I consider myself to be a bit of a denominational mutt. I grew up in the Catholic school system, converted to charismatic non-denominational-ism when I was 16, and worked for a Presbyterian and a Lutheran church in my 20’s. I’ve been to Southern Baptist churches, Brethren, Church of Christ, Methodist, American Baptist, Pentecostal, AG, and just about all the rest in my early Christian walk. However, I have noticed that in all the denominations, it is mostly just the theology that changes. The people are always the same……always.
Sure, certain denominations might appeal to a different demographic. The Lutherans and Catholics pick up well-to-do classes, while the Pentecostals appeal to anyone crazy enough to believe that Benny Hynn is going to heal them by hitting them with a jacket. But the core personality types are always the same. Here are 10 people YOU will or already have met at church.
The rule enforcer is usually an older male, retired, and usually ex-millitary. The enforcer’s role in the church body is simple; make sure no one ever breaks a rule….ever. Otherwise, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. We all know the old saying that “rules are meant to be broken,” but Sheriff Sour Puss does not know that one. He was born in the prehistoric era.
Mr. rule keeper loves the Old Testament and often quotes passages about obedience. He will make you leave your coffee, and/or other open container, in the lobby and you better be sure to take off your hat before you enter the sanctuary. Do you like a little casual conversation during the church service with you neighbor? Not when the Sheriff is around. That kind of behavior will get you shushed and a long scowl. What about a snack during the service for your son or daughter? Not while Mr. tight pants is around. There will be NO crumbs in the pews or on the floor. After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness (that is not actually in the Bible).
We all know this scenario. The parent with the child who wants to climb on everyone and make fart noises while wiping boogers on your jeans. This child knows now bounds….mostly because his or her parents never set any. While little Bobby Booger is picking his nose and eating it, his parent is usually doing their best to completely ignore the reality of what is happening. Want to enjoy the service and enter a time of deep prayer and reflection? Forget about it! Johnny loud mouth is going to make sure you wished you stayed in bed. Think it’s a good idea to ask the parent to keep the child under control? Think again. The single parent of an unruly child could care less about your comfort. In fact, you now are the free baby sitter.
As much as us saintly men like to deny it, we all saw the girl last week who was wearing the short shorts and skin tight clothes. Almost every church at some point will acquire a young hott female who has the brain activity of hibernating frog (frogs hibernate, right?). She compensates for her lack of cognitive ability in other ways. Even though Mrs. Modest Martha already subtly hinted to her that she might want to think about covering the twins, Hott Girl will find no issue with showing the world a topographical map of her treasure chest. After all, she has to snag a good Christian man and what better way than to let him see whats for sale at the meat market. I am sure this plan could never backfire. As far as I can recall, every relationship I have ever known to be based solely on looks has worked out just perfect!
One thing is for sure, if you go to a church which enjoys a meet and greet time, and your a female, some old guy with more hair coming out of his ears than on his head is going to hug you……way too long.
Call him a pervert or call him creepy, but Mr. Fondle is going to get his hug on with every young female in church, and almost no one is ever going to say a thing about it. That’s just what nice Christian people do. They ignore all issues within the church because it is way more important to be nice at all times than making someone feel bad. Jesus never ever made anyone feel bad. He was just like Joel Osteen, except he had longer hair and a different accent (it was more throaty and less twangy).
Every church that has been around for a while has seen this family. You have a new family visit the church and they tell the pastor they love the service. They jump in head first and begin helping out and serving the body. Then a few rumors start that Mrs. So n’ So was butting heads with the new family. Then the next week you hear that the new family has already started to talk to other members about changes that need to be made in the church. Then after another week they have disappeared and you never heard from them again.
Before you know it you hear rumors that they are now attending another church in town and are reporting that your church just abused them and hung them out to dry. What just happened? Were we just hood-winked?
What you may not realize is that the Hopper family has been rotating from church to church only to be either removed from the congregation or leave on account of discord. But what is the issue? They seemed so nice and put together. Here is the issue: they know what is best…..for everyone. And even though no-one in their family spent 7 years earning a Masters degree in Biblical studies at a seminary, they KNOW that the pastor needs to be corrected. The only problem is that they are wrong and every member of that congregation knows they are wrong, but in their minds they are God’s prophets to the modern church; which has apparently gone apostate.
Ever meet someone at a new church or just visiting a church and you get accosted by someone who thinks that this church is the best thing since Jesus, and when Jesus comes back he is setting the pastor on His right hand? I have, and it took me a long time to understand how and why these people exist; here is what I can tell you. Lifers have nothing to live for…except of course promoting their church. Can’t say that I think its a bad thing to promote the church of our Lord and savior, but there is a serious issue when your source of meaning comes from the church. But you can spot the lifer easily because the minute you show up they are greeting you, inviting you to you join every small group in the church, and selling you the pastors sermon series on CD. Without it you just can’t be part of God’s elect.
First of all, if you don’t know what a tween is then you don’t have kids, or the internet, or even a TV. A tween is someone at the age between middle childhood and adolescence. Also known as pre-adolescence. This means ages 10-12ish. You will recognize the rebel tweens in the church pretty quickly. They like to wear all back and/or emo clothes or play videos games on their phone during the service. They wont make eye contact with you and they certainly don’t want to talk to you or shake your hand during the meet and greet time. They would rather you just ignore them and their caged existence. They have been drug to church 3 days a week since they were in the womb, because “if you train them up in the way they should go they will not depart from it.” However, their parents failed to realize that raising them up in the right way doesn’t mean dragging them to church 5 times a week and rejecting all culture against their own will; all-the-while making them an embarrassment to all humanity.
So, somewhere about age 10-15 that child is going to realize they they are tired of being the only lame kid at the school (if they are allowed to go to school).
“Dear mom & dad, I hate you for ruining my life. In return, I am going to do everything you hate and always told me I was never allowed to do.”
There are two type of pastors kids, the first is what we all know and expect; dirty rotten punks that think they are above the law of Christ. The second type are perfect angels who walk on water, only after Jesus commanded them to of course. However, they will both make you equally sick to your stomach. The punk PK’s will drive you crazy because they are singing in the worship band on Sunday, but hey wait a minute, wasn’t that the same kid you just saw last week in the paper arrested for sending nude pictures…..probably to the rebel tween girls in the church?
The golden pastors kids just make you feel like a worm of human being. While you think that waking up at 9AM for church is a sacrifice for the Lord, they are out feeding hungry children and saving the world from poverty, while also being active in every high school extra-curricular known to man. Oh, and they are the school valedictorian as well as the prom king/queen. Think your kid is special because they got a 3rd place 4H ribbon? That’s cool because the golden pastor’s kid just donated their world class heifer offspring to a 3rd world nation so they can start their own farm and bring the village out of starvation. But hey, congrats on that 3rd place.
This is one of my favorite couples to observe. Somewhere around the third chorus of Awesome God, Mr. Feely is pinching the behind of Mrs. Grope Me. You might have seen them before. Mr. & Mrs. Touchy can’t make it through the entire song of Amazing Grace because it is far more important to feel up their spouse from the front row, in the middle of the service. Not sure if you have seen this couple? They are also known as the Make Out couple.
Out of all the people in a church, this is the type of person you are destined to run into. You will know the church hen because they are about 65 and they fix the height of their hair to match their age. And the balding types, they just use big hats. Having trouble spotting them? They are the ones that are only 5 foot tall but you still can’t see over them when they sit in front of you. You can also spot them because they talk during the entire service and are working on a 1st Baptist Church edition of Star Magazine. Want to know who is having premarital sex in the church? They got the scoop. Need to know who makes the best meat loaf? Find the old church hen.
Their are many more personalities that you can count on when visiting or attending a church. These are just a few of my favorites. Feel free to chime in with some of your favorites!