Church Sofa Lists

Problems Parents of Toddlers Face in Church

Kids in Church

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:

  1. The ability to partake in communion is held hostage by a toddler stealing the liturgy card.
  2. You have a minor panic attack every time your little one wonders near the open and full baptism pool.
  3. Can I have some of that squash?” “No dear, its communion wine.”
  4. Hitting a chair, in an attempt to ensure your little one doesn’t fall off, while she is jumping on it.
  5. The heart racing panic when the Little One shouts, “I need a POO!.. QUICK ITS COMING OUT!
  6. Been massively distracted anytime someone comes into the hall during the sermon – just in case its someone from your kids group.
  7. Having to explain everytime its a communion service that you cant eat the bread from the table until the right time.
  8. No you can’t see the song sheet. It’s being used for colouring in.
  9. 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!”)
  10. Accidentally looking super spiritual by kneeling on the floor during communion. (Because toddler has stolen your seat)

Any other problems I’ve not mentioned?

Embarrassing Moments In A Church Service

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.

  1. You’re singing loudly, and out of tune… without realising your minister has changed the song lyrics.
  2. The baby you’ve been asked to hold, throws up…over your face.
  3. The Prayer time starts… so does your coughing fit.
  4. You get asked a question. In front of people. Your mind goes blank.
  5. Someone slips a Whoopee cushion under you as you sit down…
  6. Two words. Nose Bleed. (While you’re stuck in the middle of an aisle)
  7. You’re sat dead in the middle of the congregation… and you need to fart…
  8. You miscalculate the amount of sweets you’re taking out your pocket… dropping them loudly on the floor.
  9. Its quiet. Its serious. People are crying. Your phone rings. Loudly.
  10. 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?

Groups of People Spotted in Church

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Hospital People. If you find a way to abuse the above to much, then the warden may put you in this group of people….
  3. Worship Leading People. Can normally sing.
  4. Visiting Preaching People. Not normally sure how long a sermon is meant to last.
  5. Children’s Group People. Can normally be found waiting for the Visiting Preaching People to finish.
  6. 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…
  7. 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.
  8. 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”.
  9. Natural Evangelist People. Most happy to knock on strangers doors in the evening.
  10. Young People. Been told to NEVER knock on anyone’s doors.

Any that I’ve missed?

Characters you find in Church Limbo

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

  1. Little terrorists Toddlers  refusing to go into groups
  2. Lost new comer fighting their way out of the crèche, and into the main service.
  3. Groups of adults refusing to go in, possibly smoking behind the bible shelves.
  4. Evidence of someone playing Jenga with the spare Bibles.
  5. A very lost and confused pizza delivery person.
  6. Someone kipping on the floor with a sign saying “Wake me during the last hymn”, resting against them.
  7. A visitor wondering around trying to find a sign that will point them towards a toilet.
  8. Group of people enjoying an extended period of fellowship during the sermon.
  9. Local caffeine addict / late shift worker “testing” the coffee.
  10. Worn out parent giving into some of the terrorists demands, and giving the terrorist a biscuit.

Any one I’ve missed out?

Alternative (Adult) Baptism Pool Activities

Adult Baptisms are joyous occasions of people making fantastic promises in front of their Church family. The thing is, due to not every church having a local dodgy river, a baptism pool can be needed for these events. Baptism pools needing a lot of work filling… and emptying…

Considering we live in an efficient, austerity ran society it feels wrong that so much effort is put in for a one time use single purpose pool.

So what else could a baptism pool be used for? We came up with the following:

  1. Mass footwashing – Before or after the baptism… infact why not both!
  2. Duck Races – May need a fan to help propel the ducks.
  3. Pooh stick races – Similar to the above, but can appeal to fans of the childrens book “Stick Man”… and “Winnie the Pooh”.
  4. Supersoakers
  5. A Game of Dare – Challenge people to see how far they can lean over it…!!!
  6. A practical demonstration of the parting of the Red Sea.
  7. Prayers for the changing of water into wine.
  8. Swimming races, might need a particularly large baptism pool for this.
  9. Stack up some cups, encourage people to help themselves to a cold cup of water after the service.
  10. Add a large amount of flour, and throw in the youth worker.

Any other ideas for alternative baptism pool uses?

When The Vicar Visits. A Checklist.

For some random reason, you have the vicar coming to visit, and if The Simpsons have taught us anything, he’s not a normal house guest. He’s the vicar!

So what do you need to do to bring your house upto scratch? Check our “Vicar coming to visit” checklist, to make sure everything is done.

  1. Give the place a quick clean. Actually quite nice to do this anyway.
  2. Open a Bible, leave it open somewhere.
  3. Christian music. Something recognizable, Graham Kendrick would probably do.
  4. Christian music not option? Stick something gentle on in the background. Classic FM would do.
  5. Hide the Harry Potter DVDs.
  6. Hide the empty wine / beer / vodka / whiskey / miscellaneous alcohol bottles. If needed, try selling them.
  7. Get out the nice biscuits
  8. Make sure the book shelf has the “Christian” books at eye level.
  9. No Christian books? Put some nice cookery books on eye level. Maybe put “50 shades of Grey” to one side.
  10. Put a calendar in your lounge, circle each Sunday, and (if they’re released) mark the sermon titles with Bible verses. (To really connect with your vicar, we recommend The Dave Walker Guide to the Church 2016 Calendar)

Any more that should be included?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Way To Rate A Funeral

It was one of those questions that I wasn’t sure how to answer: “How was it?”. The “it” in question was a funeral. My mind flashed through a few different answers before, saying something deep and meaningful like, “errrr…. it was alright”. This got me thinking, how do you describe how good a funeral is? Is there a rating system for funerals?

Turns out, having a guide for rating a funeral is weird.

Therefore, please let me introduce the Church Sofa Guide to Rating a Funeral.

1 / 10: Lazarus
2 / 10: Its a wet wet day. The coffin is made from cardboard…
3 / 10: Someone slipped on the graveside. Joined the deceased underground.
4 / 10: The previously mentioned soaking wet coffin gets dropped…
5 / 10: Someone forgets to check the “deceased” for signs of fireworks in their pockets… Just before a cremation…
6 / 10: A nice little funeral, with a few nice people, with a nice vicar, leading a nice service, on a nice day, in a nice town…
7 / 10: A State Funeral.
8 / 10: One of those funerals with everyone you know there, INCLUDING, the people that matter.
9 / 10: Something combining a state funeral, with everyone you know there, INCLUDING, the people that matter – AND you have a heck of party afterwards!
10 / 10: Darth Vaders funeral.

Any other suggestions?

What Does Heaven’s Waiting Room Look Like?

I found myself in the waiting room at my Health Surgery the other day, due to the wonderful NHS I wasn’t there long, but for some reason I was there long enough to wonder, what would Heaven’s Waiting Room look like?

  1. Instead of Magazines you have 1970s Bible tracts.
  2. Inspirational messages displayed on the screens.
  3. Give any handyman / janitor / cleaner you see loads of respect. He / she may also be God (or Morgan Freeman).
  4. Any staff you see actually look angelic.
  5. The lights are all a little bright.
  6. If you see him, don’t stare at Beetlejuice. And definitely don’t say his name three times.
  7. A keyboard instrumental track of Shine Jesus Shine playing gently in the back ground. On repeat.
  8. A voice randomly interrupts the music with the following announcement; “We apologise for the delay, please do not panic, you are not in Limbo, we repeat, you are not in Limbo. “
  9. There are only two doors out of the waiting room.

Any other ideas?

(image from imperfectvisions on flickr)

New Ways To Accidentally Create Moral Outrage in Church

The Church. For all its faults, generally doesn’t do a bad job at being a mad wide personality ranging group of people. The thing is, there is a lot of different people involved in Church. The chances are, someone is going to end up offended in someway… and it will probably be sooner rather then later. We’ve asked around and found the following potential ways to create moral outrage in a Church:

  1. Suggest changes to the coffee rota! (Or worse… change the coffee without checking with people first!)
  2. Mention Donald Trump during a sermon.
  3. It turns out that the day you’re doing anything “up front” is NOT the day to forget your flies AND your underwear.
  4. Have a really bad week, which is then followed by a really bad Saturday, followed up by a really bad Sunday morning, during which you accidentally stub your toe and swear under your breath. Infront of the wrong person.
  5. Casually mention you enjoy watching the wrong TV show or series of movies. (EG. Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter…)
  6. Have a different opinion to the wrong people about the wrong things. Share these opinions.
  7. Wear a t-shirt about drinking beer to a Sunday morning service.
  8. Put the chairs out a little differently…
  9. Click on a dodgy link in Facebook… spam the nervous-about-Facebook-old-dear with dodgy links.
  10. Suggest that the worship team tries something newer then Shine Jesus Shine.

Any others out there?