Here I have attempted to share some useful information to help those of you currently on the hop. I am afraid I have had to limit my information to the three denominations I have spent most time in.
The Anglican: As you arrive the Welcome team will seem very interested in arranging the 6 books and 3 notice sheets and keep a respectful distance from you.
The Baptist: Will be very sincerely interested in each person as they walk through the door. They will have heard of you before and are likely to know some of your relatives.
The Charismatic: The welcome team (with large name badges) run at you from a distance, guide your car into a parking space, walk you in and delight in your every word they will then sit with you throughout the service.
The Anglican: You will need 5 minutes to put books down and pick others up. As you find the song the organist will be halfway through the third verse, but no fear there will be another 5 verses left that you can join in with.
The Baptist: Someone will explain the meaning of the following song from a biblical perspective before you start singing. If there is not time the leader will aim to end their prayer/talk with the first line of the song, just to give you a heads up.
The Charismatic: A famous band will perform for you on stage with a drummer in a plastic box. They will seem either excited or deeply moved throughout and will repeat the last line of each song 4 or 5 times. This will be followed by a few minutes instrumental.
The Anglican: At the beginning of the service the children will go straight through to Sunday School to enjoy an in depth programme of theology which has been tried and tested over a number of years.
The Baptist: The children will come in to the first part of the service and then leave in the the third line of the third verse of the second song to enjoy a fun packed Bible adventure.
The Charismatics: The children will come in and run about throughout the service yelling and throwing toys, sometimes the church leaders will give them musical instruments so they can participate more fully.
The Anglican: Special people will pass around intricately carved wooden plates in a complicated order. It is important to get the order right. You can clearly see what others are putting in, so you know how much to tip.
The Baptist: Velvet bags with wooden handles are passed about in this church. People will monitor the passing around of the bags from a distance, but will expect you to move the bags between the rows independently. When you receive the bag you must place your hand in very deep, so that your coins do not make a large crash when they reach the bottom.
The Charismatic: Colourful boxes from Ikea are handed around, when you receive the box you must throw your money in enthusiastically and smile at the people around you.
The Anglican: You gently shake hands with those close to you and whisper a sentence that must include the word ‘peace’ in it somewhere. Then glance about the rest of the church smiling at those you cannot reach.
The Baptist: Firmly shake hands with those within 3 rows of you. Make eye contact, try to use their name and state ‘Peace be with you’ clearly and with authority. Repeat this 4 or 5 times.
The Charismatic: Set your sites on someone at the opposite corner of the room. See how fast you can get to them, climb over chairs, thrust things out of the way and embrace them in a bear hug. It does not matter if you don’t know them. You then repeat this by criss crossing about the room, the aim is to hug as many people as you can.
Hope that helps 😉