I've pegged the most awkward time during any church service (this is of course, my opinion).
The greeting time.
Those words you dread when the worship leader (typically) says those fateful words, "Turn and greet those around you."
Have you eve prayed, "Please, Lord, let me forget about the greeting time. I don't want to shake the person's hand next to me (unless he is a good-looking single man, then I'm all for it). The fake smile? Not feeling it, Lord. Say my name to another person who won't remember it and I won't remember theirs either? No thanks "? Yeah, me neither. :)
The only time I can recall REALLY enjoying those times was in middle and high school. It was the only time during church where it was seen as acceptable to talk to your friends during the service.
Even being somewhat of an extrovert, I dread the greeting time. Let's add in uncertainty of cultural customs. At my college church and in Panama, I never knew if the person I was greeting expected the kiss-greeting or just the fragile hand-shake or if it was a hugger. Then let's go back to the states and visit the Virginia church where I can't remember where I am and people know my name, so I assumer we must know one another, so grab them in a hug. They jerk away, completely confused. Apparently, we weren't that close.
If the music team needs those seconds to drink some water or rest their voices for just a moment, do it during the video announcements or have someone play a nice interlude and ask the congregation to spend a few seconds in silent prayer. I'm ok with that.
Now let's add in what happens when your church does the awkward greeting time TWICE! Augh!
At the very beginning (I need to start being late) and then after a few songs.
I know, I know, it's supposed to somehow cause people to make connections and meet people, but frankly, a five-second awkward handshake and perhaps name exchange doesn't create a long-lasting friendship. And then if there is no one sitting around you, you just stand there awkwardly, uncertain if you should move around to "find" someone to greet.
Maybe I need to come up with some unique catch phrases or actions for this time.
* "Greetings." (It is the greeting time, let's call it what it is).
*"MynameisAbby.I'm31yearsoldandhaveagreatjobIloveandthinkthisisaweirdwaytomeetoneanother.Tellmeaboutyou" (Say this is in a rushed breath and see what happens).
* Grab said person's hand and pump it up and down four times and say the following (one word per handshake pump) - "Good to see you!"
* Sit down and put your head down as though in deep prayer.
* "How do you really feel about this part of the service?" Maybe they feel just as awkward.
* Go up on the stage and shake all of the music team's hands. No water break for you! :)
* Text someone you know and greet them virtually.
* Continue to plaster on the smile and shake the hands around you and remind yourself it's just a few seconds.
Oh the greeting time.
It's worth it, I guess. Thankful the Bible called it, "This too shall pass..."