Monday, December 24, 2007

*Happy Christmas
It's Christmas eve!
Happy Christmas!

"O come to us abide with us our Lord Immanuel"

Labels: ,

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Question
Where did the notion of Jesus coming "silently" (e.g. Silent Night, v3 O Little Town of Bethlehem, etc) come from? Seems a little odd to me!


Christmas & Dentists
Today seems to have that "end of term" feel. Definately a day for getting stuff sorted before Christmas.
And for going to the dentist:
Dentistry has been a family theme this year, as the Mrs ventured to see one after 10 years of not (the trip was largely due to a lot of pain). The result was several trips and a lot of work. Then about a month ago a large chunk fell out my mouth, which several trips later is now replaced with shinny gold! (How festive!)

But I did manage to track down paper chains far easier than when I last tried to use them for creative prayer (I suppose it is the season for them!).


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Some good resources to download from the Princeton Institute for Youth Ministry.
As well as PDF's of the Lectures on Youth, Church & Culture, there is also audio stuff from their Cloud of Witnesses Audio Journal. I downloaded some stuff onto my MP3 player and while driving around today listened to Eugene Peterson talking about pastoral ministry (link here). As inspiring as you'd expect, suggesting that pastors (youth or otherwise) fill their time with programmes and busyness to avoid the mess of relationship or the mystery of God.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Youth Church (2)
Following up the last post on the youth church thing.
Jonathan suggested that the shift in emphasis from "youth church" to "emerging church" was about a:
discovery that the need for new ways of doing and being church was felt not just by young people but also by older generations. So the distinguishing factor ceased to be age, and became outlook, approach, style"
That kind of summarises how my personal thought process, from working with youth to asking bigger "church" questions. I hope that is the reality in terms of youth church, but the cynic in me wonders if it is still about trends and bandwaggons?

In terms of how I answered some of the questions I was asked, here are my quick thoughts:
  • How would you define a youth church? What distinguishes it from a “normal” multi-generational church?

For me the definition of a youth church is an attempt to inculturate the Gospel and function as a church within the structures and paradigms of a particular localised youth culture.

I think it was Graham Cray who suggested something like that we think in terms of these being the first churches of a new generation rather than a single generation church.

They differ from multi-generational churches by being focused on the culture and patterns of young people and youth culture, although there may be older people who relate more to such an expression than they do existing “inherited” churches.
  • From your experience and observation, are most youth churches in England youth groups of existing churches who want their own worship service or are they church plants into the youth culture?

At the moment most are congregations of existing churches. This is far more common than church planting.

There have been some attempts to plant, but usually out of strong relationship with the “mother” church

More for another post I think!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Youth Church
10 years ago the notion of "Youth Church" was very much the in thing. Since then we've gotten all "emerging" and "fresh expression"/"mission shaped".
So has the idea of youth church plateaued? Are people still intentionally doing this? And is this just about "trends" or the product of robust theological and missiological thinking?
I've been asked some questions to help some research, and a couple of other conversations have bought this up. Here are some of the questions - in case anyone has better answers than me:
  • How would you define a youth church? What distinguishes it from a “normal” multi-generational church?
  • Can you summarize quickly what is happening in this scene of youth churches globally?
  • How have leaders in this movement handled the concept of youth church theologically and ecclesiologically?
  • Are youth churches making the transition into multi-generational churches? If not, what happens to them?
  • Are most youth churches in England youth groups of existing churches who want their own worship service or are they church plants into the youth culture?
I'll post my answers when I've formulated them a bit better!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Missionary Disciples
Tuesday - Wednesday was an overnight "regional and national teams consultation" with the
Baptist Union. The theme was "encouraging missionary disciples", which is the strapline for the Union's strategy document. It was good time to chat and think through some issues, catch up with people etc.

One of the key issues for me around helping churches and therefore Christians to be "missionary" is the change in mindset from mission as an activity to mission as an integral part of being. It seems to me there is still a danger for us all to see being missional as bolting a project onto our cell group or congregation life. Or running an event. But it needs to be deeper rooted than that, which is why I guess people say it takes 10 years or so to move a church into a more missional mode (there's some good stuff on that at Allelon) .

There is in my experience a relationship between intentional mission (trips, short term projects, events) and an ongoing mission attitude, but we should not mistake one for the other.

Anyway, good to hear about stuff going on around the UK and that mission is at the heart of the agenda.

Labels: , ,

Monday, December 03, 2007

So far I've resisted the trend to post Youtube stuff or other videos on to the blog.
No deep philosophical reason.
But this video of "Pastor Puppet" on faith amused me.
Check it out here

Labels: ,