This Week’s RoundUp

Every now and then – when we can, we’re going to try and round up the best of some of the best blogs, articles, and websites we find online. Here’s our first lot:

  • The CNN Belief blog takes a look at the belief of the Chilean miners, and how they came across some Jesus T Shirts. On that note… Can we get some?
  • It seems that Dave Walker has hasn’t really been elected to the General Synod. Personally speaking…I think its simply an elaborate double bluff…
  • The Urban Pastor talks us through the best ways to ruin your small group / housegroup / homegroup. I’m quite a fan of number 1…
  • Scott Gould asks “Who Is Your Phyllis Wills?” – powerful stuff!
  • From the makers of thechurchsofa, we present our own site dedicated to Dartmoor. The site is a directory of some of the best Activities, and places to stay in Dartmoor, Devon, please feel free to check it and let us know what you think.

Have you got any suggestions for our next round up? Please drop us a DM on Twitter – or in fact, leave a comment below and let us all know!

Do you have experience of Soul?

Recently I’ve been pondering over the “Soul” section of the Christianity Explored. Now I think it looks quite glossy and almost cool. Has anyone out there got experience of using this DVD in their youth club? Would it be suitable to a bunch of young teens who struggle with staying still, and dont really want to hear about God?

What is the Natwivity?

Well I came across The Natwivity, via the world of Twitter. Wondering what its about? Read on!

This Christmas, parents and grandparents will attend their childrens’ schools to watch their miniature shepherds, angels and inn keepers perform the Nativity story. This traditional retelling remains a huge part of Christmas in the UK and, for many, will be the only time they hear the Christmas message.

But many others – particularly those in their teens, 20s and 30s who are yet to have children – won’t have this opportunity. This is the internet generation, and although they are unlikely to cross the threshold of a school, they do spend a considerable amount of their time online.

The Natwivity (the Twitter Nativity) takes advantage of social media’s unparalleled capacity to engage people as they go about their everyday life to re-tell the Christmas story in a fresh, personal way. Available on Twitter and Facebook, people will be able to pick up the ‘tweets’ online in their homes, in the high street using their phones and at work.

The Natwivity will give this famous story an immediate, real-life feel, transforming them from people 2,000 years ago to friends of the user, who are going through the drama now. Followers will be able to read Mary’s angst as she tries to come to terms with the birth of her child, and hear from the stunned shepherds after their encounter with an angel.

Each 140-character entry will be a thought or comment from Mary, Joseph, collective wisemen and shepherds, with further entries from Herod, an Inn Keeper (and his wife) and friends of Mary and Joseph.

You can follow The Natwivity on Twitter, or find out more information from here.

Micah Challenge

If you read the Bible, it would be hard to not notice that the God we follow likes justice. And that He likes mercy. Both are themes that come up far more often that faith or worship, yet often we focus on these much more.  One of my favourite books in the Bible is one of the minor prophets, Micah. A lot of what is contained here is about justice and mercy. And that is what the Micah challenge is all about.

Martin Smith “You Have Shown Us” (Micah Challenge) from Small Seed Films on Vimeo.

Micah Challenge are asking 100 million people to pray and petition in support of the Millennium Development Goal to halve global poverty by 2015. They will be hosting events and campaign activities around the world. You can find out more and get involved at micah2010.org

Martin Smith, above, gives a performance of ‘You have shown us from the CompassionArt album. CompassionArt is a charity that joins the dots between art and poverty: compassionart.tv

I think this is a challenge to all of us today, how do we show justice and mercy whilst walking humbly with God in our local church and community and on a global scale. How should we act in the places where we are?

The Big Bible Project Interview

Well.. a couple of weeks ago I heard something called “The Big Bible Project” mentioned on Twitter… it was then mentioned by Church Mouse… and the rate they’re going I’m sure more people will hear of The Big Bible Project soon.

One thing has led to another and we’ve managed to get ourselves our first interview, please read on and find out about the Big Bible Project, and have a think if you’d like to get involved.

Please enjoy our interview with Dr Bex Lewis;

What is the Big Bible Project?


The @BigBible Project is an ecumenical project, promoting Bible reading within a community setting, whether that be online or offline. It is part of the #Biblefresh initiative, which Biblefresh is a movement of churches, agencies, organisations, colleges and festivals which has a vision to reignite and re-enthuse the church in its passion for the Bible. For many in our churches the Bible has become tedious and toxic rather treasured, trusted and true. The aim of the Biblefresh initiative is to encourage a greater confidence and passion for Scripture across the Church, in 2001, a year which celebrates the 400th anniversary since the publication of the King James Version of the Bible.
The #BigRead2011 will make use of Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone: Matthew, encouraging people to meet together in housegroups to read the Bible. The Big Read offers opportunities to go much bigger and much more creative and join in online (inter)nationally. From quiet sitting rooms with Bibles and books, to coffee shops and internet chatrooms across the world, we will offer tips & tricks on how to gain confidence in new media, so that you can engage with the project as much as you like. If you want to just read the book, or just download the housegroup materials, that’s all good. If, however, you are keen to understand the possibilities and options offered by the online world, we aim to help you get online, offering inspiring interviews, tips, tricks & training to enable you to engage with the Bible online. We plan to launch it with a Mardi Gras event on Shrove Tuesday, and will provide a ‘party pack’ for that!

Why was the Big Bible project started?

Over Lent 2010, the people of the North East got together for “The Big Read“. Through a series of housegroups and public meetings as well as private reading, they worked their way through Luke, using the first of three texts to be written by Tom Wright. BigRead2010 was such a success that Pete Phillips, Director of the Centre for Biblical Literacy and Communication (CODEC, St John’s College, Durham), buoyed also by the strong interest in a conference last year ‘Christian Communication in a Digital Age’, and a strong passion for enabling stronger Christian communication in the digital age, was determined to turn it into a national project, and tracked down funding.

Continue reading “The Big Bible Project Interview”

The future of The Church Sofa

The Church Sofa lads seem to be moving in a new direction. We’re already involved in tech support, youth work, worship leading, trying to follow God, researching into the best direction for church in terms of seating and various other things that come to mind. However, in the fairly near future we’ll be venturing into the art of interviewing.

No neither of us have been given a promotion to be a manager or team leader or anything like. Rather we’re going to be interviewing people that we think will be helpful in our journey of following Christ so watch this space for some great looking interviews with organisations and people who have a great story to tell.

The Church Chair v Church Pew Debate. Reports from the field.

We’ve heard reports that our research in the area of Church Pewsor Church Chairs have started to have an affect on the outside world, with our reports possibly being quoted in church meetings.

In order for us to gather evidence to help justify our request for a grant to continue our research, please let us know if you find our research useful.

We want this research to be a blessing to the church, church goers and those that may find themselves in a church by accident (like me…..I mean people I know). This research is in no way aimed for the benefit of the lads of the church sofa, though we may at some point push the ideas of sofas in church.