My Icon

Today at our final Forge session Stu asked us to draw an icon that depicted where we saw ourselves at in regard to the dreams and ethos of Forge.

This is mine…


Initially I drew a face with two eyes both looking in opposite directions. One is looking back the other looking forward. I believe we need to be able to look back and see the good in what we have come from (not just the bad) and look forward to be able to imagine a future that does not yet exist.

I drew the ‘smile’ afterwards because I realised that I am very happy doing this.

I think the ’emerging church’ has all too often been typified as disgruntleds pulling the finger at the church and going off to start something that is ‘true to scripture’ etc etc. My experience of this scene is not that at all.

There is an appreciation that all is not well on the good ship Christendom, but I don’t sense anger in the movement over here – more a spirit of adventure and excitement as we explore ways to reach the people the established church may never reach.

Deep Breath…

Still running!

Its amazng how tired you can get when you are simply running a conference and not even  doing a lot of speaking.

Darryl Gardiner, our kiwi guest and a fantastic high energy communicator arrived on Saturday night and spoke at our open night, preached twice on Sunday AM, spoke at Forge twice on Sunday arvo and then again Sunday night.

barbie in the 12 dancing princesses free

We came home and sat around chatting until 11.30 and now he has two more sessions today before flying out to the Victorian Forge.

We’ve been having a ball – and no one could ever say that Darryl doesn’t do his share!

And While We’re On It…

I was just down at Bob Janes getting a tyre fitted to the beast and killed the time by reading Readers Digest. It sounds pretty lame, but they have some great articles in there!!

The one I liked referred to a study done in England where people were asked what they would add to the list of 7 deadly sins…

Here’s what they said:

8. Apathy

9. Hypocrisy

10. Indifference

11. Selfishness

See a theme emerging there?

I reckon apathy and indifference ought to have made the cut the first time round!

A Lesson Learnt

Garth is a pretty regular reader here and today while I was reading his blog I came across this autobiographical account of what he learnt in his own venture into planting a missional community.

Its a story about the community that was and what may have brought it undone.

I’d say read the whole lot, but here are a few snippets that caught my attention

‘"words, ideas, and passion are nothing without action."

I sometimes think this is why people church hop, they don’t really know why, they just get enough teaching at one place until it gets stale, then there’s nothing new, but if they were shown how to walk in this theory, they might stay and walk in the destiny for which they were born. But alas, they roam for a new teaching, a new learning, a new ear tickle…..pity ….because they were born for more than that.’

‘Why didn’t it continue?
It had no ‘follow through’. It became theoretical. Just the way our modernist heritage liked it!’

‘My advice to any fledling emergent communities? People have to be prepared to live the learning and not just move onto another ‘teaching’. Look for need, seek to serve. Connect significantly and create community with those outside the church, live in their world too, expand your horizons, know their friends.’

Occasionally I feel myself too ‘action orientated’ but maybe given our heritage of talking lots and doing little it is a necessary quality for a church of our sort.

Actually reflecting on my previous post I reckon this is one of the sparks that has been ignited in me over the years – a desire to see the church actually do the stuff it talks about rather than simpy having more meetings to work it out. This actually gets quite tiring as non action oriented folks can make such activism seem like unspiritual drivenness.

Reality is we need time for reflection and contemplation as well as focused action.

Psycho Fortnight

The next two weeks look like being pretty frenetic.

With a Forge intensive this weekend, a trip to Melbourne for and my final (yes F-I-N-A-L) days of teaching for my life the year it will be busy.

I’ve been taking it easier the last few days to compensate because I can see I’ll be going hard come Wednesday. Its so good to have a life and a job/s where I can at least have some control over the way I structure my days and weeks so that at times like these I am able to create breathing space in the middle of a rush.

Still… Roll on 16th December and that holiday!

A Raging Kiwi and The Death of Outrage

Tonight we watched a DVD made during ‘Surrender’, the UNOH gig in Melbourne earlier this year.

witness for the prosecution divx movie online

The DVD was of Kiwi, Mick Duncan letting rip on the whole idea of living passionately. Very inspiring – even on DVD 4 months later!

One of his statements was  ‘I lament the death of outrage in our churches’. We no longer get mad at the stuff God gets mad at. We don’t get angry and furious and wild at the state of the world we live in… and he suggests maybe we ought to.

He suggested that each of us has at least a ‘spark’ of passion in us that could become a blazing fire if we were willing to let it burn, and that spark is connected to some of the experiences that have shaped us and made us who we are today.

He shared stories of Rosa Parkes sitting on the ‘white seat’ on the bus, of Dietrich Boenhoffer muggling Jews out of Nazi Germany and of Jesus driving the money changers out of the temple – all ‘anti-social’ acts. All acts that were not in keeping with the status quo, but acts that reflected the character of God.

I think there’s something in the idea that the gospel produces ‘anti-social behaviour’, but only because what is socially acceptable is a non-gospel lifestyle.

Having been around churches for a long time I felt deeply what he was saying – that our churches are full of ‘nice’ people, but we desperately need a few more wild people to reignite the passions that seem to have been quelled in so many people. The ‘gospel of nice’ has taken over and the gospel of radical discipleship and counter-cultural living has been reframed to fit a squeaky clean middle class paradigm.

The thing that disturbs me about so much of white middle class evangelicalism (that has been my heritage) is that it is so much about ‘nice’ and so little about ‘fight’ and ‘passion’. Passionate people tend to create discomfort because they stir us. They arouse in us what we wish we were like and often its easier to ignore that feeling than to pursue it.


Its the sound a 4WD tyre makes when you jam the side wall on a stick… That is what I discovered today.

Fortunately we were only 2 kms down our local track when it happened as I quickly discovered that my rachet socket was not going to budge the wheel nuts and we had to limp back to the main road before we got a wheel brace.

The tyre was already shot to pieces with a 5 cm slice down the wall, but by the time we got out it was barely on the rim.

Glad it happened here and not 50 kms from anywhere!


I am sitting here watching the Panel where they are interviewing that guy who cut his own arm off after a rock climbing accident.

Not a fun story!

But now I know what to do if I am ever stuck in the middle of nowhere with my arm stuck under a rock.