Ten Things to Do When You Get Tired in Church

By Ben Reed

Ever get tired during a church service?

Don’t lie. You know you do.

Ever doze off? Ever act like you didn’t doze off and think you fooled your friends?

Don’t lie.

I was speaking recently and noticed a couple of guys in the back nodding off. I’m sure they had had a tough week. Probably had packed their day too full to worry with staying awake. I get it. I’m a young guy who has nothing to say to them — right? Nothing that they need to hear more than they need a quick shut-eye.

But there are a few things you can do when you get tired in church — some preventative measures, some ninja-like moves that’ll fool the best of speakers, and some that reflect just how busy your life is.

Here’s what you do when you get tired in church:

1. Get a cup of coffee. I call this the preemptive strike. You know you’re not going to make it, so wisely load up on the caffeine.

2. “Pray.” Make a fist with both hands, and put your forehead on it. You’ll look regal and holy, as if you’re under such great conviction and duress that all you can do is pray.

3. Shake your head up and down deeply. This is especially helpful if you actually doze off. This one just needs to be in your back pocket. It looks like you heartily agree with whatever was just said. Little do your neighbors know, you have no idea what was just said.

4. Start dancing in the aisles. That’ll get the blood going. Shout, scream, and let the Spirit take over — not the one that causes you to fall asleep, though.

5. Ask your pastor to not preach boring sermons. That’s a joke. Kind of.

6. Two words: smelling salts. If you want to wake up, this will do the trick. Immediately.

7. Shout a loud, “Amen!” The moment your head bobs, let it rip. If the context works, you’re amazing. If it doesn’t, you’re mysterious, and people will wonder how you’re so holy that you found conviction in the sentence, “Turn your Bibles to _____.”

8. Reach down to get something under your seat. When you doze and your head falls down, act natural. You were only reaching down to pick something up off of the floor, right?

9. Play on your phone, and loudly whisper, “I’m using YouVersion.” If you don’t have a smartphone, this is a bit more difficult to pull off. That’s not a reason not to try it, though. Playing on your phone will keep you bright and alert.

10. Embrace it. Bring a neck pillow. Start to drool. Claim Sunday as a Sabbath and drink in a good nap.

Now you know what to do when you get tired in church.

No reason to go to bed earlier on a Saturday night. No reason to try to engage more so you don’t doze off. No reason to ask God to give you energy because you know you need to worship.

No, not you. You have a bag full of excuses. And your time is too valuable to stay awake during a church service.

Image Credit: Creative Commons user Rosino

Ben Reed

Ben Reed

Ben is the small groups pastor at Long Hollow, a multi-site church in the Nashville, TN area. In addition to pastoring, preaching, and writing, Ben has a great passion for coffee. Good coffee, that is. And CrossFit. But not at the same time! You can journey along with Ben at BenReed.net!