"As I was looking at what was going to work well in our congregation, humor is a big part of it."
There's something funny going on at Grace Crossing Church in Moundridge.
Comedian Josh Novey will be at the church for the 10 a.m. worship service and will perform a family-friendly show at 5 p.m. on Jan. 29.
The church needed something to bring the entire congregation together for the fifth Sunday of the month.
"We wanted to do something special," said Associate Pastor Brandon Roth. "As I was looking at what was going to work well in our congregation, humor is a big part of it."
After viewing some of Novey's work online, Roth reached out to the comedian, who keeps his material clean.
"I think that's what connected the most," Roth said. "I think it takes more talent to be able to do clean comedy. I'm excited to see what he can do."
Novey, who won of Clash of the Comics in Omaha, Nebraska, and took second place at the KC Comedy Festival in Kansas City, Missouri, took an indirect route into comedy.
"I was a medic in Iraq and I found when I was over there that I had this gift for making really bad days not as bad," Novey said. "I had people telling me I should do something with this gift when I got out."
In the U.S. Army, Novey found his lack of stage fright was helpful when he was required to do public speaking.
"When I was a medic, I taught classes for the other soldiers," Novey said. "Being in front of a group is natural for me."
After leaving the military seven years ago, he started doing comedy part-time, working to hone his skills through open mics and free shows.
"You have to put a lot of hours into it before you get anything back," Novey said. "I was doing comedy for two years before I even got my first paycheck out of it."
He has made performing his full-time job for the past two years, traveling around the country to churches, clubs and bars — doing the same clean set each time.
"There's not a whole lot of people like me out there. It's a different style of comedy and it's what I personally prefer," Novey said. "I prefer comedy like that instead of having to fall to a cuss word or something vulgar. I like to find ways to make something funny without going to the lowest common denominator."
While sometimes challenging, Novey found that not having to warn people about his jokes has opened more doors for him to perform.
"I talk about a wide range of subjects that most people can identify with," Novey said. "My comedy show, it involves some church stuff, but it's not over-the-top churchy."
After his shows, Novey often hears people tell him they haven't laughed in months. That response gives him a feeling of success.
"I like giving people an opportunity to go out and laugh and have a good time. At the end of the day, I'm not curing cancer, I'm not saving the world, but for an hour, people can forget their problems," Novey said. "Every show I have, I try to make sure that everybody has a good time because I know that somebody in the crowd is having the worst week or month of their life."
A self-proclaimed fan of barbecue, cheesecake and dog videos, Novey is excited to come to Moundridge for the first time.
"I'm super excited about being there," Novey said. "It's going to be so much fun. I already have a couple of surprises in store. I can't wait."
The church is partnering with Hurts Donuts to have pastries available Sunday morning, and Roth hopes anyone who is interested will come to the worship service.
"That's one of the big draws for our church. We have people from all walks of life," Roth said. "We have people who have been Christians for 60 years and we have recovering drug addicts."
There is no admission charge for Novey's show, though donations will be accepted.
Grace Crossing Church is located at 111 W. Cole St. in Moundridge. For more information, visit http://gracecrossing.tv or call 620-345-3636.