The ‘Transferee Mirage’ – Again!

It is quite dispiriting to feel the need to return to this topic.  It has been quite a few years since I first wrote about the ‘Transferee Mirage’. The original context was the satisfaction being expressed by many church leaders at the time that a (then) recent National Church Life Survey (2011) indicated ongoing attendance … Continue reading The ‘Transferee Mirage’ – Again!

The View from the Bridge

  Ship cruising along, passengers full, Ease and comfort were expected to be, But blind eyes were turned to the dangerous sea. I went up to the Bridge, but there was no one there, The place for the Helmsman, it was bare. Charts for Navigation were lying around, but readers of them not to be … Continue reading The View from the Bridge

War Zone 2019

Around the year 1748 Czar Nicolai of Russia built a fortress on the island of Suomen Linna in the Baltic Sea. It was built to mark and guard his new territory, the country we now call Finland, which he had gained from Sweden. In the middle of that sea-fortress is a Lutheran Church, and one … Continue reading War Zone 2019

An Army With Amnesia

“Soldiers of Christ arise and put your armour on, . . . . From strength to strength go on: Wrestle and fight and pray; Tread all the powers of darkness down And win the well fought day”                                     … Continue reading An Army With Amnesia

Tis the Season for Axes and Bullets

Phew! It’s finished, all that planning, all that effort, the multitude of resource-draining Christmas ‘outreach’ activities (with exhortations to invite a friend), Carol Services (with exhortations to invite a friend), Gingerbread Houses (with exhortations to invite a friend), Beach Missions (with exhortations to come along to help). Thank goodness, it’s now time to have a … Continue reading Tis the Season for Axes and Bullets

Communication Equals Transmission Plus Reception

‘‘We need to learn to speak in the ‘Vulgar’ tongue to ‘Vulgar’ people’ Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer (in his preface to the ‘Great Bible) In these 21st century times the church faces the challenge of doing mission to its own culture, a culture (I have described in another article as ‘Morphtopia’) in which there … Continue reading Communication Equals Transmission Plus Reception

Don’t Mention the War!

The Cunard ship the Queen Mary was a floating palace when it started to carry the exceedingly rich across the north Atlantic before the second world war. It was fitted out in the most opulent and sumptuous manner, with the finest materials that money could buy, with staterooms that were fit for a King. Then … Continue reading Don’t Mention the War!

Holy Discontent In the Strangeness of It

It’s Saturday which means by amazing logic tomorrow is Sunday! Sunday is when most ‘church’ happens in Australia and here are some facts about it all. • Tens of thousands of Christians will be happily filing into their church buildings for ‘worship’ although Amos 5:21-24 might sometimes cast just a little doubt on the unreflected … Continue reading Holy Discontent In the Strangeness of It

The Dead Hand of Apathy

A few years ago, 2008 to be precise, as part of a paper I was writing at the time, I carried out a small survey in regard to the level of passion in congregations in regard to reaching the community with the gospel. The format was that I asked a number of Senior Ministers to … Continue reading The Dead Hand of Apathy

Planning to Fail In An Uberized Netflix World

Summer’s sun beats down, January days slip by, schools’ return looms near and down in the forest of parish-land there is the faint rustling of ministers stirring from their summer slumbers. First musings on sermon series seep into the consciousness, music leaders are planning their selections, Sunday school programs call for attention. A seemingly endless … Continue reading Planning to Fail In An Uberized Netflix World