Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Greek orthodox church

It has been fascinating today and last week at work talking to a guy who is my age who has just completed his first year of a theology degree at a Greek Orthodox college in Sydney. Its amazing how similar, yet remarkably diverse our faith traditions are.

We were discussing why the schism of 1054 happened, which was kinda a short lived discussion as neither of us knew much at all about it! But I'd be interested to hear if anybody can sum up why it happened (in the space of a blog reply!)

He was talking about how they use chanting and prayerful mediatation, stuff which is kinda hip in some circles but ahs been a part of his tradition for like 2000 years. A lot of people bag out tradition, but he finds it meaningful in his services, and i reckon we could learn a lot from those who've gone before us.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Black T-Shirts

Was down at the Island with a few of the crew from Yr12, and was reflecting on the nature of black T-shirts, just the whole culture that is associted with them. So, look out for my next sermon-'Why Jesus would wear a black T-shirt'.

I'll post more on why soon, in the meantime, this link is along similar lines to what I'm thinking.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Totally different paradigm

Was at a 21st of a mate from YITS on Saturday night, which was awesome fun, particularly catching up with the Big Tasmanian.

But I was talking to another friend there about some of my thoughts in terms of looking at doing a church plant next year. She was really positive about it, and asked how the process was coming along, and then asked "So have you got your music team together?"

I almost had to stop myself laughing, because that kind of thought is so completely opposite from where I'm at. It really struck me as funny how different our paradigms were in terms of thinking about church planting.

For me, questions like 'Who will join me in starting, who are we aiming this church at, what community are we trying to connect with, do we even need a specific church meeting?' are heaps more relevant at the moment.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Wicked site

Check this site out, man it pretty cool!

I'm already a fan, I'm so glad other people know how to do cool stuff on the internet!
Check it out!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Is Salt and Light enough?

Have just been reflecting on what has been another fantastic year in my work as a High School Youth Worker, its not quite over yet, but nearly.

I had some really fantastic relationships with this years Yr 12s, and I'm genuinely really sad to see them go. I would genuinely class some of them as good friends, and have had an absolute blast at school.

But, I also see my role as a pretty evangelistic one (that is, I'd hope that Jesus would be made real to people in such a way that they choose to follow Him, and I'd hope that God would be able to use me somewhere in that process) and I'm not sure if I've been successful in that.

By no means is my primary aim to 'convert' the whole school, but at the end of the day I'd like to see the kids becoming disciples, cos thats what I believe life is all about.

So, I've hung out with them, gone to all their parties and school events, but their still not following Jesus. Have I failed? I think not, but I still wonder if I've been as effective as possible in my role.

I absolutely hate it when people go into schools with the sole objective of getting kids to church, cos i think thats just manipulative and wrong. You've gotta be in there, get to know and love the kids, and out of that, talk about Jesus. Not the other way around.

And because I know and love those kids, I want them to 'have life to the full' that is, following Jesus.

I guess I'm still exploring new and different ways of doing evangelism, I know what I don't want to do, but still not 100% on what I do. I think you need something more than just hanging out with people, but am really unsure what the next step is.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Means to an end

Was discussing with my Listening Group today the concept of house churches. We've been having some really fantastic discussions in there and I know I've really appreciated it. I think our church is really on the verge of branching out into some new exciting stuff, and I'm really pleased by the level of excitement about mission stuff-as thats totally my passion.

I was questioning the perception that house churches were just a means to an end, the end being hiring out a hall, then buying a building of your own, then trying to attract people to that building... (OK so maybe that bit isn't always expressed, but I think thats often the mindset when you have a building?)

I personally don't see house churches, or smaller services in cafe's or wherever, as only a starting point. The Acts model of church doesn't seem to do house churches just so they can then grow and move out of those houses.

Totally different situation, but the church in China is just growing off its nut, and they only meet in house churches. And us Christendom model churches with our big congregations and sitting-in-rows is in decline. Theres heaps of other factors, but I think thats a contributing one.

I'm not poo-poo ing big churches and buildings, just re-iterating my feeling that they are not the only way, and need not be the aim of all church plants.