She’ll be Right

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This morning my brother, Loges and I rolled up at Hilary’s boat harbour nice and early all set for some surf. The wind was offshore and you can even see little bits of white water in the distance which are waves. We launched the Queen Mary, and I drove off to park the car while the other guys sat and waited – not watching as the boat filled with water…

I had forgotten to plug the bungs in! Oops…

When I got back and saw the water I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right… So… we plugged the bungs in straight away and then there was the choice… drain the boat or just go out anyway.

If you know me you’ll know that dragging her out and waiting half an hour isn’t really my idea of fun, so we decided to go for it. ‘She’ll be right!’ I thought…

The good news is we got out and back but it was a rocky ride! Unfortunately tides and winds conspired against us again and the surf was very ordinary.

But… we are learning!

Kids – Ideals and Realities

Recently someone said to me that the key to a great church plant is a good kids ministry and rockin music.

That person isn’t a part of our church… and probably won’t be in a hurry!

Its not that we don’t love our kids or enjoy music, but the question needs to be asked again, ‘where do these things fit in this setting?’ Their statement assumes a one size fits all kind of church where if we simply get a few key elements right the punters will show up in their droves singing our praises.


But the ‘what do we do with the kids?’ question is a big one and the danger is we will simply run pseudo baby sitting services to keep them out of our hair, or we will drive ourselves insane trying to integrate them and make them a part of everything.

As i think out loud here, you need to know that I am a pragmatic optimist! I am not an idealist. I have been, but I got too frustrated – and never got anywhere because ideals simply aren’t reality (otherwise they’d be called ‘reals’!) and rarely translate easily to every day life. I believe we need ideals like we need big dreams. They keep us focused on what ‘can be’ in the best of worlds, but at the same time we simply need to come to grips with the reality of this world. We need to live with the tension between ideals and realism.

That said I am up for re-thinking how we disciple our kids. I am even prepared to try and be a little idealistic!

In conversation with a friend this week we both commented that the Sunday school setting and the lessons we were a part of really didn’t fire us up much as kids – in fact for the most part I disliked having to go and learn on Sunday as well as Mon-Fri.

What we both remember as significant were the people who took an interest in our lives and who influenced us by their example and by their interest in us. Perhaps that is what really matters…

What would happen if we didn’t have any kids teaching programs?

Would our kids grow up to be pagans?

Would they resent us in their adult years for not schooling them in the scriptures?

I am thinking there is a much stronger case to be made for quality parenting and healthy non family mentoring than there is for classroom education of children. That said kids and parents in the same meeting can be very tricky because no-one tends to enjoy the time or really engage with what’s going on.

James has a link to an article in the latest Vineyard online journal that has some good stuff to say. I like her idea of the family as the primary place of spiritual nurture. I think her practical outworking of church worship services is a variation on a theme and not all that revolutionary.

Then again maybe there is no new better way! Ultimately we will need to find a path that works. No answers yet!poet the divx

Coming to Oz

Recently I got an invite to a roundtable seminar with Pete Ward – author of Liquid Church – a book that has been doing the rounds of Emerging Churchers.

I am hoping to get over to the Gold Coast in March to chew things around and try and hear where Pete is coming from in his book. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve read enough commentary and review to know that we have some similar thoughts as well as probably a few different ones!

I can’t seem to find any here in Perth, but Justin Baeder

has kindly bought me one and is sending it over! He actually said he’d buy one for anyone who emailed him!…

Yesterday my new job (which I haven’t started yet) gave me time off to go – which is very cool. Now I just need to scrape together $350.00 for the conference fee and I’ll be there. Frequent flyers will take care of the flights!

I’ve discovered that I am a real lover of learning and I can always find the money for a good conference! Hopefully I am not just a conference junkie though. Its tragic to see people always learning but never doing.

I remember Steve Clarke saying once that ‘we are educated beyond our intelligence’… I never did get what he meant!

(By the way… I was kidding about Justin buying anyone a copy of Liquid Church!)