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?

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

10 Tips For Hosting A Christian Christmas Party

Well, its Christmas. As well as the season of mince pies, Santa, Christmas Carols, nativity plays, and random livestock, it is also the season of the Christmas Party. But how should a Christian host a Christmas party?

Here are 10 tips to help you host a Christian Christmas Party… 

  1. Remember this is a Christian CHRISTMAS Party. Remind people of the authentic Christmas experience, and bring livestock into your home.
  2. Give plenty of thought to the music you play. Sofa recommends something like this.
  3. Boil the mulled wine… lots.
  4. Arrange for someone to sit next to your door in your hallway, whispering scripture into peoples ears as they enter. This is to ensure peoples minds are on scripture as soon as they arrive. (And not on the weirdo sat in your hallway).
  5. Host an outdoor worship service in your garden. Make sure its loud.
  6. As well as remembering the birth of Jesus, this is also the season of giving. Ensure all your guest have a suitable Bible commentary as a present. In regards to any presents you receive, ensure you pause and offer a prayer of thanks before opening EVERY present.
  7. Need a party game? Play guess the Bible Reference.
  8. Its Christmas. The season of GREAT JOY! What ever happens, ensure all your guests are smiling. A lot.
  9. Obviously, you also need to be smiling alot.
  10. In the spirit of the season, have a live nativity scene outside your front door. This is probably better with livestock.

Any I’ve missed?

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

How To Get Good Seats At The Church Nativity Service

There’s something about Christmas I do currently enjoy. Maybe its markets, perhaps its the Doctor Who specials, or the challenge to mull everything possible. Since Little Sofa has come into the world, I have also started to attend… and kinda enjoy Nativity plays. I have noticed, that as cute as they are, there seems to be A LOT of people wanting to get the good seats whenever their little ones are performing.

What if your church has a nativity service? How do you get good seats while watching the Church Nativity Service?

Here’s our tips*:

  1. Use your secret escape tunnel from church to sneak INTO church.
  2. Ninja skills to sneak past people.
  3. Arrange mince pies to be given out at the right time… walk past the crowd while distraction takes place.
  4. Work as a team with people, and take various different routes to the best seats available. Save the seats for the rest of your team once you get there.
  5. Bible Bash your way to the front.
  6. Wear a jumper saying “I’m Only Here For The Beer”, people will be so busy looking shocked at your jumper, that they will forget to be shocked by the Bible Bashing.
  7. Got a church with pews? Army crawl your way under the pews, past people, and into your ideal pew.
  8. Write your name on the pew the week before. Therefore if anyone sits there, you can justifiably say “Thats my pew!”
  9. Stuck at the back of the queue? Starting from the back, bless each person in turn with free chocolate / mince pies / port etc. Keep working the queue until you get to the front. Not only will you get to the front (and therefore the seats you want), but you’re church also feels blessed by you because of it.
  10. Fly a drone into the church hall. Watch on the drones camera. Possibly while sat in your warm car.

Any other ideas?

*Obviously if you do any of this, people may look at you oddly / arrange for you to be arrested. Good Luck…

 

Married. Dad.

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Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

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.

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

10 Ways Kids Survive A Boring Sermon

How-Kids-Survive A-Boring-Sermon-In-Church

In the past, Sofa has spent many a post (and tweet) pondering how to survive a boring sermon. While all that has been great for the older people in the church, to quote a panicked soul, “Wont somebody think of the children?”

After 5 years of watching, and learning from both Mini Sofa, and other kids around, we’ve collected the following list of how kids can survive a boring sermon:

If you have a bored child, perhaps they’ll find inspiration from the following ideas:

  1. Crawl under the seats, and between the legs of the people sitting in them, until you reach the back and freedom! Just run faster then your grown up!
  2. In a push chair? Chop the bottom out and drive it around Flintstones style! Dont have a push chair? Just pretend the seat you’re on is a car instead!
  3. Does your church have pews? Bring a car in… those little ledges behind each pew makes a great race track. Ensure there are sounds effects.
  4. Be so hungry you could eat a bible… (You’re never to young to digest the word of God right?)
  5. When no one is looking… Check if the fire extinguisher really works! (Based on true story)
  6. Wave at other little people sat in other parts of the hall. Wait till any silent moments before your shout “HELLO”.
  7. Make faces at the preacher during the service. They’ll love it
  8. Is your parent leading the service? Make sure they don’t misbehave by going up front and keeping them company.
  9. Is your parent the hugging, needy type? Demand a hug. When they pick you up… scream that you want to be put down.
  10. You and a friend, see who can run around the Church hall the fastest! See what happens…

Any we’ve missed?

Married. Dad.

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Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

10 Ways That Christian Kids Delay Bed Time

Long time readers of The Sofa will know of my daughter, “Little Sofa”. I don’t mention her often as this place is often about silly church things… not little person things.

Now, if you don’t have kids yourself, they seem to hate the concept of going to relax in a bed and gently going to sleep for the night. (It’s like they believe that they’ll miss out on all the fun if they sleep.)

Normally kids employ tactics to stay up like, running, dancing, needing a wee, and going to the toilet.

Lately I’ve noticed that Little Sofa occasionally tries a different technique to avoid going to sleep… She starts talking about church things… and well I guess we’re never sure how much we should tell her to go to sleep if she’s asking questions about Jesus?

Anyway here’s a collection of Christian style techniques she has employed to stay awake. (Some of which I may have made up):

  1. Opens up and explains what they did at Sunday school / holiday club.
  2. Asks questions about diversity within the human race, and why we’re created differently.
  3. Asks about the people out in the lions den.
  4. “Did Jesus go to school?”
  5. Test parents about deep theological matters.
  6. Starts writing practice. Writing Bible verses.
  7. Insists on a really long prayer.
  8. Sings a long forgotten song from Holiday Club, really nicely, with cute dialed up to 12.
  9. “How does God know our name?”
  10. Complains about a dream during which they are chased by a really big blue book.

Any more you can offer?

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

When Church Service Leaders Go Rogue.

When-Church-Service-Leaders-Go-Well

Imagine you’ve dragged your none Christian friends / family to Church. Well done. You’ve got them there. Now what if the person leading the service, or giving the sermon is feeling particularly…. adventurous. What if the person leading the service goes a little rogue and says, or encourages everyone to do something a little… different?

What do you NOT want them to say??

How about this collection of comments that may or may not have some bearing on real life events…

  1. “Turn to the person on your right, and make your confession”
  2. “Why don’t we spend a few minutes, where we all share our favorite Bible verses with each other?
  3. “Grab each others hands! Dont be shy! Now lets dance around the hall!”
  4. After the above “Let us all turn, look, and lay hands on the person having an asthma attack after all that dancing!”
  5. “In this time of prayer, we will anoint each other with (baby) oil”
  6. “As we are a family church, lets ensure we treat each other as family. To that end, lets all invite the person sitting in front of us to dinner this week?”
  7. “Let us show our servant heart to each other, and wash the feet of the people next to us”
  8. “Let us sing out own joyful song of praise. In our own Heavenly tongue if needed”
  9. “Wasn’t that a lovely word from the Pastor? I would love it if we could all turn to the people around us, and share 3 things we learnt from Gods word tonight”
  10. “In the spirit of the early Church, I would like us to give each other a Holy Kiss”

Any you could add?

(Its just occurred to me that I could call this “Christian Introvert Nightmares”)

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

Top 5 Christian Birthday Presents

Its my birthday this week! Woo! I am finally reaching the old age of 32*, and to mark the occasion I figured I would explore the world of Christian gifts, and birthday presents.

Well there more “interesting” things out there, I figured I would kinda base this on my own wish list of stuff (Which for the benefit of any friends and family reading this – IS NOT THE BELOW)

Here is the Church Sofa Top 5 Christian birthday presents: (Clicking some links may provide input to the Sofa Birthday fund)

The Jesus Bottle Opener

Need to open a beer and tell people about love for Jesus? This would be perfect!

Amazon Link

Christian Chocolate Balls?

Because chocolate is good…

Amazon Link

A Christian Paper Weight?

That’s what it is right?

Amazon Link.

Somewhere Inspirational To Put a Pint?

Found at Eden.co.uk

A Christian T Shirt

Perfect for the creationist in your life?

Amazon Link

Any other ideas?

(Dearest family and friends, please feel free to ask for my wish list… please don’t get confused with the above!)

*At least that’s how old I was when I stopped counting.

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

What Christians Do On Holiday?

Sofa has finally got round to booking some holiday. Now we dont have much booked in, so I consulted a few local church people for ideas of what a Christian should do on holiday.

Here’s a few ideas of what a Christian should do on holiday.

Go and look at some old churches.

Because they are kinda pretty….

Sit somewhere nice and enjoy the view.

Interrupt the  evening of those around you, by asking if they know and love Jesus. Keep talking until they do.

Try Out Your Local Christian Festival.

Could try evangelizing there?

Read your Bible.

Go out somewhere interesting*, and read your bible somewhere a little interesting. Tweet me a picture or something afterwards.

Drink Water. Plenty of Water.

 

Any other suggestions?

*interesting – NOT stupid. I DO NOT WANT PEOPLE TO FALL OF A CLIFF OR DROWN OR ANYTHING!!!

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.