BY MATT COKER
As all Christians believe in the back of their minds, if you aren’t going to church, you’re not being the best Christian you can be. Whether this is true or not, why put up with such inconvenient controversial distinctions?
Stop worshiping at the Church of the Holy Mattress and leave that false god, Sealy, behind! It’s time to find yourself a true gathering of Christian brothers and sisters!
But where to start? Well, the first question you must ask yourself is, which denomination do you prefer? You may have been born a certain denomination but are trapped in another denomination’s body – this is 2016, after all! We’re already assuming you are a Christian, but what kind? I mean, there are several different kinds, just like soda. Are you a Coke Christian? A Pepsi? Or, God-forbid, an RC Cola Christian?
You’ve got to make a decision. You’ve got quite a list to choose from. If you already have a denomination in your life, then search for churches in that denomination to start (you can always jump ship later). I mean, there is a large difference between Catholic calisthenics and numb-butt Baptists (frankly, if I visit a church and see those pull down kneeling cushions, I’m outta there).
If you have no idea what denomination you would like, you might want to start with a non-denominational one. Just make sure it’s not some kind of wacky “We’re the only church going to Heaven” cult first. If TV has taught me anything, you can spot these cults because they wear all beige and drink Kool-Aid.
BY MATT COKER (& OTHER CR FRIENDS)
A woman who leads a Celebrate Recovery program in her home church came to an online Facebook group asking for help making a list of "You Might Be a Redneck"-style jokes for people who are in Celebrate Recovery (a faith-based 12 step program for all habits, hang-ups, and hurts that we here at The Back Row fully endorse). She was putting them together for a skit to celebrate their 11th year running!
I thought it was too funny not to share! I've collected some of the best and re-worked a few others that had potential and come up with a list of 20. So, here they are:
You might be in Celebrate Recovery if...
...after you introduce yourself to someone you've never met, you also tell him your struggles.
...you yell "No Crosstalk!" whenever a friend interrupts you.
...you can't learn anything new unless it's presented in an acrostic.
...you can't stand near a cliff, by the ocean, or in a field without raising your arms up in victory and worship.
...when your co-worker is complaining about their spouse, you remind them to use "I" statements only.
...you can't concentrate on one person talking for longer than 3 to 5 minutes at a time.
...you feel conflicted when someone asks for a Kleenex.
...you don't play Gin Rummy in case one of your friends is struggling with alcohol.
...someone gives you a chip and you are disappointed that it's edible.
...you refuse to teach the intern how to do his job, but you'll tell him how YOU learned it.
...whenever see the Nile River on a map of Egypt, you chuckle.
...you hear yourself saying "Pass" at staff meetings.
...you hear "and now a word from our sponsor" and expect to hear wisdom.
...when the new janitor introduces himself as Bill and you loudly reply "Hi, Bill!"
...you end all conversations with "Thank you for letting me share."
...you do an inventory of yourself because of your reaction while standing in the long checkout line.
...when you ask someone how they are and they say "Fine," you respond, "No, really... how ARE you?"
...when the Pastor reads the beatitudes on a Sunday and you can't keep yourself from reading them out loud with him.
...you can't remember anyone's name who doesn't have a name tag on.
...when your computer alerts you to a malfunction, you are just proud that it admits it has a problem.
Matt Coker is the Ministry Director of The Back Row. He is married to a beautiful woman he met when they were both in youth group and they have one mischievous son together. Matt collects Funko Pop figures, loves time travel movies, and enjoys jerky meats. You can contact Matt via the contact page or on Twitter at @MatthewSCoker & @BackRowBaptist.
BY KEVIN WELBORN
Since turning 35 a few months ago, one thought has crept into my mind several times. There is no coincidence that this is an election year AND I am just now old enough to be President of the United States of America. It must be fate. Nay, it is providence! Please disregard the millions that meet the presidential age requirement as well, this is not their destiny, it’s mine!
My VP picks would be (in order): Roger Staubach, Franklin Graham, and one of the guys from Dude Perfect.
Vice President Staubach scorches Putin with late rally at G8 summit. Why are we shocked? He’s been doing this for over 40 years!
Vice President Graham drops plane loads of supplies on impoverished area!
Vice President Dude Perfect knocks an apple off of the top of the Kremlin with a Frisbee!
Maybe I should run for president, all of these sound pretty incredible!
Seriously, people. Why would anyone in his or her right mind desire the be the President? Long hours, stress, tons of meetings with dignitaries and lobbyists. And, then, Hobby Lobbyists. This has to be excruciating! Every action that you would take could potentially be newsworthy, no matter how tiny the action or its consequences might be.
Here is the truth.
BY MATT COKER
Zombies are the it thing right now. It was vampires for a long time, but now it's gross zombies. Thanks "Walking Dead." Last year, I attempted to pitch a Vacation Bible School with a Zombie theme. I thought it was a perfect idea!
Here were the ideas I tweeted:
Most Vacation Bible School's go off without many hitches (never NO hitches, but often just a few). But every so often, a dark day hits a VBS and things go horribly, apocalyptically wrong. This is the War Diary of one such incident, recorded on the only available outlet of the author during captivity, Twitter:
VBS is a great place for kids to learn about Jesus and faith. But after being sent to the 7 in one Summer, some kids start to find some... flaws to complain about. Here are some of the best (worst) complaints about Vacation Bible School:
BY RICH DOUGLAS
As a Youth Pastor, I have the privilege of leading groups of students each year to different camps, some last just a couple days, or even a full week. Sometimes these camps are at a huge conference, where we’re among hundreds of students, and sometimes camps are just a dozen of us together in the wilderness. But after being in youth ministry for more than six years, I’ve started to see the same people at each camp. Maybe you remember these people, or you were one of these people…
1. The “Snack” Man
This was the guy you wanted to sit next to on the church van. With a snack bag he borrowed from Mary Poppins, he brings a never-ending supply of Pringles, Twizzlers, and any other food you could imagine. Sure, he always had Doritos on his fingers, but you didn’t care (as long as he didn’t wipe it on you in the church van).
A collection of faith-based funnies for those who need a chuckle or two.