By Caleb Kaltenbach
INDIANAPOLIS—Known for his creative and somewhat whimsical ideas, pastor Brayden Jessington of Epic Christian Church has created a trend that’s spreading like wildfire: “No Shaking Hands Sunday.”
“You know how some churches have ‘Bring a Friend Sunday’ or ‘Student Worship Sunday’?” asked Jessington. “Well, ‘No Shaking Hands Sunday’ is just like those, except you don’t touch anyone at church!”
Jessington said the idea came to him through time and experience.
“Basically, I got tired of getting sick from shaking people’s hands. A guy will sneeze on his hand or scratch his ear and then want to shake my hand . . . as if what he just did with his hand never happened.”
Jessington said more than a dozen ministers have called to pick his brain about having a “hands-free” Sunday at their churches. And Jessington’s idea has sparked similar-themed days at other churches.
“This Sunday will be our first ever ‘Put a Paper Bag Over Your Head Sunday,’” said William Bohney, minister with Eighth Street Christian Church.
“I wanted to preach a sermon without seeing people nod off, check their text messages, or give me weird looks from their seats,” Bohney explained. “This Sunday, I finally get to live my dream.”
Bohney described the process.
“When people walk into our narthex, our greeters will hand them a bulletin and a paper bag. They put the bag on once they sit down.”
Ed McCartney of Jamesville Church of Christ shared two ideas he sees as more attractional.
“This year we’ll have ‘Bring Your iPod and Headphones and Listen to Your Own Worship Songs Sunday.’ Then we’ll have ‘Choose Your Own Communion Flavored Juice Sunday.’ These Sundays will be real draws for people!”
Caleb Kaltenbach is just kidding.