Along The Journey – Wake Up!

asleep in churchIt happens all the time. Preachers know it. Somebody falls asleep while the preacher is delivering the sermon. I have heard some pretty good reasons for nodding off:

  • “I was up all night with a sick child.”
  • “The medicine I take makes me drowsy.”
  • “The sun was shining on me.”
  • “Well, I did stay awake during Sunday School.”

I know some folks are too polite to just come out and say, “I fell asleep because your sermon was boring.” Others might take a different approach. One woman spoke to her pastor on the way out one Sunday, “Thank you so much for your sermon today. I woke from it fully refreshed!”

Preachers are vulnerable, too. Like this guy: “I dreamed I was preaching. Then I woke up and I was!”

Some of us preachers don’t handle such things well. One minister complained to a woman whose husband fell asleep every time he preached: “Can’t you do anything to keep him from doing that?” The woman responded: “You put him to sleep; you wake him up!”

I have thought about motioning to the congregation to leave the room quietly and pin a note on the sleepers while they are sawing logs. The note could say: “The Rapture came. Sorry you missed it.” That would be mean, right?

Being asleep at sermon time is not nearly as concerning as being asleep at service time. Service time is not the hour between 11:00 and noon. Service time is when we leave the ritual and head into the mission field. Service time is when we open our eyes and hearts to the needs and opportunities that surround us. Service time is the divine appointment God provides to represent Him in the world.

So, I have two requests:

  1. If you have to sleep while I’m preaching, don’t snore.
  2. When you wake up, wake up – go serve somebody!
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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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