(My kids can’t pew whisper, they pew yell, the need for silence somehow magnifying their tiny little voices exponentially. But they’re only one kind of pew whisperer that guest poster Matt Triemstra identifies in his hilarious first spin behind the wheel of SCL. Enjoy!)
Pew Whispering -By Matt Triemstra
Why do Christians like pew whispering so much? You’ve all been there trying to listen to the pastor and someone leans over to you and whispers in your ear “How about Swiss Chalet for lunch after church? I know we went last week but let’s go again”. You of course are too mature for pew whispering during a sermon but you realize that you too have a Swiss Chalet craving and whisper back that it’s a deal.
Despite the distraction it must be, I imagine that pastors are grateful for pew whisperers as a good litmus test for their message. “Oh good, I only saw two pew whisperers today so I must have been good” or “shoot, over a dozen pew whisperers…I guess my game is off and I can’t compete with Swiss Chalet today.”
Do pew whisperers not realize that the pastor can see you? There are only 10 commandments because Moses ran out of room on the tablets…the 11th was “Thou shalt not disrespect thine pastor by pew whispering”
Here are 10 types of pew whisperers I have encountered during my years in the church:
1- The “Right in your ear drum to be as quiet as possible” whisperer – Self explanatory and one of my favorites. “Thank you my ears needed a good cleaning.”
2- The “Volume zero” whisperer – The one who is so quiet at whispering that you don’t hear them the first 5 times and finally just agree, only to realize later that you agreed to a Pictionary marathon at your house. (Similar to the Seinfeld “Low Talker.”)
3- The “Volume 10” whisperer – The opposite of “The volume zero” whisperer. They have no concept of how to whisper and everyone, including the pastor, can hear. “Yes my rash has cleared up, thank you for asking.”
4- The “I know my scripture and don’t need to pay attention during sermon readings” whisperer – The kid who mastered all his sword drills in Sunday school and immediately starts whispering to you when scripture is read out loud because he’s bored and wants you to know that he’s holier than thou.
5- The “The Pastor is wrong” whisperer – The one who needs to point out to you every time they think the pastor is wrong. I always want to reply to this person, “Yes, I’m sure that Wikipedia is better at educating you than his biblical studies degree.”
6- The “You child is acting up” whisperer – The childcare worker who forgets about the paging system and comes to get you in the middle of service and whispers to you that your child is out of control. “Yes I know, that’s why I left her with you so I could pay attention during the message.”
7- The dreaded “I don’t care that you are worshipping” whisperer – The one who interrupts you while you are in tears singing ‘Draw Me Close To You’ and asks about your weekend is going so far.
8- The “Note passer” whisperer – It’s just rude to whisper during service so I am going to pass you a less distracting note instead. “Do you think she likes me?”
9- The “Condescending” whisperer – “I can’t believe you are checking your phone during a message…oh its biblegateway.com…”
10- And finally one of my favorites: The “Five year old who doesn’t want to go to kids church and doesn’t know how to whisper” whisperer – “Daddy I’m bored! Can I play angry birds on your phone?”
Now I am just as guilty as the next person about pew whispering but at least I’m subtle, or at least I think so…moral of the story? Don’t pew whisper, it’s distracting.
What other kind of pew whisperers am I missing? Do you have any funny pew whispering stories from your church?