Etiquette Excursion with Mona Johnson
There are many layers of church etiquette. All of our life we have passed along and heard different components of etiquette that we continue to say and pass down to our children without the rational of what they really entail or why we continue to say them.
For instance chewing gum is not acceptable in the House of the Lord. Why? Why do you always here this lecture on gum chewing. Most individuals who chew gum are unaware of the noises that their teeth and gum make as they maculate the foreign blob. Many individuals chew gum for the shrill comfort of the popping noise that the air in the gum makes. Further most people are unable to chew gum without it showing and looking like a cow’s cud in their mouth. Chewing gum is unattractive, noisy and can cause distorted facial expressions.
But the primary reasons for not chewing gum is the simple fact that most people do not keep the foil wrapper designed to keep the gum fresh and for final disposal of the gum. Therefore, when it is time to discard the gum it is usually trashed where ever one can find a place to hide it. The innocent discarded stick of gum becomes a criminal as it is punched under the church bench seat or in the circumference designed for the communion glass or with more disgust inside the Hymnal for the ushers or the custodian to pry from the book or bench.
Another etiquette woe involves recognition of friends. We all want to be friendly and we want to recognize friends and family when they enter the sanctuary. Taking the time to greet friends and family, with other than a nod or a smile, during the church service is being disrespectful.
It is not appropriate to greet friends and have a conversation with them while they are entering the sanctuary or during the services. It is rude towards the other people in church who are trying to worship. Plus if someone is entering the church late they usually could do without the additional focus being directed toward their tardiness. Wait until the benediction has concluded.
Fortunately, most churches provide a moment during the service to give a brief greeting to guest or spouses of the visiting speaker for the day. The church service is the time for you to talk to God through your praise, prayers, and hymns. Before church or following the benediction or in the fellowship hall is the time to greet your friends and family.
An unspoken faux pas concerns children. Too often you can tell where the young families with children have been sitting during the church service. The revealing signs are cereal, graham cracker crumbs, fruit, and animal crackers. It is understandable that a bottle may be brought for a child or infant. However, bottles are faithfully collected and taken home with parents following the service.
Families with children are our future. However, if your child does eat something during the service, as a parent you should clean up any and all messes prior to departing church.
Join me weekly as I answer your questions and share ideas as we explore the journey to good manners! Send your questions or comments to the Inland Valley News, 2009 Porterfield Way, Suite C, Upland, CA 91711, email to:editor@inlandvalleynewscom or email, email@example.com.
Mona Johnson is the CEO of Personnel Best a consulting firm specializing in how to conduct effective meetings, public speaking, team building, leadership development, microphone etiquette, networking, organizational and self-awareness.