Church is weird. And don't worry, I'm not suggesting we change that. Acknowledging our weirdness can be helpful for those of us who have become accustomed to the way church is done. As more and more people are less interested in church, more and more people are not familiar with the common practices of church. This means that churchgoers and church workers would do well to be aware of how weird our weekly practices are. Let's learn to be a church that not only embraces our weirdness, but also help new people understand why we do what we do.
7 Practices That Make Church Weird
1. We are all supposed to sing together. This is not a very common thing to do. You may have sung with a group of people in your high school choir, at a major league baseball game, or maybe even a birthday party. Outside of that, it's not very common.
2. We listen to a guy giving a monologue. Outside of conferences and comedians, when else do people gather to hear someone talk at them? This is unique. Preaching is an absolute essential part of the gathering of the church, but we should also acknowledge it is a bit weird.
3. Everybody sits in the same spot. Nobody has tickets, but seemingly everybody knows exactly where they are supposed to go and where they are supposed to sit. If you are new to church, this makes for an interesting scenario - how do you avoid sitting in "somebody else's seat?"
4. What do I do with my hands? As the music gets going, it can get tricky trying to understand what to do when you are singing to God with a bunch of other people. Should I clap my hands? Should I just stand with my hands at my side or cross my arms? Some people are raising their hands in the air - what's that all about?
5. Other people work here too. There tends to be a select few that are visible on a Sunday morning. As soon as someone finds out that there are other people who get paid by the money put in the offering plate, the question soon to follow is, "What do they do all week?"
6. We have some weird relatives. Let's face it, there are plenty of people who are Christians who we would rather not claim the title. People who give Christians a bad name, are really weird, or just fall into a different theological tribe. There've been a number of times when talking with non-church people about ministry and they've asked, "Wait, you're allowed to be married?"
7. We love dead people. The primary book that we spend our time reading was written by a bunch of people who died a long time ago. Some of the songs we sing we written hundreds years ago by people that aren't around anymore. And chances are during the monologue portion of the service, the pastor even quoted some dead theologian.
Let's keep church weird. But let's also help people who are new to understand why we do these weird things.
What else makes church weird?