July 22, 2019

As a preacher I occasionally find some of my regular, faithful worshipers are, in fact, catching up on their Saturday night sleep while I’m explaining the meaning of Ephesians 2 or expounding on how to live faithfully in a post-modern world. In light of that fact, I offer the following:

ONE: Never fall asleep flat on the pew. To keep this from happening, it’s actually better to sit in a crowded pew, shoulder to shoulder with people on your left and right. Otherwise, if you fall asleep, you might lean right over on the pew and that’s not good.

TWO: When you sleep, don’t fall completely asleep, but just power nap instead. If you fall completely asleep, your sleep apnea might kick up and that’s embarrassing. Better to just go half-asleep, so you’re vaguely aware of your surroundings. It helps to use a Bible to prop your chin up, or lean against your head. You can close your eyes, as long as the Bible is in view because the preacher will think you’re praying. If you power nap, you’ll be ready if the pastor asks you to pronounce the benediction.

THREE: Have a friend be a watcher. Sit with someone who’s sympathetic to your plight. Your spouse may not be the right person. You need a friend who will nudge you if the preacher seems to be looking in your direction a lot. Make sure a Bible is open on your lap, or is prominently in view. Your friend can rouse you so you can say “Amen” and get back to your nap.

FOUR: Don’t sit in the back pew. Believe it or not, this is the first place preachers look for sermon slackers. If you sit in the first or second pew, you can actually get more sleep in because preachers will just look right past you.

FIVE: Don’t sleep through the entire sermon. After all, the preacher has something from the Lord you probably need to hear. But when you’ve heard it, you have no further obligation to stay awake. Still, if you can be awake for some of the sermon, you can then refer to it when you’re leaving the church and shaking the pastor’s hand. “Wonderful sermon, Preacher! I especially enjoyed the part where…”

So, there you go. Hope this doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Glad to be on the journey with you, Nancy