Friday, June 30, 2006

Last night we went down to the Rutland in Hammersmith to catch Our Dad's (or Myspace here) charity gig.
Great venue down by the river Thames, and the usual funky mayhem from the band.
A good night (except for the venue's volume limiter!)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mentoring & Support
Following this post a few days ago, on accountabiliy, support etc., I came across a helpful article from Kara Powell on "Getting the Mentoring you need".

It helpfully suggests a "constellation of mentors" who fulfil different functions, rather than a one-size fits all Yoda figure.

Right, I'm off to practice the jedi mind trick...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Exploding Laptops
I knew there was a reason I didn't get a Dell...
See story & pics here
(HT to Relevant)
Generation Gap?
Finally got round to reading a piece from the New York Metro a while back "Up with Grups".
Basically its about people in their 30's and 40's being into popular culture and refusing to grow up out of it. They wear jeans and trainers, hoodies, Ipods, and listen to the same music as their kids.
It suggests:
"This is an obituary for the generation gap"
"a seismic shift in intergenerational relationships".

Its well worth a read, you may find you're a grup!

Reminds me of
something Steve Collins wrote (speaking about alt. worship):
"But the thing we still call 'youth culture' is no longer just for the young. It was a youth culture when it began with the first teenagers back in the 1950s. Now it is the culture of 50-year-olds too. The teenagers of the 1960s still live in the 'youth culture' they created - still produce it - even though they are now in middle age. Everyone under 45 has grown up entirely inside it. It is not a thing you grow out of anymore - there is nowhere to grow out to. Even if you wanted to."

Marko commented on this a while back and suggests:
"HERE’S THE THING: the observation that the generation gap, as experienced in every previous generation, is disappearing… now THAT’S something worth talking about and studying and thinking about. what are the implications? what are the risks? what are the new opportunities this provides us — especially in the church? wow — just think of it! is it possible to conceive of a time when worship style wars won’t be drawn along generational lines? how cool would THAT be?"

What does ministry mean in this context - where what we do as youth ministry is no longer just for the young?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Today I received this request from a youthworker:
"I have booked a canal boat trip for our youth group but the Boat Project have said we need to arrange insurance".
Seems several brokers have come back with a blank.

Any wisdom from the wise youthworkers in blog world- where to go for insurance, ideas, advice?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Accountability, spiritual direction, finding those to support and "speak into" your life are things that keep coming back in my thinking and reading.

Finding the right person/people and really making it work is perhaps easier in theory than practice, but recent "slip ups" of people in ministry known to me make this seem essential for survival long term.

Helpful article on Relevant here.
Others have blogged about it such as Marko here and Alice here.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Obviously I'm cheering for England!
But this was fun:
What's you Brazilian football name?
They were talking about this yesterday on BBC London.
(HT to Lewis for reminding us of it!)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


My home chuch is celebrating 125 years in September.
If you've had any connections with Haven Green over the years you're invited to come along!
Should be fun!
The picture is the shadow of the relatively new doors on an original mosaic of Psalm 100v4.
I wonder what church will be like in another 125 years?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Unhelpful Advice
This summer I seem to have been getting a bit of hayfever. Not something I 've really suffered with before, so I went to the NHS Direct website for some advice. Here's some of their top tips:
  • keep windows and doors shut in the house. If it gets too warm, try drawing the curtains to keep out the sun and keep the temperature down;
  • avoid cutting grass, playing or walking in grassy areas, and camping
  • keep car windows closed
I know it is helpful, and for those who suffer from this badly I don't mean to be flippant, but really:
keep windows shut - they've clearly never been to my top floor sauna flat.
- avoid grass - I live between 2 parks, overlooking tennis courts (and there goes any ideas about mowing a labyrinth!)
- keep car windows closed - we can't all afford air-con!
(guess its not the advice that's unhelpful so much as my life style!)

Anyway it got me thinking about other unhelpful advice. What's the naffest advice you've been given? (especially if its from a "professional").
I remember once as a student going to the optician with broken glasses, hoping to avoid the cost of new frames to be asked "have you tried sellotape?". Needless to say I was not happy!

Back up and running
Well finally got my computer back to "normal", although I'm discovering the crash left some (not much fortunately!) of my data corrupted, which is a pain. I got an external hard drive (which looks like a funky lego brick) to do regular back ups.
I did a complete re-install and all seems good.
Not sure what happened - lets hope it doesn't happen again!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Youth ministry as a crutch?
Check out Gman's thoughts here at Youth Ministry Forum.
Fits in well with some of the discussion over employing youth workers and youth ministry& church.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I blame the weather...
Ok so its not stinking hot in my flat anymore, but its the best excuse I can find!
On Monday I missed a meeting - having arranged it by email it never made it into my diary.
But then my PDA died anyway! I think its OK now. I've had pretty much trouble free use for 2 years, but this was not helpful!

Yesterday my PC joined in and decided not to boot up. I ran the "PC Angel" again and hence I'm here posting OK, but managed to stuff up the configuration of Outlook, which as yet remains unresolved. My data (mail, calendar etc.) is OK, but new mail doesn't retrieve and stuff won't delete. More work to be done there then.

After my texting disaster last week, I'm beginning to think I should go back to a low-tech lifestyle.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Young people & church (again)
Had a good morning on Saturday looking at
Young people, worship & word. It was hot so we finished early and I got to hear & eventually watch most of the England game! (that's not why we finished early - honest!!)
For me the issue to keep working on is the relationship with youth ministry and the wider church. This won't go away - guess its part of the job!
Some of those attending on Saturday were obviously frustrated by the tension between their desire to create meaningful worship with young people and the slow nature of trying to move the average Baptist church forward as a whole body.

How does/should multi-cultural, all age church happen?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Coming up
My attempts at posting have been thwarted by Blogger the last couple of days.
I've been getting ready for a training day tomorrow: Young people, worship and word. Covering some interesting ground. I booked it in before checking the World Cup dates so numbers might be down, but got a few bookings.

And of course there is the small matter of the

Monday, June 05, 2006

Youthworkers (again)
A few church youth people have responded to the issue of churches employing youthworkers.
Lewis here, Jon here.
I'd like to think they're doing more than trying to justify their own existence!
Andy has followed up with some interesting thoughts too, here a quote:
"Ending a specific and separate youth ministry would demand that we face the questions of what it means to be God's church. From a Baptist perspective it would face us with the questions of are we a prophetic, inclusive, sacrificial, missionary and worshipping community? Youth ministry avoids us having to ask those questions, at least not in the same way, with respect to our children and young people"
Takes me back to the Beyond the Youthgroup thing I wrote.

I think its essential to ask these questions.
The need for pioneering mission to young people (and not so young people) is undeniable. But that's not what most churches employ youthworkers for, and will probably result in new forms of church (in one way or another). Dig behind why most churches employ youthworkers and you get some interesting comments!

Friday, June 02, 2006

A lesson most people learnt 10 years ago was: Always keep you mobile key locked.
I have 2 mobiles, one for work and one is personal which usally sits in my bag not switched on.
Today I heard noise from my bag - the phone was on. I then get a message from an friend trying to discover who keeps texting - seems I sent 86 blank texts. Not a cheap error either, and not one I want to repeat. Still at least it didn't dial 999!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Weekly Church?
I remember Stuart Murray (among others) suggesting not ruling out a move away from a weekly pattern of church.
Many in "inherited" churches are finding that teaching a "series" of sermons in the traditional sense is difficult, as you don't get a consistent congregation 2 weeks in a row.
Children's ministry and some youth stuff are moving away from Sunday morning as the focus, as children are doing sport, visiting absent parents etc.
And even with cell church getting a weekly consistent group can be tough.
Just wondering how another pattern might work, whilst not "giving up meeting together as some are in the habit"(Hebrews 10:25)?