Why Church AGM’s don’t need to be boring!

We had our Church AGM yesterday. Although AGM’s can often be boring affairs they don’t need to be.

More than that – they ought not to be.

An AGM is too important to be left to the serious business types.

An AGM should be an opportunity to weld the community together – to laugh (and sometimes cry) and to inspire.

It does take quite a bit of preparation and effort but I think it really is worth it. Many of our young people really look forward to it!

We have tried to have a balance of fun and business in ours.

Now, of course, the standard things are the standard things. The elections and the finances etc but even here if people know that there are different elements to the AGM then they will engage.

Our Treasurer, David, this year put in amongst the finances a graph showing peoples attention span over time and linked it not only to his own talk but to the length of sermons – it got, understandably, a great laugh and kept people listening.

The talk is aimed at both reminding of all that God has done and also looking forward to what we believe God is calling us to.

So not only do we break in the middle for tea, coffee and pastries (very important) but we also put into the AGM key fun elements.

My two favourite parts are the songs that people write for the occasion (irreverent and poking fun) and the Year in the Life slideshow.

Peter did a great song about the new congregation.

Harvey has been doing songs for a number of years and did a great medley this year. I have put the words to his song at the end of this post.

The point of them is that they are slightly irreverent and that they pick up themes from the past year. Now although they are aimed at the congregation (and new people won’t necessarily get it all) it does help the church in its view of itself and the sense of fun that it creates.

Then the finale.

The Year in the Life video slideshow.

Showing over 100 pictures accompanied by music this is aimed at sharing and reminding us of the past year. Many of the pictures have subtitles – some work – some don’t! But since I write them I thought I would share a few of my favourite this year. Each church will have a large variety of events and happenings through the year and if you can get or take photos to record these events then you are on your way to be able to celebrate the past year.

The first is the ordination of Julian in Canterbury Cathedral. Julian was part of Springfield from its beginning and its been great to see him accepted for ordination and then completing his training.

Feast in the Field is now an annual event in the Church calendar. We usually have 5-600 people (personal invite only) and is very much a day when we build relationships rather than it being a fete to raise money.

Holiday Club is our summer club for over 270 children held each August

New Wine is a Christian summer conference for the family held at the Somerset Show Ground – facilities are basic but there is always a great atmosphere

The Light Party is our alternative to Halloween. A great time of fun and games – with loads of children coming to it

One of the biggest events of recent years was the planting of  a new congregation in Roundshaw led by Sue Bosley. It is a cafe style congregation with breakfast available throughout the service

Nativities. Where would we be without them! Always able to raise a smile.

Welcome Lunches. We have 3-4 a year to welcome new people (or people thinking about joining) the church. They are always a relaxed and fun way of getting to know new people.

Each year our small groups have lots of socials. They are used to raise money for a charity or just to have fun with friends and neighbours. They are so much fun and all sorts of events are put on. They range from discos to wine tasting to watching a football match to Easter egg hunts. In fact the only limitation is really the imagination!

This too was a cell social. One of our members has a large scale model railway in their garden and had lots of people coming to enjoy it. The caption pokes fun at some of the rules and regulations that we are more and more bound by.

Our visit to Kenya was an amazing experience which I have blogged extensively about.

We had a number of great services this year to celebrate peoples faith. A major baptism service at Harvest time (we brought a pool into the school to “dunk” people in), the Bishop came for a confirmation service and we also had a renewal of baptismal vows service where we “sprinkled” the candidates with water – ie dunked them!

Thought you might like to see the words of Harvey’s song:
RUSH song
(To tune of Flash Gordon theme)
RUSH – aaah – they’ll save every one of us!
Though the loos don’t FLUSH – aaah – and bits fall off the minibus
RUSH – aaah – what they do there is incredible
Though it’s hard to WASH – aaah – and remember pets are edible
RUSH – aaah – the school is outstanding
But when your ladder goes SMASH – aaah – better pray there’s a soft landing
RUSH – aaaah – the budda-budda bikes are nifty
Just mind out for the – CRASH! – aaah – there’s no such thing as health and safety!

They help every one they can
They do everything they can
They work every hour God sends
Charging round every day
It’s no wonder that they
call it RUSH!

Church questions
(To tune of ‘Who put the colours in the rainbow?’)
Who nicks the biscuits every Sunday?
Who’s always singing out of key?
Who sleeps through every single service?
It surely can’t be me!
Who took the jokes out of the sermon?
Where did young William learn to preach?
Why does every song by Matt Redman
have notes no-one can reach?
Who put coffee in my tea?
What do they do in PCC?
Are we really C of E?
God knows all these things!

Men’s cell vs Ben’s cell
(to no discernible tune!)
We’re the real men’s cell, and we wrestle with tigers
Well we wrestle with Ben’s cat and we once drank two lagers
We make holes in walls with our Black & Decker drill
Well we once put up a bookcase but it made us feel quite ill
We watch football and play rugby and we drink real ale
Well we’ve heard of alpha courses – but what’s an alpha male?
We eat glass, crush cars and break bottles with our teeth
Well we may not look that hard but we’re real men underneath!
Real men, real men, we’re re-al men
Well, we once did something manly, but we won’t do it again!

Green tips
(To a cheerful cockney-type tune. George will kill me for this song!)
Don’t drive a car, don’t go too far
Never fly by jumbo jet
Get local grown – steal from next-door’s home
And BBQ your neighbours’ pet
Don’t wear any clothes, put a peg on your nose
Don’t ever take a bath
Don’t breathe too much and don’t tell jokes
Cos you make CO2 when you laugh
Try not to break wind, if you do you’ve sinned
Cos methane’s a greenhouse gas
Turn off all the lights and give your cat a fright
As you trip over on your – er – bottom
Don’t throw anything away, keep it for a rainy day
Recycle your humour too
It works in every sermon, so it can work for you!
Well, I hope you’ve seen that it’s easy to be green
And I can say after much research
That the best way to save the environment
Is to all stay home from church!

Church life
(To the tune of Blur’s Parklife)
I get up when I want except on Sundays when I get rudely awakened by my wife telling me to get to church as I’m leading the service (church life)
I put my dog collar on, have three cups of Arabica coffee, listen to Puccini on my Bang & Olufsen speakers and think about leaving the house (church life)
I read my blog comments, I sometimes check on Twitter too, It gives me an enormous sense of well being (church life)
And then I’m happy for the rest of the day until I remember I haven’t written my sermon yet (church life)
All the Sundays
So many Sundays
They all go hand in hand
Hand in hand through my churchlife…

One comment on “Why Church AGM’s don’t need to be boring!

  1. Chris
    April 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Simply thankful that not all the pictures made it on the blog

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