A View from the Pew: Hugs and Kisses

Church in the time of COVID-19 is such a different experience that seminary students will be writing dissertations unraveling its impact on people of faith for years to come.

A View from the Pew: Looking at Your Phone During Church

A question that has surfaced in my mind during these strange times is “When is it okay to look at your phone during church?”

Lockdown Sunday School: How to be Together When You’re Apart

Very little feels normal about church these past six months, but one of the most consistently meaningful weekly meetings we have maintained is the Bible study my wife and I lead for young adults.

A View from the Pew: Which Part of the Service Do You Skip?

You don’t need me to tell you these are weird times, especially for church. A recent message from my pastor highlighted the weirdness for me.

Proof of Their Love

John W. Hammes was a tinkerer and inventor. This Wisconsin architect and contractor enjoyed using his basement workshop to bring to life his ideas for making household chores more convenient.

A View from the Pew: “Hollywood Squares” Prayer Meeting

I can’t help but think of “Hollywood Squares” every Wednesday night when my wife and I log onto our church’s midweek prayer time and devotion via Zoom.

A View from the Pew: Summertime Blues

It’s easy to see it from the pastor’s perspective: you visit the sick, you counsel the anxious, and you show up on Sunday with a heart and mind overflowing. But when you reach your seat on the platform and look out at the smaller-than-normal congregation during the prelude, you question your calling.

A View from the Pew: Asleep at the Pew

Of all the human frailties that impact my ability to worship God, none frustrates me more than fatigue. As a child, I never slept in church. I was always a wiggler, which in hindsight I prefer to describe as “an active listener.”

A View from the Pew: Dressing for Success … in Worship

It is news to no one that church culture has shifted radically in recent years in most every area, from worship style to attendance. One such cultural move is toward more casual fashion choices by church goers. Only the most traditional of us pew sitters insist on wearing “Sunday clothes” anymore.

A View from the Pew: Devotions by Any Other Name

Long before I find myself in a chair or pew on a Sunday morning, preparations have been made for the corporate worship of God. Musicians have learned music through hours of rehearsal. Ministers have prayerfully selected texts to be read responsively.

A View from the Pew: An Hour a Week

I am not a dreamer. That’s not to say I lack ambition or that I don’t hope for certain positive life outcomes. No, I mean, literally, I don’t have dreams; at least I don’t remember dreams.

A View from the Pew: What We See in Worship Makes a Difference

As I age, I find myself not only physically sounding more and more like my Baptist-preacher father but repeating his aphorisms. One of my favorites about church is “You should always sit close to the front because the sermon gets worn out by the time it reaches the back.”