So Leeds was on the radar for the Northern Vineyard Leaders Conference. The message was, 'you are the project'. Whatever you are involved in as a leader, not only are you serving others needs, but God is also working on you. That's the thing here, we can easily remove ourselves from this experience and take a distant role, where we are directing, but are not involved in it for fear it may have an impact on us. In my fairly short Christian life I have met people who appear to have become cynical, distant and disconnected from their ministry, it has become more about the task and less about people. I'm sure things didn't start like that, but lets face it people can be difficult, just like ourselves and unfortunately that takes it's toll on us. If we are to be the project then we should allow ourselves to be more vulnerable and put ourselves in situations where we can only push further into God to become powerful in our ministry. Where the experience becomes as much about deep learning on our part as well as meeting people's needs. Where we start from an intimate relationship with Jesus that flows into our relationships with others and the people we serve. That's what I have been thinking about after a trip to Leeds.
Sunday, 24 November 2013
Friday, 8 November 2013
So I'm off to the Christian New Media Conference in London tomorrow and thought I would post a few thoughts before setting off. Firstly, I have to say I'm really looking forward to going to the event and excited about the whole experience.
West Auckland Community Church (WACC) a rural fellowship who has been using new media for sometime now including website, blogging, social media, podcasting, internet radio and video. The growth of social media to share the Gospels has been really interesting, because this activity has not just been from official WACC accounts but through personal accounts from people who are part of the WACC family. We have dipped our toes in different aspects of new media with a real heart for getting God's message out there. I just can't help but think there is more? What I mean by that is not more areas for us to explore but more depth in what we are already doing in this ministry. Depths that reach and engage with people on the fringe, people in the community we are called to serve and people who are looking for more.
I am going to this conference with questions to be answered, a desire to learn and share experiences but above all to meet with God.
Saturday, 19 October 2013
We (West Auckland Community Church) had the first part of our preaching training course last night with Kate Bruce (CODEC, St Johns College, Durham). I am looking forward to the other 4 days yet to come. We covered quite a few areas in this huge arena of preaching. One of the main themes that came out for me was thinking about the audience and do we use language in a way that is relevant to our audience. This got me thinking about accessibility and how easy or hard it is for people to engage with what we are putting out there. Can we as Christian's use language that really doesn't have any meaning for our audience or at worst turns people off to what we are trying to say? It's completely understandable, since our language and what we have to say is influenced by our experiences and our faith. This really sets a challenge for us in our ministry and not just in a preaching ministry, but others. The people we are attempting reach, may not have the same experiences. We therefore run the risk of alienating individuals or creating a situation where only Christians would feel comfortable and able to participate in what we have to say.
I just want to leave you with this image. Imagine someone who has been brought to 'rock bottom' by the experiences in their life, with their head low, would they hear God's Love in what you said? Is what you are saying accessible to them or a load of words that only the harden church goer would understand? That's what challenged me on the first day of the preaching course.