Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Steve Holloway is going to be doing a 24-hour preach-a-thon in Egham on July 8th. Check his blog
for details. It'll also be webcast - so you can tune in from the comfort of you own computer or go down there.
Of course its a fundraiser - details at the East 2 West site. A ministry worth supporting I think.
He's posted the themes of the messages on his blog.
Josh McDowell
Spent yesterday with Josh McDowell.
Well I was at a conference of Josh McDowell Ministries - but ended up with the man himself sat at my table and in my discussion group.
The conference was about some new research on young people and the role of the family - can't say too much about it until the stuff is officially released, but basically suggesting we need to put emphasis on families not just youth.
Anyway it was a good day - chance to catch up with people and put some faces to names.

One interesting thing was to hear Josh speak about how he's changed his approaches with the changing culture - many may see him as "modern" with his emphasis on evidence and truth. He seemed to react strongly against that suggesting that he's putting more emphasis on relational stuff - suggesting truth is about relationship - relationship to the truth giver, relationship to others as well as "is it credible".

Monday, June 27, 2005

Highlights & Reflections
Saturday was an LBA conference on children's work. A good day overall - good input from the speakers and interaction etc. One observation was the lack of men! Why is it that childrens workers, Sunday school teachers etc. especially for younger ages are female? In fact all the speakers for the day were female. This must be the only area of church life (for us as London Baptists anyway) where that would be the case (except for ministry to women!). Where's the balance?

Sunday morning's service highlight was probably the "bubble prayers"! We were led in prayers using bubble blowing machines raining bubbles down from the church's balcony - with a prayer that spoke of blessing raining down. A fantastic visual picture - although one guy seemed to have sat in the wrong seat and got soaked! An idea I will definitely have to steal!

Sunday evening I was speaking at a youth event in South London, where it was encouraging to hear of some churches beginning to work together on worships events and more.

And looks like Blogger have upgraded their interface to make it easier to post pictures. But I'll have to wait to try it out!

Friday, June 24, 2005

More Nostalgia
I was looking at the Gola site (its 100 years of Gola this year) and found a fantastic link to this: !

When I was a kid Saturday was comic/magazine day and for years Roy of the Rovers was the top choice. Makes much more sense than Pokemon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ok I know I promised no more quizzes - but this one "which theologian are you?" appealed!
Couldn't be bothered to paste in all the results - but I was 80% Anselm - a medieval dude I know not much about! I was also 67% Barth, 60% Calvin, Luther and Moltmann! Maybe I'm just confused...
Last night I was in South London, helping a church think through the process of employing a youth pastor. Nothing remarkable about that - that's what I'm paid to do!
The meeting was very near to where my 91 year old grandmother lives, so I took the opportunity for a visit (something I probably don't do enough). I can't imagine being 91! What was interesting was talking about youth ministry with her - she was asking about Brigades and other organisations. She also told the story of when she asked her minister what they did for young people and promptly got roped into helping with the Campainger group! Some things never change!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Go with the flow...
Chatting today with a mate who's a pastor about a mission approach to life and ministry which is about going with the flow of the Spirit. Getting caught up in God's mission rather than doing loads of programmes. The spirit of modernity lives on in many places, and its tempting to look for the next "big idea" for growth rather than seek God.

This quote sums it up nicely:
"I was learning that if I was willing, God would use me in odd ways - ways that might make absolutely no sense to me at all. He can use us in any way from a smile to a stranger to a lifelong friendship full of shared experiences and profound conversations. My lot was not to scurry round, trying to ram the gospel in to conversations, get positive responses and fill in follow-up sheets. I simply needed to be concerned with being open to God and ready to act as he directed - even if that meant taking a risk"
(Michael Volland - from "God on the beach" - see below!)

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Summer Reading

Lots of books on my shelf at the moment, being read and planning to be read (see list on side bar).
But this book - God on the beach would be my recommendation for something inspiring (and to give to youth) - the holiday read!. It tells the story of the authors involvement in Dawn Patrol and 24-7prayer missions in Newquay, Cornwall. Its full of good incidents and humour and God at work.
Maybe I'm biased because the author (Micahel Volland) is a mate (and characters called Pete and Suzie turn up in part 3). But Michael knows how to tell a good story!
Its out officially on July 8th (although I picked it up in Wesley Owen yesterday), published by Survivor.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Chatting with some pastors today has strengthened my thinking that as we seek to re-imagine church and see church develop in our changing culture, we also need to radically overhaul how we think about and do youth and children's ministry.
That might seem obvious - but most emerging church stuff seems to be focused on the younger generation(s) at the forefront of the cultural shift, but with little comment about youth & childrens work.
I think one of the ways inherited churches will change and transition is through fresh thought about the role of youthwork and the place of young people in the church. A simple example is the changes my home church made to our morning service a few years ago out of re-thinking the kids work. But more is needed (not least to move beyond a service-centred model). Surely the days of youth groups, Sunday schools, youth clubs, brigades etc. are numbered? Not that any one model will suffice - we need the variety. But its time for some radical thought and bold experimentation.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Paper Work
Chatting to some youthworkers today about the climate of paper work and policies in youthwork & ministry. It can be a hard balance to be safe and get "health and safety", child protecion etc. right while not allowing it to get in the way of the work.
Over the years I've been involved in some slack youth work (no policies, but God was good to us! Only 1 incident involving a table tennis bat that I remember) and some over-zealous health and safety stuff. Recommend the Amaze Good Practice guide as good clear reference point.

Tomorrow I'm off to child protection training day for London Baptist ministers - hopefully that will help!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Soul in the city was a mission to London last summer. On Thursday I went to an evening outlining the vision for the continuation of stuff under the banner Soul in the City London.
Lots of good projects etc. have continued since last summer, and the plan is to encourage churches to do local on the ground initiatives to make a difference in their communities.
The values for the work are execellent - passion for unity and partnerships, action and words, diversity etc.
I do wonder if this could/should have been in place before 2004's events, but never the less good to see ongoing things coming out of it.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Been a busy few days of work, and play (not so much rest!).
Some exciting mission initiatives being discussed, a party, catching up with friends.
All good - and more on all this later.

The downer has been discovering one of our cars (Fiesta, Suzie's vehicle) had been hit.
Posted by Hello
Damage looks not terrible - but enough to make it unusable. And being quite old (the car not us!) we're on 3rd party insurance - and of course the lovely people that hit it didn't leave any details - which means there's no way of getting any money. So we're praying it isn't too expensive to fix (or that God provides!).
I guess it is a luxury having 2 cars in London- but when I'm out and about at odd times (evenings/weekends) for work we felt it warranted a 2nd one. Suzie now uses it for work etc. so to be without is a pain.

Back from the garage -seems damage appears to be mainly superficial. Will still cost a few £'s to sort - but not the worse case scenario I imagined!
Update 2: (22/6)
The garage seem to have a done a good job for exactly the price quoted which is a relief. Although the indicator light seems to need some tweeking. Good to have the car back though!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Youth Ministry Sucess?
"Young people are never won to Jesus because we did something that worked. They're won because God has laid claim to them, wooed them in Christ, loved them enough to suffer for them, died on a cross, rose from a tomb, and has called them to lives of sacrificial love as well."
Thanks Kenda Creasy Dean!
This is from an article at
Youth Specialties. Find myself wandering over the quite a bit for their articles - even if not everything applies this side of the Atlantic!
Clearly you could leave the word "youth" out the quote and apply it to any ministry.
But will we ever learn to stop running after techniques?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Emerging church - movement?
I've had some conversations around emerging church/new expressions etc. and people finding it hard to pin down.
My definition: Attempts to do mission and incarnate church in the transitioning, emerging culture (did I forget the "P" word - postmodern?).

Andrew Jones is asking "is emerging church a movement"? He includes some helpful definitions/observation from Dr Paul Pierson on historical renewal and revival movements.
His deinitions include theological breakthoughs, changing strucures, recontextualisation of the message etc.
I'm reminded of a post from the my brother on this blog
which suggested that perhaps at the moment the emerging church lacks a distinctive internal spiritual dynamic. Not sure if I agree but its food for thought!
Financial Crises?
The Times today has an article on a report from the Church of England about looming financial crisis. Another nail in the coffin of Christendom:
The structures and systems of the Church still bear the imprint of a pastoral era which assumed a predominantly conforming population, The Church of England needs to be turned around by God and move in a different direction."

The need to release people and resources for mission is great. But I'm guessing we need to be creative with finance - tent making, living by faith, self financing teams (such as Urban Expression). Of course we can bemoan money wasted on instiutions and outmoded ways of working rather than mission (buildings, organs, hierarchy etc.), but we need to think outside inherited ways of financing stuff. And its a tough balance for denomnational bodies in this transitional era.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Another quiz!
Just got lured to another (pointless?) self analysis quiz:

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan




Neo orthodox


Reformed Evangelical






Roman Catholic


Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Not sure how that was my result! Not that I'm into labels (they only create unhelpful division) - but the winning category is not the obvious one I would chose (what would they be? Like I'd risk putting that here!). That's it no more quizzes. Ever. Well this week anyway...

Just took my first trip to Urban Dictionary (thanks to a reference in Nick Barham's Dis/Connected - more on that another time!).
Worth a look to keep up with evolving language use.
Lots of youthy & "street" terms.
Amusing to see Calvinist there!
Definition includes this fantastic quote:
"A calvinist falls down some stairs and says "glad that's over with"

Monday, June 06, 2005

The world we live in- resources
As part of a service I was doing yesterday I used a helpful Powerpoint (sorry to the anti-Microsoft Mac Brigade) from Bond on Make Poverty History. A very useful resource!
I also got some good facts and figures on the state of play in terms of poverty, inequality etc, from Tearfund's youth leader site.

Matt has some helpful words on all this(as always):
"In all the buzz of Edinburgh events and Live8 , great as they are, its ultimately vital that the real issues and real lives become and remain our focus in our campaigning and action, in our worship and reflections surrounding world poverty."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Budding Star?
Last night I was back in my family town of Dartford, at the Mick Jagger Centre .
My nephew (aged 9) was in a production of Me and My Girl. He even had a line to say and got to dance with one of the main characters! Nice on Toby!
Good to catch up with family!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Baptist & Single?
If you're Baptist and single then maybe this may be for you:

Yes its real!
I came across it from the Google ads at the site of a church I'm going to at the weekend!.
Not looked into it enough to see if its really Baptist or just a dating site! Let me know if you're brave enough...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Unity, truth, love & blogs!
Found this editorial from Christian Counterculture provocative.
"Everyone thinks they need a blog today, where they can wax-on eloquently about everything from religion to sports to politics. But all-too-often they are transformed into "mini-pulpits" to bash about their brothers and sisters in Christ over some matter or another. Or they are used to advance the cause of some faction or group that has seemingly replaced Jesus as the supreme object of affection and loyalty."

It goes on to add some positive advice, which I like:

"Are you "Reformed"? Then keep your "Reformed-ness" a very distant second to your primary identity as a member of Jesus' family — the followers of the Risen Christ. Remember that the greatest time in history was the 1st century, not the 16th.

Are you "Charismatic"? Then keep your charismatic-ness at the same distance. Remember that the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the one that should cause us sheer excitement — occurred at Pentacost, not Azusa Street, Toronto or somewhere else.

Are you an "emergent" Christian? Then view your "emergent-ness" within the broader context of God's Spirit working throughout the world in a variety of contexts, some of which may seem outdated to you."
(Rob Shlpafer -

A timely reminded that none of us has the monopoly on theological soundness. And hey isn't there mission to be done?
Youth Spirituality (again)
God:A Pop Culture Superstar is an article from Youth Specialties.
Its an interesting article about spiritual stuff in US youth culture, and finishes with some research which put young people in to 5 catagories in regard to spirituality:
Resisiters, Mystics, Experimenters, Traditionalists and The Intrigued.
Reminded me of comment from Bob Mayo (I think) about spirituality as entertainment, significance or transendence, based on UK research.

"Spirituality is everywhere in entertainment today" says Steve Rabey in the article.

Nearest we got when I was a kid was Rent-a-Ghost...