (as many things do lately). What else could we do to put preachers off their sermon delivery? Much in the vein of 101 Things To Do at a Christian Music Festival (which incidentally is still a bit short of 101 suggestions!), I’d like to try to come up with 101 Ways To Distract Your Preacher.
Before you all think I am some sort of Christian anarchist subvertive (though I’ve been called worse), I would emphasise that this is just a wee bit of fun. Preachers (good ones, at least) do a grand job of explaining God’s word and many of them and quite literally change the world, and I’ve been lucky to have listened to some brilliant preachers.
So please note this is a purely theoretical exercise so please don’t try this at home. Well, actually… yes, try it at home. Just not in church. Unless you’re really bored, of course…
Anyway, I’ll kick off, please join in with your own ideas.
- Sit on the front row of the balcony, right in the preacher’s line of vision, with a nice flask of tea.
- Hold up hymn numbers at the end of the sermon, offering a score.
- Just as the preacher stands up to begin, stand up where you are, say thank you, and begin delivering your own sermon.
- Go and stand at the front and do similtaneous translation into the language of your choice.
- Tut loudly and hiss “is he finished yet?” to your neighbour.
- Fall asleep and snore loudly.
- If the sermon is on an Old Testament text, shout out “preach the Gospel!” If it’s a New Testament text, stand up, declare yourself a Jew, and walk out.
- Whenever the preacher refers to a particular verse in the Bible, look it up and shout “got it first!” loudly.
- Frown at the preacher. Intensely. Right throughout the sermon. Without blinking or looking away.
- Pass a bag of crisps along your row of seats.