Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Reaching and keeping?
Some good conversation around reaching young people and helping them sustain faith into adulthood over at Backyard Missionary (HT Andrew for link).

Good questions - beyond the hype and rhetoric - does much of what passes as youth ministry actually work in making disciples? And what needs to change?
The youth club is dead - long live the youth club!
I have an uncertain relationship with youth clubs.
Sure there are many good ones out there doing important and worthwhile stuff, but also some not so well thought out ones.
I had a good experience as a youth at a church club- it was linked to the Sunday youth group, had good committed leaders and a good close knit group.
I've had mixed experiences as a leader and worker, both at church clubs and Local Authority and "secular" youth clubs. Early on this was probably partly due to my own lack of skills and training as a leader, but also due to lack of focus, clear thinking and policy.

On Friday I went to visit a club on the East side of London and last night I met with some leaders setting up a club in the North West. Both excellent groups, good stuff happening, very encouraging. Good leaders, energy etc. Making it work for their contexts.

Questions that still remain for me though are around youth club as outreach - is a club the best way to bring in unchurched young people and do they come through to faith? And is this best done "inside - out" (church youth bringing friends) or through the "open" club approach?
And do we fall back on the notion of the youth club sometimes through a lack of imagination (for whatever reason - this isn't meant to sound condemning!) to think of fresh models?


Saturday, March 25, 2006

I was supposed to be running a training event and catching up with a church leader in SE London this morning, but for the first time had to pull out. Sorry if you went along!
I seem to have picked up some unpleasant stomach bug (either that or I ate something really dodgy). Lets hope it goes as quickly as it came, because I can live without another night like last night!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Reports seem to be fresh in that Norman Kember has been freed in Iraq.
Something to give thanks for, as I know many have been praying long and hard about this.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Like many people I sometimes ask "how did church get so complicated"? Isn't it about a bunch of people following Jesus together?
Ok I work for a denominational body and add to the complication...

Anyway here's a quote that's been doing the rounds on the blogs:
"If the electricity went out, and your walls fell down, and your biggest givers died, what would you have left? Would you have a community of people still seeking after the heart of God? Would you still worship even without a band? Would you still be able to learn about God even though you can't show a video or a PowerPoint slide? In other words, what you have when everything else goes away is what your church is really all about."
Originally from Church Marketing Sucks (great title!), I spotted it through here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Emerging youth ministry?
Mark Riddle has written on Youth Ministry in the Emerging Church at Next Wave, on why youth ministry will have a place in future church, but it might look different!
It kind of follows the post by Ryan Bolger I mentioned a couple of months ago.

Fred Peatross's piece on Missional Prioirty is also thought provoking! (ht to Mark for the link!)

tag: Youth Ministry
tag: Emerging church

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Feel like my ears are still ringing from last night! I got a last minute request to play guitar for a joint Back to Reality & Soul in the City West London celebration. Was a good evening, another set from the ubiquitous 29th Chapter, plus input from Hugo Anson. A good crowd of youth were there and it was fun to dust off the electric and the Marshall combo and crank it up!

Today was my parents ruby wedding anniversary, and they did an exchange of ring thing in their church service, which was good. Then we went out with them and my brother's tribe for a huge carvery meal. Nice.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Serious fun?
Tearfund has some fun flash games with a serious message about climate change that you could waste some time trying to get good at (especially the hammer on the keyboard bike ride one - reminds me of those days playing Daley Thompson's Decathlon!).
Check them out here
Len Hjalmarson has written an interesting series at Theooze "Leading from the margins". (final part is here, you can search articles by author for the previous installments!)
He suggests:
" As we live out new ways of leading faithful communities,

• Instead of leading from over, we lead from among.
• Instead of leading from certainty, we lead by exploration, cooperation and faith.
• Instead of leading from power, we lead in emptiness depending on Jesus
• Instead of leading as managers, we lead as mystics and poets, "speaking poetry in a prose flattened world" and articulating a common future
• Instead of leading from the center, we lead from the margins."

I wonder what that looks like, and where it leads "paid ministry"?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Slow down!

Today has been declared a "slow in the city" day by Slow London!
Dance (again)!
So in a previous post (seems I lost the comments) we concluded that this was a joke.
Unfortunatley this one is real.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry!
Questions for evaluation that were shared at a meeting I was at yesterday:
- What's the relationship between what I'm doing, how I'm doing it and the Kingdom of God?
- How do we ensure that what we're doing is gospel?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Weekend at the Castle!
My home church had their annual cell leaders weekend at Farnham Castle again this year - always a nice place to go!
It was a good time, catching up with people etc. Trevor Withers from Cell UK shared some stuff about cultural change and discipleship (which at times sounded like one of my own training events!). Biggest challenge for me was the reminder of the importance of 1 to 1 and "spiritual friendship" for the discipleship journey. Easy to talk about - harder to make the time to do!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Just put the latest "LBA Guide" on the LBA Youth website: "Guide to better practice" (See Ready to Use - Downloads)
Seems I've lost the link to "Beyond the youthgroup" which I'll fix next week.
I confess to nicking some of the sections (notably on residentials).

Off to a cell leaders weekend soon with my home church - should be good!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I've always felt XP was pretty good as an OS. Never wanted to get all Mac(y).
But backing up is essential as I discovered today!

This morning every time I got to the login screen I got a re-start message and couldn't log in.
Tried everything I knew, no luck.

So I ran the "PC Angel" utility and tried the "Non-destructive restoration" option (sounded safe!), but still no luck. So I had to run a more severe option through that software, basically a re-install of Windows, with a back up of data.
Well all is well again now - but it was pain to have to re-install all the software (and track down those product keys). All my documents/media files etc. were fine, (I had a recent back up anyway). It seems, however, I've lost my e-mails (sorry if you contacted me and I didn't reply!), and only managed to save contacts and diary via my PDA. (I'm sure its was backed up here somewhere!).
Anyway the moral of the story is "if you think you are standing firm be careful you don't fall!" (1 Cor 10:12)

update: seems PC Angel did good, all the files were backed up nicely, and nothing is lost. Phew! Lets hope that doesn't happen again!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Young people & Church
" It’s not the responsibility of the young people to integrate with the older. Those that are older in Christ, more mature, should be the ones that change–do the denying and laying down–rather than the other way around."
Roger Ellis, (Revelation Church), from Group's Youthministry.com

Monday, March 06, 2006

Fairtrade Fortnight
Its fairtrade fortnight 6-19th March.
Lots of resources and ideas at the fairtrade website.
Surely an excuse for another one of Co-op's delicious fair trade choclate cakes (we enjoyed one with my brother's family at the weekend) or should I go for the choclate brownies this time? (don't tell the Mrs!)
Weekend Off
Just had our weekend off for the term!
Didn't go away, but good to catch up and hang out with friends and family.
Sunday evening pub quiz is still on the agenda, although our depleted team didn't do well yesterday.

Friday, March 03, 2006

MC Hammer=Blogger!
Seems MC Hammer is a Blogger user!
Not sure why but that amuses me! Bring on the baggy trousers!
Poor Service (again)
I've posted previously on poor service and how to complain without being un-Christlike.
I was actually tempted to set up a "poor service blog" where we could name and shame companies!

On Monday I phoned my insurance company to change some details and get cover for Suzie's new car, and I was given a reasonable price and assured the job was done. But when I logged on to their online system it showed the old policy. Today the paper work came - for the old car! Pants!
It now seems to be sorted and "this is the first time I've known this to happen" was what I was assured!

But I won't be doing a poor service blog in case someone adds the London Baptist Association and I have to face the music...

But I will shout about some good service I've had recently:
Trade Sales in Slough
Cleaner Cars in Ealing
Evesham Computers