throwback Sunday

Next year we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Version, so wouldn’t it be cool if churches dusted it off for a throwback Sunday?  The fact that I just used an archaic term like “cool” is a sign that I am really excited about this idea.  Any reasonably accurate throwback Sunday should include the following elements (please add your suggestions): 

1. Suits, ties, and dresses.

2. An organ

3. An offertory—four minutes of nothing.  What would you give for four minutes of downtime today?  Figure it out then put it in the offering plate as it comes by. 

4. A special number, sung right before the sermon, preferably by a woman in your church who is the closest thing you have to Sandi Patti. 

5. A giant thermometer that tracks the giving to your missions or building campaign.

6. A Sunday School attendance board.

7. The term “stanza,” “backslider,” and “hell”—a real place that backsliders should worry about.

8. Uncle Jack shouting “Amen!” every time the sermon takes a swipe at Arminians, liberals, and Democrats.

9. An altar call.

10. “Just as I am” and/or “Softly and Tenderly.”  See #9.

11. The phrase “Every head bowed and every eye closed.”  See #9.

12. All the visitors standing so you can sing “There’s a welcome here.”

13.  Dutch (for those living in West Michigan).







14 responses to “throwback Sunday”

  1. Todd

    Several minutes of meditation on your sinful unworthiness before communion…

  2. Jonathan Shelley


    Sorry to steal your “throwback” thunder here, but this is every Sunday at my folks’ church. Well, all except the organ – such contemporary music is the devil’s tool. So are the TNIV, women ministers, and smiling. This is me, wishing this were sarcasm.

  3. Raymond Coffey

    We’ve got #1-3. Other than that, we would have to go to a fundamentalist Baptist church for the rest. No throwback there, just standard fare.

  4. why would you only throwback 50-75 years for a 400 year old document?

    i think you need to redo this list and suggest some serious throwback, like to the 1700s and 1800s.

  5. mikewittmer


    Are you suggesting heresy burnings? Be careful what you wish for! 🙂

  6. “If offerings hit their goals this week, we’ll BURN A HERETIC!”

    sounds like something Ed Young might do…

  7. Brian McLaughlin

    I believe you wore a suit and tie to our place just the other week…

  8. Dave Carpenter

    What fools! To think that God would have used such language and simple minded people to reach me. We have arrived!

  9. mikewittmer

    Easy, Dave. I certainly didn’t intend this post the way you apparently took it. A few items in the list are attempts at funny exaggeration, but lots of them I grew up with and enjoy and some of them I still practice. My point, if I had one, is that what was common just a few years ago now seems out of date–or at least is done so seldom that it takes a throwback Sunday to remember them.
    Case in point, as Brian mentioned, I showed up to preach at his church two weeks ago and discovered to my horror, that though I wore what I wore the last time I preached there, I was actually wearing my throwback jersey (which is only slightly leff offensive than what the Denver Bronocs wear on their throwback Sunday).

  10. I don’t think I’d be able to handle a “throwback Sunday” as you have described… It would probably trigger more then a few nightmares…. It might even push me into becoming Lutheran… But if the rest of you can handle it, then God bless you every one… Maybe I could jusat sleep in that Sunday…. Cheers…

  11. Jonathan Shelley


    Can we add a felt board for the children’s sermon? That would be awesome!

  12. Tim Terhune

    Don’t forget to have everyone with a birthday that week come and put their pennies, one for each year of age, in the plastic church bank while y’all sing “happy birthday to you, only one will not do. Born again means salvation. How many have you?” Then they get a birthday pencil.

  13. No tech, no powerpoint and we sing out of the hymnals.

  14. JTS

    Though these 13 are humorous; most are quite harmless. And a “left behind” church can be a community that loves in a way that modern just might not. Just a thought.

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