Saturday, July 25, 2009

#36 Unofficial Church Roll Calls

Attending the Sunday morning worship service is thought to be just short of mandatory for the white Christian. While past generations had to be dead or dying to justify their absence, today's white Christian has no qualms about missing an occasional service because they have a stuffy nose, were out late the night before, or are going out of town. Some white Christians will also skip if there is a guest pastor scheduled to preach that Sunday, because that doesn't really count.

While white Christians know they are always justified in skipping church for any of these reasons, they are quick to judge other church skippers on Sundays when they are actually in church. They will wait until after praise and worship is over (since it is generally acceptable to enter the sanctuary at any point up to the end of the last praise song) and then commence with the unofficial church roll call. The white Christian will scan the pews around him, checking off names in his head: "I see Paul and Margaret, there's the De Young family, hmmm no Armstrongs today? I guess they have better things to do than going to church."

Some white Christian churches still do an official roll call, utilizing a book that must be signed, under penalty of disapproving glances, by all in attendance. This is typically called the "Friendship Pad" or something to that effect, but everyone knows its real purpose. The book usually asks you to indicate whether you are first time visitor, frequent visitor or member, as well as providing a box to check to record your age category. This can be especially traumatic for white Christians who suddenly find themselves moving from the "18-26" box into the "27-60" box.

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Luther Zwingli said...


Lisa-Anne said...

But I think it's "Roll Call" not "Role Call". :)

Luther Zwingli said...


Thanks for keeping us accountable- this is an important part of being in a white Christian community (like our little blog has become).

I'll make the change.

Also, I'm here again if we're still taking attendance- but don't count me twice.

Abraham Calvin said...

Wow, how embarrassing! It is fixed.

Brad said...

When I was on staff at a really big church we were instructed to count pregnant women twice...

suz said...

we actually take the filled out sheets and enter attendance into our church database...we also call or send a welcome packet to visitors.

the man is always watching.