Saturday, December 27, 2003

Indie Allies Meetup



find out more at indieallies.meetup.com
Indie Allies Meetup is coming again soon on January 13, 2004. As you can see, there is over 1800 people signed up worldwide and we are looking for more. If you have signed up, go an vote. If you haven't, it is FREE to join, and takes about 30 seconds to join. It is a monthly gathering of people who are exploring new ideas in Christian thought and expression and want to see what God is doing in their communities. If you haven't signed up, you are missing out on a great time. There is no central agenda, just a meeting over coffee and a beverage to see what's up in your part of the world.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I just got home from a cool lunch meeting. It was with Dan - my local denom guy - and Paul Kaak of CMA. We were talking about the possibility of doing a CMA Greenhouse in SoCal some time next year. I know it's been done before in our area, but we may make another run at it. I've known about Paul through Jason, Kevin, and some others. Cool dude with some good insights about the Kingdom. I really like the way he has a passion for an organic expression of the Kingdom of God, but isn't antagonistic toward the traditional/institutional approach to church. He's well balanced and has a good heart. He clearly cares about following Jesus with integrity and encouraging others to do the same.

After lunch, I had coffee with Dan and talked about some stuff in our local association of churches. In particular, he told me about some possibilities that are only just dreams at this point, but if they were to develop . . . spine tingling ministry stuff could happen. I almost don't even want to think about it because there's so much potential there, and yet so much potential for it to get really screwed up. I need to breathe a little before I think about it any more.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Soularize Photos

I am uploading the pictures that Jeb and I took while in Boston at Soularize. I have some Tuesday and Wednesday pictures posted online and will posting more during the day. Not only that but some other people have been uploading some pictures as well.

The Soularize Fotoblog

Tuesday pictures from Boston
Wednesday pictures from Soularize, TheOoze Booze Cruise, and the Boston Bruins/New Jersey Devils game from the Fleet Center
John Wilford's pictures
Greg Mulkey's pictures

More to come later today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Connect Europe

If you wanna see what God is doing in the area of youth and prayer in Europe have a look at Connect Europe. [Stolen from Marc van der Woude...who is one of the key energizers behind it.]

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Prophetic flashmobs and other stuff

Last week I joined a prayer event in Llanelli that could best be described as 'prophetic flashmobbing'. Flashmobs are sudden gatherings of people at a predetermined location at a predetermined time, who basically do something wild and creative together, and then continue their journey. A sort of postmodern version of a Blitzkrieg. Heidi Plympton from England took the initiative - she sensed God was saying to her to do a prophetic prayer and worship tour on three 'hights': Llanelli in Wales, and Glastonbury and Salesbury in England. A small core group prayed into this and gave a 'trumpet call' in their network. Whoever felt led to come, joined in and brought whatever God told them to bring. Some fifty people showed up. It was an experiment with a refreshing freedom in the Holy Spirit in which a special prophetic-creative synergy developed. Not something to talk about, but something to experience.

More about my trip to Wales at Marc's Messages.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

new site...

emerging church web site logo emergingchurch.info is a new emerging church web site. it's a place for stories of what is happening, reflections on what is emerging, discussion on anything and everything related to emerging church on the sites discussion boards, a selection of blogs and the obligatory links. i am excited about the site - do visit, join in the discussion, bookmark it, tell others, blog about it, and if you are involved in something that might fall under the loose label 'emerging church' then please add your story to the site....

rss xhtml?

have just checked kingdom space blog for the first time in ages and fixed a broken link from my blog to it.... i'll be honest - i haven't got a clue about RSS and XHTML - life is too short to keep up with these things!!! any suggestions for a novice wondering what on earth it is all about and why is hould bother to switch?....

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Changes to this blog

Hi everyone. Hope your summer was great. We are changing a lot of things on this site at the moment. We are switching to xhtml, adding RSS, and trying to find some non-Western bloggers who can keep us in tune with what God is doing in their countries. Let me know if you have any suggestions. And if you like the way this new blog looks, then you are welcome to use the template for your own blog.

When do we have understanding?

Check out, More about being embarrassed about not knowing more.... .


A great story about what it really means to understand something, and how the interchangeable notion of weakness and strength is a truth which is not contained within the walls of the church.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Short words work well

I just read a very interesting techincal paper. It was about extending the Java programming language, and as a way of making his point, the author of the paper decided to only use words of one syllable, and then to allow himself to define words of more than one syllable in the course of the paper.


If you have PDF reader, and you can deal with a technical discussion of programming languages, you can read the paper, but for this blog, the thing which was so interesting to me was the last part, where the author reflects on the process of writing the paper.



...



I would like to tell you what I have learned from the task of designing this talk. In choosing to give up the many long words that I have come to know since I was a child, words that have many fine shades of meaning, I made this task much harder than it needed to be. I hope that you have not found it too hard on your ears. But I found that sticking to this rule made me think. I had to take time to think through how to phrase each thought. And there was this choice for each new word: is it worth the work to define it, or should I just stick with the words I have? Should I do the work of defining a new word such as mirror, or should I just say “looking glass” each time I want to speak of one? (As an example, I was tempted more than once to state the “ly” rule for making new words that change what verbs mean, but in the end I chose to cast all such words to one side and make do. And I came that close to defining the word without, but each time, for better or for worse, I found some other way to phrase my thought.)


I learned in my youth, from the books of such great teachers of writing as Strunk and White, that it is better to choose short words when I can. I should not choose long, hard words just to make other persons think that I know a lot. I should try to make my thoughts clear; if they are clear and right, then other persons can judge my work as it ought to be judged.


From the work of planning this talk, in which I have tried to go with this rule much more far than in the past, I found that for the most part they were right. Short words work well, if I choose them well.


Thus I think that programming languages need to be more like the languages we speak—but it might be good, too, if we were to use the languages we speak more in the way that we now use programming languages. All in all, I think it might be a good thing if those who rule our lives—those in high places who do the work of state, those who judge what we do, and most of all those who make the laws—were made to define their terms and to say all else that they say in words of one syllable. For I have found that this mode of speech makes it hard to hedge. It takes work, and great care, and some skill, to find just the right way to say what you want to say, but in the end you seem to have no choice but to talk straight. If you do not veer wide of the truth, you are forced to hit it dead on.


I urge you, too, to give it a try.


From "Growing a Language", by Guy L. Steele Jr.




I think it would be a good thing to add "those who love God and want to do what He says" to that list. We should give it a try.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Plea for RSS

As I expand the list of blogs I try to keep up with, the need to automate the process of "which blogs have changed since the last time I read them" has become greater and greatter.


The solution for this is something called RSS, which is a way for content providers to provide an index to their content.


I run a program which scans the RSS feeds for all the blogs I have subscribed to, and I get a list of the posts which are new since the last time I looked. Right now, 5 out of the 21 blogs I follow have RSS feeds.


Calling all bloggers, please please please check with your blog software to figure out how to generate an RSS feed. I am currently using TypePad for my faith-rambling blog, which is a subscription service and it provides an RSS feed for everyone. I understand that currently blogger/blogspot only provide RSS feeds for the "Pro" level blogs. I don't know about any other blog services.


For Mac users, the software I am using to both read AND post to all my blogs is NetNewsWire. Sorry, don't know what PC users are doing.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

NPR : New Direction for Christian Science?

Len Sweet comments on christian science on NPR : New Direction for Christian Science?

Click the "Listen to All Things Considered Audio" link, his segment starts at about 13:45 of the 15:10 audio clip.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Heretics?!

Discovered a books whose title caught me:
Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up: A New Look at Today's Evangelical Church in the Light of Early Christianityby David W. Bercot
Haven´t read it. But sounds cool! I think we must think and rethink Christianity ...in the light of (present and past) culture, history and what the early church was really like. Guess some interessting discoveries await us.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Community House - Residential Training



These people are my friends. God has connected us in a great way in the last couple of years. If you feel like some time in a situation like this would help you down the path to find the next step - I would highly recommend checking this deal out. Pax vobiscum.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

IndieAllies



find out more at indieallies.meetup.com
Next-Wave, TheOOZE.com and a couple of other sites and networks have come together to form an independent alliance of people working together. One of the first things we are trying to do globally is to create a place where people can meet face to face in their communities. The first initiative of the IndieAllies is at http://indieallies.meetup.com. Meetup.com organizes face to face meetings in small groups of like minded people. If you are interested, sign up, and Meetup.com will take care of the rest of the details.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Seeking our brothers...book recommendation

Thought a lot about the whole issue of church and social action recently.
And discovered a great book (a friend sent it to me as a gift - friends are great) and read it in one go.
Bart Pierce: Seeking your brother. Restoring compassionate Christiantiy to the church.

A fascinating book, describing how one church is aiming to reach out to their community. "If you will take care of the ones nobody wants, I will give you the ones everybody is after" was a word God spoke to the pastor Bart Pierce, himself a drug addict.
And he acted on it.
He describes not only the various way the church is reaching out to the poor, destitute and needy in Baltimore where they are located and gives practical advice on how to go about. But he also shows that passion for god and compassion for men are just the two sides of the coins of love. Their church is an example of both: They experience long, deep intimate times of sensing the presence of God and being close to Him. And they reach out in compassion to their city in a meaningful practical way: Serving single moms, streetsleepers, hungy people and changing whole blocks - one at a time.
The church has often split the two aspects of serving Jesus. Some churches focus on the "Martha" aspect of caring for
the "human" Jesus by caring for people. Other focus on the "Mary" aspect of ministering to the "divine" Jesus by ministering to him in worship, adoration and contemplation.
However we need both "Mary and Martha" for the church to be a place where Jesus and people are welcome.
The book is encouraging, practical and most needed in this time of increasing spiritual and practical need. I highly recommed it to anyone hungry for wholesome Christianity.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Some spotlights from the Gathering of the Lutheran and Catholic Churches in Germany:
- One newspaper headline about the Kirchentag (Church gathering) read: "Germans want one [unified] church." We also wanted one unified nations - but now 10 years after the wall came down are still in the process of learning to accept, understand and love the members of the "other" Germany....that had been separated from one another for 40 years. How can unity and understanding work in the "nation of the church" after 500 years of separation?

- I asked a pastor what characterized the spiritual power of the Waldense Christians that survived persecution, inquisition and all the rest of it. He simply said: "Their live. They took the sermon of the mount litearal!"

- Talked with one member of the Normal Generation band a christian band popular in Germany, about Christians and artists. He said that most christian (music) artist find it hard to see that anything that is not explicitly worship music can be art, too. We spoke about the fact How God enjoys to be worshipped by beauty and general expression of mankind even if it does not have an explicit christian label on it. He recommende I read Imagine. A vision for Christians in the Art, in his opinion the one book he would give to every Christian artist in Germany if he had money....
.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

When I talked to people about the Transformation Videos which are a documentation of how God is changing whole communities through a praying, unified and responsible church, people asked me again and again: "Who is the preacher on the video?" It made me sad to realize how often we have exchanged the dynamics of the kingdom of God, transforming societies, people groups and nation (the salt of the earth) to mere preaching. What a pity. For all of those who are sitting through thousands of boring sermons through their lifetimes and missing the experience of God working through them to transform their world. And a pity for all of those who never get a chance to see the kingdom of God first hand because the christians are busy listening to sermons. What a pity!!!

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Nullsoft's "Waste"

Most of you probably read about Nullsoft's Waste that was online just a couple of hours and then pulled. It is a p2p file sharing product that is for a closed network. I don't know if any of you got it but it would be an amazing tool to share worship media and resources with over a closed group of people (Waste limited itself to 50 users). Just an idea.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Look at Jesus and find an interessting collection of what people think Jesus might look like!

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Hi everyone. We just moved this site back to its original address. The conversation we had last year was a great one. Then it stopped. We need to start another- I am open to suggestions.
How do we want to use this site?
At present, it is the largest, longest running international Christian blog site. But still, if we all dont need it, I would be happy to kill it and start something else.
I was hoping that more developing countries would be involved but that has not happened. Lets see if we can extend the technology to them as well as an invitation.
In the meantime, this is your site.What do you want to do with it?
oh yeah - I put a comments link on the site.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

What's up in Europe?

Hey guys, things are moving in Europe. Check out some developments at Marc's Messages. Topics: raising up apostolic leaders (with unexpected lessons from the Church in China), Lighthouses take off in Norway, influencing our culture, multi-media worship, Pim Fortuyn remembered, seven reasons why I blog, a report from E:merge, thoughts about church planting in youth/student culture, no more tithing, Pete Greig's gripes about the pomo-pogo arty crowd, and more...

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic."
Anonymous

Friday, April 25, 2003

A big global confab on Islam starts up at Oxford in a few days.
Conflicting Leadership Styles
Consider this paradox...Faith communities lead by ministers who are "pastoral types" generally don't grow, but you can't grow unless you care for people. (Crop rotation doesn't count as growth)
If a community becomes a spiritual hospital, focused primarily on bandaging wounds--it tends not to develop the muscular faith necessary to engage the postmodern world. I wonder--are pastoral care and visionary leadership incompatible?

Comment & Question: I authored a blog titled "GraceAwakening" I discontiunued that blog at the end of 2002. I am ready to begin blogging again...but I need someone to help me design a cool looking blog...anyone have a contact for me?

Sunday, April 20, 2003

"As Christians we tend to put the Great Commission [to preach the Gospel to all mankind] before the great commandement [to love God and to love men]...Quote found in Jack Frost Experiencing the fathers Embrace (cool book for those who find it hard to love - themselves, God or others...).

Happy Easter to Everybody...Everybody...and every member of the body, too!

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Marc, the nice guy from Joel News wrote about what is happening in Berlin:

JN438-2. PRAYER FOCUS: 50 days of prayer for Berlin

From Easter to Pentecost the Berlin city network 'Together for Berlin' is calling the church to prayer for their city. A booklet has been produced in German and English to provide specific prayer information.

Let's pray that the '50 days' will fan the spirit of prayer in Berlin and elsewhere, that people will be ignited with new love for their city, and that churches of all sorts would be motivated to join in.

Coordinator Kerstin Hack writes: "In German there is a saying 'Not allowing anybody to steal the butter from your slice of bread' - meaning 'Not allowing anybody to take from you what is rightfully yours'. More and more Christians in Berlin are fed up with the enemy having stolen so much 'butter' right from under our eyes and we are more and more motivated to start a godly revolution against this. We are grateful for all the support we get in this endeavour from other cities and places. Thanks for joining hands with us!"

Get the booklet and join in. The English version is for free (download).
English version for Download

If you want the German verison in Print mail to shop@down-to-earth.de (it costs 3 Euro + postage) and is really nice (if you understand German).

Here in Berlin we are really excited about all the encouragement we get from outside of Berlin (Germany and the World!) - joining hands and prayers with us to make Berlin a God place.

Monday, April 14, 2003

alt.worship.saskatoon

We are getting ready to launch an alternative worship group in our city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada called the Worship Freehouse on April 27th in a dank Jazz Club in the downtown core. We covet your prayers as we get ready to launch. The lead up has been amazing and painful at the same time but we are looking forward to seeing what God has called us all to.

Monday, April 07, 2003

To understand the present it is good to look at history. Right now I am reading The secret of their strength - which can be downloaded. A book about a movement of people during the time of the reformation who lived as communities of believers, shared their lives, faith and possession, took the words of Jesus seriously, believed in the Holy Spirit to dwell in them and guide them. A movement that grew like wildfire with thousands of people deciding to follow Christ in the course of a few months and years.
For the crime of following Christ, but not accepting the established church as "supreme authority" they were killed by the sword, fire (burning them on a stack), drowned, shot, driven into houses that were then set aflame....thousands of our brothers and sisters. I did not know this. History told me that "some bad catholics" persecuted the "good protestants", but no one told me that "the good protestants" also turned around and killed their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Apart from some gruelsome details (have your tissues or vomiting bags close at hand) it is fascinating reading how they lived and built their communities, followed Christ in their daily lives, understood the Bible (they dared to try to follow the commands of Jesus)...they were true revolutionaries. Men and women to be admired - and followed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

"Turn around, for the Kingdom is about to come". Everywhere - in micro- and macrocosm - the Kingdom calls and motivates us to turn around; to think differently, to accept paradigm shifts. Most people like to think what the masses and media are telling them to think. Turning around is a daily routine - Martin Luther said: "I convert daily".

live from baghdad

live from baghdad its salam pax get a first account of the war from a guy who lives in baghdad

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Added
I've uploaded the Graceway outdoor peace service if anyone wants to do a similar thing in their neighbourhood.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Prayer
Bombs started landing on Bagdad about 2:30 pm New Zealand time yesterday. A quick ring around and a group of us gathered publically in the local village square after work (7 pm). We had pre-prepared a short service. We laid out some candles and used chalk to write on the pavement an explanation of what we were doing. We read Scripture, thought about children, lit candles, prayed the Lords Prayer.

It was nice to be public with our faith. A number of bystanders joined us, thanked us or lit candles and moved on. It was beautifully peaceful, with the fountain splashing and candles glowing.

We'll do the same again tonight.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Update from Europe

Time for an update from my side of the world...



David Sörensen, a young Belgian designer, developed several excellent websites for spiritual seekers in cyberspace: Real Life, Heavenisopen.com and Moreofgod.com. Check out the God Tour.

Redesigned the Joel News website. Check out what God is doing worldwide.



On my blogsite Marc's Messages I wrote some interesting stuff on 'Jesus groups' and other expressions of organic church. Also available is a report of the DAWN Europe consultation on churchplanting in Europe.

I worked on an overview of what's happening in the youth prayer scene in Europe, as a preparation for our Connect Europe team meeting in The Hague last weekend. Over the weekend we prayed and talked about the emerging youth prayer movements in Europe. How can we bless what God is doing? For your information: of the 47 nations in Europe 7 have a national youth prayer movement, 27 have local/regional youth prayer initiatives and 13 have no youth prayer initiative at all. A lot of prayer stuff is happening, like young Catholics in the Netherlands who set apart a whole year to pray for the Holy Spirit.



Ronald van der Molen decided to close his weblog Dutch Traveller. Too bad! At least there's one person mourning...

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

lentblog

the season of lent begins today - ash wednesday. it's a time of repentance, a time of focusing afresh on god and a time of preparation for easter. neglected in some parts of the church, but in others one of the most important times in the church calendar. at grace we are running a lentblog. someone from the community will be posting food for thought/prayer/reflection for the forty days of lent. do join with us.....

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Struggling with God


Who could ever have this stupid idea that God is a man-made reflection of our desires and ideas? Feuerbach did not know the living God who is ever so often different from what you want him to be... An excellent article in German "Do not let God go", based on Jacob´s struggle with the Almighty (ending up in a painful injury) by my old friend Jens Kaldewey spoke to me directly. Right now, it´s not so much the success stories that mean something to me but the struggle of the great Saints with their God; like Theresa of Avila who said "God, if that is the way you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few". Undoubtedly, the mistake is always on our side. But God is not an easy partner. No wonder - He is God! Maybe there are some of you out there reading this blogspot who are secretly dissapointed by God or by what they thought was God. Tell him your pain, struggle with him - but stick to him!

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

Reuters acknowledges Blogs4God, a "semi-definitive list of Christian Blogs" (http://blogs4god.com). Thanks Coop.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

24-7 Prayer

24-7 Prayer update - Last week every minute of every day was filled with intercession in 23 Prayer Rooms around the world.

Monday, February 24, 2003

CERGE-EI

Dr. Jan Sokol, a committed believer, is the candidate for this Friday's election of a new President of the Czech Republic. God's man for the right time? Some of us believe so - pray for sucess this Friday.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Last thursday evening we had our second Sapphire Training. This is a practical training for people who want to plant Jesus-groups (housechurches, simple churches and organic churches). We were with eight people, which is a nice group. After the meal we had some time to get to know eachother. This is what we did:

We took some chocolate (from Côte d’Or) with questions in the wrapping about friendship. Then we chose someone to share the chocolate with and told that person one thing we were celebrating. We listened to eachothers stories and ate the chocolate together. After everybody had shared something with another person, we gathered again as a group and said the prayer of community:


Lord, we come before you not alone,
But in the company of one another
We share our happiness with each other,
And it becomes greater
We share our troubles with each other,
And they become smaller
May we never be too mean to give,
Nor too proud to receive
For in giving and receiving, We learn to be loved
We encounter the meaning of life, And discover You.


(From: Be our Freedom, by: Terry Falla)

This is a really nice practise to make friends or to celebrate excisting friendships. Feel free to try it yourself. You can let me know what happened here.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

I just ordered Jonny's book.

Phuture Update


Two new articles have been posted to phuture . One is from Dave Fagg entitled Prayer, Movements and Belief II and another by Darren Altclass entitled Doing it. Darrens article takes a look at Mission and challenges us to stop just thinking about it and start doing it.

There's also a new discussion forum asking why Phuture articles on worship and forms of Church are so popular and yet articles written on the topic of Mission have largely gone unnoticed?

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

alt worship book cover hope you don't mind the plug but wanted to share the joy and relief at finally getting the book and cd rom alternative worship out. along with doug gay and jenny brown i have been working on it for a loooong time. i have blogged about it here. for those of you familiar with the 'prodigal project' it's kind of a follow on to that....

.: Tall Skinny Kiwi :.

Tall Skinny Kiwi has some good thoughts on putting the SERVICE back into 'worship service'.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Gordon MacDonald made an interessting remark. He said that in Germany in the 1930s many pious, bible believing Christians trusted Hitler because they had heard the rumor that he - like them - was reading the moravian paroles (a kind of daily scripture reading very popular to this day). When he started doing things that were not in line with scripture they did not dare to critzize him ("He must be a pious man if he reads the paroles") but said: "Well probably he has access to information that is not available for us therefore he is doing things we simply cannot understand). MacDonalds conclusion: "NO political leader - no matter how much we may sympathize with him must be permitted to do whatever he wants, without us questioning him, simpy because he seems to be inclined towards our beliefs."
i was just putting aubrey to bed and got a glimpse of the fathers love. at one month (and a couple of days) she is tiny, only vaguely aware of what is going on around her and i only really hear from her when she's dirty, hungry, bored or needs someting. every now and then she'll smile or act like she knows who i am or something.

that's kind of how i am with god. the only time i really talk to him is if i have made a mess or need something. sometimes, if things are really good i'll give him a nod.

but i found myself whispering in aubreys ear "I love you soooo much" and knowing that is what the heavenly father is saying to me. "Jason, I love you sooo muuch."

no strings attatched.

i wish i heard from you more but i'll take every second i can get and my heart will swell when i do hear from you.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

welcome to www.culturalshift.net

culturalshift is on today in England. Pray that it goes well. I am not there this year, but i made it to the last two of them.

the axxess community

Brad Cecil of Axxess, Emergentand creator of the Ministry Transition Timeline [take a look] has a birthday today - have a good one, Brad!

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Los Angeles youth group to hold (prayer) vigil for Michael Jackson

According to this Yahoo news report, a group of LA youth known as Right Way Youth Activities will hold a prayer vigil at the Hollywood Walk of Fame because they believe Michael Jackson might commit suicide.

This article is inspiring for the innovative efforts of the youth. According to one of their leaders, they want to inspire a worldwide movement of prayer for Jackson, who is under renewed scrutiny after further allegations of illicit behavior with children.

Let's pray for Jackson - he's done some wrong and hurtful things, but he is also a child of God.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Main Feature

The Gospel According to Homer Simpson " . . . Cal State San Bernardino found religious content in 70 percent of "The Simpsons" episodes. Even the Christian monthly PRISM, which is published by Evangelicals for Social Action, called the series "the most pro-family, God-preoccupied, home-based program on television. Statistically speaking, there is more prayer on 'The Simpsons' than on any other sitcom in broadcast history."

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

when the church sucks the life out of ministry...

i received an email back from a young lady that for the past 2 years (first 2 years in college) ran a downtown homeless ministry on her own. she visited our church sometimes, and many of our people ministered with her from time to time. i emailed her to get the details for the new semester, and here's the reply:
Hey Aaron,

I am sorry to say that no, I am not doing the homeless ministry any more...I am involved with my church now, so my time for activites is limited. If you do have anyone interested in starting up a ministry, I have a bagillion New Testaments at my house that they are welcome to have. Downtown Phoenix is an awesome place to minister, I miss the guys down there. They were really cool...

i feel deflated that a church would busy a revolutionary to the point they give up their passion, and ministry...

Saturday, February 01, 2003

THE EPIC: This guy has set the entire Gospel of John to hip-hop. The first portion, chapters 1-7, will be unveiled at the end of February at the CompassionWorks Philadelphia conference.

I like Lynch's workshop titles (at the linked page). "The Merchants of Coolianity" is my favorite.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Hi from Slovakia. I met with Marsh Moyle of Citygate.org yesterday, after arriving from Vienna. He has a great training ministry for east europeans and has many papers for download on his site. Hey = the header on this site doesnt appear on this vintage computer in this mountainside cyber cafe. Is that because it is old or do we need to work the site over?

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Churchgoers as tourists?

Kiwi, Mike Grimshaw (Canterbury University, New Zealand), in an essay that I’m reading at the moment, Tourist, Traveller, or Exile: Redefining the Theological Endeavour, describes the representative of popular religious piety/praxis in terms of their being “tourists” (an expression, not necessarily used or inferred in the same way by the likes of Pete Ward, and Gerard Kelly in his interesting little book called Humanifesto written in the style of a travel guide). No doubt, quite a provocative way of talking about many Christians and their experience of church.

The authentic Christian experience is typically a constructed and mediated one – most commonly the Sunday morning experience! The “tourist” seeks an authentic ‘travel’ experience by a ceremonial and spiritual holiday away from the mundane concerns and claims of their everyday, real world by participating in a service of worship [implication – an experience disconnected from their ‘everyday’, ‘real’ world]…

”As such, the clergy are primarily tour guides who weekly shepherd the tourists through a spiritual quick-stop tour, a greatest hits/snapshot/souvenir/tick-the-boxes experience that contains enough difference and content to hopefully excite, yet enough support and comfort so as not to upset.” In this the aim is not an ‘everything-included-in- the-price’, package, for that would undermine the tour operators aim of continued patronage. Rather it is deliberately incomplete with just enough to perk sufficient interest in repeat visits.

The “tourist,” as distinct from the “traveller” (orthodox theologian) and “explorer (modernist [and most likely ‘Postmodern’] theologian),” is the unthinking, religious amateur, with insufficient willingness or motivation to be anything other than one who is “guided” and has everything laid-on for them. One quite content with the superficial and the mediated; one who will not stray off the tourist bus, or beyond the most prominent sites in the tourist guide. The “tourist” is more than comfortable with “the security of pure cliché.” The tourist relies absolutely and unquestionably on the tourist guide. Theirs is the journey that “is expected to include the manageably different, the accomplishable challenge and experience that are to be found and located within a controlled and demarcated tourist zone.”

I’ve stretched his analogy a bit, but it’s been an interesting lens through which to reflect on and think about my church (in general) experiences…on what ‘church’ is, and on what ‘going to church’ is about.


Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Embodied prophesy
Random thought 1 - I grew up in a setting where prophecies are all talk. And often talk in King James English. I have enough trouble understanding Shakespeare let a KJV prophesy.

Then I stumbled across the Old Testament prophets. People who use their bodies to speak of the Tomorrow.

Random thought 2 – I was moaning to Al Roxburgh (an "immigrant" who I respect immensly) about how hard church planting was, and how often other ministers don’t understand me and judge me by modernist indicators. He shrugged and said, “what do you expect. What you’re doing is prophetic.”

And it suddenly clicked. If Graceway just is, it is prophetic. To do nothing more than live .. to just drink beer and loves Jesus and tells stories and runs art exhibitions … is to get heat. Why? Because it’s embodied prophesy. It’s a challenge to the way others are.

Alan Hirsch commented on his blog;
“Ours is not merely an apostolic role in establishing new ground for the Gospel and church, but must be by nature a prophetic one as well. I find this the most painful aspect of my ministry--an almost total rejection/marginalization from the established church which I am so committed to."

Again, embodied prophesy. Tonight I pray for all my fellow embodied prophets. We who have thrown off the KJV English. We who by the very act of living, feel marginalized. Long may the Spirit pulse in our veins.

The Phuture belongs to those who invent it - Update

New articles on Emerging Church and a new Discussion Forum have been added to Phuture this past week.

Update
New book review on Stephen Timmis's 'MULTIPLYING CHURCHES' posted also.
"You cannot advance the kingdom of God with people who are in retreat."
-Erwin McManus, Seizing Your Divine Moment

Monday, January 20, 2003

Are we cloning postmodern churches and is it all toooo commercial. Karen Ward in Seattle puts down her coffee to say a few words about her angle . . .and impressive blogger Andrew Careaga gets vulnerable about his experiences with Christian publishing.
Hey Marc, welcome back! I see you are making up for lost time.

Blogging in Holland and GeoURL

Niels Boogaard published a Dutch bloggers map. It gives some indication of the popularity of blogging in Holland.

Check out GeoURL, a location-to-URL reverse directory. This will allow you to find URLs by their proximity to a given location. Find your neighbor's blog, perhaps, or the web page of the restaurants near you.

Big red cross



This big red cross is a look-alike of the one we used for the Mission congress. I found it on the website of Generazione Scelta (Chosen Generation), one of the emerging youth prayer movements in Italy. I plan to connect with them in March.

Too much coffee

"It’s like the world’s been drinking too much coffee," Pete Greig writes in the 24-7prayer E-bullit. "Everything seems jittery. Watching the news feels like a soap opera with too many story lines crammed into a single show. Bush and Blair are intent on disarming Iraq of weapons they can’t find while Saddam Hussein and Robert Mugabe do panto on the world stage. Osama is off somewhere hanging out Dr Evil and Elvis, terrorising the world in whispers. Meanwhile Russia can do whatever it likes to Chechnya, and North Korea is busy sending postcards of their various nuclear arms factories to world leaders who are far too busy looking for weapons of mass destruction near oil fields to read the post."

"Meanwhile a UFO cult led by a dodgy old French pop star is busy trying to clone their (fantastically balanced) followers whilst in the middle-east everyone continues to blow everyone else up – normally on buses. At such times it’s easy to resort to extremes – either becoming too intense or too blasé. As Christians we cannot avoid the issues just because they’re complicated, burying ourselves in the trivial pursuits of local church activity or obsessing about the latest Reality TV series as if that really was reality. Paul urges 'that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for… all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives.' (1 Tim. 2) Our prayers matter at times like these, and – believe it or not – world leaders desperately need such spiritual back up."

"In the midst of so many crises I’ve been wondering why so many wives of world leaders – from Nancy Reagan and Lady Di to Cherie Blair – seem to resort to astrology and New Age wacko stuff. My hunch is that they know the truth about their husbands and are terrorised by the notion that world peace lies in the hands of a man who can’t remember the name of the cat and farts in his sleep. They need to believe that a higher intelligence is pulling the strings of power than the one struggling with flat-pack furniture in the garage. Well, the good news for the president’s wives is that there actually is a higher power at work, promoting and demoting their husbands. The church of Jesus Christ has been appointed to exercise authority (rather than power) in prayer and in practice. We really have been raised up ‘for such a time as this’. Even when we are surrounded by trouble, Jesus says, “Take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16). We don’t need to rush around like Corporal Jones yelling ‘don’t panic!’ We need to pray."

Young leader training

EuroTrain developed an innovative young leader training (age 15-25). They call it "a completely unique experience, and an answer to the new paradigms needed to develop new generations of leaders."

Seeking God

"God yes, church no." This is what most non-Christians tend to say. Or: "I want to experience God, but I don't want to be part of them" (read: the Christians). An added problem is that many Christians can't explain in normal (non-religious) language what they believe.

Realizing this, the Evangelical Broadcasting Company in Holland decided to do something they had never done before: ask a well-known non-Christian TV host (in this case Catherine Keyl, the Dutch Oprah) to make a series of six programs on 'seeking God in the Christians'. A search for authenticity which would force Christians to come out of their cosy subculture and open up their lives and explain in normal language who Jesus is and why living as a Christian is as real and relevant as could be. The series was broadcasted around Christmas and drew a lot of response. I think it's fair to say it was one of the best programs on Christianity aired on national television.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

The Wabi Sabi collaboration is happening in Austin Texas on March 28-30. Should be a good time. For more info and registration, go here. more details on kingdomspace to follow

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Untitled

Iggie has released "The Lost Ten Traits of Postmodern Apostles"

Mel Gibson takes Heat.

So Mel Gibson is taking heat for making his new Passion about the life of Jesus. I like Mel Gibson a lot. And have heard only good things about him. I think this is the case of Hollywood meddling again.

To quote him:
"This is a movie about love, faith, hope and forgiveness, He died for all mankind. He (Jesus) suffered for all of us. It's time to get back to that basic message. The world has gone nuts. We could all use a little more love, faith, hope and forgiveness."

Sunday, January 12, 2003

jason.evans.online

Jason Evans is blogging from South Africa

ATLAS.CZ

Yes - I just looked at foneblog - looks great - our blogging engine is called bluelog and will be available soon. Jarda, who is a part of our community here and lives in our basement, is adding the final touches - like support for many languages. 2 weeks ago, Yarda took over as CEO of ATLAS.CZ, one of the largest web portals in Czech Republic. He now has a lot more work to do, with a staff of 40 people and 2 million subscribers - he has his work cut out for him. He will be connecting his blogging engine with his portal, but has promised that we can all use it. Now I just need to get a mms phone that will allow me to either capture images at a low resolution or reduce them small enough to use.
Speaking of technology, I was thinking of roadtesting Apple's new Keynote presentation software at a conference in Switzerland next month, although I will probably use Arkaos VJ 2.2 which is my next step up from G-Force, which i have used for 3 years.
Anyone else using VJ software for presentation. digital storytelling or preaching?

Thursday, January 09, 2003

FoneBlog

FoneBlog
Somebody beat you to the punch Andrew. I know it was bound to happen. You should check them out see if you can't learn from their system for KingdomSpace.com..

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Calling Southern Hemipshere Bloggers

If you are from south of the equator and have a blog (or know someone who is) - Darren Rowse at LivingRoom would like to hear from you. Leave him a comment here to be added to a soon to be published list which seeks to connect, network and link up people from down south.

The list is now published and includes 32 cool blogs from 8 'Southern' Countries - Check them out

Monday, January 06, 2003

liquid church coverliquid church is finally out - published in the usa by hendrickson and paternoster in the uk. it really is a fantastic book to contribute to the reimagining of church and mission in our current context. i hope it gets a wide reading. pete uses zygmunt bauman's notion of solid and liquid modernity to speak about solid and liquid church. he does a lot of theological work to underpin a new way of speaking about church. it seems to me that this new way of speaking is essential if 'language makes the world'. there are lots of things that i could highlight from the book but it really is the overall opening of discussion and imagining that is why this book is so welcome. to say that we need to re-imagine church or that it isn't working (for those outside it) or that it needs to change isn't news any more but there aren't many people who have offered the resources to help rethink the landscape. thanks to pete for offering us a way forward here.i fear it will be perceived as a threat by many who either have too much of a vested interest in church remaining solid or who see the invitation to engage with consumerism as selling out. change, mission and engagement with culture is always a risk but in my view it is one we have to take. pete's descriptions of three mutations that church has made in its solid form as heritage site, refuge, and nostalgic club are all too painfully visible. and the point about these is that whilst they may indeed be working as such for some people for many others they don't and they mitigate against mission. that is the whole point of why the whole thing of church needs rethinking - so many people involved in mission find the church bit the stumbling block. it's certainly true in youth ministry. pete doesn't offer any off the shelf solutions - it's more an opening up of discussion or imagination, but i hope that this does help open up new possibilites.

Saturday, January 04, 2003

been thinking lately about leadership in the church lately and how money and all that have created a problem we cant solve. it seems the church is full of people who have been trained to do nothing but ministry. there is nothing wrong with this yet i feel it may be one fo the causes for the church's inability or unwillingness to change traditional ministry models. i may be way off with this but maybe its a dose of self preservation at work in all this reluctance to change. i have been feeling lately that the whole professional staff model just doesn't work. when all your income, identity and ego is tied up in professional ministry and there is nothing else for you to do to support yourself then there may be a fear to change anything about the system, even when you know it doesn't work. did God ever intend for us to create a class of professionals in the church that can do nothing but ministry. i know there are many people who don't fall in this quandary but i keep hearing some pretty lame excuses form people in the tractional system when they are confronted with a need to change, we change programs, worship styles, curriculum but ignore more basic issue like structural adjustments that need to be made. the church needs to change or large portions of it will die in the next few decades. but if we have created a system that so many depend on for sustenance is there any hope of it happening.

i would love to hear your thoughts about this, am i full of it?