Thursday, September 30, 2004


if you type in “out of bounds church” on – you get my book, and a chance to pre-order! that is so totally wierd … and totally like, vulnerable and scarey.


for more info on the book…

Posted by steve at 03:24 PM

first draft emerging church 101

First draft :: weekend block course :: Bible College of New Zealand :: 3rd term of 2005.
This course is designed to introduce people to ministry in a postmodern context. It will use selected examples of contemporary Christian exploration; specifically the emerging church as a loose, umbrella term for a range of new forms of church and ways of being Christian; including worship innovation, cyber church and new forms of community. Such real life experimentation will be critically examined in light of the Christian tradition. This weaving together of life with a thinking faith will enhance a student’s ability to follow Jesus today.

Course text :: Taylor’s The out-of-bounds church? learning to create communities of faith in a culture of change.

Posted by steve at 01:14 PM

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I am in Wellington for the day, meeting with a few people about a possible New Zealand wide emerging church conference mid-May 2005. It looks a great day for flying.

Posted by steve at 09:15 AM

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

enscribing ecclesiological identity in the unique crevasses of our sociological context

church is never ahistorical. to etch “be the church” as one’s ecclesiological slogan is to potentially deny the incarnation, a Jewish Christ walking among a Jewish people, cracking Jewish jokes and building a Jewish community.

For to “be the church” is to be embodied among particular people in the unique crevasses where God has placed us. Those unique crevasses might be called by sociological names: Jewish, early, African, Roman, Celtic, Gen X, postmodern, even emergent. Such names, such attention to the unique crevasses of one’s existence, need not be read as a defining label, but as an expression of Incarnation, a respecting of the unique contours of enscribed identity.

Posted by steve at 11:15 AM

Saturday, September 25, 2004

spring clean action


Posted by steve at 06:24 PM

Friday, September 24, 2004

last days then left behind

Last day to pick up a limited edition A5 size copy of my PhD, A New Way of Being Church .. if not, then be left behind … A New Way of Being Church is a world first, an indepth academic exploration of how the emerging church responds to cultural change, asking the question; how effective is the emerging church as a postmodern expression of faith?

thesis with title.jpg


Posted by steve at 08:34 PM

movement in mission

Tomorrow represents my first mission initiative at Opawa. Tomorrow for Opawa is spring clean day.

I have invited the church to gather at either 9 am or 1 pm … and to work together in groups, either spring cleaning around the church, or spring cleaning into the community … picking up rubbish, mending broken fences.

About a week ago we letterboxed, letting people know we were coming.

On Sunday is spring clean Sunday, exploring the spirituality of de-cluttering our lives, wiping our interior surfaces, being wholebodied.

It is this mix of community, servanthood and spirituality, that I hope will become a hallmark of Opawa in mission.

I’m nervous … will people come … are we organised enough … are we disorganised enough …

Posted by steve at 05:55 PM

Thursday, September 23, 2004

meeting mels Jesus at the movies

Research just out shows that Mel Gibson’s The Passion had no lasting impact on faith. Given the inadequacy of its theology, all I can say is thank God.

Only 16% of viewers said it had affected their religious beliefs, while 9% prayed more and 8% attended church more. Interesting that half of movie goers in the US were Christians (53%). That means that a good number of Christians could watch Jesus being beaten and flogged, yet remain unmoved in faith and practice.

As for its evanglistic potential, the research found the apparent absence of a direct evangelistic impact by the movie. Despite marketing campaigns labeling the movie the “greatest evangelistic tool” of our era, less than one-tenth of one percent of those who saw the film stated that they made a profession of faith or accepted Jesus Christ as their savior in reaction to the filmÂ’s content. Let me repeat that – one-tenth of one percent!

Does this mean movies missionary potential is limited? Well, the research found that while 41% of adults had seen a movie in the last 2 years that caused them to think more seriously about faith, they were more likely to be active religiously before hand.

This would suggest that movies are not a postmodern magic bullet.

Posted by steve at 06:12 PM

colin mcahon

Did anyone video the TV programme on Colin McCahon, New Zealand’s most famous painter, on Saturday? I missed it and am keen to watch it.

(For a online interactive presentation on McCahon, go here. For an online Colin McCahon: I am study guide go here.)

Posted by steve at 04:23 PM

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

walking through a minefield

U2 have released the title for their new album; How to dismantle an atomic bomb.

On the other hand, Christian weaver of metaphor, Len Sweet, is speaking of time bomb scriptures: God has some time-bomb scriptures that go off at certain times. Romans and Pauline literature, for example, exploded during the Reformation and its effect was felt for hundreds of years. From here

Don’t we have enough violence in our world today, without co-opting the said words of wisdom and words of Jesus? If the words of the prophet expect us to dismantle swords, does that mean we should dismantle and defuse Scriptural incendiary devices? Does not the raw terror of our times require us to seek different images?

I’m in the U2 corner on this one.

Posted by steve at 10:09 AM

Monday, September 20, 2004

Transitioning church in contemporary culture

7 months ago, as an emerging church pastor, I moved to a 94 year old declining conservative church in a poorer part of town. Many people thought I was mad. I was returning to what many in the emerging church are deconstructing and railing against. I was deciding to live in what many had dismissed as lifeless and immovable.

Over 7 months there have been some great encouragements;
a more open, questioning, relaxed, creative, relational approach to faith.
innovation and change
people finding faith
new people

Over 7 months I have been:


Posted by steve at 10:51 AM

Friday, September 17, 2004

emerging life

Sunday nite
3 baptisms
pool spot lit
rainbow coloured back cloth, sign of spring life in our midst
rose petals in water, placed by the community, a gift, a sacrament of communal love


I talked about extreme discipleship;
do you follow Christ?
do you repent of your sins?
do you renounce evil?
the call to risk, to growth, to stretch,
in contrast to Christianity lite, sweet, fluffy, and with no substance

Posted by steve at 04:55 PM

emerging leadership

leadership = i just want someone i can respect

Posted by steve at 09:06 AM

Thursday, September 16, 2004

moving the out of bounds church?

out-of-bounds church? learning to create communities of faith in a culture of change, is the editor-ordained title for my book. due out feb 05.

Zondervan sent me a fancy “author care” pack recently, in pastels, complete with flowers. And a “book form” to fill out. And a question: who do you know who could write reviews for magazines and newspaper?

If you have this sort of access – to publications, to magazines, to Christian news, that do book reviews – and want a review copy, drop me a line and I’ll flick your name to Zondervan

Posted by steve at 11:31 AM