I love that song Church Heathen by Shaggy. It reminds me so much of some of the people I see in church. I sometimes like to watch people as they walk into church, sit or even leave. There are different kinds of people and they are fascinating to watch.
Here are 16 types of people you will find in a Kenyan church:
These are the guys who have spent the night dancing or drinking in the club. But this person tries hard to make it to church every Sunday. They try hard not to sleep but sometimes it is a losing battle.
The ones who are coming for a fashion show in Church. These ones dress either like they are going for a high executive meeting or they are going to a rave. For the conservative ones, jeans are not good enough for God, they must dress like they are going for a board meeting. On the other hand, some of the young fashionistas forget they are going to church and wear short skirts or dresses shocking half of the congregation.
Many of us have been here at some point or another. You don’t want to go to church but telling your parents that you don’t want to go to church. You will get a sermon before church. So, you find these ones outside in the parking lot hanging out with their friends and you will only see them in church during the praise and worship. During the sermon, they are outside chatting with their friends. This is mostly teenagers because you know when you are an adult you don’t have to go to church if you don’t want to (or maybe not).
The ones who can’t carry a tune.
There is always that person who sings out of tune and sometimes they have a high voice. Sometimes it’s even your grandparents. Some of them end up in the choir (listen to the song and not the voice) and they make you cringe every time you hear them.
The holier than thou.
You know these ones right? The Christians who have never ever been a black sheep and they constantly remind you of how “perfect” they are because they have never been contaminated by the world. All their life they have been in the church and so they judge those who come to church from the rave, the ones who are scantily dressed, those who are having sex outside of marriage etc. They believe they are perfect and they have an air of I am superior to you.
The over-the-top squad (who are sometimes the church mothers as well).
They always arrive at church on time and participate in everything and they can be judgmental of anybody who is not toeing what they consider to be the church line. They are judgmental, but they want everybody to know just how amazing they are as churchgoers. They also like to gossip for one hour after church. These are the ones who are always pointing out the ones who are sinning and they are usually the ones who end up making some people leave the church because of their attitude.
The girl is into the church and the guy is there to get points for coming to church, even though he would rather be home, nursing his hangover or watching movies. The girl is so intent on listening to the pastor and the guy has an expression of when will church end so that I can leave.
The mothers with helpers and children in tow.
I find these women fascinating. Many of them are feminists and are always talking about empowering women, and being treated well as women. But they will not empower their helpers to have the day off because they need somebody to look after the kids even in church.
The techno-savvy ones.
Carrying a bible is so old school. These ones have their bibles on their phones, so they scroll as the pastor reads. They take sermon notes on an app. Sometimes though they get distracted by social media and chatting instead of listening to the sermon.
The ones with the flashy money.
If this person could have a billboard at the church saying that they are the biggest donors then they would. They like to flash their money and give donations just so that their names are called out. Some of these people usually have political aspirations or are politicians.
These ones use every opportunity to get up to the pulpit and ask for votes, even when it is a solemn occasion like a funeral. These people are not discrete about their opinions or giving, they want people to know who they are and congratulate them for donating church cushions or pews. It doesn’t matter that many of them have stolen their money, all that matters is that they are good Christians and they are making sure the church gets the money it needs at harambees.
The ones who chat.
They will most probably come in late, and they will sit together and chat instead of listening to the sermon. The church is where they come to catch up, and they come to church mostly because it’s an obligation.
These ones are fascinating to watch. They love to dance, some of them used to be the guys who used to rave in the clubs and when they get saved they want to dance for Jesus. Some of them get too carried away and forget they are in church.
These ones come to church pretending to be sheep, but they are wolves. They are in church to look for their next girlfriend or boyfriend. They pretend to be pious, but they are not. Once they get what they want you will never see them again. They have heard that church is the best place to get a good girl and that’s all they want. Some of them just like to corrupt good girls so the church is their hunting ground.
The ones with a very long testimony.
These are usually older adults, around the age of our parents or grandparents. These people got saved like 30 years ago. When they talk they must give you a 15-minute testimony about how they got saved, beginning from the date and time they got saved, and how Jesus is their saviour and he has been good to them.
I think this category needs a whole blog post of its own, but in short, there are interesting pastors who have experienced life to the full out there and are interesting pastors because they understand what the black sheep have gone through. The boring ones who make you sleep during the sermon because although they have a great message they have never learnt about public speaking. Then there are the pastors who make people jump through hoops to belong to the church, asking them always to plant seeds, which one never sees the harvest lol. Then there are ones who are known for having slaying services – where people are always getting slain by the holy spirit. As I said this category needs a whole new blog post.
It is possible to fall under more than one category.
Which type of church member are you? What category did we miss?
Potentash Founder. A creative writer. The Managing Editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories and stories about the inclusion of minorities. Find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We're all stories, in the end.” ― Steven Moffat