Tuesday, February 28, 2006

{neurotribe.net}: ::Missio Dei-Planning Night

{neurotribe.net}: ::Missio Dei-Planning Night
As we're in the process of planning where we're going with the Huddle, I found it interesting to read this post. Particularly what he said about not letting anybody just join-there being a 3 month initiation period (still not sure what I think about that) .

I also really liked what he said about the group discernment process in the comments section.

Will mull over that and hopefully post some thoughts soon.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I Used To Believe : the childhood beliefs site

I Used To Believe : the childhood beliefs site

This is a pretty funny little site, people write in their childhood theories about everything from religion to sex to grown-ups and everything that young minds don't understand and invent stories about.

I used to think the Government paid you to keep pets, and that my Mums friend was Superman. Anybody else have any more interesting than that?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Servant Leadership....

Was having some great discussion with a mate last night about the role of leadership in new/house/emerging/missional/simple churches, and specifically what we're doing with the Huddle.

There's a whole lot of questions around that I need to unpack first, but more broadly on leadership the question that stuck out to me as I was going on my prayer/thinking walk, is 'What does the servant leadership Jesus modelled look like in this context?'

Mission vs Friends

Quite a few times over the past couple of weeks I've been faced with the tough call between hanging out in the missional contexts to which I feel called, and hanging out with some of my closer friends.

It's a prick, cos I obviously really love hanging with my crew of mates, but then I remind myself of the call to live incarnationally, to spend time with those I'm called to connect with, which is often harder and not as fun, or in the case of certain quality Christian events-not as spiritually encouraging.

I know thats meant to be the hard slog of the missional life and what not, but its just hard when there seems to be no tangible progress... which is another issuer in itself!

Flynt Rockin the WA Suburbs

If anybody over in WA is keen for some good music to listen to, go along to Youth Alive (I can't believe I just said that!!) and check out Flynt-they are a very tight, great sounding melodic rock band, and I'm not just saying that cos they're my mates!

If anybody over there wants them for some pub gigs at short notice, check out their website and get in contact with them STAT. I actually reckon they're better at normal music than Christian stuff, but rock either way!

Check out www.flyntrock.com in case you haven't worked out that when the title of a blog post is a different colour it is a link to another site! Don't worry, took me ages!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Do we need a shared mission?

Had a great night at the Huddle tonight, getting together to discuss where we're headed in the future, and particularly what, if anything, our shared mission will be.

We're all pretty keen on it being a place that encourages, empowers and equips us all to follow Jesus better in our everyday lives, which is cool, so we're all on the same page with that one. So this may not mean us doing anything particularly outside of the group, but rather about encouraging us to become better Jesus-following teachers, financial planners, tradies etc.

It will also be about validating those things we do everyday as a part of our lives as part of God's mission to the world, and that mission is a lifestyle we live, not a program we run.

The question that we're still wrestling with, which I think is a very healthy thing, is the question of whether or not we, as a whole group, need a shared mission of some sort that we're working on together.

Whether that be an area we live in, a 3rd space we occupy, a subculture we connect with, a group we seek to serve or whatever.

So for me, I'm really passionate about spending time at the footy club, but not all our crew are, some of them are more into horseriding, snorkelling or whatever. So does it really make sense to all be focussed on connecting with the footy club, when we're not all into that?

One of the ideas we're tossing around at the moment is that the Huddle will not only seek to encourage us in our daily Jesus-following, but we'll try gather one or two others around us to form sort of mini-missional teams, who'll each be focussed on different areas, whether it be the poor, their area, a sports group or whatever.

Still all very much in the ideas stage at the moment, but they're just the questions we're tossing around...

Free Speech

We got around to discussing the Danish cartoons thing at church tonight, why all the Muslims were offended-which none of us really understood not being Muslim, should anybody be allowed to print/say offensive stuff against anybody and/or their religion.

There was some debate over whether a persons right to free speech should allow them to basically say anything they like about anybody, and anybodies religion, no matter how defamatory. Basically I said yes, no matter how absurd somebody's opinion, they should be allowed to it. Having said that, I do think there needs to be laws around things said in a public forum that will incite hatred or violence amongst others, but just because something will offend somebody, I don't think people shouldn't be allowed to say it.

I don't often use this blog for just my opinions, so thats my piece said for the next little while.

Another congregation planting blogger

After having read his blog for a while, finally got to meet Tim from Established and Emerging at the Forge intensive yesterday, where I was out helping facilitate the new youth and schools stream. Seems like a pretty top guy, and has some awesome plans and dreams for connecting with his local community through a community garden. Should be a blog well worth checking out-although he's even more slack than me with updating his!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Which women are really the oppressed?

Am currently listening to a few Brian McLaren messages before he comes out to speak this week-details here, and he was talking about world issues, religious/ideological clashes and harmony etc and made a very good point about the oppression of women across the world.

Made a very good point about how we in the West go on about the terrible oppression of women having to wear burqa's and be covered up etc, but maybe we-with our obsession with beauty and celebrity culture, are perhaps oppressing our women far more by expecting them to fit that stereotypical look... An interesting thought?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sweet! Get paid to do charity work!

The other week I stumbled (well I didn't stumble actually, I was in Franga and I heard on the radio a certain station's promotional cars were in the area-so Iwent to try scam free stuff!) across this offer which seems pretty flippin sweet to me.

Basically, the deal is Vodafone will, if you can convince them you're one of the four most worthy candidates-pay you your normal wage for a year (up to $50,000) plus up to $25,000 expenses to basically go and work for any registered charity or good cause you want, anywhere in the world!!

I'm going to have to check how that will potentially fit into my schedule of things for the next little while-if my motives are right and I'm not just doing it now for the free money, and maybe put in an application.

Check it out here. Could be well worth it!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Consumerism as Religion

I was watching a bit of TV the other day, when the new Coke Zero ad came on. The one where the guy jumps up on top of the bus, starts yelling at the gathering crowds and then gets flung into the water when the bus suddenly stops. Nothing particularly amazing about it at first glance.

But then I watched it again.

Over the past couple of years I've heard quite a lot about how consumerism is now the dominant religion of our time, and that advertising is filling up the space in our lives that church once did.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but this ad is totally not about Coke Zero. It's about this guy being so empowered by a cause he has to get up and make a stand, to stand up for what he believes in, its about drawing people together for a cause much bigger than yourself, and if they're not religious/spiritual themes then I don't know what are.

But then the catchphrase struck me 'life as it should be' cos for me lately that has been my phrase used to explain the Kingdom of God, the Economy/Community/Reign of God, what Jesus was all about. The reason I follow Jesus is because the life he lived exemplifies 'life as it should be'.

People used to go to church to hear about these things, but consumerism has stepped into the gap. Advertising used to be about the product, now its about the feeling/lifestyle/sexual partners you will get as aresult of using their product. Housing estate advertisers advertise the community and the lifestyle, car ads are about the freedom you'll have when you buy their car, mobile phones are about all the friends you'll have, beer is about the mates you'll have to drink it with. Once you open your eyes to this kinda stuff-it's everywhere.

It's the religion, and the disease, of our generation

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Free Brian McLaren book!

If any of you fellow bloggers out there want a chance to get a free advance copy of Brian McLaren's new book-The Secret Message of Jesus, then check out how here. And make sure all you Melburnites check him out when he's in town in 2 weeks, should be awesome!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sports and Spirituality

Woo-hoo! I'm back on the internet, but unfortunately right at the start of my busiest week since the many months spent lazing on the beach over summer, so I'll slowly be putting down all the stuff I've been processing over the last little while.

The first thing though has been this workshop I'm running for the Youth Vision Expo on this Saturday (basically a youth leaders training day with people from across Churches of Christ, looking at different models and methods of youth ministry) which should be really sweet.

Unfortunately its on the same weekend as the first VETAMORPHUS retreat, as well as my U/15 boys last game for the season, which may also hopefully be their first win! Fingers crossed-but its looking good.

Anywho, they've got me talking on sports and spirituality, and how Jesus might connect with young people in that arena. So there'll be a little bit og Forge type stuff on Incarnational Mission and what not, but the main area I'm really excited about exploring is the interplay between sports and spirituality.

There's a really great quote from the movie Chariots of Fire, when one of the main characters is having all these ethical dilemmas about whether or not he, as a Christian, should be running on a Sunday. Not an issue I would struggle with, but understandable for him I guess.

So he's leaving in this world that is telling him he shouldn't be involved in that unholy place, doing non-sacred things on a Sunday, instead he should be in the House of the Lord-where God is, and where you properly worship Him...

This worldview seems to clash so harshly with the fact that as he so simply puts it,'When I run, I feel God'

Exploring that idea will probably be my basis, talking about how in essence all of life is spiritual, and an oppurtunity to experience and learn more about God, if only we are open to it. And how this rubbish sacred/secular worldview-which tells us that some things are somehow more 'Godly' than others and that God can only be worshipped in the right way/place/time, affects our thinking.

I wanna touch on the spiritual aspects of the community you develop through sport, about the possibility that 'life, and life to the full' (John 10:10) is also talking about how we look after our bodies, looking at some of the analogies that Paul offers up in his letters, that kind of thing.

I also wanted to toss around ideas and pick all of you who read this' collective brains. What makes you think that sport is or isn't a spiritual thing? What part does our sporting lives-if any, play in our discipleship? How do we help people to name and recognise the sport they play as the spiritual experience it can be, and what part does that play in the discipleship process?

Would love to hear any thoughts or comments from you guys. Cheers