I was born on a Sunday morning and the following Sunday, my mom took me to church. As hard as I try, I can’t ever remember not going to church. That’s probably because I always have. I was raised in a family that never missed. And I do mean never. If the doors were open and the lights were on, we were there. When I was a teenager, there was no such thing as, “I’m not going to church tonight because I have too much homework.” I didn’t know you could even skip church unless you were deathly ill, or I guess maybe kidnapped. Actually, I’m thankful for how I was raised and the memories I have of church “when I was a kid.”
A lot of things have changed about “church” since I was little. Here are a few things I remember from long ago…
- I can remember waking up on Sunday morning to the smell of my Mom browning a roast for Sunday dinner. Man, that was the best smell in the world.
- I can remember taking turns in one bathroom with 5 sisters and a brother on Sunday mornings, and still making it to services on time.
- I remember Gospel Meetings/Revivals lasting a week. I loved it because I got to see my church friends every night that week, not just on Sundays and Wednesdays.
- I can remember, as a little boy, pointing out to my mom the first time I ever saw a woman wearing a pair of pants in church. I was shocked. I’d never seen a woman “at church” in anything but a dress. Years later, I remember the first time I saw a woman wear a pair of jeans in a church service. Again, I was shocked. Up to that point, women had only worn dresses or dress pants. About 10 years ago, I also remember the first time I saw teenagers wearing shorts to church. I wasn’t really shocked.
- I remember sermons that I didn’t understand and they all seemed to last for an eternity. In fact, I often thought, “If I’m going to have to go to church all my life, how can I get out of hearing sermons.” Maybe that’s why I became a preacher, so I didn’t have to listen anymore. Ha!
- I remember when I was in Jr. High the preacher’s daughter having a crush on me and bringing me candy all the time. I didn’t get much candy at home so I strung her along.
- I remember the Sunday that my Mom came and got me at the front, right during the middle of church, because I was talking to my buddies. I didn’t realize then that she could see me. Seeing my Mom standing at the end of the pew, waving for me to “come on,” was one of the most terrifying sights ever. I was less afraid of what my buddies thought and more afraid of what my Mom was about to do to me. She took me to the back, shut the doors … blood was everywhere … three days later when I woke up… okay, so it really wasn’t quite that bad, but I sure remember it.
- I clearly remember pointing out to my buddies a very young girl at church and telling them, “I’m not sure who she is, but when she gets older, she’s going to be fine (that was the word we used to use for hot).” It was Lea when she was about a 7th grader.
- I remember Cled Click’s class on sex when I was in 9th grade. I remember pretending like it was funny at the time, but I was really glad we were having it because I had LOTS of questions.
What do you remember about “church” when you were growing up?