New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

Christians With ADHD

Anyone else? Difficulty with Church Service

I think I just need to vent and see if anyone else has the same problem. 
Our fairly traditional church has added a praise band to services.  This involves electric guitars and drums.  We sing three songs in a row.  One traditional hymn and two lengthy praise choruses that are repetitive.  The music is so loud that I feel like I have been in a garbage can with someone beating it with a hammer.  My nervous system can’t handle this.  We have no other choice of service.  I hate the way I feel about this situation. I stayed home today because, when I leave the service I feel mean and irritable.  We love our church and the people.  Most of the other churches in the area are having the same type of worship.  Our church is one of the more conservative in comparison to their services.
At one time, there was a move to have two types of services but that was voted down.  We are not a family that jumps from church to church. I try to be accepting of change but my ADD makes it difficult to focus on the sermon in the first place.  Add to that crying babies and people walking in and out.  I am truly frustrated!  I hear every noise around me including whispers.  I have asked my husband his reactions to these stimuli.  He notices very little compared to me.  And YES, I am on medication and cope well in everyday life.  Does anyone else understand???


I understand where your coming from. I think you must be going to the last church that started a praise band. My wife and I go to a Baptist church not too far from the farm we live on, they have a praise band also. My wife and I are Reformed, and there is a Presbyterian Reformed church about 40 miles from where we live. They do not have any instruments and only sing accapella from a psalter (Psalms). We like our church but do not feel like we are getting fed very well, and have decided to at least check out the Reformed church. We are not church jumpers either, and I do not know for sure what we will do. To be quite honest I do not know what kind of advice to give you, other you are not alone in how you feel.

Posted by Rancher John on Jul 16, 2017 at 6:39pm

My wife and I could co-author a book about the differences we’ve experienced between our Catholic and Congregationalist baptismal foundations, how we found unity in our years of membership in a nearby Episcopalian parish which we returned to a couple of years ago from spending a dozen or so years in a small evangelical church plainly dedicated to proselytizing the local state university.
They overdid it.
If you think it over an everything points to a growing and long-continuing trend towards making your present church an all “contemporary” church, or as they say in today’s parlance, “worship facility,” find a new church: period. [“Worship facility”?
Are they kidding? A house of worship isn’t a mere facility like a public parking garage or an enclosed bathroom for crying out loud. Get out of there! God’s House is not anything to trivialize and slap banal terms on them for descriptive purposes? Talk about “cultural Bolshevism.”
Your family’s…especially your kids, spiritual and mental health is at stake if a sufficient number of self-styled holier-than-thou “contemporary only” folks busy at work within your present church can get away with thinking they have any power to lay a guilt trip on you for not being as enthused about the new changes. I have no objections to different services that can meet the inner needs of different members “where they’re at” in their lives. When we first attended this small evangelical church, and it’s a good church with lot of solid devout members, we more or less applied the “when in Rome” m.o. But after awhile, when you find yourself distracted by long strung out boring Peter, Paul & Mary stuff, and you’d prefer to open a prayer book or the Bible for actual prayerful reflection on what the pastor is supposed to stick to, your irritation is quite
In many respects, what you find where you’re seeking a spiritual home, depends on your particular Branch and Denomination and how well it’s run. You’re not going to find any perfect church. You have to wait’ll you get to Heaven. That’s not to say Christians whether or not they have as one doc told me, “ADHD in spades,” are exempt from being expected by Him to follow His commands and love every body, etc..
You go to worship God first and foremost. But you needn’t become overly distracted by inconsideration of fellow parishioners, frumpy elders, or martyrized by fellow Christians for not being so “much a part of it all.” And you do not have to put up with a wall of excuses as to why few or no accommodations can not be made to satisfy the folks who don’t want to put up with Peter Paul n’ Mary music every Sunday, especially during summer months when churches usually pull back on the number of services, Eucharists and Masses.
One of the things that helped push us along was the prospect of facing only contemporary services. The younger members’ favoring the guitar stuff had in mind for a compromise, one all contemporary and the other earlier service would be a mix. Yeah, right. A “mix” leading to what next? On the other hand, traditionalists can do what a lot of the elders at our former evangelical congregation did: they looked elsewhere, but not without any lingering sense of bewilderment and pain. Still—don’t think that’ll stop a movement dedicated to implanting “contemporary only” approaches to conducting Sunday services. The leadership may have well lined up newer affluent members ready to cut the next checks for expansion projects, or just keeping the lights on for the next week.

Posted by Steven Barrett on Jul 16, 2017 at 7:00pm

Dear Genie, I am sorry this is so frustrating for you. I have children who are bothered by loud sounds also. We use ear plugs or headphones in situations where it is too loud or overwhelming. Another suggestion would be to sit outside the sanctuary during the music. To help you focus during worship, you might consider reading the words of the song out loud as a prayer. They don’t HAVE to be sung.

As for the sermon, do you have the option of a personal ear bud of the speaker-like a monitor in your ear. Talk to whoever runs the sound system. That could drown out other sounds so you could focus.

Wishing you good luck. Be creative. Keep persevering.

Posted by Hrkmomma on Jul 17, 2017 at 6:35pm

***I highly encourage you to post this question to ADDitude’s new discussion forums, as well. I think your question would get a lot of attention in the Symptoms & Beyond forum: ADDconnect is transitioning over to this new forum now.***

My parents watch their church service streamed live online when they don’t feel well. Maybe you can find something like that?

ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 18, 2017 at 2:59pm

Hi Genie, On particularly sensitive days, I sit outside the sanctuary until after the music.  My Mom and Dad ended up arriving at church after the music.  I take notes during the sermon to keep my mind focused.  Can you talk to anyone to let them know that there are sound sensitive people in the congregation who would appreciate attention paid to the sound level during worship.  I took a sound meter in to see what the level of sound was.  It ranged from the 70’s to 90’s which is not very good for the ears.  If you can, take the information to someone who can do something about it.  Check your attitude first.  When it is love and concern, speak up.

Posted by whizinc on Jul 21, 2017 at 3:50am

Join the New ADDitude Forums

ADDConnect is shutting down on July 31.
To continue sharing and receiving support from the ADDitude community, visit our new discussion forums.

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions