When people fall asleep in church, instead of asking what church is doing to bore people, we make jokes about it. Church too often gives people this message: “If you don’t like the Sunday morning rap, you can always take a short nap.”
Pay attention to the sermon? That’s a question a lot of people like to sleep on. If a congregation looks bored — they probably are.
When sermon-hearers aren’t allowed to make a peep, they easily fall asleep. For too many Christians, their greatest spiritual challenge is not to fall asleep in church. However, other church members think that a sermon is nothing to lose sleep over.
Maybe church could install sleep-number seats that tell you how many minutes into the sermon you fall asleep. Here’s a definition: church-sleep-number — the amount of people who slumber during a Sunday church service. Do you know your church-sleep-number? How many minutes a year do you sleep in church?
You know you have acute insomnia when you can’t even fall asleep in church. However, church should light your fuse, not make you snooze. Worship should be a glorious, Spirit-led fiesta, not a sleepy, tightly-monitored siesta.
All the jokes about people falling asleep in sermons show that contemporary sermons aren’t very effective. Church isn’t supposed to put people to sleep. It’s supposed to wake them up. They should leave church roused, alert, and excited! If the senior pastor is putting you to sleep, quit listening to him and talk to the Chief Shepherd. Jesus will wake you up.
Rather than joking about church being “the frozen chosen” perhaps we should find a way to thaw it out. (1 Corinthians 14:26 can show us how to do that!)
Perhaps church could be more effective at spreading the Gospel if it woke people up instead of hitting their snooze button. It’s sad that Christians often present the world’s most exciting subject–the living, resurrected Jesus Christ–in a boring way. Why do we do that? Football games keep people alert, excited, and awake. Why shouldn’t church?
It’s very hard to fall asleep if your listening to someone sharing fresh insights on a subject you’re passionate about. Christianity isn’t supposed to just be a sleepy message for your mind. It’s should be Christ’s real presence transforming your life.
Open, Holy Spirit prompted sharing, testimonies, and gifts of the Spirit create a no-doze spiritual environment.
The good thing about going to sleep in church is that it gives you the opportunity to wake up in church. Perhaps we all need a spiritual wake up call.