Weekly Round Up – The #retrogames Edition

Welcome to this weeks roundup:

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Church Lounge: The perils of the Church sofa(s)

In the next of our guest blogs, Thomas from Youth Worker Yarns looks at the dangers of Church sofas…

I thought I might write a bit about sofas and teenagers, so here’s my submission (I’ve also attached it as a separate document):

Not to brag, but my church has three sofas, a load of comfy chairs and a pile of bean bags. And they are good, soft, squishy sofas. I know a few people, myself included, who have had naps on them. When someone announces they’re going to have a lone, quiet prayer-session in the lounge, you know what they really mean.

I’ve run quite a few youth socials in that lounge, from film evenings to a sit down meal with communion. We can pull the sofas around to make a sort of home cinema, or arrange them around coffee tables for a cafe feel. They help to make a really welcoming and relaxing environment and quite often visiting teens will comment on the swanky set up we have.

These sofas, however, aren’t as great as they seem. The first time I visited the church, one of the teens fell off the back of one. Last Friday, one of my youth found a crème egg that was probably lost at Easter nestled between the cushions. I dropped something down the back and, going to reach it, my hand emerged covered in fluff and youth-snack debris. But my concerns over our church sofas goes further than this.

Feeling the youth program needed a bit of a shake-up, I told the teens that we were looking at doing a few things differently. One of the panicked teens asked, “We’re going to keep meeting here? I love this place.” At first I was touched. I thought to myself, “we’ve created a really positive environment, where teens just love to hang out, relax and discover who Jesus is.” But this comment has begun to worry me. What if the teenagers only come for the sofas? What if they don’t want to follow Jesus, and they’re only interested in the squishy cushions? Is the identity of my youth ministry about living life to the full, with God at the centre, or is it built around the room we meet in?

My worry is that the swanky set up only feeds in to the consumerist mind set prevalent in society today. We are simply there to provide a comfortable place where people can chat and relax. The teens just come, eat, play games and go. This isn’t fulfilling Jesus’ commission to us; Jesus did not ask us to “go, buy well upholstered furniture and scatter pillows,” but rather to go and make disciples, baptise them, teach them to obey. The teens just see the lounge as a place where their needs are catered for and any suggestion that they take the initiative and try to put Biblical living into practice go largely ignored.

So, in a way, I miss pews: I have a theory that most missionaries went on their travels to avoid sitting on them another week. I love the fact that our church lounge is welcoming and a fantastic place to show hospitality and inclusivity, but are we just breeding a generation of teens who can’t be bothered to live out their faith and get up off the sofa?

I really hope not.

Thomas is a youth worker with the Exilio Church and Blogs at YouthWorker Yarns.

Would you like to write a guest blog for the Church Sofa? Please check out the Church Sofa Lounge.

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

5 Ways To Leave A Church Rota

Stuck making flower arrangements, when you dont know your rose from your thorn? Trapped making after Church refreshments, when you dont know your tea from your coffee? Maybe you need our top five ways to escape a Church Rota???

  1. Sign someone else up for the rota. It’s ok… The rota organiser will break the news to them.
  2. Make a Ganger
  3. Consider creating a swap chain. This is when you swap your shift for a shift in the future. You then swap that future shift for a shift in the further future. You then swap the further future shift for a shift even further way…
  4. Make really very awfully bad coffee (obviously this one won’t work for the flower rota)
  5. Put photos of yourself on Facebook showing how you are suffering from a rare genetic rash (with thanks to a felt tip pen). Once done phone up the rota organiser – gasp and whisper down the phone as you try and explain you can’t help this week – and evidence of your ill health happens to also be on Facebook…
Any more suggestions that we can add to the list?

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

Weekly RoundUp: The End (of the News Of )The World Edition

Wow… The blogosphere has been CRAZY busy this week:

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Church Lounge: How daft are sports team owners?

Let me introduce you to the first part of the Church Lounge Series, where Ben Searle looks at the relationship between the love of money, God, and sports teams:

 

I am a big sports fan. I love many mainstream and non-mainstream sports.  I enjoy watching my family play rugby and cricket, and I love talking about ‘the game’. Yet what has been happening on the business end of sport has me having to stick up for ‘the game’.

The legendary Los Angels Dodgers Major League baseball team has filed for bankruptcy. The second most recognisable baseball team in the world (second only the New York Yankees) – through poor financial management, broken business/personal relationships, and a flawed business model – are now broke with a pessimistic future.

The new owner of Birmingham City football club, Carson Yeung, is in a Hong Kong prison on money laundering charges.  This is the majority share holder of the club worth £87 million.  There are also claims that some of the appointees have had run-ins with the law also.

The American football (NFL) and basketball (NBA) leagues are having a ‘Lock-out’ (effectively a union strike) until negotiations on greater financial share of the respective sports revenue. It takes the mickey that these bargaining are happening during one of the worst recessions in history.

When I see some of the ancient writings on financial responsibility seem more relevant than ever:

The wicked borrow and never pay back, but good people are generous with their gifts – Psalm 37:21

Poor people are slaves of the rich. Borrow money and you are the lender’s slave – Proverbs 22:7

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you Let us be bold, then, and say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5-6

The reason I bring these ideas to attention (which a few of many) is because they are principals that would benefit the many.  The phrase Oligarch could be used with quite a few of these owners: Where all power and opinion comes from one sources, maybe even one person.  The business-only outlook of such men and women excludes the people whose contribute the most to the owner’s team: the fans, the local citizens, and the sports fans everywhere.  A cold and aloof image with minimal press does not help the sport either.

The Biblical principal of not being enslaved by our debtors, seeking to contribute to the good of the world, and to not be solely money-led in life is of benefit for all of us.  Knowing that God is for everyone, wanting to help you whenever and where ever, takes the power out of money.  We can aim our lives to serving God and humanity, where our income sustains our household and for the greater good.  This might be ideological stuff, but these ancient texts (amongst many others in the Bible) give these sports teams a far greater deal.

Ben can be found at BenBlogs, and is a lay preacher at his St Annes Church in Oldland,Bristol.

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

Weekly RoundUp – Dear Mr Driscoll

Its Saturday. Its time for the Church Sofa Weekly roundup:

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.

The Weekly Roundup: The Nooooooooooooooo Edition

Heres the random collections of bits and pieces that makes up this weeks roundup:

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.