Church Rules – Part I

There are some “unwritten” church rules that I just have to share today. church_lady The short story is, there are people breaking these rules and well someone has to remind everyone…enter Me!  I love all of you that read my blog, so let me just say…you now I’m gonna speak the truth in love about stuff (aka: speak my mind).  Sadly I think it’s those that won’t be reading this post are the ones that need these Church Rules the most.

While these may not be the rules at your church, or even mine for that matter, I would like to say that these SHOULD be the rules.  Note:  as I started writing the rules, I went WAY over what you would want to read here today, so I kept this to only 7 points.  So trust me, there is a similar post to follow soon.  There are just so many church rules that everyone needs help with.

1)  Being Late:  If you are not in your seat by the time the first song starts you are not allowed to come in until a ‘break in set’.  I went to a church that was this way.  Once the music started up, the back doors were shut; greeters became guards and you were not allowed to enter and mess up the ‘vibe’ until the song was over.  I have a feeling the pastor used to roam the lobby during this time to eyeball the latesters.

2)  Candy and Gum (part A):  If you know you have bad breath, then you must always bring mints, candy or gum.  And you must use it.  There is nothing worse than singing “Blessed Be The Name” while getting a wafting smell of a sewer.  I’m sorry, it’s just not okay.

3)  Candy and Gum (part B):  Regardless of the reason for using mints, candy or gum – you must only open a wrapper during the loudest parts of a song, during applause or after the pastor makes a funny and the laughter will cover the sound of the wrapper.  If you want to be extra stealthy, come prepared with the item partially unwrapped or just refrain all together from the gum in the plastic-bubble tray.  Also Skittles, M&Ms and Jujubes are off limits…bad things happen when these get loose on the church floor.

4)  Bring Your Bible:  I don’t know what’s happened, but I thinkbible1 I’m the only person at church with a Bible…  This is just super wrong.  I miss the days of the pastor saying “turn to your Bible…” and you’d hear the rustling sound of wispy pages being turned in the entire congregation.  No wonder most people can’t find Galatians, no one is getting practice!

5)  Communion Tray:  I have a lot to say about this, it could go from point A, B, C to Z.  So I’m gonna keep this to one point.  You do not eat the cracker, drink the juice, put the cup back in the tray and then pass to the next person.  Maybe you are better than me and already got everything right with God, so you can do “speed-communion”.  But where I come from, you take the bread/wine, pass the tray, hold those two elements while you have a moment or two with God, THEN you can eat and drink.  PS: the cup either goes in your purse or pocket… or you can leave it in the little communion cup-holder in the seat/pew in front of you.  You do NOT put it on the ground; you KNOW this will get accidentally kicked and painfully roll down the floor, noisily clinking along, till it lands at the pulpit.  Much like the effect of  Skittles, M&Ms and Jujubes.  It’s not good.  You WILL get the pastor evil eye.

6)  Worship Time:  a) Sing, don’t just stand there.  Yes, I understand you don’t know the song (for the 6th time) – none of us knew the song either at one time.  b) If someone is worshiping in their ‘special way’ (hands raised, swaying around, clapping off beat) don’t stare.  I can’t even come up with something stupid to say about this – so just DON’T do it.  c) You cannot, I repeat, CANNOT bring a tambourine to church.  Save this and your triangle for use in the privacy of your own home.  Note: it always happens that eventually someone brings the tambourine; very uncomfortable to figure out who the offender is without inappropriate amounts of staring and crowd gazing.

7) Offering:  There are two things I find to be very important rules in this category. 50 If you are blessing the church in big (or small) ways, that is awesome, but an offering envelope is a must.  Nothing freaks me out more than the person who writes a check for $1,000 and leaves it face up in the offering basket.  Nice…(not).  Second, if you weren’t planning on giving that day (so you don’t have an envelope) but suddenly the Spirit moves you to give, and you reach in your pocket and pull out a $50, you cannot get “change” from the basket.  God wanted you to give that $50.  Just do it.

So seriously, I want to know:  what is your favorite written or unwritten church rule that you want NEED others to know about?  Leave a comment and hey it might give me some more good stuff for ‘Church Rules II’ post  AND I’ll give ya props it if shows up in that post.

And now for a video to get you in a good mood for a super weekend!  This might be a possible new way to do offering.  I mean if it was good for David when the Arc came to town, then maybe… ?  Seriously sweet moves.  Notice dude with tambourine at about 50 seconds… again not okay.  But at this church (in Texas), I get the feeling anything goes!  

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18 thoughts on “Church Rules – Part I

  1. This article and video is much too hilarious! Very good Sherry, great visuals came to mind as you were descrbing the church rules. I do have a comment, however, the topic may be a little too touchy to address. I confess, at times I have been guilty of the offense (however, I do not have much to flaunt at my age), but what do you say about the way some of the women dress at church? You know the very, very revealing low cut tops/dresses or the short, short skirts/dresses. Sometimes I feel like I am sitting at the Grammy or Oscar Awards the way some of the women are dressed. I find it rather disturbing when someone scantily or provocatively dressed is serving communion and taking the offering. Wow, what a distraction for the male members sitting it would seem to be. I don’t know, I am in the over 50 almost 60 bunch and it really seems inappropriate. I realize church attire may a superficial issue but since you asked for more rule ideas this one really came to mind immediately. Again,
    II understand if the issue is one left unaddressed as you are a professional writer with an audience and must heed discretion.

    • Liz – I have thought the VERY same thing…and I consider myself young and never put myself in the group of people that think Elvis, Quiet Riot or rap music is of the devil (okay maybe Quiet Riot was…). Anyhoo as such, I still think ‘the girls’ need to be put away at church! I guess that’s gonna be the risk of having a ‘come as you are’ super cool church that is okay with jeans. But I’ll tell you what, if your jeans are too low and I see a thong or your shirt is thin and I know what brand of bra you’re wearing, then there is a problem! I’m all for dressy wear, but I think cleavage has no place at church. I’m even distracted! It’s pretty wrong to be getting communion and wondering “Are those real?!?”. Thanks Liz! I will add this to Church Rules II 🙂

  2. Honestly….I think all of the “rules” are what keep people away from church in the first place.

    While I agree with all of them (and personally, I LOVE rules), I vote for a little grace here. I hate seeing torn jeans, short-shorts, spaghetti straps, underwear sticking out and cleavage at church…(And it DOES distract me) but hey, I’m glad those people are coming to church!

    OK, that’s my two cents!!!!

    • Agreed – it’s part of risk with uber-cool church that is cool with wearing jeans. But again, “are those real?” KIDDING (I am not kidding). PS: torn jeans, wrinkled clothes and bare feet are fine (this coming from anti-germs-girl). Ann – I love the heck out of you! You are the perfect example of tasteful, yet stylish, dressing for church.

  3. Sherry, I love your blog and I’m digging this post! And I totally agree with Liz – sometimes I wanna tell some of our female ushers to put those things away! But I never know if it’s my place being a younger male, as i don’t want them to get the wrong idea…Looking forward to church rules II!

  4. Ok, so not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for, but PLEASe do not bring your obviously sick and contagious child into Sunday school. It is so awkward if you have to mention it to the parent!

    This is an awesome post! You are great!

  5. I totally agree with the ushers wearing low cut shirts…or just being aware…sometimes it can get a little cold in the auditorium and the girls let everyone know…oh my! I think the rule can be bent for new people or people who are “seeking” but the ushers should know better!

    Along with the whole being late thing…I can’t stand it when people come in late but still stop at the coffee shop to get coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE fan of coffee but if you are already running 10 minutes late getting your latte is not going to turn back the clock!

    What about bringing your child into the service when we have a fantastic children’s ministry and then sitting in the very FRONT and in the MIDDLE of row just to maximize the distraction when the child starts to squirm/whine/cry/laugh/scream…

    Oh, there are so many!

    • I can’t stop laughing…. I think cause I’m listening to Flo Rida’s Low right now. Having a moment.

  6. Hmm, all the rules in church as I was growing up are what keeps me away from church. But after reading all these comments, maybe I should reconsider!

  7. Sherry, There was a time when I was the head Usher and we would close the foyer doors at the “the holy” times 🙂 of the service. Users would also help people find a seat. Today people are put off by restrictions and they feel they can find there own seat.
    I don’t think these were rules, but the way life was back then. Not that long ago men opened doors for women or walked on the curb side of the street when walking with a woman. Now if you do thoses things you might get a weird look.
    If we want rules to follow, then we must be an example to others as how to look and act.
    Waiting for Rules II !!

  8. Loved reading all of the posts! Especially from others who attend RHCC. OK, it seems like someone on the church staff should have a little chat with the ushers who don’t know how to dress modestly/appropriately…Any volunteers?????

  9. Sherry – you just crack me up!!! You have quite the knack for saying what a majority of people are feeling. And I soooo agee on the offering envelopes!! Does RHCC have those?? I used to get a little botherd by people who came in late (with a coffee in their hands no less) but then figured at least they were there. I don’t bring my bible to church because I am always so immersed in listeing to the servcie and madly taking notes, that by the time I looked up something referenced, I would have missed some key points. So I would love if they went back to the “turn to your bibles.” Great rules – can’t wait for part II!

  10. After reading this post (following the reading of part two – a little backwards, I know) and all of the comments – I am SO thankful for my little home church! Yes, we have babies who cry, we have those people who don’t turn off the alarm on their watches or forget to silence their phones. You’re going to have that no matter where you go. But we don’t have problems with immodestly dressed leadership. We aren’t a huge church, we don’t have a “dress code” for Sunday mornings – jeans are ok and we take anyone as they are. We are, however, a little more “old-fashioned” I guess, according to what is considering “modern and super cool” churches in this post. I like it that way. 🙂
    Thanks for the post! Looking forward to Part III!

  11. Ok, I have gone digital, I do bring my Bible but it is in the form of my Blackberry. Also, I have 2 back up Bibles plus a few in my office if needed so my wife has one and I can let a few Youth share.

    Also, it is easy to spot the tambourine guy at my church since he is in the front row. He doesn’t come to every service (thank God) but every time he comes he brings his own tambourine. He attends another church, and I wonder if he blesses them with his musical “abilities?” Seriously the guy moves to the beat of a different drummer. I’m ok with this in most aspects of life, I do so myself, but in corporate worship, if you are not in the same time/space as the rest of us you should not by using an instrument the whole church hears. Don’t clap or play the tambourine. It’s not cool.

  12. Pingback: Sunday = spiritual rest and hopefully some physical rest « Our Piep Show

  13. I love sherrymeneley.com! Here I always find a lot of helpful information for myself. Thanks you for your work. Best regards

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