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Nice. Different. Unusual.

 I love January. For me, as for many others, it’s always been the most relaxed month. It’s the month for playing with new Christmas presents, going swimming, having iced drinks, watching cricket and spontaneously deciding to drive to the beach after dinner just to get an ice cream and go for a walk.


Because it’s the holiday season, many Salvo corps are impacted by low numbers and having key people away, so they will sometimes try a different format for Sunday meetings. At my corps, we’re doing café church through January, a more relaxed form of worship with a cuppa and some munchies, and then ‘resuming normal programming’ in February.


This makes me wonder about some other variations we could try. They may not work at every corps – in fact, on reflection, they may not work at any corps – but some brave-hearted corps officers might like to give them a try.


‘Swimming Suit Sunday’ is when everyone has to wear their bathers/togs/swimmers/cossies to church. Whether you’re 5 or 50 or 95, whack on your Speedos and head to church.


Uncomfortable? Well, on two counts. First: they’re speedos, and sitting in them for an hour or so might start to pinch after a while. Second: old Tom, the trombone player, is still wearing the same Speedos he bought in 1968, and he’s put on 40 kilos since then. Uncomfortable for everyone.


The meeting could perhaps focus on the Israelites walking through the middle of the Red Sea, or the work of John the Baptist, or Jonah being thrown overboard during a storm. Even better: Peter trying to walk on water.


How about ‘Solo Sunday’? Anyone who wants to is welcome to perform a solo. It might be a vocal solo or an instrumental or a spoken recitation or a tap dance. If someone is brave enough to get up and perform all on their lonesome, then they deserve our encouragement and appreciation.


Except my mum. In a flash, she’ll whip out her vintage Hohner 10-button diatonic piano accordion with genuine pearl inlay, and she’ll become a whirling dervish of flaying arms as she cranks out a quick-step rendition of ‘Count Your Blessings’. No one needs that.


I know some people who would greatly appreciate ‘Star Wars Sunday’. Dress as your favourite character (I like Chewbacca) and come to church to hear a message on how you should avoid the ‘dark side’ and use the force (of the Holy Spirit) to help good conquer evil in the universe and in your local community.


The message could be about fulfilling your destiny or putting on the full armour of God (including the lightsabre of God’s Word) or identifying who your true heavenly father is (hint: it’s not Darth Vader).


So have some fun as you worship this January. Try something different. You’re allowed to. I don’t think God’s too fussed by how we worship him as long as we do it with a sincere heart and a desire to know him better.


Except for the piano accordion solo. He’d hate that.


– Major Mal Davies and his wife Major Tracey are the Corps Officers at Adelaide City Salvos




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