Got A Spare Wall In Your Church?

In your average church most of the action when it comes to creativity happens from the front – the stage.  Most of the people make up the audience who observe a few ‘players’ who perform or deliver the content.  More interactive forms of worship services unlock the creative potential of the congregation who become co-contributors to the content and outcome of a service.  But have you ever imagined the creative potential of the blank walls of your church? (more…)

Creative Digital Outreach

There’s plenty of pastors blogging and filling the internet with endless hours of podcasts, nothing new under the sun here.  However, some are breaking out of the usual box and trying new ways of using the internet.  Rob Douglas is one of them and he has found a unique way to air classic stories from the Gospels in the guise of interviews with people who have met Jesus.  (more…)

Judas, Lady Gaga and The Apostle Paul

She’s overdressed, over-hyped and soon to be over here on a mini-tour.  She made a brief appearance during my sermon this Sunday night as well. In an attempt to engage my audience, I inquired as to who people would choose if they could have somebody famous over to their house to share a meal with some friends. “Lady Gaga!” gushed one girl to the guffaws of those around her.  She seemed oblivious to the distaste that some have for the Lady (particularly within the refined environs of a Baptist church).  I realised there and then that perhaps the Lady has more sway in terms of communication in this particular young life than I do – or any other preacher for that matter.  The Lady Gaga phenomenon is still growing. Andrew Grant is still watching, listening and analysing.  Here’s his latest deconstruction of the Lady: (more…)

The New ‘F’ Word

Where I live the stick family stickers have overtaken the frangipani stickers as the new must have fad to stick on the back of your car.  Some people aren’t happy about it though.  On my morning commute with my daughters in the car I spotted an alternative one last week which featured a mother and father plus two children hanging from gallows and the statement *&%# YOUR FAMILY!  A decade into the new millennium families in secular Australia should be just about extinct by now, after all we no longer conform to ‘outdated’ ideas of what constitutes family don’t we?  Or do we?  (more…)

The Church’s Voice In A Divided Australia

Australia is going through an interesting phase in its history, and so is the church.  The Left vs Right divide in politics seems as strong as ever evidenced in the debate over carbon tax and refugee asylum policy.  During this particular phase in politics the Greens (thanks to their partnership in a minority government) have been able to advance agendas that have elevated the debate on gay marriage in particular. The secular attack on the church is strong and fought on many fronts. As a movement of churches we find it hard to have collective voice on issues because of the autonomous nature of our structure. However, many of these issues need to be addressed if we are in the business of applying our beliefs and convictions to the issues of the day. Part of the challenge lies in learning how to communicate in the new digital world and choosing which hill to die on. (more…)

Restoring Brokenness

I’ve kicked the conference habit.  There was a day when I couldn’t get enough of them. But there’s only so many variations on the theme of ‘Fire’ one man can take, or only so many megapastors with churches the size of small australian town you can take before your already low self esteem bottoms out. However, I’m about to relapse, thanks to Enfield Baptist Church.  This year’s Lifewell Conference – Restored 2011, builds on the strengths of the established annual conference.  The guest list and topics are quite unlike most conferences you’ll get to go to in Australia. (more…)