Thursday, December 30, 2004

+Happy new year!
Off to Birmingham tomorrow to catch up with friends and see in the new year! Not really into resolutions, but maybe I'll get reflective and make some? 2004 was a year of change - leaving Back to Reality, moving flat etc. 2005 starts with uncertainty over job role - but God has been good and provided for us for January at least - which is cool. Hopefully by the end of the month things will be clearer.

Anyway - Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A strange world

So Christmas has been - the dinner worked amazingly well and the parents and in-laws were all happy! It was nice to host Christmas day and I think it was appreciated.
My brother and family are due over today - they tried on Monday but got caught in the shopping madness traffic and spent an hour going one junction on the M25!

Meanwhile the theme dominating the news (and the blogs), rightly, is the tsunami in Asia.
Not really going to say much as others are/have said much more meaningful stuff!
(See Messy Christian , Jason Clark on "where is God" , Youthblog etc.)

Strange contrast between post-Christmas shopping UK and the clear up and burying of dead that thousands are facing.

Friday, December 24, 2004

* Happy Christmas!
Looking forward to hosting/cooking Christmas dinner tomorrow, and all the festivties!
Catching up with family and friends over the next few days etc.
Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Thought this is a fantastic story about getting/being the gospel to spirtually hungry people.

Christmas seems to be a quiet time for some blogs!
Realise my first attempts at this blog started January this year (although it was May when it got going!) - so this things nearly a year old. According to this article on blogging from Relevant Blog is one of the most searched words on the Net. "B" magazine (my wife's) also ran an article of blogging this month (though mainly about women blogging on sex and relationships). Yet I still talk with people (even net-savy 20's and 30's) who look lost when the notion comes up in conversation! I also came across an article (no idea where) on how to read blogs (and as far as I'm aware the article wasn't on RSS feeds etc.) - is there some magic I've missed?
Over the last while I've got into using Bloglines
which I like, although may be reduntant if I get in to Firefox.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

So far I have resisted Christmasy posts - there's plenty of nativity scene madness at youthblog and hutchinson, and a poem at Si's.
But last week while Suzie was ill I was trusted to go food shopping. At the supermarket I spotted the best Christmas decoration:

Scooby at Christmas!
Posted by Hello
He sings a variety of festive numbers such as "Ringle Rells" and "Reck the halls". Fantastic! Christmas just got better!!

I know there's been some blog discussions about "resurrect/renew" or "birth". And it's definitely different in the UK than the USA. But this struck me:

We will simply not be able to honour the Biblical mandate for the church to fulfill its purpose in the world if we keep pursuing our objectives within the existing structures" (Mark Senter III, from" 4 Views of Youth Ministry & the Church").
Update - again!
Previously posted
here re. uncertainties about my job etc. Well the deal is that I will go back to part time pay as London Baptist Youthwork Coordinator from Jan 1st pending the result of a funding application. If positive it'll go back to full time. If not then I'll have some interesting decisions to face. Should hopefully hear by the end of January. Here's to walking by faith...

Friday, December 17, 2004

Computer stuff

Yesterday I got fed up with my slow dial up and the fact that NTL Broadband looks like a while away in my road, so I thought I'd try Onspeed. It's not the wonder they claim, but it has made a difference in surfing speed. I'm also experimenting with Firefox browser. Pleasant change from IE!(and I spotted a few bits of that don't work the same which I need to fix)
Church Toilets
Might sound strange but today I was speaking with a Baptist minister about some re-building options they're considering - including new "facilities". It struck me that I have probably used more Baptist church toilets than I care to mention, and more often than not they're not great.
Some are just dirty (including some "minister's toilets" - a strange phenomenon of a WC off the pastor's office!), or there's not enough etc. I know its not the most important missional issue of our day - but if I were writing a report I definitely put "could do better"!!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I was just wondering about how much more Kingdom centred I could/should be when I came accross this in "blogland" - from someone I don't know called Eric:

++lord you know this is true
i want to be used to prophesy more
i want to be used to heal more
i want to recieve more dreams
i want to have the conection point
let me understand mercy
and what your doing
speak clear to me
show me
i want to burn clean and hear++

Very helpful!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Youthwork thinking
Richard Passmore's article in Youthwork Magazine Lead by Following raises some key issues.
Personally I find his definition of the "ecclesial minimum" insufficient - he suggests that church must be "in relation to the ethics of Jesus" and "you cannot be church on your own". That seems to be about it!
In fact he suggests:
"my definition of Church is that it is about the process of becoming more fully human through interaction and relationships with others".
I get it, but it seems to be not enough to me.
Surely there's more to the church than that?
He also says "youthwork and the process of youthwork is Church" which needs further processing. But initially I would say "can be Church" or "should be Church" rather than is.
Maybe its unfair to be too negative about an extract from a wider book - guess I'll have to check out the whole of Off the Beaten Track before making further thoughts!

The revamped discussion boards on the also look good. Hopefully there will be enough room for discussion for those of us who missed their conference last month.
(The other place for good discussion forum, slightly different subjects, is

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Time for a lazy point to someone else's thinking post.
"Is my worship cool?" asks Andrew Jones.
Good question!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Thinking about the nostalgia post and other stuff,led to a question:
How many people are involved in youth ministry to try and stay young/re-live their own youth/deal with stuff from their teenage years? And does it matter?
(and all the above even if its not the primary motivation).

I shall go and think about his for myself!

I'd also like to hear about anywhere that really is seeing "unchurched" (for want of a better word) young people coming to faith and maturing in that. I hear some great stories but would like more!


Encouraged by an article in Red Magazine (my wife's - honest) to indulge in a bit of nostalgia.
The article relays a conversation between a 30 something and her niece.
On TV: "half the time the screen would be filled with that stupid girl wearing a hairband...if you stayed until 11pm you found yourself singing along with the National Anthem. Many's the night we danced away to the monotone hum that followed".
Internet: "When you needed to look something up, you had to trawl through Encyclopedia Britannica not spend five minutes on the internet"
"A 'chatroom' meant a dingy cupboard filled with vinyl chairs and a drinks machine"

Reminds me of my A Level computer studies teacher who taught us that e-mail would never catch on... (and I'm not that old!)
Obviousto state, but times are changing!

For the youthworkers among us the article comments:
"To meet new friends you had to go to some hideous youth club".
So does that mean that now there is no reason to go to a hideous youth club?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Posted by Hello
Been thinking/working a bit on some LBA training days.
Printing and folding booking forms is not the most glamorous task!
2 days early next year:
Jan 22nd: Generation, Culture, Church: Can we hold it together
March 12th: A long way out: Working with young people at the edge

These should be exciting!
While aimed at Baptists, the January one at least is open to anyone (especially those working in London), wanting to explore these key issues - around generations, church, youth, culture etc. Booking at click "News"!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

It just won't go away!
Posted previously several times on this - but an issue that I keep coming back to in reading/writing/thinking/conversation and consultations - is that of the relationship of youth ministry and the church. Often it seems that "main church" and the "church's youth ministry" don't connect - their joined in name only, resulting in problems with "integration" and "ownership".
This is especially the case when young people get too old for the youth programme.

Also wondering where children and young people fit into emerging church.
Writing about alternative worship Steve Collins suggests:
"Alternative worship is indeed about 'youth culture'. But 'youth culture isn't about the young".

So not sure where that leaves us. One things for sure (as the quote below from Reimagining Youth Ministry says) - we can't just fix youth ministry without looking at the big picture of church.

Band Aid
Call me sentimental but I enjoyed last nights BBC documentary on Band Aid 20.
Not sure "enjoyed" was the right word as it was at times quite moving to see (again) the desperate plight of so many.
I know some people hate the record (there's even calls by some to buy the CD to do your bit for charity and then destroy it!). But I'm warming to it. Maybe I'm just not as musically discerning as I used to be...or maybe its a case of heart wining over head.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Interesting post at Reimagining Youth Ministry - seemingly notes from a gathering.
Includes such great phrases as:
"Youth Ministry is the bastard child"
And a phrase that echoes something I find myself saying a lot:
"the church is broken; can't fix youth youth ministry without fixing the church."
Especially the second part - for many churches moving seriously into youth ministry means asking questions about the church. If affects the whole body.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Missing all the fun?
Blah tonight with Brian Mclaren and Emergent Conference The Inclusive Church starts tomorrow. And looks like I won't make any of it!
Oh well - look forward to the Blog reports!

Meanwhile feel like am getting some clarity about what I need to do on the job thing. Had a couple of good cafe trips over the last few days with people who spoke a lot of sense (one of whom really spoke into my situation even though he was speaking about something else - prophets eh?).

Good to catch up with friends Sunday & Monday evenings - always worrying to hear that people actually read this thing! Better start posting sensible stuff!