Reverence or Sleep?

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. . .

-Secretary, Ministerial Association, General Conference, at the time this article was written

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.

Advertisement - Digital Discipleship (300x250)

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
-Secretary, Ministerial Association, General Conference, at the time this article was written

February 1973

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Are Bible Instructors a Vanishing Breed?

A Ministerial secretary interviews a Bible instructor regarding her feelings about her work, and the importance she attaches to it.

Quotations From Prof. W F. Albright's Writings

SEPTEMBER 19, 1971, William Foxwell Albright died at the age of 80. With his passing the world of Biblical and archeological scholarship lost one of the greatest minds of recent times and probably the greatest orientalist who ever lived. . .

Seventh-day Adventists and the World Council

Since 1965 regular informal conversations have been taking place between Seventh-day Adventists and representatives of the World Council of Churches. From the very beginning it was made patently clear that there is no plan for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to become a member of the World Council. . .

Youth Spearhead Mormon Growth

BRIGHT young men in conservative dress slacks, white shirts, and ties, clean-shaven, hair trimmed well above the collar and ears, rigorously trained in the culture and language of the country, two by two (elder with elder), going from door to door; and likewise two by two (sister with sister), modestly dressed young women these are the missionary young people of the Mormon Church in all parts of the world. . .

Faith and Order, andthe New Ecumenical Approach

IS THE World Council of Churches, and in particular its Faith and Order Commission, shifting from a "churchly" ecumenical orientation to a more social-activism form of ecumenism? Has the Faith and Order Commission, traditionally concerned with doctrinal and theological issues, set a new course away from an essential interest in faith in God and unity of the church toward an over-preoccupation with ethical action programs in the world?

The Broadcast Interest

ONE of the most challenging and rewarding phases of evangelistic ministry is the spiritual fol low-up of the interest created by our use of the mass media. For Seventh-day Adventist pastors and lay men this is, specifically, the broadcast interest aroused and developed through the programs of Faith for Today, Voice of Prophecy, It Is Written, and other denominationally sponsored broadcasts. . .

Today's Religious Music Scene

THERE have always been varied opinions and tastes regarding music and its use for the many purposes of the church. Long be fore the Protestant Reformation the church fathers were struggling to maintain the purity of church music against what they felt to be secular elements. . .

Sermons From the Life and Teachings of Chirst

NEXT to a familiarity with the Bible itself as a source for sermons we have the Spirit of Prophecy books that help to illuminate the Bible. One called to preach can ill afford to be without these valuable volumes. Several of the books by Mrs. White can be especially helpful in the preparation of sermons. . .

Using Group Dynamics to Increase Baptisms

NUMEROUS experiments have shown that group discussions lead to better results than good lectures. People tend to make up their minds better when they talk things over than when they are told what to do. . .

Laodicea and the Latter Rain

YEARS come and go, decades pass into history, and still the long-sought harvest rain does not fall. Where is the latter-rain promise? What has happened to the prayers of our fathers? Will our own prayers never be effectual? Have we preached a message in vain? The answer lies in the heart of the Laodicean message . . .

The Church's Expectation of Medicine and Religion

IN THIS time of specialized medicine and of increasingly exacting spiritual ministry, very few individuals are qualified effectively to encompass both fields. This fact offers a challenge for Christian ministers and physicians to unite their special talents and continue the work of their Master who "came not to be ministered unto, but to minister."1

Losing With Leo

FOR the first three weeks this past month everything really went well. I lost two pounds per week and almost began to think that it was going to be easier than it seemed at the start to follow the plan of losing gradually. People who lose more rapidly are more likely to regain lost weight quickly because it's harder to stay on the more drastic programs. My goal, as you may remember, was to lose five pounds a month, and I had bettered that in the first three weeks. . .

Are You Fit For the Ministry? (Part 2)

IT IS worth re-emphasizing that the purpose of an exercise program for the minister is not that of being able to outrun or out-swim a competitor, nor to develop a set of biceps or leg muscles of which we can be proud. The psalmist tells us that the Lord "delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man." 1

"Ye Are Not Your Own"

IN A thought-provoking article entitled "It's My Life, Isn't It?" in the October, 1968, Reader's Digest, Author Evan Hill proposed that one's life isn't entirely one's own. . .

What She Means to Me

I DISCOVERED many years ago that in the husband-wife team my wife was at least 50 percent of our effectiveness. Many men have succeeded in the ministry because a good wife stood by them and gave her full support to the pro gram of the church. Other men who tried and failed might have made it if only the home front had been secure. You and I have known husbands in both these categories. . .

Help Save Our Children

PARENTS, teachers, and ministers all wonder why we lose so many of our youth. Many theories have been offered, but as a teacher I have been impressed recently with the conviction that it is because we do not begin early enough the business of saving their souls. . .

More on Colossians 2:14 (Conclusion)

IN THE presentation last month did we not have an adequate back ground for an appraisal and understanding of the texts involved in Colossians and Ephesians? Were not the expressions Paul used familiar to those to whom he wrote? Did they not have their Old Testament Scriptures to confirm his words of counsel? Was he not putting in script the very language they understood? If so, they would know what the apostle meant when he mentioned that something was to be abolished. . .

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Trending

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Digital Discipleship (160x600)