Friday, April 29, 2005

Bank Holiday!
Its bank holiday weekend - and the weather forecast is good! Strange!
Usually this would be Baptist Assembly weekend - but we had that last week.
So some free time - although I'm due to be speaking at our home church on Sunday morning on "The Ascension".
And it is (again) due to be the last pub quiz on Sunday evening - the refurbishment is up on us after a delay!

Had another disappointing turnout for a gathering today- although it was still worthwhile. Need to do some more work on this though.

Heard a report tonight (although can't find a web link) that more people are leaving London than coming in (from the UK). Apparently due to property prices (a favorite subject of mine in terms of mission) and fear of crime.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Passion or froth?
A lot of blogging about passion (e.g. here or here), maybe because many are reading the fantastic book Practicing Passion by Kenda Creasy Dean.
I was also speaking with someone about the Laodicean thing in Revelation 3:15 earlier today - about being lukewarm etc.
The question in my mind is what does passion look like in ministry or with youth?
And how do we distinguish Godly passion from religious fervour or emotional/charismatic froth.
Does intensity= passion=spirituality or can things be unnecessarily intense?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Messy Ecclesiology?
At a meeting of the LBA directors last night it was exciting to hear of mission initiatives in London, and attempts to incarnate the gospel and plant churches in new ways.
But one thing seems clear - missional/emerging church is messy! I quite like the fact that things don't fit the boxes, and Baptist models seem to me to be flexible. But at the same time the reality is that those working outside the structures need support (and not criticism!).But how do inherited structures (denominations etc.) support emerging movements without molding into set boxes?

I know a while ago there was some discussion from blogs across the Atlantic that the new must be separate from the old. Here in the UK it seems to me to be much more about creative connectedness.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Grow up!
Chap Clark writes about Youth Ministry in an age of delayed adulthood over at Youth Specialties.
Wish I'd has this a couple of weeks ago when I was preparing for a session on this stuff!

Still I like his definition of what youth ministry is about:
"the goal of youth ministry must be to help young people become adults who are grounded in Jesus Christ".

And that's the crunch that makes us more than youthworkers doing spiritual development.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I've spotted a tendency in new media for people to over use the exclamation mark. I'm very guilty of it - in fact it's been known to spill over into papers and "real" writing!
I've seen it in many other blogs (Mrs Lev among others), e-mails and texts. Maybe it doesn't matter - its part of the new lexicon - or maybe we're just getting lazy with words and relying too much on !!! for emphasis.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Birmingham: Baptists, Bishops & Bongos!
The Baptist Assembly was a good day!
The theme was diversity. Input at the various session was diverse, worship led by Paul Lavender, an assembly regular but with a funky band from a local church in the Midlands (Cannon Street, Hansworth). Big issues were touched on in the "question time" session - and handled well (immigration, poverty and political engagement).

The evening concert was a mix as expected - although the largely middle aged+ audience seemed unsure of the rock style from
Revive or Witness MCing! Northumbria Community and Martyn Layzell were more appreciated.

Much of the stuff was good - but the highlight for me was Bishop John Sentamu from Birmingham. His talk was challenging and inspiring. But after the talk as the worship continued he got carried away and joined the band adding percussion on the bongos! Never thought I'd see a bongo playing bishop at the Baptist Assembly!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Off again!
Going to Birmingham for the 3rd time in a month this weekend.
Catching friends, but primarily for the Baptist Assembly

Usually its a bank holiday conference, but this year a 1 day bash as we gather again for the Baptist World Congress (yes back in Birmingham) in July!
Birmingham's OK - but lets face it its just not London!

The evening of the Assembly is a concert event with an mixed line up performing and leading worship (I think Martyn Lazell, a group from Revive in Leeds and some reggae type act!). Should be fun!
Election Prayer
Seems there's going to be a prayer event for the election under the banner.
Aimed at young people this event is on April 30th at Westminster Chapel, 7pm. I found out about it here at the London Prayer Net site.
I'm presuming word has got round by other means?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Youth Spirituality
Spent the day at Churches Together's Spirituality and young people conference.
I think I would describe the day as random, but it has provoked me to think further!
It was good to hear about research from Bob Mayo and others. It was also good to connect with Jonathan Oloyede and learn about some of the stuff happening at Glory House over in the East End.
It was also good to see Roy, Ian, and Jonny and others.

Spirituality seems a vague term, "an ill-defined amorphous entity that it covers all kind of phenomena" is what Don Carson called it!
Bob Mayo suggested that for the young it functions in 3 areas:
Entertainment, significance and transcendence
which was helpful.

I'm going to ponder some more!

[update - youthblog had more detailed notes from the sessions than I could ever remeber!]

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Just received (thanks to the BU) the LBA's copy of the AMAZE Best Practice manual.
I thought I knew a lot about this stuff having been around the youth ministry scene a while, but this looks to be as good a resource as I'd hoped.
Highly recommended for youthworkers! (maybe it was just me being slow and everyone already knew how good it was!)
Election Fever!
They say you shouldn't talk about religion or politics - but that would rule out many blogs!
I followed the crowd to the "how should I vote" site:
Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:

Liberal Democrat

Your actual outcome:

Labour -12
Conservative -29
Liberal Democrat 41
UK Independence Party -12
Green 25

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Monday, April 18, 2005

Spent the weekend at Farnham Castle, a fantastic venue for a conference (proper beds, ensuite, decent food, bar - and its a castle!).
It was our home church's cell leaders weekend with Trevor Withers from Cell UK. It was good to spend time with people away from the normal church environment.

With the exception of Thursday's work event it was a good week off!

Back to "normal" today - with a team meeting. Today's devotions around "hope" were very helpful. For me the discussions put hope as the background to some of the struggles churches face - our failures are not final!
I think hope is a key motif, a distinctive Christians should celebrate in todays world.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Feeling a bit frustrated that only 2 people came to the training tonight (again!).
Just wondering why people don't come to stuff - quality stuff? (including those who book!).
Its not that the word isn't getting through - but it doesn't translate to bums on seats and I'm not sure why!
(I know Ian has cancelled stuff from lack of interest too).

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Back in the saddle - briefly!
Today is not a day off for me! Just back from our trip - which was excellent - time out, catching friends and family etc.
Final prep. for tonight's LBA training event - hopefully some people will show up!
The off again tomorrow for a day out and then a "cell leaders weekend" with my home church!
Lots to catch up on blog-wise, but fortunately not too many e-mails or other messages (unless my spam filter was over-zealous!).

Friday, April 08, 2005

Home & Away!

Off for a bit of a break from this evening - road trip to Edingburgh via Birmingham!
Back on Thursday for this: which I'd booked in before checking holiday dates!
Then off again on Friday for a day out ahead of our church cell leaders weekend.
So probably not much blogging - but looking forward to a few days off at least!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Big old conversation about preaching at Jason Clark's blog.
Interesting because I'm just getting into Stackhouse's chapter on preaching in The Gospel Driven Church where he is very much in favour of preaching.
I found Michael Quicke's 360 Degree Preaching quite helpful too.

How does this apply to youth stuff? The Soul Survivor style is very much about worship (with a band), a speaking/preach thing (can you call some of that stuff preaching?) and the ministry stuff.
But is that a good thing?
I do "youth speaking" quite a bit - and try to mix it up with visuals, interaction etc. But is that enough?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Investment for mission?


A couple of months ago I posted on the issue of housing.
This continues to be something that I come back to.
I have had 2 conversations in the last week with people thinking of leaving London for financial reasons, primarily to do with housing.
Yet if we want to do mission - espcecially with the 20's-30's (which these people were) then we need to find creative ways for people to stick around (and not just those who earn loads).
Posted lots here about Christians and money - still an issue to be faced for many and I don't think tithing teaching is the answer - needs to be about stewardship and a theology of recieving more than giving.

There are examples of individuals doing creative things in these areas - I'm just wondering if there could be more.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Interesting article from Christianity Today:
"All churches should be multiracial".
From US perspective but worth a look.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Having a laugh?

Its April 1st and seems my computer is having a laugh! I was just getting into writing stuff for a session I'm doing with a local youth group on Sunday evening when my keyboard died! I knew the batteries were dying so went and got some more - and still nothing. Its not funny!
Anyway I had to get the cheapest keyboard in the world while I work out what went wrong with the old one...

On the subject of April 1st - I suspect that has something to do with Youthblog going German.
Not forgetting this fantastic piece about model railway church
at (although I can think of people who would quite like that!!)