The Church Sofa Awards 2017

Welcome to the eighth (EIGHTH!) edition of The Church Sofa Awards.

This is where we celebrate the best and sometimes worse moments of 2016, featured both on this blog and around the internet. Obviously the standard rules apply, no actual awards will be given out or harmed during these proceedings.

Before we move onto the awards, quick question. Does blogging through eight different festive seasons make The Church Sofa an old dusty seat in the lounge of UK Church Blogs? 

Anyway, I’ll try and avoid outwardly pondering my blogging mortality and get on with the The Church Sofa Awards:

The first award is…

Church Notice Board of The Year:  Well…

Its almost as if people can imagine how much people who walk on Lego need to be prayed for…

 

Twitter Hero of The Year:  I realise its a cheat.

I know its not part of Church Twitter.

But whoever is the team behind @CBeebiesHQ – well they are brilliant.

If you’ve got kids who watch CBeebies, give @CBeebiesHQ a follow. You wont regret it.

Most useful Church Sofa List: It looks like people like having ideas of ways to misbehave in church.

The Greatest Regret from 2017:  Last years awards include the following:

Last year I wrote, “Sofa does try and educate people about Church and Churchy things through the form of lists. This years most popular list seems to be A Reminder of What Is Not in The BibleI still sometimes ponder writing more about what isn’t in the Bible….” I still have the same ponder, and I’ve still done nothing about it. Sad how quick a year can pass isn’t it?

The thing is, the argument that something isn’t in the bible still seems to be coming up every now and then, and when it does I remember the above pondering.

Related to this, my post-it note stack of ideas still have some which are very half finished. Perhaps I should crack on with those post-it notes.

Or perhaps I should manage my time a little differently?

How about you?

Unfortunate Church Name of The Year:

Silly Song of The Year:

Oh where… oh where is my hairbrush?

Hero of The World.*

Normally I make a joke here.

Previous Heroes have included the bright lights of Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, and K2SO from Star Wars.

But thats starting to feel depressing.

So I’m going to name Barack Obama The Church Sofa Hero of The World in 2017, for continuing being his smooth self.

Also for being one half of some the best memes out there…

*This is a joke. Please dont hate me… Actually please dont most of the above seriously.

What do you reckon? Are then any awards which we should have included??

Any awards that should have been different?

Any thing that we’ve missed out?

Anything you’d like to see next year on The Church Sofa?

10 Alternative Ideas For Your Christmas Service

We like to be serious every now and then on The Church Sofa*, and write a blog piece aimed at church leaders, with the aim of presenting new ideas of being church. Christmas is obviously here, and felt we should pull together some alternative ideas** for your Christmas services at church during December.

So, if you’re responsible for leading your church services at Christmas, and your struggling with some minute planning. Check out our 10 alternative ideas for your Christmas church service.***

  1. Go for the authentic feel, and relocate the service else where. Instead of your nice warm church hall… try driving out to either the countryside, the nearest moorland, or anywhere that is the middle of nowhere. Once you’ve found the middle of nowhere, have your service in a shed…with livestock.
  2. Get that feeling of realism when talking about Mary giving birth, and arrange for a live audio link up to the local labour ward. Possibly mix it with an audio recording of livestock.
  3. Get a fire going…yeah, right there, on the church carpet. Granted someone on the PCC / a Deacon / Church Wardens, may come after you, but the young people will love it.
  4. Having a midnight service? Make large swigs of communion ‘wine’ (which is actually port) compulsory, to help warm them up. (Hopefully singing may be louder then normal).
  5. Ensure you have the most predictable Christmas service imaginable. When everyone walks into the Church, offer everyone a Christmas Carol Service Bingo Card.
  6. Have you got any full term pregnant ladies in the congregation? Ensure they’re all dressed up as Mary, and spend the service trying to induce labour. (Offer them hot food, make them jump that sort of thing) If labour begins, send someone to the hospital with her, ready to Facebook Live the whole event, shown to the whole church. Probably better with livestock. (In the labour ward)
  7. Singing “In The Bleak Midwinter”? Get a snow machine ready to start during the mention of snow. Make it snow, over the manger. It will be the perfect Christmas scene. Worth trying with livestock.
  8. Hold a Christmas service outside your local maternity ward. Make sure you do anything you can to really bless new families. Better with livestock.
  9. If you’re leading the service and feeling a bit chilly before you start, warm up with a glass of whiskey before the service. If nothing else you may forget about the cold.
  10. Its Christmas. Its a time of celebration! Get some fireworks going in the building! Probably better not with livestock.

Any you would like to add?

* Its really not often, I may be pretending to be serious during this post.
** In other words, I made them up.
*** Ideas… only ideas… The Church Sofa team accept no responsibility for any damage by livestock, or trouble of any kind if you do any of the above. In fact, just don’t do any of the above.

This Christmas – Play Christmas Carol Service Bingo!

We are about to enter the season of Christmas Carol Services in Churches around the world.

Have you ever sat in one and felt that it felt oddly familiar? Maybe the service feels the same as a previous one, but with a few changes?

To test that feeling, we have The Christmas Carol Service Bingo Game. Please feel free to print out the below, and share the bingo cards along the back row, during the Carol Services of this upcoming Christmas season.

Make sure you share a Mince Pie and some mulled wine while playing…

Christmas-Carol-Service-Bingo-Cards

Obviously, when you get a line, don’t shout AMEN if you complete a line… shout HARK! or something…