Articles// By Jason Harris

When Satan rings your number

Mobile phone etiquette for the church-goer


One of the most distracting things that can happen during a church service, second only to crying babies and sleeping deacons, is when the phone rings. You know the drill. The pastor is drawing the Scriptural points together and the power of the message is hitting home… then Satan personally dials your mobile number and next thing you know cows are mooing or we’re all bopping to the Nokia® tune. Of course everyone in the building is craning to see where this monstrous interruption has come from… everyone that is, except for the owner of the phone who is still obliviously caught up in the message, though somewhat puzzled as to why the pastor looks distracted all of the sudden.


If you’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, then you’ll probably give a thumbs up to these suggestions:

  • When you enter a church building, turn your phone off or put it on silent.
  • If you expect an urgent call, put your mobile on silent, sit in the back of the room, and leave quietly when it rings.
  • If you should ever forget to turn your phone to silent and it does ring during a service (not that this has ever happened to me… eh hmm), don’t walk out of the room to answer it (yes, I’ve seen this done more than once!). Kill it quickly. And whatever you do, don’t answer it right there in the middle of the service! (yes, I’ve seen this done too!). Unless you have some reason to suspect it’s a matter of life or death, there’s no reason to answer it. Believe it or not, it can wait.
  • And here’s my favourite. If you should ever forget to turn your phone to silent and it does ring during a service, make sure to turn it off once you’ve rejected the call so we aren’t bopping to the Nokia® tune again three minutes later (yes, I’ve seen that one more than once as well!).


Copyright © 2008 by InFocus. Used by permission.

Originally published at InFocus.


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