Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
We love others because that in and of itslef is a Christ like things to do, not as a tool to evangelise.You might like to add this as final verse. (37) Then the self righteous will answer him, “Damn straight we did!”
Here is the dilemma...
We all live a long way apart and most are also involved in some kind of church / home group / inetntional community / something else.
We're thinking a monthly meal and quite reflection together to start. The quiet reflection may well be a reworking of the adult godly play idea I mention early in this earlier post.
I think I like this idea as I've been trying to work off my connect, grow and serve model and realising that I want to do these three things plus I'd like to do some or all of these things solo, in a small group and in a large group. At the moment I'm doing all three solo, and I feel I should write more about this perhaps to help any of the solo flyers out there who are trying to work out how they keep their faith alive without being connected to a church. The small and large group stuff is much harder, traditionally people find a large church with smal groups. However there are lots of Xn groups doing good serving stuff so it's not too hard to do some serving as part of a larger group, and finding a small group to meet with is something I have done before without being attached to a larger group, so that's possible but at the moment difficult.
Grr Arrgh I'm not sure if this is making things more compilicated or simple or even if this comes close to filling the "church" holes I have in life.
With no advertising on the outside of the church, no answer on the phone. I thought it might be time to check out the church nearest us. We rocked up 30minutes early and folks were generally pretty friendly.
After a super slick hour of worship music it was time for the music performance, we left before the music performance ended.
I guess there was a strange vibe about the place...
Perhaps the speaking in tounges between songs was a bit strange, maybe it was the fact everyone looked like they were dressed for a wedding (and the church was in a really low socioeconomic area), maybe it was because the school attached to the church used a syllabus not recognised by the education department which meant year 12's couldn't get a TEE like everyone else inthe state, maybe it was that if you had a coffee after church you'd have to buy it from the coffee shop franchise located on the grounds. Maybe (to quote the castle) it was "the vibe"
In 1998 the stats were...
Regular church attenders 10% - Across the denominational spectrum, roughly 10 per cent of the population attend perhaps 5 ‑ 8 times in a two-month period.
Fringe attenders 10% - Roughly 10 per cent of the population may attend church 1-3 times in a two-month period.
Open de-churched 20% - Forty per cent of the population are 'de-churched'. At some point in their life they attended church. Of these, 20 per cent are the 'open de-churched'‑ people who have left church at some point, but are open to return if suitably contacted and invited.
Closed de-churched 20% - Twenty per cent of the population have attended church at some point in their life, but were damaged or disillusioned, and have no intention of returning.
Non-churched 40% - Forty per cent of the population nationally have never been to church, except perhaps for the funeral or wedding of a friend or relation.
So there you go - in the UK at least as many people who go to church are outside of the church but open to going back. The little summary says if "suitably contacted and invited" I doubt if that is all that is holding people back...
Philip Richter and Leslie Francis, Gone but not Forgotten (Darton, Longman & Todd, 1998). Taken from Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council, Mission-shaped Church: Church Planting and Fresh Expressions of Church in a Changing Context (Church House Publishing, 2004) p 36.
Friday, October 28, 2005
This post was of my favourite movies but that changes all the time, is way self indulgent and I don't think anyone cares anyway. Hence I've changed it to a list of some of my favourite Sleeper movies, the kind of movies you've never heard of but think might be good but your not really sure.
Top Sleeper Movies
- The Station Agent
- I Heart Huckabees
- Chasing Amy
- The Shipping News
- Roan Inish
- Whale Rider
- Simple Men
- In my fathers Den
- Mall Boy
- Metrpolis (with Pink Floyd's "wish you were here" as a soundtrack)
- So I married an axe murderer
- The Bank
- One Perfect Day
- The Wizard of Oz (with Pink Floyd's "darkk side of the moon" as a soundtrack)
- Noi the Albino
Friday, October 21, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Connect Grow and Serve is starting to work as a really nice way of framing things for me. This along with the concept of doing things Solo in Small groups and in Large groups. Basically my premise is that as Xn you need to Connect (with God) Grow (in faith & as a person) and Serve (others) and that this can be done solo and in small and large groups.
Basically I'm doing lot's of the solo variety at the moment and I'm keen to do more of the Small and Large group variety.
What is interesting (I think), in a recent conversation with a friend where we looking at setting up some kind of church service type thing and perhaps some sort of intergrated network of Xns, (that wasn't quite the intent of the original conversation) most people who don't identify as Xns connect with Serve and Connect type activities. Serving might be things like giving food for the hungry - I think they look at stuff like that and think "yer this is what the world should be doing more of, I want to hang out with people who want to do that kind of stuff" . People also connect with the Connect stuff things like a prayer work or a meditation, things without a prescribed theology.
The problem is that we tend to really major on Grow things where we teach people hey this is what we believe kind of stuff. We tend to start with this and then say now we'll connect with God or go and serve some people. So we might start by telling friends "hey why don't you do an Alpha course". Where as perhaps we could start by giving people a chance to connect with God or to serve others first and then secondly offer them some kind of theological understanding with which to frame those experiences.
Unfortunately http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/libevang.htm proves I'm not the first to come up with the idea.
I agree with the 4 points outlined which are...
(1) The authority of Scripture is understood as residing not in the letter of the text (this would be bibliolatry) but in its dynamic revelation of God in Christ.
(2) Older and what is believed cruder penal theories of the atonement have sometimes been replaced by those stressing the redeeming love of God in Christ.
(3) Scientific theories such as evolution have been embraced and understood as being compatible with a Christian view of creation.
(4) Higher critical conclusions concerning the Bible (e.g., the dating of Daniel, the authorship of II Peter, the redaction of (Matthew) have been accepted.
In a generally practical sense the two things that hold my life in tension are Spirit and Scripture. I'll read something in the Bible pray about it and then see how that sits with me (listening to the spirit). If a face value reading of the scripture doesn't sit well then I will start to explore it thoroughly, as I have posted about with the women and homosexuality posts.
Similarly with every aspect of my life when I am confronted with something whether it be the idea of a needle exchange program or whatever I'll look at what the Bible says that could be relevant, pray about it and see how the two sit with me. Of course I also keep in the back of my mind that I could always be wrong about anything and therefore listen seriously to any contrary voices.
It annoys me when a fundamentalist evangelical says "it's in the Bible (at a face value reading) therefore X must be right". And equally I'm annoyed by the fundamentalist liberal who says "look I know the Bible says X but I think Y is the loving answer and God is love so therefore Y must be correct".
I tend to share lots of social and political ideas with liberals but a grounding in scripture that tends to be more evangelical.