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
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:
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).
BY COREY WADE
With my degree in Bible and almost a decade of experience teaching Sunday School, I feel it is my solemn duty to tell you that the Church has been doing small groups wrong for the last 2000 years. All those Godly men and women sadly missed the mark for over a couple millennia. But do not fear, this 29-year-old has finally figured out the secret to church growth that has eluded all our forefathers. I have laid out before you a plan to make new visitors feel most welcome when they come into your small group. Do the following steps and no one will EVER leave your small group. Since I’m hoping to turn these timeless tips into a book deal, I have broken these steps into a catching and life affirming acronym:
Corey Wade | @cwadepga
What is one of the most things about Christianity is that somehow we have managed to make ourselves a culture, within a culture, within a culture. What I mean by this is that: 1. We are different than the lost world (or SHOULD be), and; 2. People within the body of Christ are very different from one another (every tongue, tribe, nation, sports team, and pronunciation of Augustine). This creates a delightful subculture which has its own traits and practices that are unique, and well odd. Let me share with you some of mine. Some may refer to these as superstitions, but…………Jesus.
Don’t say the “D” word: As a young married’s Sunday School teacher this comes up a lot. The “D” word here is divorce. We can't even acknowledge its existence. If you even have this word in your vocabulary and utter it at any time, a judge will spring out from behind a pew and force you and your spouse to separate and move to differing countries. You have been warned.
Every church has at least one. The man or woman who went to high school with Methuselah. The ones who believe that their personal preferences are what keep this church building standing.
I stopped going to church business meetings for about 5 years because there was always that one person there who refused to let the church update, change, or even repair anything -- and was an expert at convincing (i.e. strong-arming) others to agree with him.
It's heart-breaking, just as this song is a heart-breaking parody of "Let Her Go" by Passenger. Enjoy.