Sunday, August 19, 2007

Untimely Amens


I traveled with Light Ministries while I was a student at Liberty University. I was a vocalist and the road manager for two years (repectively) for the band. We traveled most weekends during the school year to local churches up and down the east coast. Most of the churches we traveled to were smaller, SBC churches, and one of our favorite things to do was to keep track of what we called "untimely amens." If you've ever spent much time in a traditional church, especially a southern church, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Somebody says something with zero spiritual significance from the stage (I know, I know, everything can have some spiritual significance...but you know what I mean), and somebody in the congregation let's out a robust "AMEN!" We would actually write many of these untimely amens down, and the best of them became inside jokes with our team.

While most churches have a few good untimely ameners, ours does not, so when we do get an untimely amen on rare occasion, it's a pretty big deal, at least to me. This morning, we had one of the best untimely amens I've ever heard. My pastor was talking about growing up around the pig farms of our great state of North Carolina (I honestly can't remember why he was talking about this...), when he made the following statement; "There's nothing that smells quite like a pig pen on a North Carolina summer day." A woman (a guest, and I'm assuming a Christian because I can't remember the last time I heard an unchurched person let out any kind of amen in our church...which makes me feel OK about sharing this story because I don't mind making fun of other Christians) sitting right near the middle of the worship center, about 3 rows in front of me (which means it must have been fairly loud, and I know that others heard it and also made note) expressed her holy agreement with, "AMEN!"

Anyway, I just thought I'd share...feel free to share your own untimely amen stories.

Nate

7 comments:

MilePost13 said...

Seriously...nobody else has any good ones?!? I find that hard to believe (I find it much easier to believe that nobody is reading my blog...)

Nate

jordan fowler said...

Mine was a sister to Amen. I was preaching a message once called Cows on a Hill (aka Eternal Hamburger) about how God owns it all and we merely steward. I gave an example of my dad in retirement owning a cattle ranch and us getting all the free meat we want. If you came to my house my son would go to the fridge and get you grade A rib eyes. We had a church visiting us in our services that week and they were really cheering me on. On of the members said loudly, "Not a sirloin but a rib eye, yes Lord." I about lost it.

MilePost13 said...

that's beautiful!

TheOldATrain (Alex) said...

My pastor once told a joke that only two people in the entire congregation got, and we both were the only ones who laughed (somewhat loudly), which made for an awkward but amusing moment.

The joke was that a man picked up a book that said "How to hug" on the binder thinking that it would be a book on relationships; instead it turned out to be the tenth volume of an encyclopedia ("HOW to HUG")

MilePost13 said...

I've been on all three sides of that story...

Nate

Jesus4me said...

Our pastor was attempting to make the point that although you can't see the Holy Spirit with your physical eyes, it doesn't mean that He isn't there. He was saying, "At this very moment, there are literally thousands upon thousands of radio waves coursing through the air around you..." at which point our resident Inappropriate Amen Guy let out a hearty "Praise The Lord!" Needless to say, the snickering and laughter took a while to subside. Afterwards, the staff had a meeting with him and informed him that he was being a distraction. Apparently, he was offended because he left and is now attending the charismatic church down the street.

MilePost13 said...

those are the kinds of people you want leaving your church... :)

Nate