By Stan Mitchell


I am the eight-year-old who sat behind you in church last Sunday morning. I don’t go to church much. I’m a kid. If I go, someone (usually my grandmother) drives me.

What did I learn in church?

I learned that the Lord’s Supper is a time when people check their emails on their cell phones.

I learned that the sermon was the time to balance your checkbook.

I learned that although some Christians sing the hymns, Christians can also sit with folded arms refusing to participate.

I learned that worship is a time when I can chatter with my friend about practically anything except the spiritual matter at hand.

I learned that worship is no big deal and that Christians only come here for social purposes, or out of habit.


I used to go to church when I was a kid, but it’s been a long, long time. Last Sunday I came back, hoping to find something to fill my life which is, to be candid, in a bit of a mess. I was so nervous that I would either be ignored or embarrassed because I did not fit in.

I sat behind you. You smiled and introduced yourself before worship began. I observed you singing your heart out. I watched the deeply respectful manner in which you took the Lord’s Supper. I watched you nod your head in agreement during the sermon, look up the Bible passages, and help your children find them too. Although I liked the preacher’s sermon very much, the silent sermon you preached was even more impressive.

I learned that worship is a big deal, and that the Lord is a very real factor in your life.

I think I’ll come again next week.

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26, ESV).

“But if … an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called into account by all. The secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you” (1 Corinthians 14:24,25).

“… so that in everything you may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:10).

Dear brother and sister in Christ: In worship, others are either encouraged or discouraged by your attitude toward proceedings. Sure, God is watching, and that should be enough, but please be aware that others are watching too.