Tips for Spiritual Guidance for 2018

It's 2018 and it's time to make sure you have the right priorities to suit the times and your spiritual needs. Here is a handy guide to help walk you through the process in a systematic way so you don't have to worry that you're "doing it wrong.™"

1) Pick a Hipster Church

If you're new to a town, one of the most important things today is to pick a hipster church. Theological depth, good community, and diverse crowds are a thing of the past, the way forward is much simpler, surround yourself with people exactly like yourself and avoid getting to know them. A simple point system will help you understand how hipster your church is, or if you find it scores too low, it will help you seek out and find one that is hipster enough to better suit your needs. Simply print out this guide and make a tally for each category and then add up your points at the end. Any church scoring over 20 points is certifiably "hipster enough":

+1 point per each white guy with a beard on stage. Two if he’s on the worship team.

+1 point if the worship leader stops to change the tuning of his guitar during worship.

+1 point if for each person on stage who wears boots during service (leather or snow).

+2 points if you sit in refurbished wooden pews instead of chairs.

+2 points if your church used to be an old church.

+1 point if someone prays with a voice that sounds like they’re on the verge of tears.

+1 point for a pallet wall somewhere in the church.

+5 points if your pastor drops a curse word during the sermon.

+1 point if someone on stage refers to the audience as “church”, e.g. “Good morning church," or, "Now church, I want us to consider this for a moment."

+1 point if the pastor refers to Facebook from the pulpit.

+5 points if the pastor tells you what the real Greek or Hebrew word says and why you should trust his understanding of it over the professional translators.

+2 points for every man bun in the auditorium.

-1 point for each minority on staff or on stage during the service.

-3 points for any woman that speaks (announcements included).

-1 point if there is a piano or keyboard anywhere on stage.

-1 point if anyone who is not on staff is allowed to speak during the service.

-1 point for all members of the congregation over the approximate age of 60.

If you've successfully found your hipster church there is one more check to be sure this is the church that should be your spiritual guide for 2018—find a church that will leave you with a little sense of guilt every time you attend. Perhaps this is guilt about some sin in your distant past. Perhaps this is guilt over your need to take Xanax to function. Whatever it is, let that guilt run deep. If the Gospel were about freedom the Church would teach that.

2) On Theological Direction

Pick a system that has the name of a great forefather attached to it. You should hold to it unquestioningly and allow yourself to be rebuked by your peers if you ever ask questions about it. These systems of theology have been tried and tested in the fires of human tradition, they are hardly likely to fail now.

If you find yourself becoming heartless and impatient with those who think differently than you, cling to the passages in the Bible that back up your thinking. God must not desire love or grace if these things are true and aren't to be questioned.

3) On Baptism

Get baptized in the name of your favorite theological leaning. Whether that be the name of Calvin or the idea of Pentecostalism. Paul never wanted us to be united in Christ, so it's good that we cut out the middle man (Jesus) and go straight to baptism in the name of the things that we will use to divide us.

Always opt for a hot tub on the lawn behind your church. Baptismal pools and rivers/lakes are so a hundred years ago.

4) On Communion

Communion should only be taken with flavorless wafers or cheap white breads and grape juice. If you find yourself doing something that resembles communion with a small group of people, or you're suddenly sharing food and drink with other believers and you haven't stood in line to do so, you should be afraid.

Communion should only be taken in a manner that is worthy, and the only worthy way is to be directed in lines to the front of an auditorium by a Deacon you don't know. The longer the wait to get to the "elements" and the more moving the music during the communion time, the holier the experience will be. The more holy the experience, the more sins will be forgiven each time you drink and eat.

5) On Small Groups

A church that knows what it's doing will never refer to Small Groups as Small Groups anymore. They should have a fancy name like, "Missional Community" or "Affinity Groups". "Life Groups" is a word that is still being thrown around but is already considered passé by most pastors worth their salt.

These Small Groups (or whatever your forward thinking Church calls them) should not focus on community, but rather they should spend the lion-share of their time reflecting on the pastor's sermon. If your church is going to achieve the celebrity status that our board really wants for it, you'll need to do anything you can do to spend more time thinking about your pastor. Perhaps this is a good time to come up with a few choice quotes from the sermon and share them on social media. Just be sure to agree on your hashtags ahead of time.

If you're opposed to talking about the sermon, pick a book to study through—but definitely don't read through the Bible. A group of people without seminary educations reading through the Bible might come up with some heretical teachings. Best stick to something in the "Christian Inspiration" section of the book store.


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Once you have followed these few steps you'll be well on your way to being properly spiritually guided through the year. Be sure to check back regularly and make sure the church has not gone off script.