Have you ever walked into Church, and done something wrong? Have you ever wished that you knew the rules to Church? Well The Church Sofa is here to help, with our list of 101 Rules To Surviving Church:

  1. One does not simply change the coffee rota.
  2. Careful who you let know, that you are terribly terribly hung over.
  3. Don’t try and sing as high as the worship leader. You can’t.
  4. Dont cheer after a song. You may be the only one.
  5. Remember glory goes to God, not the worship leader.
  6. If suffering from nose bleeds, plan your exit.
  7. Remember glory goes to God, not the preacher.
  8. You are probably not standing in a mosh pit.
  9. Sometimes its OK to cheer the worship leader.
  10. If people start randomly turning around and hugging each other, shaking hands, and the occasional kiss on the cheeks, keep calm. Its known as The Peace. Business as usual will return after a few minutes.
  11. Sometimes its ok to cheer the speaker.
  12. If someone seems that nice, they probably are that nice.
  13. Plan your escape route – incase of boringsermonities.
  14. Kids are great at making ad-hoc escape routes. See if you can borrow one.
  15. Dont bring in live animals unless they are REALLY well trained. Otherwise, it probably wont end well.
  16. Probably best not to chant the speakers name.
  17. Call him preacher, not speaker.
  18. Ask what the preachers name is, if you want to call the preacher anything, call them that.
  19. Dont run away if the Church “does The Peace”.
  20. Take every chance to play “PCC Top Trumps”
  21. Try to relax, and be yourself.
  22. Get hooked in with a housegroup / homegroup / cell group.
  23. Don’t set people up during a Church Meeting. It may back fire leading you to a years worth of coffee rota.
  24. Learn where the biscuits are kept.
  25. Its unknown if playing on your smart phone while listening to the sermon is ok or not.
  26. If someone introduces themselves as “Pastor…”. Pastor is probably not their first name.
  27. When everyone else stands up, that might be a good time to stand up.
  28. Dont play with fire. Unless its during a candles by candle light service.
  29. If you’re at one of those churches where people lay down, it is perfectly ok to prod them and check they’re still awake.
  30. Its OK to ask questions.
  31. Ensure questions are asked during the right times.
  32. Careful who you ask questions to.
  33. Not sure when to stand? Keep watching everyone else.
  34. Not sure when to sing / speak, keep an eye on everyone else.
  35. During shared lunch, don’t be that guy that jumps in first.
  36. To avoid the rubbish stuff, get in the queue for the shared lunch fast!
  37. If someone offers you wine during the service, dont ask for a beer instead.
  38. Numbers of people dont equal Gods blessing. Except when it does.
  39. If people come to Church with sticks, feel free to burn them to keep yourself warm.
  40. When you walk in, you might be given some pieces of paper. These are normally used so you know the words to sing. NOT for paper aeroplanes.
  41. Smile.
  42. Plan your escape route.
  43. Make your own coffee.
  44. If someone has sat in the same pew for the same Sunday every Sunday over the last 5 years. That might actually be their pew.
  45. Be careful of the squash.
  46. Tap water is a safe after service drink option.
  47. Want an after service biscuit? Be quick before the kids get them!
  48. If there are after service cakes, remember to keep calm.
  49. In case of after service Donuts, DO NOT go round licking the sugar of other peoples faces. Just dont.
  50. Remember. Gods Church is inclusive. So its not the place for racist behaviour.
  51. Taking notes during a boring sermon is a good way to avoid becoming REALLY bored.
  52. Tweeting during a church service, is probably best done when sat on the back row.
  53. If you’re musically inclined and think the music needs to livened up, think about joining the band. (Obviously if you’re a drummer, and the band consists of a triangle player – feel free to ignore this)
  54. Testing someone to see if they’ve remembered to put their phone on silent is perfectly acceptable.
  55. If you’re ever worried the preachers phone is still on, its ok to check by texting the preacher midsermon.
  56. Its ok to have your child in the main service.
  57. Offering to make the teas and coffee, means you get given an acceptable way to not only leave the service early, but also get the best biscuits.
  58. Does your church change the lyrics to popular worship songs? Its ok to loudly sing the correct lyrics. Honest.
  59. If there is a bookstall in the church, you are normally expected to pay for them, unless clearly marked otherwise!
  60. Bored after a service? The bookstall can be a good place to hang out.
  61. The baptism pool is not for swimming in.
  62. Putting concrete shoulder pads on people about to be baptised is considered to be mean.
  63. If there is water in the font, don’t drink from it.
  64. Don’t be too alarmed if you can smell incense when you walk into a church, it just means that it’s a high church.
  65. Don’t confuse the Bible for a church service instruction manual.
  66. If you are new to a church, it’s worth looking at what bits of paper you have been given as you walk in.
  67. If you are not handed any bits of paper (or a Bible) when you walk in, song words are likely to be either displayed on a big screen or in the song books in front of where you are sat.
  68. New to church? It’s OK to just sit (&/or stand – when appropriate) through the service if you don’t feel that you can participate.
  69. Please respect others around you.
  70. Does someone seem a little “odd”? Remember that God loves them too.
  71. Don’t build castles with the Bibles.
  72. If there’s a board with numbers on, don’t mistake it for bingo. Those are the songs/readings.
  73. If you don’t know where to find a song or reading, look over someones shoulder or be brave and ask your neighbour.
  74. Don’t complain about the childrens work, you might get asked to help.
  75. Memorize an excuse, so that you are ready, for when any person organising a rota approaches you.
  76. If you are a British tax payer and give money to the church, gift aid.
  77. Remember you are also a missionary.
  78. Don’t suggest to the pregnant woman that the baptism pool could double up as a birthing pool.
  79. A ‘high church’ does not necessarily mean an association with drugs.
  80. Church prayer meetings are not necessarily there to be avoided.
  81. If you always lead the childrens groups/Sunday school, it is a good idea to make sure you receive some teaching yourself at another time.
  82. Arriving after the service and just in time for the church family lunch is considered cheating.
  83. Inviting people to church, just for the wine, will not make you popular.
  84. In church for the funeral service? It’s ok to cry.
  85. Don’t complain too much about the teenagers, you were them once, and they will be running the church in the future.
  86. Don’t assume that an older church building will have decent disabled access.
  87. It’s ok to cry.
  88. Don’t panic if you witness and child being dunked into a bucket. It’s probably an infant baptism.
  89. Don’t panic if there is livestock in the church, it’s probably just to do with the nativity play.
  90. Only sign up to the flower rota if you know what you are doing.
  91. It’s probably best to check your judgement at the door.
  92. No-one is perfect (except Jesus…obviously).
  93. If the priest parades in at the start of the service, don’t worry, he’s probably on time.
  94. If its not English, it’s Latin.
  95. If it’s not Latin, it’s speaking in tongues – you don’t need to attempt to speak back to them.
  96. Don’t assume that there is a possibility for creative arts to be used in that church.
  97. During the communion, if a chunk of bread is passed around, you’re supposed to break off a piece and pass the rest on, not eat the whole chunk.
  98. Dont read The Bible, and expect it to explain how Church services work.
  99. Pointing out duplicates in a really long list is only big and clever if you can come up with a replacement one.
  100. There does seem to be a link between The Bible and God. Remember that it may not always seem as exciting as it should be.
  101. Numbers are not important. Unless they are. In this case. They are.

This first appeared on The Church Sofa website