After I finished it was Geoff’s turn to say a few words.
His presentation was entitled “Conversing with the Emerging Church (“well, the Emerging MISSIONAL church …in Australia “in Banksia Grove, at least) again emphasising the difficulty of making generalisations.
To be fair Don did mention the trouble with generalising, but then he did go on to do it also… So make whatever you like of that!
Geoff made his best point at the start when emphasised the fact that no one is saying ‘est church bad em church good’, but rather we acknowledge that there are good est churches and good em churches and vice versa. We would be fully supporting and encouraging the missional churches in either arena.
Geoff spoke of how mission occurs in his community:
Contact – [Changes Crisis Conflict Cycles Crowds Coincidences]
Connect – [Eat, Dream”]
Communicate – [Appetizers, Demonstrate & Elephants]
Continue – [Relationship networks (GP)Discipling Ã¯Æ’Â ReflAct, Sharing Life 1Thess 2:8]
(Don’t worry if it doesn’t all make sense. Essentially Geoff was describing how his own local community functions. There is nothing controversial there!)
Geoff went on to emphasis that the whole gospel is presented:
Solution: Xmas, Cross, Res, HS
Follow Me + lifestyle
He gave some of his philosophy
– Not about connecting with Culture, but with people
– I don’t want to be postmodern / modern, but Gospel
– Therefore I do want to:
– DELETE consumerism, dependency/passivity, isolationism, self-centeredness
– UPLOAD “KofGod near you” – in all of life; interconnect between neighbors & strangers;
– wholistic community development; empower the weak & humane-ize the powerful;
– All under the Lordship of Christ; living “Christ-in-you”; which does mean addressing sin, and truth claims (Cross, Res), Lordship, along the way.
Geoff explained why he is no longer in the established church
On the left is where he has been and on the right is where he is now:
Buildings / life’s ant-trails
Expertism / empower the ordinary
Programs / relationships
‘In-here’ orientation / ‘out here’
Money dependant / money-free
Culture-bound / incarnate – indigenous
It was a hell of a lot of info for 15 minutes, but it was great to hear how it all works out in situ from someone who knows what he’s on about.
It was then Don’s turn to respond for a further 10 minutes.
To be honest I can’t remember what he said and I didn’t write any of it down. It wasn’t that crucial. He did however mention yet again that we seemed to be of a different breed to the North American scene and that he was not concerned that we drift off in eccentricity. That’s an interesting comment because (as much as I am ignorant) I would assume there is great diversity in the US scene also.
One important thing Don said that relates to our conversations on here, was that he has chosen not to enter the blogosphere in any shape or form. This is a conscious choice and based on the feeling that (in his opinion), it is very difficult to respond carefully and coherently in an ‘instant’ conversational form. He indicated that he would rather take the time to think thru the issues and offer a more measured response. I sense this is a function of his own personality and his preference for precision and detail.
So that’s why we haven’t seen him on here and probably won’t in the future. I’m sure he could hold his own in an argument, but it is his choice not to engage in this forum.
I’ll finish this series off tomorrow with some reflections on what was actually achieved by this whole forum…