Today, along with some other things, I had a meeting with the Choco’s about our annual Pastors Conference. I enjoy working with these guys.
This year, at our conference just gone, we had as our speaker Terry Walling. He was fantastic. His style of teaching involved a lot of group work, sharing with others. Very EC of him, and I really enjoyed it. There was a general consensus that for such an occaision, being the first time Bapos and Chocos met together or the annual Pastors conference, he really helped us network and grow together.
Another interesting point he made was the priority of his cafe outreach over day to day church activities. His church runs a cafe. Actually he would say the cafe owned by the church, happens to have a church attached. A seemingly subtle change, but it confronts who is served first. As Borden and Walling would say, the non churched gets served first. Or as I would say, “the church is not for you, you are the church. The Church is for the unchurched”.
It made me wonder about NCD and their emphasis on the 8 signs of a healthy church. While I like these, it seems to me the problem is that evangelism, mission, reaching out, call it whatever you like, is far too important to just include with seven other attributes. Even Warrens 5 purposes suffer a little from this. If seeing people come to Christ is not THE Key Performance Indicator in our church, then I think we have a problem. Now some will come back and say, if your church is healthy it will be seeing people come to Christ. True, but if your church does not have mission as its first priority, I dont think its healthy.
Went to a thoughtprovoking and inspiring mini conference today with Scott Pilgrim from Crossover Aust. and Kevin Keegan from Dural Baptist Church in Sydney. They spoke of the challenges facing Pastors trying to move congregations from maitenance mode to mission mode.
Scott also entered into the ‘attractional vs incarnational’ debate. What he had to say was informed and interesting. Scott stated this, “Missional churches are incarnational by nature… and yet authentically attractional in building faith community.” In other words it is not one or the other, but both. As I interact with some from the emerging church context, it seems to me that really we are talking about what we are doing, rather than why. And this to me seems to be a question of balance. I like what Scott was saying, we need to be incarnational, and our programs and services need to be attractive.
Melinda and I are in the throes of maintaining our house in showroom condition as we try to sell it. It has been 7 days that it has been on the market. We are selling because we feel like missionaries going into the area God has called us to minister too.
One of the stresses we have had has been over our garage door. The door has been fitted, but when it was, they did not fit the roses into the little windows like we ordered. After numerous phone calls, not all of them very nice, we have finally had the roses fitted. Its only a little touch, but they do look nice. Life is never easy, and when people just dont really care about service, it makes life difficult. Now I wont tell you which company fitted our door. But what I will say is that you should never buy products endorsed by former West Coast Eagles players, you may find the same hassles we have!
Amidst all the confusion and problems of the hurricanes in the US, some Southern Baptists have managed to keep themselves pure. A local beer company donated crates of water for the relief effort, and because it had beer labels, some local Pharisees decided they would not distribute it. Give me a break! What a terrible way to portray the love of God. Now if it had West Coast Eagles labels on it, I could understand it.
Not bad for a Pastor to be named amongst the 25 most influential leaders.
Interesting to read Warren’s profile and understand his transperancy and vulnerability. He admits he had not even thought about widows and orphans until recently in his ministry life. Many of us have been concerned with our own little vineyard, and neglected the social aspect of the gospel. Now THE key leader of the evangelical movement of our time is coming out saying the social aspects of the gospel are equally important as the spiritual ones. USA Today Article
Good news today on the Freo front with Cookie being resigned for another 12 months. Having actually shook the great mans hand, and bought him a beer, I can tell you, he is one player that you would not want to be bumped by.
At a scratch match last year, when there was only about 300 people at the ground, I could hear the thump as Cook slammed an opposition Western Bulldongs player to the ground. Normally during a game you cant hear these things. But that whack by Cook was sufficient to guarantee a healthy dab of Epsom on the other shoulders. This from the Dockers website,
Recognised as one of the toughest players in the competition, his ferocious attack on the ball made him an instant fan favourite and valuable team contributor at Fremantle.
Cook has set the defensive standard for Fremantle where he has led the club’s tackling in five of his six seasons including 2005 where he had 87 tackles at 4.35 a game
Alright, so the naming is only by me, and the title is just to stir some emergent types up, but seriously, browse their web site! Hillsong Services
This reinforces the recent ‘Australian Story’ episode when they talked of how many community activities the Church is involved in.
Having attended their national conference on and off for the past 6 years I have noticed how Hillsong Church is becoming increasingly socially aware, of their responsibilities, and of the needs of Australian Society. In fact if I really wanted to be frank, I would say that in my opinion they are being far more effective at being incarnational, that any other organisation in Australia.
Sure they have their issues, but who doesn’t? I know my church and my life is not perfect. But kudo’s where they are due I reckon.