The Church Sofa Guide To Church: Epiphany

According to Google, today (if I’ve got my scheduling right), is meant to be “Epiphany”. Indeed, Epiphany may be mentioned on a calendar or two around the house.

In case you’re confused about Epiphany is, I figured I would share my research into it…

It seems that Epiphany is at least one of the following:

  1. The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.
  2. A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.
  3. When the three kings bothered to turn up the Nativity scene.
  4. The very first time Jesus received some late birthday presents.
  5. An excuse to keep Christmas decorations up a little longer.
  6. A swift spiritual kick to the head. (According to the Buffy The Vampire Slayer spin off – Angel).*
  7. A realisation that if the Wise Men haven’t arrived yet, you can still drink like its Christmas. Right?
  8. Evidence that Nativity play writers aren’t sure what they’re talking about. (But, I guess, the amount of lobsters that seem to appear at the birth of Jesus, should also be another clue).

Any other explanations out there?

*This does not give church leaders an excuse to give kicks to the head… I don’t think.

Should You Bring Biscuits When Visiting A Vicar?

People find The Sofa in many ways. Sometimes, its via a Google Search… they can appear interesting. One that’s got my attention recently is “should you bring biscuits when visiting a vicar?”

Inspired by the question, I thought I would put together this handy flow chart for anyone going to visit a vicar.

Should You Bring Biscuits When Visiting A Vicar? - A flowchart

Obviously, its not important to bring biscuits if you’re visiting the local vicar. But you better have revised for the certain Bible Quiz.

(Any attempts at wise and loving responses to the actual question are welcome by the way)

Side note. When typing the above, I mistyped wise for wine…

How To Arrange Seats In Church

Normally when this blog discusses Church seating arrangements, it is in the context of arguing between the use of chairs or Church pews.

Today, I’d like to present the above diagram, showing how seats can be arranged in Church.

As you can see, the seats are presented in a semicircle, giving the speaker a fantastic chance to engage with as many people as possible.

It also means that preschoolers can wave and shout hello at each other during the service.

How do you arrange you seats in church, and why is that a silly move?

(Yes the above diagram was indeed written on the back of a Church Notice Sheet, during a church service.

Can you spot the moment when I felt I should stand up during worship?)

Church Sofa A – Z Guide To Church – Sext

Word: Sext
Definition: Sext, or Sixth Hour, is a fixed time of prayer of the Divine Office of almost all the traditional Christian liturgies. It consists mainly of psalms and is said at noon. Its name comes from Latin and refers to the sixth hour of the day after dawn.

Groups of People Found in Church

Church. Its meant to be a family, but if its a family, then there are many different groups found there. Almost how there were many different groups in your High School. I wondered around my church last Sunday and found the following 10 Groups of People in Church. Here is, who they are, and what they do:

  1. First timers / Kinda New People. These are the people who get offered the nice snacks first, get invited out for food, and have chatty people come and talk to them most Sundays. A useful group to be in.
  2. Hospital People. If you find a way to abuse the above to much, then the warden may put you in this group of people….
  3. Worship Leading People. Can normally sing.
  4. Visiting Preaching People. Not normally sure how long a sermon is meant to last.
  5. Childrens Group People. Can normally be found waiting for the Visiting Preaching People to finish.
  6. Useful People. Cant normally be found as they’re busy being useful. The disadvantage is that they are always really busy, and have things to do, their advantage is that they avoid…
  7. List People. They have lists. The lists need to have peoples names on them, such as, who’s going to do the Bible reading, or who’s bringing what to the next Church meal / potluck.
  8. Outgoing Happy People. Mostly popular with “List People”, as the “Outgoing Happy People”, are normally happy to read confidently in front of people, knock on strangers doors, etc. Also known as “Good Christian People”.
  9. Natural Evangelist People. Most happy to knock on strangers doors in the evening.
  10. Young People. Been told to NEVER knock on anyones doors.

Any that I’ve missed?

How To Double Your Church Attendance

Well, I’m not sure whats in the above leaflet, but here’s our list of ways to double you church attendance:

  1. Offer a free pint of beer with every sip of communion wine.
  2. Advertise free cake.
  3. Have a decent clown show.
  4. (In case people are scared of clowns), arrange for scary clowns to chase people in to the church from the street.*
  5. Get many many sofas in.
  6. Two words. Cake Communion.
  7. A screen showing what people are tweeting about the sermon, located above the head of the preacher – therefore… the preacher cant see what people are tweeting about.
  8. Cook Bacon sandwiches deep within the church hall, use an elaborate system of fans to blow the smell out through the doors and into the streets, to lure people in with the smell. Once enough people are in, LOCK THE DOORS!!!
  9. Have a series of helium balloons dotted around the hall. Each time the worship leader sings a chorus more then necessary, he needs to inhale one balloon. One balloon per unneeded chorus repeat, therefore, if the worship leader repeats a chorus ten times, he inhales ten helium balloons.
  10. Big Red Buttons on every seat, that people can push when they’re bored during the sermon. Once boredum level reaches 70%, the preacher gets gunged… something like this…


Any more that should be included?

*Be warned. This may possibly not end well – and could be slightly mean.


How To Be A Welcoming Church

It seems that when churches aren’t talking about how to attract newcomers, they’re talking about how to welcome the newcomers once they’ve arrived. In order to aid this discussion, the church sofa presents 10 things that a Church can do to be more welcoming:

  1. Have all the chairs pointing to the entrance. Therefore anyone who arrives late can see ALL the smiling faces!
  2. Have children’s groups, but in the interest of security don’t tell people where they are.
  3. Ask newcomers to stand during the service and introduce themselves.
  4. Ensure that people only enter via the entrance hall, this way they get the welcome experience that they won’t get if they go any other way.
  5. To ensure you look like a welcoming church, ensure people gather and chat around the welcome desk. Newcomers will see this as they slip past and think that your church is incredibly welcoming.
  6. Have stairs leading to the creche. Parents are used to dealing with push chairs and stairs anyway.
  7. Whilst performing the peace encourage all to greet new comers with a “Holy Kiss”.
  8. Randomly change the time and venue of your main Sunday meeting. People love change.
  9. Doing something a little different this Sunday morning? Don’t worry about explaining it to people if they walk in late. They’ll just have to talk to people to work out whats going on.
  10. Encourage people to talk by removing signs to the toilets.

Are there any hints you can share?