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…

The “Church” Christmas Card of The Week

<plug>

Christmas time is just around the corner. Sorry to point it out, but Christmas is nearly here. Have you brought Christmas Cards yet? If not, can I suggest* this card featuring Exeter Cathedral in a rare wintery moment.

As well as supporting a local Devon photographer, you’d also be helping to keep the Church Sofa running smoothly!

This card is available from redbubble.com

<end of plug>

*When I say suggest, what I mean is that I made a Christmas card**

**And this is a really blatant plug. (I think I’m) Sorry about that***.

***Well… not very sorry…

Facebook Christmas Cover Photo Collection

Every now and then, people find us after doing search for a combination of words that we wouldn’t normally expect. An example of this has been the flood of people search for Facebook Nativity or Facebook Christmas Cover Photos. (Cover photos, are what you find on the top of a Facebook profile)

Well… this has ended up inspiring a random session on Photoshop, which then led to The Church Sofa offering a couple of Christmas Cover Photos a couple of years ago.

I’ve updated the original images to match the up to date measurements for Facebooks Cover Photos

Please feel free to download the below, link back here, and use to your hearts content:

(Left clicking, right clicking, then clicking “Save Image As” should do the trick.)

 

For more images, please see my portfolios over at redbubble and at picfair.com

greggs-christmas-sausage-roll

When Greggs Does Christmas Advent Calendars…

It seems that everyone likes doing an Advent Calendar at the moment. Advent Calendars aren’t just about chocolate and Lego*, but they are also now about Zoella and Greggs. While Zoella has had bad press about the price of her advent calendar, it is how Greggs have chosen to advertise their advent calendar that have got Christians upset.

According to The Guardian:

The bakery chain Greggs has apologised for offending Christians with a nativity scene advert that replaces Jesus with a sausage roll.

The chief executive of the Freedom Association, a rightwing pressure group, claimed the advert was “sick” and that the retailer would “never dare” insult other religions.

The UK Evangelical Alliance strongly criticised the baker, saying it was a gimmick that seemed to be about “manufacturing a scandal to sell baked goods”.

Greggs released the image to promote its £24 advent calendar, which goes on sale next Monday. Its decision to use an image depicting the three wise men gathering round a crib containing a sausage roll sparked criticism from Twitter users and religious groups.

Greggs is not withdrawing the product – its first ever advent calendar – but said in a statement: “We’re really sorry to have caused any offence, this was never our intention.”

Read More here.

Twitter. Has made a few comments, and they’re probably a more entertaining read then the news articles about this…

Do Christians need more of a sense of humor? 

I really want to write something here that talks about it being a massive publicity stunt, designed to wind people enough to get people talking about Greggs, while also being self aware that is exactly what I am doing. I just don’t know how to phrase it…

Either way, remember. If you do want to get angry about anything over this Christmas Season, please check out the “Burn The Heathens” Checklist.

Or maybe,

We should all choose a bit more carefully, what we all get angry about?

*I know. Advent calendars are also about Jesus.

Not sausage rolls.