The Five Types of People You Meet at Church

As an introvert, have you ever wanted to spend a peaceful Sunday morning listening to a sermon at church, but find yourself becoming distracted by those around you? Here are the five types of people you’re likely to meet at church on Sundays.

The Routine Hand-Shaker

You’ve arrived at the church sanctuary 20 minutes before the service starts so you can sneak inside and plant yourself in the very back, hoping to avoid as much social interaction as possible. As others slowly begin filling up the sanctuary, an elderly man is stopping at every pew to greet those who are waiting for the service to commence. This is no surprise, however, as he does this every Sunday. When he finally makes his way to your pew, he shakes your hand and says, “Glad to have you back this morning.” You chose to sleep in last Sunday, and you automatically assume that his greeting carried passive-aggressive undertones for having missed the previous week’s service.

The Hymnal Hog

It’s time to stand up and sing – I mean lip sync – a few hymns before the sermon begins. You reach for a hymnal on the back of the pew, but soon realize that there aren’t enough for each person sitting in the row for you to be able to hold your own hymnal and pretend to sing along. A socially anxious person’s nightmare, the person standing beside you offers to share her hymnal with you, and you regretfully take her up on the offer, even though you’re not sure how you’re going to get away with pretending to sing now that you’re standing so close to someone else. Not only are you stressed because you might have to actually sing along, but you’re also worried about whether your breath is fresh enough to be standing and singing so close to someone else.

The Bad Singer

You’re listening to the choir singing, but can’t help noticing someone singing terribly off-key. Although you should be focusing on the meaning of the song instead of being judgmental in church, you can’t figure out exactly who is singing out of tune, which is driving you crazy. You’re plagued with guilt for being so negative and nitpicky, but you’re also perplexed as to why someone who can’t carry a tune is singing so audibly without a care in the world.

The Kid Who Says the Darndest Thing

After the choir is finished singing, it’s time for all children in the sanctuary to make their way up to the front for a quick children’s sermon before the pastor begins preaching. As usual, the children race to the front to get the best seat on the floor, tripping over each other and serving as entertainment for the adults. It’s only a matter of time before one of them says or does something in front of the entire congregation that embarrasses their parents, which you’re listening and watching intently for. Disappointingly, none of the children seem to accidentally be airing out their parents’ dirty laundry during this children’s sermon, leaving you less than entertained. You then start to question whether you’re the only one in the service who has these awful thoughts, whether you’re a bad person, and why you don’t start watching church services online instead.

The Candy Man

When the sermon has ended and it’s time to leave the sanctuary, the pastor and deacons line the sanctuary doors and shake the hands of everyone on their way out. One deacon in particular always has a selection of Werther’s Originals or Dubble Bubble bubblegum in his pocket that he hands to people as he shakes their hand. You try to slyly position yourself so that you’ll shake his hand, rather than the remaining deacons, because you really need a sugary treat after such a socially draining experience. You successfully shake his hand, acquire one of each candy, and begin walking to your car in the parking lot to head home for lunch and a Sunday afternoon nap.


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