Well. Winter time is now here. The nights are darker, and the colder months are here. Before we snuggle together for warmth too much, let’s pause and consider how a Christian should keep warm.
We asked a number of high profile (and therefore Godly) Christians, how they keep their church nice and warm. Here are the tips we picked up.
- While in Church, ensure you share the peace energetically – build up a sweat!
- Have communion wine on a regular basis to keep you warm.
- Pray that you will be heated from within by the flame of Gods Spirit!
- Ensure you Church has heated kneeling mats.
- Adjust the seating arrangements – cuddle up a little bit!
- When cooking, use a open fire. Like the disciples would have done. Obviously use an open fire indoors as well*.
- On the lead up to Christmas? Ensure everyone has an advent candle, each!
- Switch that heated baptism pool on high!
- Test your faith! Call down fire from heaven!
- “Just fix the flippin heating.”
Any other ideas?
* Obviously, this might be a joke**.
** Actually DONT DO THIS.***
*** If you do… dont blame the Sofa for the state of the floor afterwards… or the state of anyone or anything else!
One thing that Churches seem to have got right is the idea that work gets done, when its done in team. You get church welcoming teams, set up teams, preaching teams, youth teams, pastoral care teams, communication teams, coffee teams, sound teams, set up set up teams, etc.
Sofa wonders how often time is found for good old fashioned team building exercises in church, as opposed to committee style meetings? What would a team building exercise look like in a church context anyway?
Here are a few ideas.
- Break. Then recreate your stain glass windows using left over Sunday School craft materials.
- Build a tower of babel. With Lego.
- Who can read Psalm 119 outloud without taking a breath? Work as a team to look after anyone who faints.
- River crossings – See who can walk the furthest across a river.
- Who can preach the longest sermon?
- Water Drinking. How much wine can you drink before it starts to taste like water?
- Lightsaber Duels. The vicar can have the red one.
- Work out how to transport someone on a bed, through your church roof. Then do it.
- Build a Noah’s ark. See if it floats. Don’t bring life jackets – they show lack of faith*. If there’s a problem see number 4.
- Go to the pub.
Any other ideas?
*Please note, I am really joking
Have you ever felt a bit overwhelmed by people? Particularly talking to a lot of different people at the same time? How about the extrovert festival that is “The Peace” in many churches?
Have you ever wondered if there was a different way to share “The Peace” in your church? Well we’ve put together 10 ways for you to share the peace next Sunday:
- Hand out cold beers, encourage people to open them mid service.
- Bear hug your neighbour.
- Time your pizza order really well.
- European style kiss on the cheek.
- Put in black contact lenses… Pretend you’re in Being Human…
- Dance around the hall, like no ones watching. Except everyone might be…
- Run around shaking hands with as many people as you can in 60 seconds (post the results below if you wish!)
- Introduce yourself to someone new, while pretending to be from a different country.
- Say hello to the person leading the service. Ask if they get lonely standing up there by themselves.
- Stick comedy post it notes on the back of people…
Any other ideas?
Over the next month and a half there will be various Christian Festivals all around England, that will attract many Christians from all different Churches over the place. With festivals such as Momentum, New Wine, Soul Survivor, Keswick, Greenbelt. and Creation Fest, there are plenty to choose from.
As its the Summer Christian Festival Season, it is also time for the annual Church Sofa list of the best ways to create trouble at a Christian Festival… Consider this list in case you get bored or something…
- Spend the week “springing” around the festival. When questioned explain that you thought you were at Spring Harvest. (You may only want to actually do this at Spring Harvest*)
- Bring supplies of spare wellies** to sell. If its a hot sunny week, spray water over the grounds early in the morning in an attempt to convince people the weather is about to turn nasty.
- Greet people you meet with a Holy Kiss.
- Set up a stall offering to wash peoples feet. Once done charge them a tenner. If they say no, chase after them with the cheesey feet water.
- Run around naked, when challenged explain you are trying to recreate the world before The Fall.
- If you’re at Soul Survivor in Somerset, walk around planting “Goodbye” cards into the ground.
- “Borrow” a radio from one of the stewards. Begin whispering down the radio whenever they start to look bored. Topic of whispering is up to you.
- Make notes about how much more biblical your Christian Festival is compared to others!
- Open a stand offering to exchange people’s old wine for “New wine”. Run away before people realise that the “New wine”, is in fact, Ribena.
- Bring a megaphone to the festival with you. Early during the first morning, scream into the megaphone, then hide it quickly. When people rush to your tent to ask whats wrong, apologise and explain you just had a nightmare. Explain its been a problem since your tent was flooded one year at a previous Christian Festival. Be warned, you may end up with severe Prayer Ministry if you do this.
Any that you would like to add?
For more ideas, please check out last years list, 10 Ways To Manage Mischief At A Christian Festival.
Disclaimer: Do any of these at your own risk, the Sofa takes no responsibility for any trouble that happens to you if you do this, but if you do end up in Christian Festival Jail, please let us know what that’s like.
*As if you do this anywhere else, people may look at you strangely
** I may have checked the spelling of that a few times.
In case you missed it, a follow up to the
Christian Gorefest The Passion Of The Christ is being planned. According to Den of Geek:
A huge hit on its original release in 2004, Mel Gibson’s bloody, violent The Passion Of The Christ remains the most successful independent movie of all time. It brought in over $600m in worldwide ticket sales, costing just $30m to make.
Gibson’s new film as director, Hacksaw Ridge, has begun screening, and once it’s released, it might just be that he turns his attention to a The Passion Of The Christ sequel.
Screenwriter Randall Wallace has revealed that he’s working on a screenplay for a new film, which this time would follow the story of the resurrection of Jesus. And whilst Gibson hasn’t confirmed the story, Wallace has, and the pair are said to be working together on the new project.
While it seems the The Passion Of The Christ sequel may focus on what happened after the resurrection, we wondered how this may be presented on screen, in a manner that the fans of the original movie may appreciate.
Here are a couple of potential plotlines / titles we’ve written for The Passion Of The Christ 2:
- The Passion Of The Christ: Peters Tale. A movie telling the last moments of Jesus’s life from Peters point of view, finishing with the restoration of Peter. Therefore leading to the audiance getting the expected 60 minutes of horror gore, but this time around, Passion 2 includes Peters hopeful quest for restoration.
- The Passion Of The Christ: Personal Passion. During the days after his resurrection, Jesus is tempted by Satan into taking revenge on the ones responsible for his death. Will he bring heavenly revenge on people, or will he show a level of forgiveness that has never been seen before?
- The Passion Of The Christ: Before The Resurrection. As Jesus prepares to take on death, in a battle for all humanity. He realises that he first must meet Judas one last time.
- The Passion Of The Christ: Passion Falls. Earths story has finished. The end of time is here. Jesus had returned. As he looks over creation he remembers the last time he was here.
- The Passion Of The Christ: A New Testament. The Resurrection has gone wrong. Jesus finds himself resurrected in 21st Century America. Coincidentally at the same time that Judas has somehow found himself resurrected. Leading to a buddy movie like no other, as Jesus and Judas travel around the world, on a quest to unite mankind with God.
What would you like to see in the new movie?
We all have times when sitting through a Church service isn’t straightforward. It could be because of that curry you had last night, the contact lens not behaving, or just wanting to get home in time to watch the football.
If you’re a parent of a toddler / other little person, then there are other problems in Church that makes a Church service not straightforward. Here is a look at the problems that parents of toddlers face in Church:
- The ability to partake in communion is held hostage by a toddler stealing the liturgy card.
- You have a minor panic attack every time your little one wonders near the open and full baptism pool.
- “Can I have some of that squash?” “No dear, its communion wine.”
- Hitting a chair, in an attempt to ensure your little one doesn’t fall off, while she is jumping on it.
- The heart racing panic when the Little One shouts, “I need a POO!.. QUICK ITS COMING OUT!“
- Been massively distracted anytime someone comes into the hall during the sermon – just in case its someone from your kids group.
- Having to explain everytime its a communion service that you cant eat the bread from the table until the right time.
- No you can’t see the song sheet. It’s being used for colouring in.
- A time of silent prayer is anything but silent inside your head, as you count down the seconds until something gets shouted. (Normally a cry of “BOOOO!”)
- Accidentally looking super spiritual by kneeling on the floor during communion. (Because toddler has stolen your seat)
Any other problems I’ve not mentioned?
There are some people out there, who anything can happen to them, and they wouldn’t care. Then there are other people who get embarrassed by stuff happening. Those are normally very sensible people. Here are some things that those people get embarrassed by in Church.
- You’re singing loudly, and out of tune… without realising your minister has changed the song lyrics.
- The baby you’ve been asked to hold, throws up…over your face.
- The Prayer time starts… so does your coughing fit.
- You get asked a question. In front of people. Your mind goes blank.
- Someone slips a Whoopee cushion under you as you sit down…
- Two words. Nose Bleed. (While you’re stuck in the middle of an aisle)
- You’re sat dead in the middle of the congregation… and you need to fart…
- You miscalculate the amount of sweets you’re taking out your pocket… dropping them loudly on the floor.
- Its quiet. Its serious. People are crying. Your phone rings. Loudly.
- You stand up in front of the Church Service… and wonder if you really did your flies up earlier.
Any that we’ve missed out?
Church. Its meant to be a family, but if its a family, then there are many different groups found there. Almost how there were many different groups in your High School. I wondered around my church last Sunday and found the following 10 Groups of People in Church. Here is a breakdown of who they are, and what they do:
- First timers / Kinda New People. These are the people who get offered the nice snacks first, get invited out for food, and have chatty people come and talk to them most Sundays. A useful group to be in.
- Hospital People. If you find a way to abuse the above to much, then the warden may put you in this group of people….
- Worship Leading People. Can normally sing.
- Visiting Preaching People. Not normally sure how long a sermon is meant to last.
- Children’s Group People. Can normally be found waiting for the Visiting Preaching People to finish.
- Useful People. Cant normally be found as they’re busy being useful. The disadvantage is that they are always really busy, and have things to do, their advantage is that they avoid…
- List People. They have lists. The lists need to have peoples names on them, such as, who’s going to do the Bible reading, or who’s bringing what to the next Church meal / potluck.
- Outgoing Happy People. Mostly popular with “List People”, as the “Outgoing Happy People”, are normally happy to read confidently in front of people, knock on strangers doors, etc. Also known as “Good Christian People”.
- Natural Evangelist People. Most happy to knock on strangers doors in the evening.
- Young People. Been told to NEVER knock on anyone’s doors.
Any that I’ve missed?
Every now and then recently I’ve found myself in “Church Limbo”. Its that weird space in Church when you’re not in a Church service, you’re not in a childrens / youth group, but you’re somewhere in between groups and activities.
Simply put, you’ve found yourself at Church, but not in Church. (Or at least not the normal standard official way of thinking about it anyway) .
Here is a list of characters I’ve spotted also hanging out in Church Limbo
Little terrorists Toddlers refusing to go into groups
- Lost new comer fighting their way out of the crèche, and into the main service.
- Groups of adults refusing to go in, possibly smoking behind the bible shelves.
- Evidence of someone playing Jenga with the spare Bibles.
- A very lost and confused pizza delivery person.
- Someone kipping on the floor with a sign saying “Wake me during the last hymn”, resting against them.
- A visitor wondering around trying to find a sign that will point them towards a toilet.
- Group of people enjoying an extended period of fellowship during the sermon.
- Local caffeine addict / late shift worker “testing” the coffee.
- Worn out parent giving into some of the terrorists demands, and giving the terrorist a biscuit.
Any one I’ve missed out?