I don’t know what type of church you go to. You may go to one of those newfangled churches that Jon talks about all the time. Me? I still go to a fairly traditional church that still does a lot of traditional things. One, for example, is the fellowship time.
I love this time when we roam around the auditorium looking for everyone we haven’t seen for a few days. We greet and grin, shake and howdy, and otherwise say “Hi” to a whole bunch of people.
There are some rules, though, some stages of the fellowship time. I call it triage. I determine, based on certain criteria, exactly how I’m going to approach each person during this sacred time.
1. Fist Bump: This one is primarily used on that one guy. You know him. He’s the guy you see in the bathroom. He finishes and walks out. Without washing his hands. I automatically triage him into the fist bump category. Sorry, he is not getting a full handshake. I also worry about those deviled eggs that he brings to the church fellowship meal. I might triage those as well.
2. Handshake: If I can’t get a glimpse of someone washing their hands, I will go ahead, take a chance, and shake their hand. Of course, I do a mini-triage with this one. I base my grip on whether someone is a lady or man. That big guy who looks like he could teach Hulk Hogan a thing or two? I’m going in hard. That sweet little old lady who has taught second grade Sunday School to every kid in the church, including the oldest deacon? I’m going delicate. What I really hate, though, is when I got delicate with a lady and she decides to power grip me to the floor.
3. Side Hug: Do I need to really say anything about side hugs in this forum? I don’t really feel qualified to discuss the side hug here. After all, this is Jon Acuff territory. The side hug even has its own t-shirt now. Needless to say, 99 and 44/100 of all hugs in church should be of the side hug variety.
4. Frontal Hug: This one is dangerous and should be handled with care. When do you do a frontal hug? Guys, if you shake hands with another guy and do that kind-of backslap, hug thing, that’s fine. Ladies, you can frontal hug your female friends at church. However, men, we cannot frontal hug those ladies whom our wives hug. Red lights and “Danger! Danger! Will Robinson” should be going off in our heads at this point. I have been told recently by someone in our church that it is ok to frontal hug little old ladies. I’m still not sure about that one, but I’ll leave that to your discretion.
5. Holy Kiss: Paul tells some of his readers to greet each other with a holy kiss. I think you have to be very careful with this one. Kids can kiss their parents. Women? You can do that air kiss thing. Older, female relatives? A peck on the cheek is fine. Your best friend’s wife? I think you know the answer to that one.
There you have it. The triage I go through each week so that I can fellowship with my fellow church members.
Do you triage your fellowship times? What else do you triage at church?
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