Creativity is not a novelty

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=10024185&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
Creativity is Not Novelty from Transposition Films on Vimeo.

‘We confuse creativity with novelty’
and
‘church is not the place for evangelism’

are two comments from Steve Frost that may get you thinking …. creatively(!?)

expressions

Today, at Kerry’s invite, I met with the Emerging Churches Group which is a group of practitioners who are all involved in some way in something new or different from Canterbury Diocese that meets twice a year.

I was quite surprised by the number of people I knew at the day, and it was good to meet up with Sha Coburn, Karl Rudd, Mike King, Eric and many others. It was great to have a brief chat with Diana who is the nightclub chaplain in Maidstone and it seems we have been hearing about each other for ages. It was also a privilege to hear from Bishop Graham and have a chance to pray with him before the end of the day.

Today was a day of hearing lots of peoples stories, some more innovative than others but all new in their contexts. Today was a day to hear from people who are attempting new ways of being church and it was good to hear some of these stories. It was an informative day and yet I had many questions about some of the day – and that is not a negative as we should be challenging, asking and not always necessarily agreeing.

It seemed to me that there was a lot of examples of new ways of DOING church, but not really new ways of BEING church. There was, for me, still too much concentration of ‘music group’ for worship and ‘speakers’ as it left me thinking we were taking an old format, packaging it differently and calling it a new way of being church.

I don’t criticise this, merely challenge the thinking, as all the evidence shows that these initiatives are growing and bringing people into a relationship with God for the first time. I believe, though, that we need to break further out of this mould of ‘a worship service’ and look to different ways of worship and learning that are more organically connected with those outside the church.

Some days


Some days I have very little to say.
Today is one of those days!

Today is also a daywhen I have genuinely been surprised.
I’m not a great Alpha person – I see it works and is a great resource, but I don’t sit easy with the one size fits all approach that it has. As I said above, though, I can’t knock it as the reality is that it is changing people’s lives.

Anyway I was surprised today by Alpha video – its quite cool!

Reel Questions

Excited to say that Reel Questions kicked off last night at St. Marks.
It was good in that there was a number of people there – not as many as we would have liked but not as few as I feared! Reel Questions is a 5 week course that Jim and I wrote last year looking at Christianity through contemporary film. I led last nights session on Identity using I Robot, Collateral and Blade Runner.

We start by chatting in our table groups (covered with cheese and wine)about some statements made about the topic. Then we look at a few film clips and discuss each of these in the table groups. Finally someone present around 5/10 minutes of what Christianity and the Bible says about the topic and again discuss that in the table groups. Last night there was a lot of discussion going on which was cool to see.

Next week Jim will be looking at Love with Love Actually, Bridget Jones , Passion of Christ.

Billy Graham at 85

I was sen this amazing story yesterday by good friend Rachael:

In what might prove to be the crowning achievement of an illustrious career
in ministry, the 87-year-old evangelist, Billy Graham shocked the 16,300 in
attendance at the Celebration of Hope crusade in New Orleans Arena on
Sunday Night. Touted in advance as possibly his last evangelistic crusade,
Graham invited the packed house of evangelical Christians and the hundreds
of new converts to join him on the one mile walk from the arena to New
Orleans’ infamous Bourbon Street.

“While we have seen God do tremendous things here the past couple of
evenings. Yes, it is true that a great healing and a great many salvations
have occurred within the confines of this auditorium. Still yet, there lies
a great mountain in this city which needs to be conquered.”

Then taking from the Biblical Book of Joshua Chapter 14 he read, “I am this
day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this Day as on the day
that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for
war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this
mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day,” his voice suddenly sounding
more forceful than during his 22 minute sermon.
“I last preached in the City of New Orleans in 1954 and I felt then that
There was some unfinished business. Tonight, in what very well might be my
last evangelistic service, I aim to finish that business and lead as many
of you that would follow me to the multitude of lost souls that fill
Bourbon Street tonight.

That is my mountain ! That is where we shall see the harvest!” said Graham
as the stadium erupted in cheers that lasted the next several minutes.
Utilizing a waiting mobility scooter, the elder Graham joined his son and
heir to the ministry, Franklin across the Arena floor and through the
opened doors leading towards the French Quarter. In a show of solidarity
and determination reminiscent of civil rights marches of the 1960’s, nearly
the entire capacity crowd joined in the 20 minute trek while singing, “When
the Saints Go Marching In”.

As the march crossed Canal Street and headed northward towards Bourbon
Street, many onlookers stood in stunned silence as the massive crowd of
people began singing in unison the Christian hymn, Amazing Grace. Upon
entering the west end of Bourbon Street, Billy Graham was soon recognized
by partiers.

soon those joining in the march began to approach those partying on Bourbon
Street with the Gospel message that they had heard preached just a half
hour before. Graham himself joined with a group of local street evangelist
in ministering to a man who had survived Hurricane Katrina in the lower 9th
Ward.
Within 30 minutes the entirety of Bourbon Street was packed with
Christians and the once blaring music of nightclubs and strip joints had
been replaced by weeping and worship as people poured out their drinks and
sought prayer from the Christians who were now reaching out to them. “I
have never seen anything like this in my life,” said 20 years New Orleans
Police Department veteran, Tom Phillips. “This is unbelievable! We thought
a riot was going to break out, but this looks more like a revival than a
riot!”

Two hours later, a glowing Graham sat back down on his scooter and smiled.
“Now I know how the Apostle Paul must have felt at the end of his ministry.
Do the work of an evangelist; make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now
ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought
a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

Hours later hundreds of Christians remained on the street ministering to
the many people eagerly waiting to receive prayer and ministry. New
Orleans will never be the same. And the press remained mute on this “news
item?”

Spread the news. It cost our elder brother, Billy Graham, more than any of
us know to make that effort.
The least we can do it publicize it.

JESUS IS LORD!!