The beginning of this chapter describes the process of looking for a church. As we can all infer, not all churches are the same. There are an incredible amount of different Christian denominations with their own doctrines and catechisms, and some of them have a different biblical canon. However, parishioners are the most important facet of a church. The author provides us with a list of fifteen church people to look out for.
1. The Bible Geek- Scripture Quoting, King James toting nerds of the Bible. The only people who absolutely enjoy bible trivia. [When I was a Christian, I actually wanted to be one of them].
2. Really, Really Nice Old Ladies- They apparently try to woo you with their free mentos and “God bless you, sweeties”. Also, it appears that they wield a great deal of influence, and are sharper than they’d have you believe.
3. Overly Enthusiastic Church Welcomers- Over the top exuberance is a tool for convincing people into not returning. [I don’t remember hug givers, but I do recall many awkward handshakes and “Welcome Brother”. I’m not your brother.]
4. The Rubberneckers- The people who are constantly looking around the church to see who’s there.
5. Praise Team Rock Star- Almost self descriptive. A rock star type, perhaps with an outrageous hairstyle and a gaudy guitar.
6. The Hippie Pastor- Perhaps a former long haired drug user, this pastor decides to study scripture more than interact with the people who he has trouble relating to. [I’ve seen more youth pastors with these traits].
7. Hardcore Hand Raiser Praiser- With the wild danc
ing, hand raising, and yelling of spiritual proclamations, the spirit of the Lord dwells within them as soon as service starts and lasts until it’s over. [These people made up 99% of my previous, and last, church. I never once felt comfortable].
8. Brother so and so- Perhaps the person who invited you to the church luncheon, this person always refers to everybody as “brother so and so”. These people are also the ones you intently strive to avoid at the end of every service. They might try to be your best friend, but be warned. They have probably tried becoming best friends with the rest of the church. The author suggests creating healthy boundaries.
9. Geeky Church Elders- Perhaps an old, church going couple that may be extremely nice to you, and willing to answer any questions you may have about the church.
10. Perfect Church Family- Composed of a nice-looking husband and wife [although plain], who insist on homeschooling their children [who are “perfect”].
11. The Zany, Abercrombie and Fitch-looking Youth Minister- Enough written.
12. Token Minority Attendee- Perhaps more common in mostly-white congregations, this person is instantly made one of the more popular members of the church due to their unique skin tone, accent, or nationality.
13. Pastor’s Wife- Seemingly meek and mild. She’ll break you if you ever cross her. [According to The Simpsons, the minister’s wife may also be the reason for the spreading of hearsay.]
14. The Desperate Male Divorcee- Middle aged, and possibly a very nice fellow, this guy is also on the prowl. He might’ve tried dating every single female in the church, to no avail.
15. Homecoming Queen- The epitome of perfection in the youth portion of the church. She has a few children by the age of 25. She might also end up “depressed, frumpy, and signing in the church choir before 30”.
And there you have it. However, if you are a Christian reading this post, I would like to add another type of person on this list. The type of Christian that I used to be.
The genuinely conflicted Christian.