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…)

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…)