3 reasons we need Vuvuzelas in church.

Every four years, when the World Cup rolls around I think about 3 things:

1. I wish our country had a sport that united the whole country like the intensity you see when France played Italy in the finals.

2. Didn’t I once write a post about the World Cup?

3. I want to, want to be crazy about the World Cup.

I don’t know if that first idea is fixable. I think because of the size of our country we divide into small mini countries or as some people might call them, “states.” I think Alabama vs. Auburn or Duke vs. UNC might be as close as we get to two nations fighting each other in sports. (Please post your school’s rivalry in the comments below as I am positive I missed at least 47 other good examples.)

To the second idea, the answer is “yes.” I did write about vuvuzelas, which is why I’m updating that classic post as we speak.

And the third idea? Well for the first time in my life, I have to admit, the World Cup is fantastic!


For years, I just couldn’t get into the world cup. I grew up playing soccer. I thought it was a beautiful game. I wished our country shut down like other countries on the day our team played. There’s no doubt that I wanted to be caught up in the feverish pitch of the World Cup.

For most of my life, the World Cup kind of felt like all the shows your friends want you to watch but you haven’t yet. I was exhausted at how often I had to tell people I hadn’t watched Mad Men. I wanted to like the World Cup games, I felt like I should, but I just didn’t yet. Until now.

I think it was the Spain versus the Netherlands that sealed the deal for me. That diving header broke through all my pent up soccer cynicism. I’m in. The World Cup is awesome.

What I do kind of miss about this World Cup is the vuvuzela, the tiny plastic horn that appears to have been minted in the very mines of Mordor. It was all the rage in South Africa during the last World Cup but appears to have gone on hiatus in Brazil. Capable of creating a thick blanket of drunken wasp sound in the entire stadium, the vuvuzela is unstoppable. Rather than fight it and complain as many others tend to do, I think we should embrace it and bring it to church.


Here are three ways we could employ the vuvuzela at church:

1. Give one to every youth minister.
Forget acoustic guitars and even cowbells, has there ever been an instrument better suited to youth ministry? A kid asks for a precise definition of “virginity” cause they want to redefine the boundaries? Blast them with the vuvuzela. The elders get unruly about how youth group is being run? Here comes some brand new flavor in your ear, vuvuzela. College kids come back and try to awkwardly date the high school sophomores? Vuvuzela! It works on so many levels it makes my teeth hurt. (And they’re cheap! I got the image of this one on Amazon. They cost less than $20. Perfect for the youth ministry total annual budget which is usually $25.)

2. Play it during baptisms.
I love when a Sunday School class or small group claps and cheers for a friend getting baptized, but what if instead they got to play the vuvuzela? How fantastic would that be? Imagine a wave of vuvuzela rising up from the sanctuary as someone rose up out of the water. That would be a game changer as far as I am concerned.

3. Drive home sermon points.
I don’t necessarily love the guy who screams “Jesssssusssss” in your cochlea at concerts during random intervals. But I do like the guy who says, “Amen” when the pastor cranks it out of the park on a particular sermon illustration or point. What if instead of just words, you could show your approval of a sermon with a steady screech of sweet, sweet vuvuzela?

I have to believe there are other ways we could weave this delightful instrument, dare I say “Angel’s Horn,” into church. It’s possible this is what the angels played when they awoke the shepherds at Christ’s birth. I think I read that in the message version of the Bible.

But what about you? How would you bring a bit of the World Cup to your church? Horn? Body paint? Penalty kicks?

How would you World Cup your church?


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  1. says

    I just need to say I’m so happy you’ve embraced the awesomeness known as the World Cup (and thus soccer)!

    I thought church in the a.m. should have prayed for the game yesterday (Timmy Howard loves Jesus people!), but alas they did not ;).

    • Kelli says

      A member of my church called for a 24 hour prayer and fasting intensive for the next US match. Sadly I don’t think the elders are endorsing it. ;-)

  2. Lilly says

    Rivalry: Auburn v. Alabama. War Eagle!

    Also, I read somewhere that the vuvuzelas were banned from this year’s World Cup games; cannot remember where specifically. I’m not a fan of the horn and have enjoyed watching the games more in their absence. Shortly after the last World Cup, someone thought it would be a good idea to bring one to a Braves game. I remember it was not well received.

  3. Beth says

    Georgia vs. Georgia Tech! Which, admittedly, isn’t the rivalry it once was because, well, the Yellow Jackets pretty much quit actual college football…


    Georgia / Florida (hate me some Gators)
    Georgia / South Carolina (same as above, just different location for the Evil Genius)
    Georgia / Auburn

    How many days til college football starts?!?! The SEC doesn’t need those horns. We have the best ball and the best fans anywhere! Now, the PAC 10 or some other lowly conference? Bring on the horns! :)

    • Jeniene says

      We’ve grown up out here in the west. We are now the PAC12. And the best (and third longest, continuously played rivalry in the nation) Oregon State/Oregon. We don’t call it the Civil War for nothing out here. :)

      Go Beavers!

  4. says

    I think the congregation should all get to pull yellow cards when the sermon goes too long. Red card if it’s 2 Sunday’s in a row, so that the youth pastor has to sub. And when the youth pastor is up there….ITS VUVUZELA TIME BABY!

  5. Ben says

    I’m pretty sure Jericho’s walls fell when the Israelites played their vuvuzelas simultaneously and Gideon’s 100 man army defeated Mideon with some vuvuzelas and clay pots. Powerful instruments!

  6. says

    HAH! My husband IS a youth pastor, and I happen to know he threw a couple of vuvuzelas into the Christmas gift exchange a couple years ago (okay, I know this because I was the one dispatched to Five Below to get half a dozen gifts just in case some kids forgot to bring one). He’s also the worship pastor. This would be awesome all the way around.

  7. Ryan Pittman says

    Edit note: Mordor does not have mines. The dwarves live in the mines of Moria. My wife and I binge-watched all the Lord of the Rings movies this weekend so they are very fresh in my mind.

    And did any of the Middle-Earth teams qualify for the World Cup this year?


  8. says

    I think the worship team should be outfitted with “angel horns” to blast at the congregation when they go “fish eyed” during the worship set.

  9. Dave says

    Great idea! Maybe we will bring Vuvuzelas when we hear you at BigStuf in Panama City in a couple of weeks! :)

  10. Lorena says

    Oh my gosh, this totally made my day, I’m Argentine and live in the US. Football is a big part of my culture and my american friends were totally surprised yesterday when my husband and I completely lost it every time US scored. I dragged my husband into the world cup too and he loves it now, I think he even knows more about points and other technicalities more than me!. He’s American and like many other people, didn’t give much importance to the world cup since he married me. Like you said, I come from a country where they shut down stores and classes are cancelled when our national team is playing in the World Cup! Wished they did that here for the USMNT too! :)

  11. Geoff says

    The timing of this post is perfect. My church did Baptisms yesterday and a gentlemen in the crowd brought a Vuvuzela and blew it after every person came out of the water. It scared the daylights out of me the first time but I immediately embraced it!! Good stuff!!

  12. says

    During the month-long World Cup, pastors should release their congregants to honor God by “flopping” after they’re slain in the spirit…(it’s better than banner-waving, sanctuary sprinting and dance praise).

  13. Carrie says

    This is the God’s honest truth. My dad brings – and uses (plays?) – the vuvuzela EVERY SUNDAY at my church. He’s that 60yr old White Heart loving drummer who wears a chain on wallet and rides a crotch rocket. Yep that’s my dad.

    There is nothing like being fully-immersed in worship, feeling the Spirit moving powerfully, and then “waaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” right in your ear.

    At this point you either think I go to the coolest church ever or you are adding me to your prayer list.

  14. turnsalso says

    Representing the high school world on behalf of my adopted hometown, I must mention the Massillon-McKinley rivalry.



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