ring…ring…

Yes, that is Jesus on the phone. At least He had the courtesy to step outside for His call.

My new pet peeve is cell phones ringing during worship services. Actually, it’s not a new pet peeve, it’s been around for a long time. Which makes it even harder to understand why people have not mastered the art of muting their phones.

During the announcements, we regularly request that people turn the volume down. People chuckle and do nothing. Nearly every week while I am preaching, someone’s phone rings. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have been at THE most crucial point of the message only to have us all distracted by a ringing phone. At the risk of sounding hyper-spiritual, I believe that there is a diabolical (meaning from the devil) plan to distract us from the Word. I am about to cast out some devil from our services!

Recently, some leaders have suggested as potential solutions: public humiliation, a communal stomping of the ringing cell phones and open-air floggings. These are beginning to sound feasible.

By the way, we can’t legally install signal scramblers; that has also been considered.

I am open to suggestions…  anyone? Maybe the church below has a good idea…

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3 responses to “ring…ring…

  • Janet Lapp

    I have a friend whose Church seizes any and all cell phones that go off during the service. She acts as usher from time to time and part of her duties is to go up to the offender and hold out her hand to take the phone. Phones are returned after service. She was embarrassed once when her own phone went off….go figure.

  • James Cristantiello

    It must be tough going through all the preperations for the service, sermon prep, set up, greeting time, worship, announcements/ reminders to turn off phones, so on and so forth…

    Then at the climax of the message a phone rings…”Ring, Ring”! Very discouraging.

    Even if you look at the bright side that the folks who didn’t turn them off at the reminder time could have been connecting with someone else. Not much comfort though.

    It does seem to be helping to do the reminder to turn off the phones, improving is good. I don’t think calling anyone out is a viable option. If we’re called to be at peace with one another then a public flogging doesn’t measure up.

    However, it might help to do a skit with a planted persons in the audience. Have their phone ring at a point in the message that is more appropraite, call them up, and go through a little 30 second deal where you explain that “Jimmy” needs to turn off his phone because it’s disturbing to himself and others.

    This could be mixed with the openning day of baseball in that, have the plant dress up in his favorite baseball jersey (Cardinals), hat, glove, and you call him up after his phone rings and say that “I realize openning day is exciting and has seem to be on your mind, Billy ray?, but it’s distrubing and borderline rude to leave your phone on ring during service time”. You say,”Got it”? He says, “oh, we’re in church? I didn’t realize, I thought it was the pre-game warm ups!” “Ok, I, got it”!Then, as he begins to walk off the stage, you could fake whisper to him, “the game time is 1pm, right?” “and that it’s his turn to buy the peanuts”. You give him a thumbs up and say “Look forward to it”! ” See you there”!

    Or What about having the ushers politely remind the absent minded follower that phones need to be turned off at the onset of a ring. This can be done after the service as a everyone is heading home.

  • Clifton Mathis

    Thanks bro. Rick. This is definitely a problem. I have an elderly woman in my church whose phone rings out during Sunday morning service at least two or three times a month. It’s usually during the preaching. She refuses to silence her phone. Of course, I have a few others as well. One thing that I have started doing is trying to make a spectacle out of these individuals; especially, if it’s during the preaching. I will stop preaching and stare in their direction until their phone stops ringing or until they walk out of the church with it. I think I may use your video next. Lol

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