Corey Wade | @cwadepga
We’ve all been there. Coming off a sleep starved night—mostly toddler related sleep deprivation and the message isn’t quite resonating. Your mind begins to wander and your eyes are getting heavier. You MUST fight it! But how? Count those in attendance? (although counting sheep could make you more sleepy--*Rimshot*.) Figure out different combinations to fit your fingers in the communion cup holders? If it's really bad, you can get out your phone out to check your “bible app” –You’re fooling no one.
So what is a good Christian to do when he doesn’t have the mental fortitude to focus during the sermon? Here are my 3 favorite games to play to stay partially engaged with the message, because something is better than nothing:
1. Guess the Sermon outline blanks ahead of time:
This is one of my favorite tactics. Before the message begins, I will fill out all the “answers” to the sermon outline ahead of time and then see how I stack up. WARNING—If you have a pastor that uses alliteration it is a very risky endeavor. Guess the wrong starting letter and you’re done for the day! I have broken down scoring as follows:
90-100%--Apply to your nearest seminary for your honorary PH.D
70-89% --You’re “that guy” the one that tells everyone that the wise men WERE NOT at the nativity
50-69%-- More exposure to Flannel graph needed
30-49%-- It’s about relationship, not religion….am I right?
10-29%-- My friends talk about Arminians—Why do we care so much about that country?
0-9%-- He started every point with a T, not a D—Dang you, Alliteration
2. Mad Libs
This one requires a more holy and engaged friend. Have your friend look over the sermon notes in the bulletin and create a mad libs fill in the blank like so:
A. Something you eat
B. An item of clothing
C. Favorite sports team
D. Something you do on a boat
Then fill these words into the sermon notes and enjoy your craftsmanship:
A. Sin makes you disobey pickles
B. Sin will ruin your socks
C. The Atlanta Braves are the root of all sin
D. Sin vomits on your witness
Well I guess that last one actually works.
3. Buzzword Bingo
Feel free to use the bingo boards below as an example and play with your friends during the message. As the pastor says each buzzword or uses a particular sermon technique, mark it off your bingo board. First one to get 5 in a row wins. Resist the urge to scream “Bingo,” instead say “Amen” loudly to signal to your friends that you have indeed won. Important note: Jesus must be checked off before winning, even if it's not in your winning row, because if Jesus isn’t mentioned in the sermon EVERYBODY LOSES.
EXAMPLE CARD #1:
EXAMPLE CARD #2:
Have fun, ya bunch of heathens!
Corey Wade decided to put his Biblical Studies degree to good use by becoming a PGA Golf Professional in Crossville, Tennessee. He and his beautiful wife Karyn are foster parents currently with three children that are apart of their forever family. His main hobbies include reading boring books, drinking coffee, and starting new hobbies only drop them weeks later. He secretly desires to be a reformed hipster and quote Augustine, but doesn't like the way his legs look in skinny jeans. You can contact him on twitter @cwadepga or his email firstname.lastname@example.org. Go Vols!!!