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Last week we were at Spring Harvest in Minehead and as I was wandering around the ‘mobile’ Wesley Owen Bookshop that they set up at these conferences, I noticed ‘The Dave Walker Guide to the Church’ and I suddenly felt convicted because I had not reviewed or even made comment on this excellent book.
If you have not read it, then I suggest you get a copy pronto, as the cartoons are insightful and extremely funny. One cartoon that particularly sticks out in my mind is of Dave’s analysis of saying the ‘grace’ (2 Corinthians 13:14), when he examines the two schools of thought on this ritual.
Aside: as you can see from the photo, it was on the ‘fiction’ stand, maybe not the most appropriate category, but at least it was on a central table. I was brave enough to prop the book up, so that others could see it more easily, but I did not have enough courage to move it to the ‘speaker recommendation table’.
The Christian comic Andy Kind, who often uses his faith as a context for his humour is running a workshop for clergy to improve there preaching skills;
[He] will tackle body language, voice modulation and overall performance skills, aimed at building confidence. Mr Kind said the new skills would help vicars communicate with congregations.
This seems like a good idea, especially as pastors and other religious leaders probably do not get much help on these core skills when they are studying.
Update: On the UCB website he says that one of the things that most annoys him is being referred to as a ‘Christian Comedian’ — sorry Andy.
Found via: Church marketing sucks and there is a short video biography of Andy Kind on the BBC here.
Christians working in secular jobs (most Christians I would imagine) can often find it difficult to talk about Christianity and their faith directly with their colleagues. This can be for many reasons, including the need to get on and do some work! This led me to wonder how specifically Christians witness at work, and whether witnessing with behaviour has any effect.
I wonder about this because of a sermon given at our church recently made me think that maybe things had changed since the pastor’s generation. For myself, not being part of the office lottery syndicate and not swearing identifies me as different more than perhaps they would have in previous generations.
I wonder if anyone else has had an experience like this, where people have asked about your behaviour and you were surprised? Of course, not gambling is just good common sense, and not definitively Christian, so people would still need to talk to me to find out why I didn’t gamble.
Update: There is a follow-up post to this called ‘witnessing at work‘.
I can see from my stats that many people are searching for statistics on church attendance in the UK and other places, but there does not seem to be much comprehensive data, probably because there are so many separately administered denominations with better things to do than count heads.
But even newspapers are looking for catchy headlines like: Church attendance falls 31.41% in 59 months etc. It seems that accurate statistics would be highly sought after.
Presumably, churches also measure total income, not just members. But perhaps there is another way they should measure attendance instead of headcount. With the increase in obesity, measuring attendance by weight could lead to more favourable statistics. See November Lark News!