October 25, 2020

Open Mic at the iMonk Cafe: Have You Ever “Lost It” in Church?

We’ve been so busy with all this political rhetoric (which I am totally tired of and won’t be revisiting anytime soon. Ugh) that we haven’t had our regular “Open Mic” post. So here’s our “open mic” question for this week:

Have you ever just “lost it” (i.e. found something unbearably funny) in church? Gotten so “tickled” that you had to leave? Found something so funny that it was all you could do to contain yourself from exploding with laughter? Well, what was it? We want in on the story.

What happened in church that was so funny you “lost it?”


  1. I was visiting a church with a friend and the associate pastor who was preaching that day was a quadraplegic and in a wheelchair. He was using the “Bridge Diagram” to explain the gospel (For those of you who are not familiar with the bridge diagram the point is that no one can jump the gap between us and God on our own, we need Jesus to bridge the gap). He then went on to say that most people could jump about 5-6 ft, someone like Michael Jordan may make it 10-12 ft but no one can jump far enough. He then pointed to himself and said “I just sort of roll of the edge”. Now everyone in the sanctuary laughed, however I lost it and my laugh went on about 2-3 minutes, and then after regaining my composure it returned again about 5 minutes later. I was so embarrassed but couldn’t help it.

  2. Architeuthis says

    During the introduction, our pastor was talking about growth in the church and the community. He shared how he had learned from a town council member in the church that the town’s current population was 664. He then went on to demonstrate the growth God was providing by pointing out a lady who was with child, saying, “and when so-and-so is born it will be 665” and then he pointed out his own wife, who was also pregnant. However, he stopped short of enumerating his progeny. I thought he played off his near-blunder skillfully, since I seemed to be the only one who caught it.

  3. One Sunday night when I was in high school, an elderly man was preaching (can’t remember for the life of me what his sermon was on), and he commented that he couldn’t understand why people have to read/watch movies to understand what love is, because, and I quote, “I learned everything I need to know about love in the backseat of my car!” Needless to say, my friends and I all stared at each other in shock, trying (not very successfully) to control our laughter.

  4. Lane, your open-mic-on-Jesus story is the winner, hands down.

  5. There were about 40 of us packed into a small room on a youth/twenties week away with a Pentecostal church. We had just taken commununion and all heads were bowed in contemplative silence when a young man from India decided to start a song.

    The trouble was he was horribly and hopelessly tone-deaf. And the song he had picked was an obscure one. I knew the song, but I also knew that if I opened my mouth to help him out I would lose control, so I buried my head in my hands hoping to avoid eye contact with anyone and thinking the most solemn thoughts I could to avoid laughing. The poor Indian guy soldiered on alone with his tuneless rendition of a song about the cross.

    The trouble was, some of the less mature members of the group couldn’t contain themselves, and before long someone had let out a squeak of laughter which set off several others.

    Sensing that this was developing into a very embarrassing situation for the Indian man, some of the others in the group thought they had found the perfect solution. It was the time of the “Toronto blessing”, so they tried to pass this off as holy laughter, totally unrelated to the tuneless singing incident. They fell off their chairs rolling on the floor laughing and shouting “hallelujah” and “thank you Lord for your joy”.

    It did at least allow us all to have a good laugh, but sadly our Indian friend was less than convinced by our explanation.

  6. I once attended a wedding at a non-intrumental denomination church in the 80s. I found it perhaps more ironic than humorous, but it was funny, that the pastor stood at the back of the sanctuary as the bride entered. As the bride and her father headed down the aisle, the pastor switched on a tape recorder that he was holding that played the “Wedding March.” I laughed to myself, I don’t remember tape recorders being mentioned in the New Testament.

  7. Sometimes, it is the Pastor who has to hold it in…

    The director of our WMU program and I had decided to present a “skit” to introduce our Lottie Moon Week of Prayer and Offering…which takes place in December. Our plan – she would dress as Lottie Moon, complete with period costume and jet-black wig. She would come in from the back at the beginning of the service, “distrupting” my Lottie Moon introduction. She had a lapel mic on to facilitate her dialogue. She was to come to the front, and explain what the Lottie Moon offering was all about. On paper, sounded and looked great…remember how plans tend to go wrong?

    Thnings seemed to be going great – but I had never seen her in the “full” getup…nor had anyone else…it really looked good…but she did not look anything like herself…

    I finished the opening prayer standing at the pulpit…and began to talk about Lottie Moon…the back doors burst open…she came striding in, beginning her dialogue…sounded great…but…what I did not know was the entire opening part of her dialogue was only projected on the stage monitors – no one in the congregation heard it!

    So…she strides forward, and the congregation looked on in shock! Several, I could tell, couldn’t decide whether or not to tackle her, or just let her go forward…meanwhile, she is oblivious to the confusion behind her…and continuing in her dialogue! I realized what was going on, tried to get her attention…no avail. Unfortunately, I could see the looks on people’s faces…and had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing and interrupting! Our sound tech finally got the house speakers going, and the congregation was able to hear the 2nd half of the monologue…which, by now, was JUST a monologue, because I couldn’t talk…tears were running down my face…I was holding the pulpit to keep from falling over laughing! My good worship leader realized what was going on, and led in a prayer, and straight into music – with the comment “Let’s let Bro. Hill have a quiet moment to himself” – somehow I turned, collapsed in my chair, buried my head in my chest…and laughed silently as I could. After the service, many complimented me on my prayerful attitude during this time…

    Several months later, a group was commenting on the “arrival” of Lottie Moon – and mentioned that I looked strange during the event…I came clean, and told them of my laughter…

  8. OK, a little late on the thread, but here goes. Three stories:

    1) Our dear pastor had just married off his youngest daughter the previous day. So before the sermon he’s reminiscing, getting rather maudlin about his little girl and how he remembered when she was so old and did such and such, when an ALARM CLOCK rings inside the pulpit! Brought the house down. Needless to say, that was the end of the reminiscing. What was even funnier, I found out later that the clock was set by my own dad, who would be the very last person you would suspect…

    2) Different church, different pastor. Older gent, he’s at the end of his sermon, wallowing in profound emotion and conviction, leaning on the pulpit, with his MIDDLE FINGER EXTENDED. For five solid minutes. I have no idea what he was preaching about, just that he flipped off the church for five minutes. OMG!

    3) At a service on the Navajo rez, a lady is giving a prayer request for her son, who’s having abdominal troubles. She asks for prayer for “my son’s intesticles, which are all swolled up reeely big like that” …

  9. My husband is the pastor of our small reformed baptist church. My daughter and I were sitting there in the service, when she hands me a note that said “What is in the world is Dad wearing?” I looked at up at my husband and he had on a blue plaid sports coat, a gray and black striped shirt with an odd patterned, very very colorful tie. I lost it and so did my daughter, we laughed so hard that we were shaking. I really must look at him before we leave the house.

  10. I’m Catholic, but my brother-in-law is Church of Ireland, and one time they put on a children’s pageant at the CoI cathedral, which we attended because my nephews would be taking part.

    I admit, I was curious as to how they would cover the Reformation and the taking-over of the cathedral by the Protestants from the Catholics, and so I sat expectantly there as the kids trooped out one by one to do their bits: first the monks, to represent the monastic foundation in the 6th century… building of the round tower in the 9th… arrival of the Normans in the 12th century… then it leaped ahead to Oliver Cromwell’s visit in the 17th century and I had to excuse myself to go out for a “breath of air.”

    Since obviously, between the 12th and 17th centuries, nothing at all of note happened. No activity on the continent and the neighbouring island whatsoever. No historical happenings of any interest at all in the five centuries or so in between the Normans and Oliver, much less anything to do with religion 🙂

  11. 1. When our church first added a projector for the hymn lyrics I had to type out the songs and discovered occasional typos. One Sunday we had to sing “Glory! Glory! How the angels sin!”
    2. Another Sunday we experimented with letting the music director prepick all our songs instead of the random unorganized way of his normal doings, and thus after preaching a serious and convicting sermon on Hell we sang for the invitation “Set my soul afire, Lord. Set my soul afire…” I completely lost it and wouldn’t have been able to handle it if anyone came forward anyway.

  12. One time, at a Bible study, we had a plate of deer sausage on the table. We started to pray and then my brother spontaneously (and very sincerely) began to sing the song “As the Deer Panteth for the Water.” We tried to sing along but then we all had a meltdown laughing.

  13. I was probably in the nursery when this happened, but it’s a story told numerous times by my parents. We were a military family so I attended various churches growing up, from the mainline protestant chapel on base to fundamentalist SBC to the occasional pentecostal church. We were members of a fundamentalist SBC church near Fort Bragg, NC in the early 80’s when my dad was asked to read a Bible passage one Sunday. He prefaced his reading with, “Everyone get out your King Jimmy and turn to…” Needless to say the lack of reverence for the “one true translation” went over none too well – so I guess this is more a story of humor after the fact as there was more stunned silence than actual laughter at the time.

  14. Our pastor was emphasizing a point in his sermon when he said pausing between each word, “but…but…but… Our 3 year old daughter blurted out, “He said “Butt, butt, butt!” loud enough for the entire church to hear. Everyone burst out laughing. Our pastor, good naturedly addressed my daughter with, “Well yes I did Annie!”

  15. Pastor Greg says

    Sometimes I get my mords wixed up – I mean my words mixed up.

    During a sermon on the grace of God, I mentioned the testimony of a Texas woman who had just been executed for murder. She had received Christ while in prison, and had a very real transformation. Her name was Karla Faye Tucker, except I mixed up my words again. Twice. With emphasis.


  16. Our pastor had the habit of putting his lapel mic on as soon as Sunday school finished, a solid half hour before the service. We were all sitting in the sanctuary one Sunday when we all began to perceive a talking voice from out of nowhere. It sounded almost like a sermon rehearsal, with a few grunts interspersed. When the toilet flushed the sound tech finally caught on the pastor’s mic was not muted and he was in the restroom.

  17. I have two. The first one is more embarrassing than funny. My Pastor called all the kids up to the front to say their memory verse. He had them sit on the floor while he said something and while they were sitting my son let rip the loudest fart I had ever heard it was immediately obvious who had done it because of the look on his face and all the other kids inching away from him.

    The second one was poor Jeff. Jeff was the kind of kid that didn’t fit in well anywhere but desperately wanted to. He had started playing the trumpet in the school band and asked our P&W leader who was also the Pastor’s wife if he could play with her on Sunday Mornings. At this time it was just hre and her little electric keyboard so she said that he could do one song with her. The decided on “Blow the Trumpet in Zion”, an obvious choice. Before the service, the P&W leader came to me (I was the youth pastor and Jeff was one of my teenagers) and warned me that Jeff’s trumpet playing skills were a little rough so I should tell the kids what was going on and tell them not to laugh and I did so. When it was time and Jeff mounted the stage I looked at my kids with a look that said “Remember what we talked about! No Laughing!” Then he started playing. It was like someone had thrown a cat into a blender and it just wouldn’t die. I was losing it and I can feel the tension behind as all the kids tried to stand directly behind me so no one could see their faces. I don’t know where the self-control came from to not break down but to this day, when I think about the sounds he made come out of that poor trumpet, I can’t help but laugh!

  18. Yes, I was singing with my High School’s chorale in a church and one of our members was the student conductor for a song the men sang. As he conduced he swooped down and flicked his music right off the music stand. We all grinned, but it would have ended there had not our friend nearly lost it, gathered himself back together, flashed us a smile, and winked.

    We almost collapsed on the platform at that point.

  19. treebeard says

    I was in a church meeting where the main (guest) speaker started telling stories about him and his younger brother. For some reason he rambled into talking about how he and his brother would crawl around in apartment stores and look up the skirts of the female mannequins, “and there was nothing there!” I think his point was that we’re sinful by birth, but many of us had to suppress our laughter.

    Then in the SAME MESSAGE, he ended up talking about the apostle Paul being so frustrated with the Jewish leaders of the time and their emphasis on circumcision, that he wished they would cut themselves off. His point was we need to get rid of our sinful nature through the death of Christ, and not through the law. But he kept referring to the act of circumcision. He emphasized “just cut if off!”

    At that point I looked at a church elder who was usually very serious. His face was bright red. We were both thinking the same thing, here’s a message referring to both female and male genitalia. And so we lost it together.

  20. I know there’s been a lot of hilarious horrible solos that cause a lot of this inappropriate laughing. My Dad pastored a small church and was always gracious enough to let most anyone share their love of the Lord through song. There was a guy who played the organ and loved to sing, albeit quite badly on both counts. One Sunday night before singing he went into a long explanation about how God had given him this song in the night. He immediately starts playing a horrible organ rendition of Paul McCartney and Wings “Let ‘Em In.”

    When he started singing “Someone’s knocking at my door, someone’s ringing the bell” and then switched to “Jesus is knocking on my door, Jesus is ringing the bell.” My husband and I looked at each other and in unison said “I think it’s Paul McCartney knocking.” We just lost it then and there and had a few disapproving looks.

    I have lost it so many times through the years with really crazy signing.

  21. APearlofGrace says

    1. Back in our college days, a friend and I drove a couple of hours from Memphis to hear a “gifted” minister preach in a small town in Missouri. He stood up to preach, and he was a shouting sort who “did not waste a breath in the service of the Lord.” He built up a good head of steam and was expounding on how through Jesus we could overcome every “ob-STACK-le” with extreme emphasis on the 2nd syllable. My friend and I looked at each other as if to ask, is that how “obstacle” is pronounced in Missouri? We both could hardly contain ourselves and couldn’t look at each other the rest of the sermon as he continued to make his points about those pesky “ob-STACK-les.” We laughed most of the way back to Memphis too.

    2. A couple of years ago, one of my current pastors had taken his fill of cell phone interruptions. When one rang as he was just starting his sermon, he looked at the person and said, “If that ain’t Jesus calling, turn it off!”

  22. Bob Frapples says

    I think Lane and I went to the same church…

    I do remember the time when our pastor, who always seemed to mispronounce at least one word per week (hyperbole as “hyper-boil”, etc…)

    The Sunday before Memorial Day he announced that we were going to honor all our “Veterinarians”…

    And the time in a business meeting, when we were debating on whether the pianist and organist should be paid for weddings and funerals, he suggested they be given a “pituitary”. We can only assume he meant “gratuity”.

  23. My now husband and I, and his best man decided to attend the church one Sunday before the wedding (since it wasn’t our own). It was a small, cute little church on the beach. I can’t remember the denomination, but it was United something and it wasn’t methodist but it was affiliated with Church of Christ.
    Anyhow, we sat down, and there must’ve been like 20 people in there total. They did a little reading and sung from hymnals (which was cool), but the first hymn we sang was some song about the glory of God as creator and it talked about the universe and the atom and the like. I found this song to be pretty funny, mainly because being in that church felt quite strange and forced. And the two guys I was with (then fiancé and his best man) were also finding the situation funny, so we kind of fed off of each other.
    It’s not that there was any one thing that set me off, it was more of the entire atmosphere and strangeness of the place that made me laugh uncontrollably. I felt bad, because obviously others could hear. I eventually calmed down and listened to the sermon which happened to be a description of the Chronicles of Narnia movie. His intentions were good, but we were left kind of going, “what?”

  24. Our church has about 180 or so in the morning service. Pastor was making some point – I now have forgotten – related to watching too much TV. He started talking about a show that makes fun of Christians and that no one in this church should ever watch it. You know what show I’m talking about, he asked? The Simpsons. Being a Simpson’s fan, I turn to my wife and whisper – D’Oh. The people directly behind us heard it as well. We thought we stifled our laughter pretty good, but were approached by many after the service to find out what happened.

  25. I was leading worship on Friday night for a Bill Bright Prayer and Fasting conference in Houston, Tx, when verse three of “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” popped up on the screen with the unfortunate typo: “O that with yonder sacred thong…” I’ve never led that verse again.

  26. Thanks everyone -I have laughed and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed the stories!

  27. Do Sunday School stories count? When I was in graduate school, our Sunday School teacher had the idea to re-create a youth campfire tradition where you write a specific sin of yours on paper then throw it in the fire. Since we were inside, she decided to do this with an aluminum pie pan. Her husband had the idea of placing a large candle in the middle do help dissipate the smell. As we lit our paper and placed it in the pan, it began to melt the candle, until very shortly the entire pie pan became like a huge candle with a flame that was at least three feet tall. Things were spiraling out of control quickly, with images of the church being burnt to the ground going through all of our heads. The teacher had the idea of blowing it out – she took a breath and gave a small blow to the flame with no effect. Thinking she hadn’t blown hard enough, she took a huge breath, leaned forward, and blew as hard as she could. The flame was fanned, and for a moment became a huge ball of fire. As someone went to get water, I grabbed a towel which was nearby and extinguished the flame. Obviously embarrassed, the teacher continued as if everything was normal. She was unharmed, but what she didn’t know was that the front of her hair and her eyebrows were very singed. For the rest of the class time, there was suppressed laughter. We tried not to look at her, but didn’t want to appear rude. I can only imagine her dismay as she went to the ladies room after the class and discovered the truth. File this incident under “Stupid Church Tricks”.

  28. Baptist church…preschool nursery…my one year old daughter was pushing a chair around the room saying sh– repeatedly… I didn’t think she had heard me say that. Later found out toddlers get their words mixed up and was combining chair and sit.

  29. In the middle of our Sunday Worship Service, the pastor rose to deliver his homily. He closed his eyes, and grasping the well worn sides of the pulpit, began to pray:

    “Lord, We thank you for this food…” (Long pause)

    a muffled snort erupted from the second pew as parishioner’s opened their eyes and shot questioning glances around the room.

    “…that is your word.”

    Wow! Nice save!

  30. I was a new Christian, visiting a local church. The minister was preaching on the Rapture. He said, “It will be like a big snatch in the sky”. I looked over at my friend who was leaning over to hide his erupting laughter. The minister said it again. “It will be like a big snatch in the sky”. My friend and I tried to look down at the ground and ignore each other. As soon as I caught his eye, we burst out laughing. I had to leave.

    Suffice it to say, I am not a pre-trib, pre-mil, dispensationalist, Freudian.

  31. I grew up in a genuine singing and dancing and tongues charismatic nondenominational church in Detroit. We had a large stage with a large worship band and a propensity for hours of long, joyful singing, dancing, and other expressions of the spirit, and the sactuary walls were decorated all over with various colorful banners and flags declaring the majesty and beauty and authority of God.

    One Sunday, the assistant pastor feels a strong calling to spiritual warfare, and takes up the sword that his father had given him upon his ordination and begins dancing with it, furiously hacking and slashing the air. The music crescendoed, his hands got a little sweaty from the exertion, and three feet of shiny Made in China steel flew across the stage and thunked point-first through the silver-and-pink “Rose of Sharon” banner and into the wall…several feet above the head of the (blessedly) short flute player.

    Amazingly, everyone was lost in the spirit, the pastor scurried over to retrieve his sword and stow it under his seat where it belonged, the floutist continued fluting, and the entire youth row went from horror to disbelief to “did you see that?! Holy cow!” in a matter of seconds.