Being a preacher’s kid, church services as a kid were often … underwhelming. It wasn’t the worships themselves, it was the fact I was a kid that got easily distracted. Plus, I had to listen to that preacher all week long (not complaining dad, just saying). So I looked for things to keep my attention. Read the hymnals. Look at pictures in my Bible. Read a book. Crawl under the pews. Pass notes … ad infinitum.
But a new one happened this week. And I am the preacher now. One would think I saw it take place. But I didn’t and I don’t know how I missed it. Things happen all the time and I just normally keep going. But I wished I had seen this.
Sometime during the sermon, paper airplanes were being thrown up into the sound booth. The sound booth is a separate entry, balcony type nook that overlooks our sanctuary. And Sunday, my wife was doing her once a month rotation on the board. One. Two. And a few more planes came soaring into the booth. And if that wasn’t enough … a young lad was sent up to retrieve the planes. Then the process started all over again.
I laughed with the parent of the child later that day … but they quickly investigated and discovered her child was just the retrieval device. An adult was at the center of this aerial crime spree as chief instigator and motivator.
Hilarious happenings occur every week. Sometimes it’s me blundering on stage. But very often, very often it’s in the pews … and I love it. So, a few personal thoughts on worship … from the mind of one who is a bit weird anyway …
- I am so glad people come to worship. In a world of internet, streaming, Facebook live, and so on, it thrills me people gather. There are so many reasons gathering is better than alone on a couch while watching a preacher. But I am just glad people are there. Not for me, far better preaching is online, but for the family of God to be together.
- I want people to feel comfortable and welcomed. Okay, maybe not throw planes at the preacher while he preaches, but I want people to know they can be themselves when they are here. I declared 4th Sundays as Jean Sundays as a way to say it’s not about attire. However, one kid asked if we could have a pajama Sunday. They do it at schools, and why not at church. You should’ve seen the face of the parent when she saw I was considering it.
- I want people to realize it’s also about celebration and praise of our great God. Worship should be filled with smiles, wonder, joy, and a sense of anticipation … “What’s God gonna to do today?” Nothing is more of a downer than seeing people, God’s people, who should be the happiest, friendliest, most excited people … seeing them sit around around grumpy, frumpy, and looking like their face would crack if they ever tried to smile.
- And I want people it realize it is also about reverence as well. This is a time to come boldly before God. A time to hear what He desires for us to hear. To respect His glory. To be thankful for all He has done. This can still be done while also doing the first three. I know it’s hard. But it helps me get more out of all of it when I do all four.
Kids moving around … no problem. ‘Amens’ … happy for it. ‘Preach it’ shouted out … just spurs me on. Crying kids … I’d rather them know they are welcome no matter. No embarrassment on my part. Watching the train outside the window … I want to as well. Services are to be lively places … and life is messy. Worships will be messy too. So join me, or head to your fav place this weekend. Real people wanted.
Have a blessed week and read the Bible as much as you read the blogs.
Todd … that’s Todd the PK, Todd the restless, Todd the paper airplane thrower, and Todd the worshipper … all one person.