The Christmas Parenting Woes of Mary.

All parents have some parenting woes of some shape or form. For most it’s a case of NEVER SLEEPING, for Mary I guess it was a slightly different set of woes she had to put up with when Jesus was born.

  • Many, many, unexpected guests.
  • Joseph nipping our with the shepherds to wet the baby’s head.
  • The place (presumingly) looking like a mess.
  • Drafty barn type accommodation.
  • Dealing with a Talking Donkey.
  • Possibly still fielding questions about the timing of the birth / marriage.
  • Just as she’s just getting used to parenting, a bunch of “wise men” appear.
  • That kid still flipping drumming.
  • Wanting nappies as a gift… and getting myrrh.
  • Wondering if the smell was baby or animal.

I guess I’m thankful we didn’t have to put up with a little drummer boy when Little Sofa was born.

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Making Church More Exciting

Making Church Exciting

Earlier today, Sofa found himself caught in a conversation about how exciting Church… doesn’t always come across as. So this evening after work, a couple of us took a quick survey of the people we could randomly find, and asked them “How would you make church more exciting?”. These are the top ten answers we got:

  1. In door fireworks… At any given moment
  2. Britain’s got talent style buzzers used during the sermon. Give one to every member of the congregation. 
  3. If the preacher goes over the allocated time slot… Paint ball guns…
  4. Mute button on the worship leader for when he / she goes off on one.
  5. The Bible reading as a dramatic 4d experience. 
  6. A gunge tank… Because they’re not used enough these days…
  7. Certain pews are connected to a surprise underground rollercoaster. Perfect seats for visitors / Bishops just popping to say hi. 
  8. The team in charge of song lyrics on screens / handouts subtly change a few lyrics here and there. Watch and see what happens. 
  9. After the service ends – organise fort building challenges using the pews / chairs / leadership team – to help build community.
  10. Employ a clown to welcome people in.

What would you add?

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Keeping Christian Families Entertained During The Holidays

Welcome to the school holidays! If you don’t have kids, this probably means an easier journey to work, if you do this probably means you, or someone else needs to come up with ways to stop the little darlings from watching nothing but Cbeebies all day long. 

But what can be done to entertain young Christian families throughout the holidays? Well Sofa is here to help*.

Here is our list of ways to keep Christian families entertained during the school holidays…

  1. Compile a list of all the local holiday clubs. GET TO ALL OF THEM.
  2. Learn a Bible verse a day.
  3. Colour in pencil drawings of crosses.
  4. Picnics! AKA portable communions…
  5. Go on a family pilgrimage. (Possibly to the local cheap family friendly pub)
  6. Take all your toilet rolls and try recreating the Tower of Babel.
  7. Encourage the smalls ones to make a joyful noise! Joyful… may mean screaming…
  8. Build a castle out of left over Bible study notes.
  9. Is it raining outside? Time to encourage baptisms in the puddles.
  10. When all else fails… 80s Christians movies on Youtube? (On second thoughts dont do that. Some of them are quite scary!)

Any other ideas you would like to add?

*Obviously “help” is a subjective concept…

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Not A 100 Ways To Celebrate a Christian Birthday.

Fancy Some Cake?

A while back, Sofa had the rare chance to find himself at a 100th birthday celebration. As is how my mind works, I wondered. What if there was a Christian way for celebrating each one of those 100 birthdays?

I couldn’t find 100 ways so I’d like to present the, Not A 100 Ways To Celebrate a Christian Birthday…. (Affiliate links are below)

  1. Give the birthday boy / girl a new Bible.
  2. Give socks with holes in.
  3. Bless them with cake.
  4. Supply some Communion Wine for the birthday meal.
  5. Take them on a tour around interesting local churches.
  6. Bless them by sharing the cake.
  7. Bless them with a Holy Spirit.
  8. Give them a Holy Kiss.
  9. Church Crawl at Communion time.
  10. Throw them in some water. Call it a baptism.
  11. Create a lego model of them dressed up as a minister.
  12. Get them this light hearted read: https://amzn.to/2BOIM4H
  13. Buy a copy of the Christian classic, “Left Behind”.
  14. Write them a silly list of things you love about them.
  15. Write to a politician and request something on your friends behalf.
  16. Encourage them to be more like Jesus. Buy them this. 
  17. Pray for them.
  18. Sponsor a goat in Wales.
  19. Buy them a Bible.
  20. Photoshop pictures of them in random churches around the world.
  21. Pray with them.
  22. Write a silly list of silly things. Put the silly list in a card, or framed, or something.
  23. Don’t pray with them.
  24. Go on a pilgrimage with them. (To the pub)
  25. Spend some time working out which praying option your friend would be more comfortable with.
  26. Give the birthday boy / girl a new Bible.
  27. Wonder if they would spot any duplicates in the skilly list you’re giving them.
  28. Cook them breakfast on a Sunday morning.
  29. Dance them a Birthday dance
  30. Say “Happy Birthday”
  31. Rewrite a blog post for them about a 100th Birthday celebration, but make it about a 32nd instead.
  32. Sing this song.

Any more you can add? Can you help me reach 100??

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Big List of Biblical Baby Names

Are you soon to be expecting a beautiful new bouncing baby / daughter / addition to your life? Having a new addition to the family involves a number of important choices, such as choosing pushing chairs, toys, and names. Its choosing a name for your new baby, which can really become a sticking point… Have you considered a Biblical name for your baby?

To help. Here’s our Big List of Biblical Baby Names*

  1. Lois (Named after either a DC comics character, or Timothy’s Gran) 
  2. Mo. (Short for Moses)
  3. Del (Short for Delilah – perfect if from a hair dressing family)
  4. Zurishaddai (It would be fairly unique, and a challenge to school teachers taking the register)
  5. Sam (Short for Samson. Keep them away from anyone called Del)
  6. Mat. (Short for Matthias)
  7. Jude / Judith. (Named after Judas Iscariot) 
  8. Luc. (Short for Lucifer) 
  9. Lot. (His future wife will have lots of fun.)
  10. Andy. (Short for Andrew. Its a good name)

Are there any you think should be included? Obviously… the more interesting the better! 

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Alternative Activities During A Christian Festival

Christian festivals are great. Loads of stuff happening, from great speakers, and great people, to great bands, and tolerable food.

Loads of stuff happening, all the time. But what if you’re someone whose attention gets distracted at the best of times.

What if you find yourself wanting something a little different to do?* Here are ten ideas of alternative activities that can be done at a Christian festival.

  1. Say “Amen” with every point that the speaker makes. Get gradually louder as the talk progresses. Encourage others around you to join. See how loud you can all get. **
  2. If attending any Soul Survivor festival, dress like your attending a funeral. All week. And everytime some says “Soul Survivor”, you whisper”Long may it Rest in Peace”.
  3. Are you attending Creation Fest? Set up a stall saying, “Cream First. Change my mind”
  4. Facebook friend EVERYONE YOU MEET!!! Show you’re an awesome Christian by tagging them in inspirational Bible verse images.
    Once an hour.
    Every hour.
  5. See anyone eating bread? Offer them a glass of red wine. So they can eat like Jesus ate.***
  6. Start a rumour that the rumour about Delirious having a reunion show at the festival is simply a rumour. See what happens.
  7. If stuck in a heatwave. Play “Rain Down” really loudly, on an old guitar. Explain that you’re praying for the rain to come.
  8. See anyone drinking wine? Ask if you can share their communion.
  9. Live stream your whole festival experience on Facebook Live. ALL of it. Let me know what happens.
  10. Apologise for the late night guitar playing, by serving really strong decaff coffee every morning to the tents around you. Serve proper stuff in the evenings.

Any more you think that should be added?

* Please be careful. The Church Sofa takes no responsibility if you end up in Christian festival jail… or actual jail… or where ever…
**Be careful. This may lead to accidental reports of Revival breaking out. Due to you messing around.
On second thoughts. That could be quite funny.
*** MIght get expensive.

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What Do Christians Do When Bored

Being A Bored Christian

Sometimes. When inspiration leaves us. Boredom strikes.  Yes, just like everyone else. Christians get bored. And not just during sermons.

Possibly during a period of illness, its not unusual to feel bored at times. At one point, (not when bored), Sofa did some research into what happens when Christians are bored.

Here is the Church Sofa list of 10 Things Christians Do When Bored*.

  1. Read all the bible plans on YouVersion.
  2. Build forts with leftover paper Bible studies.
  3. Artistically write Bible verses on sheets of paper.
  4. Email all the missionaries, (and any other random people associated with their church), to encourage and ask for prayer requests.
  5. Redecorate the local church office.
  6. Ponder / pray / day dream about what vulnerable people you could volunteer to work with… Never get round to asking for information from the right places.
  7. Turn on God TV*
  8. Download ALL THE SERMONS, from your church website. Email the preachers your personal critique.
  9. Actually sit down and write some new material for their Church blog.
  10. Turn off God TV*.

Have you got any to add?

*With apologies to God TV.

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10 Different Ways To Raise Money For A New Church Roof

Finding the money for a new church roof...

It seems to happen. Sooner or later, a Church with a church building of a certain age needs to look into fixing their roof.

Now presuming people would normally give money to their church anyway, what else can be done to raise – the extra – money for the Church roof?

Here are our 10 different ideas for raising money for a new church roof*:

  1. Hire it as a football pitch. Could sell any holes in the roof as “special goals”.
  2. Roof top tours. Just like the cathedral..?
  3. Divert money from the fund for a new driveway?
  4. Obstacle course!! Particularly good if there are bits that people may fall down.
  5. Storage space for outside equipment. Just chuck it on the roof!
  6. Sponsored tent making competition. Aim to create the best temporary church roof, that way you’re encouraging people to give money for the new roof, while coming up with a short term solution!
  7. Roof Top Garden. Charge people to plant anything in your roof.
  8. Weather reporting platform. Hire it to your local TV station for local weather forecasts.
  9. Outdoor drama stage hire. Perfect for performances of the passion around Easter time.
  10. Stage for local bands. Something like this?

 

What other ideas do you have?

*The Church Sofa takes no responsibility for people falling off / through / into the roof. Any injuries what so ever. Any police arresting you or anyone for any of the above.  In fact. The Church Sofa takes no responsibility, for anything.

Ever.

(People I work with / Mrs Sofa – Please don’t feel the need to agree with the above paragraph!)

 

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Evangelising When The Sun Is Out…

Welcome to The Summer!

The Summer – time of barbeques, paddling pools, and ice creams. Just like any part of the year, we shouldn’t miss a chance to evangelise and tell people about Jesus.

The question is. Are there ways to take advantage of the sun and the summer months to  evangelise the gospel?

Here are the Church Sofa ways to evangelise when the sun is out.

  1. Don’t wear a top when you’re outside. Ensure your body is tattooed with Bible verses.
  2. The days are warmer. The nights are warmer. Break out that acoustic guitar and sing out of tune songs to our father, around a fire!
  3. Join a local running group, join in every week. Have fun. After a while offer to set up a web page for the running group. Arrange the web address to be MyBodyIsATemple.co.uk.
  4. Give ice lollies out to people in your neighbourhood. Make sure the lolly sticks have Bible verses printed on them.
  5. Set up a paddling pool out the front of your house. Explain that if people want to try it out, then they may accidentally be baptised at the same time.
  6. Update your Facebook with as many Sun / Son references as much as possible.
  7. Worship band practice. Windows open.
  8. Put on a barbecue for the neighbourhood. Insist people listen to a Gospel presentation before they can have a burger.
  9. Spend some time out in the garden / porch / balcony / front door step, playing some Christian music loud enough to be heard through open windows.
    I suggest…

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.