A Calm Stable Scene?

There are lyrics in the song “Away In A Manger” which say…

“The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes”

What if… The cattle didn’t just make noise… but took matters into their own hands…

Fit In At Church This Christmas, And Speak Christianese!

How-To-Speak-Christianese

Its Christmas! As such, you may find yourself at more Church things then normal.

“Church things” include activities such as Christmas Carol Services,  homegroups, homegroup socials, nativity plays, Carol Services, normal church services, and nativity plays – possibly with livestock. (I realise I may have mentioned a few things twice there)

My point? There’s a lot of Church stuff there. What if you don’t really understand what Christians say?*

Well, you may find this helpful…

*There may be a new idea for a series of posts in the New Year, right there.

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?

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…

 

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…