Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back to college
Was back at Oasis College again yesterday. Back to the same group of 2nd year youth ministry students talking all-age worship.
It was based on a training I do for churches and groups, which seeks to raise questions as to why you'd even think about doing all age, as well as thinking about how we got split up in the first place!
It's amazing how much we assume that the way things are now is the way they have always been (or should be). Without fail everyone said their churches did the whole "kids in for the 1st part then out to groups" for their Sunday services, based on a kind of "educational model". And we forget our obsession with "generations" is a relatively new thing, largely driven by marketing.

Anyway it was a fun session, and in the 2nd part we spoke about some practical stuff, around if you are going to do "family services" how you can do them better.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

I had a fun session yesterday afternoon at Oasis College, doing a session for 2nd year youth ministry students on "alternative and emerging worship". Was an interesting time. Always good to try to encourage people to see outside their pre-existing ways of working.

I think many of the stylistic elements pioneered by alt. worship over the years have become part of the landscape for many youth workers (tactile responses, candles, ambiance etc.), but maybe without much reflection on how or why, or how it fits with the wider worship life of the church. It was also good yesterday to try and put things in a missional framework, rather than a "worship that suits me" framework. Not sure if I succeeded, but the journey was good!

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Take Hart
Sad news to hear that Tony Hart has died. His shows are part of my childhood TV memories.
And randomly I preached a message called "Take Heart" this morning and made refrence to him and his shows (not forgetting Morph).

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Red Letter (again)
My issue with "words in red" Bibles has continued.
I found an edition that fits what I'm looking for but the Anglicized text (without the dreaded words in red) is literally twice the price of the US edition with the dreaded words in red (even from a UK seller). Bonkers!

I have also discovered Tony Campolo and others are using the title "Red Letter Christians" as a way of showing they want to take the teaching of Jesus seriously. An admirable thing, but Scot McKnight as always has some interesting things to say about "Red Letter Maestros" and how we read Scripture.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Unintentional Divides?
Continuing to think about how church can be multi-cultural and multi-generational, inclusive community for my dissertation.
And in doing some reading came across this quote:
"Most of our current models of youth ministry work on assumptions about generational distinctives that are often aimed at specific sub-cultural groups within white society. In the process they reinforce generational and cultural divides and the full gospel is no longer presented to all young people". (Simon Bell)

I would subtract the word "young" from the last sentence, because the assumptions we base so much youth ministry on affects the demonstration of the gospel to all people and leaves the church as less than should be.
The quote is from this book "Happy in my Skin", which I'm appreciating more 2nd time around.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

All Age Services
"All age" worship has been something of a recurring theme for me.
I often get asked to lead the dreaded "family service" and have done a few trainings about them.
At the moment I'm just re-looking at some materials for a session with a local church next week and some teaching at Oasis College for youth ministry students later in the month.
There are many quotes about these services and how wrong people can get them,(often based on caricature) but this one seems to sum it up:
"It would, essentially, be a service focused on children and young people with a short sermon, plenty of action songs and confectionery would usually make an appearance somewhere!"
(Susie Mapledoram in Young People and Worship).

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