It doesn’t bother me anymore to hear a phone ringing during a church service. It’s part of life in the 21st century. But I’ll admit I was shocked last month when I heard a ringtone while I was preaching–and a woman seated in the third row pulled her phone out of her purse and began a lengthy conversation as if she were in the waiting room of a beauty parlor.
That incident prompted me to post a question on Facebook the next day. I asked my friends to share their own stories of rudeness in church. That triggered an avalanche of pent-up frustration about crinkly peppermint wrappers, loud music, smelly feet (yes, someone took off their shoes during the service), unruly children, coffee-sipping saints and parishioners who try to finish their pastors’ sentences during sermons.