The Legend of Lonnie Frisbee

Yesterday in the post I recieved my DVD copy of ‘Frisbee The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher’ and I watched it this morning instead of my normal time in the Bible.

Its both inspiring and tragic – a story of a man so gifted by God – so wounded and flawed – and of a church that both embraced him for his ‘annointing’ and then rejected him for his homosexuality.

A constant theme of the movie is that God chose to use a ‘silly little man’ or a ‘clown’, someone who appeared so insignificant and yet when under the influence of the spirit of God was able to perform miracles and lead people to faith in multitudes. A man who came to Christ on an LSD trip was largely responsible for the igniting of the Calvary Chapel movement and the Vineyard movement.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking moment was his return to Calvary Chapel as a clean cut middle class boy rather than the wild crazy hippie who God was using. His time as a hippie both pulled crowds and put CC on the map, but it also created some chaos that made Chuck Smith uncomfortable. The solution was to ‘tame’ Lonnie by dressing him in a 3 piece suit and a tie.

The Lonnie Frisbee story is a reminder of a God who works in crazy ways and thru the most unlikely people – and sometimes that is good because it reminds us of who he is.

Big Hitters

I was looking at the stats for Backyard Missionary today and checking out which posts have had the most hits. Here they are in order of priority:

1. Incarnational v Attractional Mission – a fairly polemic and feisty piece I wrote for a youth ministry seminar. Its sure to piss some people off, so if you read it, make sure you pay attention to the intro paragraph and don’t get all snooty on me!

2. Discipleship Dilemma in Youth Ministry – another fairly strong post that asks ‘what on earth is happening in youth ministry?’

3. Where Will Your Kids Go to School? – asks the question of whether we ought to look at state schools, private schools, Christian schools or homeschooling.

4. Straight Shooters – I’m not sure why this ranked high! Its just me saying ‘if you want to dish it out then make sure you can take it too’.

5. What’s The Deal? – a short rant about the excesses of some well known and travelled Christian speakers.

6. Exercise in Clarity mamma roma free download – a post describing how we have arrived at our identity as Upstream.


A big thanks to Phil who pointed me in the direction of Foldershare, a back up system that kicks butt and is way better than any DVD or external hard drive.

The basic idea is that you synch your computer with another computer and you are able to replicate files on your own hard drive on the remote computer. While you are online the computer’s check each other out and make sure they match up.

So my back up is now on Danelle’s computer, hopefully a fairly safe option. It means that any work I do on her computer will ultimately end up on mine as well.

A fantastic system – and best of all – its free…

Forge WA Survey Summary

Ok here are the summarised results from our Forge WA online survey after 100 respondents. Thanks to all who responded and helped us review where we sit.

I haven’t included any interpretation yet, but I would be interested to hear what others would see these results saying. Feel free to leave a comment.


• The largest group of responses came from males 25-35 (27%) and 36-45 (28%)

• 23% of the responses were from women with the 25-35 age range the largest (9%)

Church Connections:

• 56% of responses were from people who are part of an existing church

• 19% were part of a new missional community

• 13% didn’t fit the categories or were ‘between churches’

Involvement With Forge:

• Interesting that the largest group are those who are ‘interested but haven’t got around to anything yet’ (19%)

• The second largest was both the ‘intensive attenders’ (17%) and those who would just like to stay in the loop of the conversation (17%)

What People Perceive Forge to be About:

• Provoking new thinking about mission and church was way up high with 79%

• Training missionaries for the west had 59%

• Being a prophetic voice to the churches had 34%

The Greatest Need for Forge to be Addressing:

• Simple training in missional living was the top response here with 43%

• The development of young adults into disciples was high with 16% but was the third preference behinng ‘other’ (22%) and there was a huge diversity of thoughts here.

Some of those responses include:

1. training and mentoring misional leaders

2. Re-definition of what the christian faith can look like

3. to actually do the evangelism it criticies others for not doing

4. How to inculcate Kantian courage

5. Seeking the new “traditions”and “rituals” that enhance emerging church

6. How to encourage existing churches (not just dying ones) to re-assess their paradigm of mission and re-form themselves as local counter-cultural movements

7. how to develop anyone into disciples of Christ

8. what is the gospel of the ‘kingdom of God’ mean to everything

9. hurts

10. Challenging non-gospel beliefs held by Christians

11. I cant choose between re-igniting dying churches and developing young adults into disciples.. dont they go hand in hand?

12. Build real churches

13. Stimulating thinking around growing the kingdom

14. How to live and share the gospel in our communities

15. It has to be about more than the above

Our Profile:

• 78% of people said we need groups like Forge to keep us thinking and developing.

• 56% said they see Forge as a healthy addition to the church scene here in Perth.

• There were a number of other responses, some of which were quite critical. See below:

1. From 5, above: To get off of their high horse and to admit, whether they like it or not, that they are just another church, and no better than the rest of us, no matter how much they try to put the rest of us down with their “spirituality”. I usually find their condescension offensive and tasteless. Question 6: My perceptions, based on my own experience, is that Forge and the “emerging church” is to self righteous, and arrogant.

2. Complaining about the existing church is like shooting fish in a barrel, too easy. They are arm chair critics who seek to teach others their ideas without much success themselves. They are negative people who do not lead by example. Charasmatics, evangelicals and liberals are nicer people who lead by example. Forge people like to see themselves as ‘revolutionaries’ without showing us what the revolution is leading to.

3. I think there is a lot of talking, and not a lot of action. (wow, that sounds judgemental, prove me wrong 🙂 ) I also wonder about the negative effect Forge is having on young leaders

4. I feel like I’ve finally found a place where I’m not misunderstood. Intensives stoke up the fire in my soul.

5. I have found it is helpful in changing thinking but would like to see more of this moving into separate denominations.

6. Helping people to push the boundaries on how they think about church and mission is very good. All I wonder is when Forge turns from being on the frontier to becoming what it is trying to influence or just another version of church. I see great value in forge from my limited experience. Hopefully it will continue to stay fresh and keep people on their toes.

7. Another ‘church’

8. Courageous, on the mark, disciples of Jesus.

9. Unfortunately I see some of the members of Forge building their lifestyles and notoriety(quite noticeably) at the expense of or in conjunction with serving the Kingdom of God .

10. It thinks it’s more different to the established church than it really is.

11. In the past I’ll admit my perception of Forge was lots of complaining about how church is all bad and we should be different, but not much action. I don’t know if it’s my shift in thinking towards the emerging church or just having heard more about stuff that people within Forge are actually doing, but I think my perception is healthier now 🙂 But I think that perception still exists “out there”.

12. I am concerned that majority of christians haven’t heard of forge, and are scared when they hear about it

13. Still sussing Forge out. Positive about innovation, cautious about theology.

How do we go about assessing the impact of Forge in WA?:

• 47% said ‘the degree to which Forge ideas have spread’

• 27% said ‘the degree to which the established church embraces Forge concepts’

• 18% said ‘the number of new churches planted’

The ‘other’ category had 36% of respondents so here is a sample of what was said:

1. The lives that are transformed into the image of Christ. “Opposition” = impact? Oh the martyr complex of some groups!!

2. The number of people who feel impacted by the ministry

3. Forge will only ever appeal to a certain group of people so I don’t think Forge should assess the impact it has on WA it is awesome and you will soon start to see the fruits of your labour.

4. Number of healthy communities that form without needing to complain about other expressions of faith

5. How can you possibly assess the degree to which lives are changed? If only one new disciple makes it, surely it is an impact. Everything that is made from gold takes generations to build.

6. Nnot the number of people attending intensives but maybe the number of different people attending intensives???

7. Focus on obedience not on fruit…

8. Don’t…God will let you know how it’s all going. all the rest is for man who is temperamental. trust me, i’m a man…

9. Faithfullness in fostering communities that love God and neighbour

10. Whether you feel you’ve stuck to God’s original vision for you

11. If itb helps one person it is worthwhile.

12. A growing movement of transformed people introducing others to the Life Changer, no matter what environment these people can be found in.

13. The number of people becoming community (outwardly) oriented rather than church (inwardly) oriented.

14. Will be hard to measure. Numbers of “church-plants” would be significant- but so is the number of participants challenged to “change/fix/refocus” a church the currently lead/attend

15. Souls saved

So there you have it!

Do those results sound like what you would have expected or do they sound significantly different?

I was actually surprised that we were able to generate 100 responses so quickly!

Credible Witness

Daz Cronshaw of Forge Vic has just produced an excellent book that looks at different metaphors for mission here in Oz. It is entitled Credible Witness and is available thru UNOH.

In it Daz looks at mission as:

– spiritual companionship for the journey

– chaplaincy for the convicts

– shepherding for the settlers

– advocates for the marginalised

– servants for the needy

– hosts for a multicultural community

I am almost finished it after getting stuck into it on the flight on the way home. There is a fair bit of Oz history and culture right throughout as well as some of Daz’s own story. I love the title which is a wonderful way of describing effective mission in an Oz context. If we need anything then we need credibility as we witness to who Jesus is.

I also discovered our own story in there at the start of a chapter.

So here’s your challenge…

Can you guess which chapter from the list above best describes our mission in Brighton?

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