Humour in Worship

When I was young, church services were serious affairs. The minister might be allowed to make a joke at the beginning of the sermon, but then they had to get on to the serious stuff. Many grew up worshiping in churches where laughter in worship was frowned upon. Devout spirituality was equated with seriousness.

But I always asked the question, if humour is not acceptable in worship, why did God give us the gift of laughter?

In the 1980’s, a friend introduced me to a book called ‘Time to Act’ by Paul Burbridge and Murray Watts. It was a book of Christian sketches, some were serious but many included touches of humour. To me, the book was a confirmation of what I had really felt all along, that humour can have a place in worship, it can be used to make serious points. Humour and laughter are an integral part of our being.

I’m not advocating humour for humour’s sake in worship. That is artificial and does not work. It has to be part of the natural flow of the worship, giving another slant on the message. If the humour helps tell the story, then why not have some smiles in our worship, didn’t the angels say ‘I bring you good tidings of great joy’.

As a result of reading Time to Act, I had a go at writing my own sketches and using them in my worships. I have included some on this website, I’ll leave it up to you to see what you make of them.

What I am saying is that we should not limit our views on how God’s spirit can work in worship, and if his spirit can work through humour, then why not. Keep smiling.