Watching People at Worship

Each week the Church community gathers to worship the Lord for around an hour. As the preacher, I have the opportunity to watch the crowd while I preach along with observing their actions during the rest of our time. Through the years, I have noticed several things about the way people worship.

  1. The Apathetic. Honestly, several people attend each week that does not want to be there. Often they are family members of more committed believers. Husbands, children and other relatives have no real interest in worship and tolerate it for someone they love. They do not sing, interact, or even listen.
  2. The Tired. Some people are just tired on Sunday morning. It can be from work, fun, or family. It used to really upset me when people fell asleep during my sermon, and then I spent a couple of months not preaching. I found that some mornings were difficult no matter who was speaking. Some of these people are one time sleepers, but there is an occasional regular sleeper. Upon investigation, it becomes clear that worship is not a priority for them, and they never try to get rest on Saturday night.
  3. The Distracted. Yes, there are occasional unplanned distractions, but for some people, it is a regular occurrence. They bring in their little children and spend the sermon dealing with them and not listening. They make frequent bathroom trips throughout the service. They never wholly invest themselves in worship.
  4. The One Hour Worshipper. These people are happy to be at Church, but you can tell it is the only hour they spend with God each week. They are not familiar with the worship songs. The get lost as the sermon goes deeper into scripture. They are lovely people but never allow themselves to move beyond Sunday morning.
  5. The Invested. This group comes to Church as an extension of their life. They love to be with the people of God. They sing with joy during the music; they listen carefully and pray intently. They come in with a smile and leave full almost every Sunday morning. There seems to be nothing that separates them from God. Sunday morning is another deposit into their life of faith.

Each week I can usually predict who will say something about the songs or the sermon. I know who will be asleep and who will be taking notes. I know who will spend the week growing from the experience and preparing for the next week. I can tell a lot about you from the way you worship.

What do you think your Sunday morning says about you?

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