By Ted Camp, SWM
“There is a time to laugh” (Eccl. 3:4). I want to share with you my touch of humor of a common church service. There are some things all churches share. A common church service begins as everyone enters looking for their favorite pew only to find it occupied. Typical service: Stand and sing, welcome, announcements, then everyone shakes hands. Music, more music, offering, more announcements. Special music then sermon. Pastor smiles, says something funny, welcomes everyone then says, “Turn in your Bibles.” (Tech churches: “Turn on your Bible”). Sermon statements: This is true (are other stories false?) I shouldn’t say this: but he does. As he preaches he makes many references to “you” – “they” – “them” as troublemakers or some who disagree with him. You think, “You” is not me, but I wonder if I am sitting next to “them.” You yawn and look at your watch. Reminds me of the man who told his doctor, “I need help with my snoring.” Doctor asked, “Does it keep your wife awake?” He said, “Not only her, but the whole congregation.” (smile). Note: Times may vary with each sermon. Airports have ETD, ETA, but churches have ETF (Estimated Time Frames). ETF: Few announcements: 15 minutes. Short introduction:20 minutes. Rabbit trails: 8 minutes. I will cut it short: 7 minutes. I know it is close to noon: 15 minutes. Briefly: 4minutes. Finally: 12 minutes. Just before we go: 3 minutes. In closing: 10 minutes. Closing invitation with every head bowed. Closing prayer. Then a voice yells, “Everyone turn around, and shake hands.” Think! Everyone is facing the front, so when everyone turns around, everyone will be facing the back. No one is facing someone. Well you do not want to appear unfriendly, so you shake hands for the third time, thinking, “There’s a whole lot of shaking going on.” Then as you prepare to leave, it seems everyone is metamorphosed with changed faces and paces. They rush, push, grab things, and run. Why?Everyone wants to get to their car first so they will not be last at the restaurant. Finally home! Relax and rest! Great service!Looking forward to next Lord’s day to again worship God in spirit and truth! – Amen! A time to be serious: The greatest testimony to the world is a changed consistent Christian life. Thank God for the church! The church and Christianity is the only light in this dark world so don’t let your light go out. See you in church!