“i overheard two ladies in my congregation talking about courtesy drops one day.”
thus began an interesting conversation with my pastor several years ago.
“courtesy drops?” i asked.
“yeah. you know how in some churches there’s all that faintin’ going on up at the altar during service?”
well, of course i had. i was the youth pastor at an inner-city african-american church. it didn’t happen there much, but it did when other churches would come and visit ours. we had seen it at other churches more frequently. all those fine-looking ladies in their sunday best, large ornate hats on their heads and handkerchiefs in hand, walking up to the altar for prayer. and then it would begin.
sometimes it was subtle. a little moaning, a little movement, then the drop.
other times it was an all-out production. crying. yelling. waving the hanky. hopping up and down. then the big drop.
and there are folks whose job at church is to act as a “catcher” to the droppers. they stand behind the congregant waiting for the moment, then, arms extended, they catch the person who has been “slain in the Spirit” and gently lay them down on the floor until they come around. sometimes a cloth is placed over them, other times they’re left alone completely.
“so, what’s a courtesy drop?”
“well, apparently these two had visited a sister church somewhere in town and the pastor, he called people up for prayer, right? so folk are going up and getting prayed over, but there was no fainting going on. well, the one woman says to the other, ‘well, i felt bad for him [the pastor] that no one was receiving the Spirit, so i went up, done got prayed over, then did a courtesy drop so he felt like God was moving even if no one else was dropping. i didn’t want him to feel bad about hisself.’”
i stared at chris, waiting to hear him laugh and tell me i was gullible and easy.
“dude…,” i said.
“straight up!” he replied.
it was a funny story that we talked about many times afterwards, but i came to only one real conclusion: like we need to give people another reason to not believe or not trust, we have folks who fake things like this just to pump up the minister’s ego on a “slow night” at church?
wonder what the percentage of courtesy drops to real drops is?