There is a man sitting on a bough of a tree. The Tree is very, very old, some think perhaps two thousand years. The Tree is the source of the branch, from small bud grown to a mighty bough, battered and blasted by centuries of gales a plenty but sturdy and undefeated. Larger growing, season … Continue reading When the Bough Breaks
One of the constant problems I have is trying to explain that the ’Unbounded Church’ is a ‘Concept’ not a model. To really grasp this means understanding that the principles for Christian Community found in the New Testament can be expressed in a multitude of different ways. This means that a wide variety of designer Missional Communities … Continue reading A Beautiful Spectrum
“The culturally compliant strain of Christianity promoted in Australia does not . . . oblige (people) to embrace lifestyle choices that might involve discomfort.” Tom Frame As the Christian church declines in Australia, and the western world generally, there is a consequent search for ways of being more missionally fruitful. Many reasons are cited for … Continue reading The ‘Laodicean Syndrome’
There is a well-known saying that ‘Small is beautiful’. This is certainly true in the context of mission to our 21st century society retreating as it is at an increasing rate from its Christian heritage. The process of de-Christianization, the evacuation of the gospel from the fabric of culture is clearly indicated in the recent … Continue reading Small Is Beautiful
Recently the Senior Minister of a local church outlined his strategy for mission as one of seeking the “Low hanging fruit”. By this he meant that the ‘target’ for the church’s missional activity would be those members of society who for some reason are relatively church-friendly. For the most part this means those who come … Continue reading Has Anyone Got A Longer Ladder?
We had rain the other day, real rain, weighty drops falling as tears from heaven. In the rain a picture of God weeping formed. For surely He must be, weeping that is over this not sun-baked but sin-baked, spiritually dried out land, this erstwhile gospel-shaped country that has been given all the promises of God … Continue reading God Is Weeping
It is not uncommon to be told about a particular church which is very ‘successful’. The story usually contains accounts of growing attendances, thriving youth groups, new families etc, and also sometimes a charismatic leader. Such churches often then become the ‘model’ we are all to copy. Where such a story is true we should … Continue reading True ‘Success’ Can Be Replicated
The small building stands, weatherboard, old and quiet now, a family home- unremarked, but where once hoards of children Sunday chattered. A clue nearby, a small tower and still the bell, but for long years silent. Where once the church, Jesus’ families in numbers gathered, no longer so. But silence and death’s symbol, yesteryear’s relic … Continue reading New Shoots Amid Silent Bells
One of my favourite movies is Groundhog Day. This is the story of a man (‘Phil’ played by Bill Murray) who is trapped in a repeated cycle of having to live the same day over and over again. This is even to the detail of getting his foot soaked in the same puddle every morning! … Continue reading It’s Groundhog day – Again!
Prayer is, or should be, an everyday practice for Christians. It is our communication channel with God as well as being one of the essential disciplines for spiritual growth and health. The Bible exhorts us to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), but that always raises the question of how does God answer prayer? One … Continue reading Mission Failure and God’s No