God of Adventure

A pastor recently asked: ‘Where in the Bible do you find camping culture mentioned?’ Well, I’m glad he asked because I’ve been reading an excellent book by Bruce Dunning called ‘God of Adventure’ which establishes the biblical validity of ‘Christian Adventure Learning’, arguing a case that liminality (conscious awareness) and adventure learning combine to be one of God’s principle tools to connect with his people, challenge them, and have them participate in his redemptive purpose for his creation. (more…)

The Ultimate Church Camp

Pool complex at QCCC’s Mapleton site

When it comes to a single event in the life of the church that moves relationships, community, vision, commitment, and many more critical dynamics, nothing beats a good church camp. Sunday services have limited potential for genuine connection and intimacy in community.  Church camps give that potential in plenty.  Crossover got a ‘camp professional’ to give us a run down on how to plan the Ultimate Church Camp: (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…)

Tapping Into Hidden Networks

There is an underground network of people living in your community and every other community in Australia that the church has never tapped into and probably doesn’t know exists. They are a network of people from all works of life who are connected through a common interest.  They often behave suspiciously and you may even have seen some and wondered, but they are essentially safe and you need not fear them.  You may be interested to know who they are and how you can tap into their network. Here’s a creative an imaginative way: (more…)

Going Gaga Over The Lady #3

It’s worth posting some brief reflections on some of Lady Gaga’s other themes and why they seem to have such resonance and penetration with her target audience.

Paparazzi is the song Lady Gaga performed at the 2009 MTV Music Awards, where later she took the podium to accept an award for the best new talent. The night cemented a mainstream status for her as “weird”, given she accepted her award in a red-crowned dress with her face covered and finished her concert performance with fake blood streaming down her front. (more…)

Going Gaga Over The Lady – #2

Love Game

There’s a quantum leap in the production values between Lady Gaga’s first video, Just Dance, through to the more recent efforts like Telephone and Alejandro. Just Dance is obviously done on a shoestring budget, and shows it, where the latest videos have cost millions.

Just Dance has the same feel as Madonna’s Borderline. The lavish production of the latest videos are like something out of the Like a Prayer incarnation of Madonna. It took 12 months for Gaga to get there, five years for Madonna. It says a bit about the speed of the internet age. (more…)

Going Gaga Over The Lady

Like it or not, you can’t get far today with your ears or eyes open without your day being punctuated by the Lady.  She’s everywhere.  Our kids are lip syncing her songs and even politicians in the USA are listening to her now as she branches out into ever new territory.

She is a complex character, and her cultural reach is an issue for concern for some.  Is she just pure entertainment, and current phenomenon that will pass or is she here to stay?

Our regular contributor Andrew Grant tries to make sense of the the Lady phenomenon in a series of articles.  Feel free to chime in via the comments section. (more…)

Love feasts for the indigent

About 1,700 years ago, Roman Emperor Julian gained eternal infamy as “the Apostate” for his renewed attack in Christendom which had become “mainstream” during the reign of his uncle, Constantine I, widely viewed as the first Christian Emperor.

Julian the Apostate was a man of letters, and transcripts exist of his rants against the Christians whom he referred to as the ‘Galilean Sect’. The ineffectiveness of widespread persecution of Christians was still within living memory and for the most part Julian did not set out to destroy Christianity but to drive the religion out of “the governing classes of the empire”.  (more…)

The Power To Excite

If you do a straw poll in your church amongst adult believers to find out how many people either came to faith at a camp, or had the initial foundations of their commitment and subsequent growth as young believers you may be surprised at just how many of those encounters happened whilst at a camp.  The missional debate has tended to overlook some of the traditional ways in people have encountered God over the years through the ministry of our churches. Christian campsites host a large amount of school groups and other groups made up of people totally outside of the church. We’ve seen plenty of of christian campsites fall by the wayside as the focus of the church turns towards other fronts, or campsites who haven’t quite worked out how to mix business with ministry and seen their campsites emphasize the dollar rather than the Gospel as a matter of survival. (more…)