ONCE in a while an unfavorable comparison is made between our worship services with their crying babies, whispering adults, and irreverence, and another church that is noted for its absence of all three of these. A point does need to be made frequently that our services of worship are to be reverent, and common whispering and talking are entirely out of place. Crying babies should not be allowed to make such a disturbance that they annoy and distract from the sacredness of the service, nor from the message God has for His people. Parents who are truly thoughtful will sit close enough to an exit to be able to remove the crying child quickly from the service.
Many a good sermon has been literally wiped out because mothers with crying children have had to walk from the front of the church and were not able to get out quickly. So in our emphasis upon reverence we must not fail to give guidance to young parents, and even to old grandparents on such a simple act of courtesy and reverence.
A well-known, intensely interesting preacher among us has been heard to remark, however, that he is more disturbed by sleeping saints than by crying children. To this we can give a hearty amen. In our emphasis on reverence for the service of worship in the house of God let us include along with the distractions of crying children, whispering, laughing, and talking, the equally disturbing factor of sleeping saints at a time when God has a message especially for them.
Above all, as ministers let us not be guilty of preaching tame, lifeless sermons that put people to sleep. Sometimes it is better to sleep through such a sermon than to go through the spiritual agony of having to try, sometimes without much success, to figure out what the message is all about and the source from which it comes.
And while on the subject of reverence, let us voice a word of caution about wearing such loud clothes shirts, ties, socks, shoes and suits that people are unable to hear the message from God they came to receive and have a right to expect.