It has always been awkward to be the one next to the one sleeping in church. Especially if they are snoring. Do you wake them? Do you go find another seat? In fact, the only one that doesn’t feel awkward is the one fast asleep, sense he has no clue as to what is going on. When I preach, I have come to appreciate it when someone does take a nap during my preaching. Ok, well, sure there is still that prod to my ego, but even that is a good thing. Here is what I mean:
1. When someone naps during a sermon I use that simply as a gauge to tell me how well I am doing in engaging the church with the message. Some weeks, several people snooze and it tells me that there is a disconnect in my communication, therefore it is motivation for me to continue sharpening my speaking skills in order to deliver, the best I know how, the most valuable information found within this earth.
2. If someone is sleeping, I have a sense of gratitude that I was able to help them catch up on some needed R and R. The body is so well designed, that when it needs to rest, it will literally shut its self down, even though many try to fight it, they will eventually loose (just hopefully not while driving). In fact, when I see someone sleeping, I see them resting in a safe place, the body of Christ.
Jesus does say in Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Seems like the best manifestation of that rest is literally in the body of Christ.