Sights of a motley of people resplendent in the best from within their wardrobes and even borrowed outfits while clutching bibles, tambourines and stools are not new in the communities in which we live, especially on Sundays. Sounds of these same people singing songs of adoration either in unison or quartets accompanied by a drumbeat fill the air all year round from dawn to sunset.

People of all age groups love going to church, love their God and enjoy being in fellowship, one can conclude from the outset.

But did you know that not all these “worshippers”, “prayer warriors” or “vanamati” as we have come to know them share the same thoughts?

People go to church for various reasons, some of which are so unGodly that if the other parishioners get wind, they would troop out in a matter of seconds.

They veil their intentions in deceit and wear armchair personalities for the world to paint them with a brush of sainthood.

Jerusarema musha wangu,

Musha wakanaka,

Kana ndapedza mabasa, ndinoenda kwauri,

Hapasisina kuipa, hapana nenhamo, you hear parishioners singing at the top of their voices while dancing proudly to show off their swanky apparel in the house of God.

Some people never miss the opportunity to go to church every Sunday, not because they love their God, but just to notice the latest trends in fashion.

Their quest to set foot on the train of development fashion wise, makes it imperative for them never to miss a service because people always go to the places of worship while dressed to kill and driving their best cars.

Bachelors, spinisters, widowers, widows and the divorced also have a special reason to want to be in the house of God.

They see churches as places of finding true love or at least soulmates with an understanding of the value of life and love.

“If you have a problem finding a good woman just go to church.

“Ikoko unowana twumwe twakamenyukira twunotya mwari uye twune moyo wekuvaka. Mumba mamwari mune vakadzi vakabikwa muchoto cherukudzo,” yours truly heard some young men conversing in a bar.

“You just have to dress smart and appear helpful. They will literally fall over each other to please you,” the young adults said while gulping opaque beer in a council beerhall.

“The women just do not have to know that you are a guzzler. Unoswera wadiwa pachechi apo mwana wamudhara. Kune malapsvusvu akapenga kumachechi uko.”

And the young men were not wrong after all.

Church leaders of nowadays who are out to make money even market girls within their churches.

They simply convene endless conventions on marriage, guidance and counselling and invite all young adults seeking life partners.

Some of the sermons delivered at these conventions leave one asking whether God really knows that some men of the cloth are making money out of the institution of marriage.

Retired prostitutes seeking love are also trooping to churches where they get marriage offers from some young people on the promise that they are now God-fearing, perhaps accounting for the surge in disease in the places of worship.

The next time you see a church full to the brim never think the purpose is to worship Yahweh.

Detectives seeking to solve huge murder puzzles also make their way to church.Yours truly heard that one wanted criminal was arrested after making a confession in church.

Wanted carjackers and those who commit infanticide have been arrested the same way. Some people go to church so that they can trap the pastor.

Those who know the personal lives of pastors often donate huge sums of money to the church before calling in auditors to have the pastor arrested.

Pentecostal churches which believe in miracle healing are now in vogue as people seek miracles.Childless couples and the jobless make the bulk of the parishioners as they remain that one day their miracle would come.

Guitarists seeking to sharpen their skills and market themselves often go to church to market themselves.

“Hainetse tsoro yacho. Unongopinda muchechi wotsemura waya kuti mbiri yako ikure,” you hear people saying.

And that’s largely true.

A number of celebrated gospel artistes started singing in church before getting their music recorded and the rest is history.

A good number of urbanites seeking a God-fearing maid who is less inclined to steal from them or abuse their children often find themselves tracing their footsteps to places of worship where they are likely to get good servants.

To reinforce this statement gentle reader, it is not unusual to find notices of people seeking housemaids on the board.

Other members of the flock sometimes make the announcements before the church depending on their closeness to the pastor.

People with ailing relatives often hire people from their churches to take care of them. Well-heeled parishioners often employ from within their churches and that is why some people flock to church where their chances of landing a job are wide.

Women also go to church to sharpen their culinary skills. Churches run various programmes for married women and these have come in handy because various life-changing skills are shared at such meetings.

University students doing research often find themselves in churches where they can ask various questions from other parishioners and even do a case study of the church.

Pimps and matchmakers are so many in places of worship across the length and breadth of the country.

Promising young men are invited for lunch by envious women seeking wealthy husbands for their daughters.

Once he falls for the trick,  the young man will be left alone with the host’s ugly and unmarried daughter who will be under instruction to offer wifely favours at a rate above lightning speed and the rest is history.

The next time you go to church never think everyone is there to worship. Itsoro mwachewe. Zvakaoma. A lot happens at church, you would think Timbuktu, the famous Malian trade place comes second best.

Just fulfill your reason for being at church and leave the rest to God.
Inotambika mughetto