Looong day today.
I left at 6.30am for a monthly breakfast gig at the South Perth Boatshed Cafe with some good mates – it takes an hour to get there for me… We are currently reading thru Al’s book. Sometimes we discuss the chapter, more often we just discuss… This is one of my most valued networks so I am willing to do the long drive just to catch up.
From there I went to speak to the local AOG Bible college about Forge. I have decided I love speaking to Penties!! They are so enthusiastic and encouraging. I spoke there, then had lunch with Ashley Crane the principal, and local pastor Chris Friend. We had a great discussion about the whole emerging scene and how we can work side by side rather than in opposition to each other. I like those guys.
Then it was off to the opposite end of the spectrum in some ways. I visited with some guys in Lockridge who are currently exploring new expressions of church and mission, with community houses and a strong emphasis on the peace movement. Harry and Jarod are both great thinkers and I left inspired yet again. Expect to hear from these guys at our next Forge intensive under the ‘local heroes’ slot.
A short hour long meeting with my own small group at the local pub was the last thing to do before heading home.
I was already feeling a bit peopled out so you can guess where I am at now…
Still, it was a great day and one where I am really glad to be the person God has called me to be doing the stuff he has called me to do.
This is a house that was built in South Merang – Victoria.
You’d have to be a big fan of the simpsons and have a lot of $$$ to spend it like this…
Sometimes you really need some time just to kick back, relax and forget that there is a job to do. (Yes – this is me writing”)
I love to go hard and find it relatively easy to stay focussed, but there are days when I don’t want to see anybody who will take energy out of me – when I only want to be with people who are easy to be with.
I don’t think that’s selfish – I believe its healthy – necessary.
We had one of those nights on Friday when we were invited to dinner at the home of some other local missionaries who we have got to know since moving into Brighton.
It was one of those nights of great food, great wine and great friends.
It’s funny to see how much our lives have changed in the last 12 months. From being twice daily Sunday church-ers to only going when I am speaking.
Sunday has become a much loved day rather than a work day. I did always enjoy speaking but Sunday was always associated with going really hard and pulling up drained.
Today has been one of those days when we are grateful for the shift in direction. A late start and then a read of the paper, was followed by a dad & daughter trip to Supercheap Autos to pick up car bits and then it was out to the beach to give the new beast a decent test run.
Mark and I went last week, but we spent most of the time getting him unbogged and didn’t really get to give the cars a decent run. Today was a heap of fun as we headed up towards the Alkimos along the beach strip.
Ellie has become a great little companion on the bush tracks and we love heading out there together.
Just spent tonight with an old aquaintance who is becoming a mate – a bloke called Owen Beck.
He was virtually famous in the late 80’s for his band ‘The Rockin Rabbis’. They were an ‘ahead of their time’ band who spoke very powerfully to a lot of issues. It was only last year that I tossed out a well worn Rabbis tape.
Owen has moved into Brighton recently and dropped in to say g’day. We managed to polish off a decent bottle of red over the last 3 or 4 hours.
It was a great night, sitting chatting, eating, drinking and relaxing.
This morning I caught up with Mike for breakfast.
He is one of our team and is busy organising a sensational backyard blitz for a local woman who is in need. We visited the woman’s house today to do some planning and then it was off to the cafe.
Mike had just come from being with his personal trainer in Tuart Hill. Up at 5.30 – a half hour drive – hour’s training – half hour back and then he tucks into a feed of sausages and eggs.
I’d say that the calorie count is even at best!
Chatting with Herdo yesterday we were pondering what was needed to be an effective missionary, or to be a leader of an emerging missional church.
It seems the early church crew didn’t have much at all in the way of theological expertise, but had regular coaching and reflection time with Paul etc. Is theological training necessary?… No?… Maybe?…
We have often said that we are looking to create churches that are simple and reproducible yet the fact is that most of them are still led by people with theological degrees… As much as we may value the average punter we seem to be telling them by weight of numbers that leadership in these babies is for people who have done some hard yards with study.
But then again if we release people with little biblical understanding and a limited theoligcal framework what will the end result be. At our Forge meeting yesterday Mike Prince suggested that maybe the ability to think conceptually is more critical. Some people can do this easily, while others just want the concrete info.
I am still pondering this…
Do we need theologically trained leaders?
Do we just need people with a missionary heart who are willing to have a go?
Do we simply need people who can think conceptually and some of that involve theological / missiological / ecclesiological issues?
When trying to grasp what we are doing here in Brighton people often ask me how it will look in 10 or 20 years time.
Here’s a quote from Wolfgang Simpson that captures what i usually find myself saying in one way or another:
But one of the emerging trends is that clearly “church” is getting defined in a very different way than we used to. It moves from a denominationally organized setup to organic regionality, from pastoral leadership to apostolic networks, from leaders to elders or parents. Church is no longer just a single organized “church” with a senior pastor, a building with a steeple and a program, but more the organic fellowship and community of Christians in a city or region – as in NT times. The body then is the sum total of all members of the interconnected housechurches, cells, groups and interdependent churches. Leadership is no any longer happening through one senior pastor, but through regional teams, often functioning acording to apostolic patterns. Connectedness happens through our belonging to Christ and a earthly home: our common region or city. Unity is practically expressed in house churches that are linked together as well as large celebrations, or at least regional leadership meetings in areas, where the church is being watched or persecuted.
Our first Forge National Newsletter is online now. You can check it out here.
I’d be interested to hear what you reckon!
Today was 22 degrees C and beeeudiful!
I was working from home and couldn’t resist taking an hour out to head down to the beach with Ellie 7 Winston (dog). We hopped into the fun-mobile and bounced across the dunes to a stretch of beach where we were the only ones there.
We played for an hour, splashing in the water, climbing rocks, collecting shells, clambering up sand dunes and having fun. We took some time to sit down and thank God for all he had made. We took it in turns to say what we were grateful for. Memorable times…