Friday, December 31, 2004

emerging church vacancy

Dear Steve

I am responsible for getting the word out that we have a senior pastor
position open at Cross roads international church in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The church is very keen on reaching out to the emerging generation. I have some questions for you and wondered if you could either answer them by email or set a time when I can call you either early morning NZ time or late evening.

1. I need to find out more about magazines in NZ, USA, Canada and Australia that potential pastors would read. Can you name any?

2. I am looking for Churches and Church Networks that would enable me to biuld a database of pastors that would enable me to write to them individualy have you got any ideas or info that would help?

Anwers to Phil Le Quesne – email Philleq at aol dot com.

Posted by steve at 07:39 PM

Thursday, December 30, 2004

hillsong, emerging church and denominations

Back in October I made a brief post on the topic of “emerging church=hillsong“, with some quotes from from a denominational leader here in New Zealand, who was praising Hillsong London and attacking unnamed emerging church leaders who weren’t successful. (I am still trying to figure out if I was being attacked or not). Following the quotes, I then asked for feedback on Hillsong London.

The blog entry has come alive, with two provocative new comments posted in the last 2 days; one from a Hillsong London punter who notes “I have brought many friends to Hillsong church, mostly non-christian and i have seen many of my friends give their life to Christ.”

The other is from the demoninational leader who made the original quotes. In a fairly lengthy comment he writes “Here’s a challenge to think about. From all that I’m reading and observing there is a gnawing observation I have of a small sub-culture of emergent church thinkers out there who only ever discuss their theories about church with each other, read each other’s books and lavish their own with quotes from friends who think just like them, are into art and not at all “moved” by sports, and who prefer to throw rocks at the historical church from outside of it rather than engage in dialogue from the inside.” (Yep, still trying to figure out if I am being attacked or not).

So feel free to head on over and feel some heat. Please, if you are going to leave comments, leave them there, not here.

Posted by steve at 03:18 PM

If I’m honest

If I’m honest, I find it really hard to engage with current criticisms and questioning of the emerging church. I see them on good friends – say, Maggi Dawn or Paul Fromont or Phil and Dan – and my eyes just glaze over.

So many words. I’m not sure why I glaze over – whether my context is so different, or perhaps I’m just so immersed I have little time to think.

Or perhaps I’m not emerging. Maybe I should change my blog name. That will be a good holiday project – to come up with a new blog name!

Posted by steve at 12:18 PM

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

John made jams and loved his family. The cell phone rang this morning at 6 am and I learnt that John had lost the 4th and final round of his battle with leukemia.

Sitting by a death bed this Christmas has added many layers to my Christmas reflection – Emmanuel, God with us, in both pain and party – God, taking the degenerative frailty of human flesh.

If you have time, please say a prayer for John’s family.

Posted by steve at 10:50 PM

Sunday, December 26, 2004

rinsing off the star of christmas

I was rinsing my hair in the shower. Opening my eyes, I noticed 4 stars on the shower floor. They were remains from the christmas services.

As a benediction, I had scattered tiny stars of everyone, with the words
may the true star of Christmas
be found in your space tonight.

A day later, rinsed out on the shower floor, they brought back memories.

That’s the value of tactile, take home rituals.

Posted by steve at 09:40 PM

Saturday, December 25, 2004

a blokes christmas! yeah right

Christmas can be hard for men.

I mean, the pressure to buy the right gifts.
The pressure to talk to the relations
The pressure not to play with your kids toys.

To make things easier for us blokes
we have the “yeah right” billboards

Those distinctive black and orange advertisements,
dotted along the nation’s roads.

Tongue in cheek statements, followed by an ironic “Yeah right”.

5 billion chimneys in 1 night. Yeah right.
Designed, according to the advertising company. For blokes. Blokes who find Christmas hard.

So here’s Christmas, through the eyes of a bloke, Joseph, with a nod to “Yeah, right”


Posted by steve at 11:45 AM

Friday, December 24, 2004


280 people came through the Christmas journey last night.

Posted by steve at 05:39 PM

Thursday, December 23, 2004

christmas journey update

We had over 170 people through the Christmas journey – the interactive Christmas experience – last nite. So we’re well on track to exceed 1000 people for the week. We’ve had media coverage on national print, local TV and local newspapers.

I worked late last night and through the windows of my office listened to the chatter of kids and the murmer of adults. It’s like a party atmosphere, local community kids dragging in their friends, church people connecting, Pete the bereted designer cruising around, fixing, fiddling, enjoying the uptake.

Posted by steve at 01:43 PM

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

theres something about Mary

It suddenly struck me this week that Mary might have a whole lot to say about pre-marital sexual ethics and about being a teenager today.

So here are the notes from Sunday nite.


Posted by steve at 04:47 PM

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

made it

Listener – this week – Repackaging Christmas – I got the first quote, the last quote and a good chunk in the middle. Follow on from the phone interview a few weeks ago.


(Sorry, not up on the web)

Posted by steve at 10:02 AM

Sunday, December 19, 2004

a christmas journey

advertising as jpeg.jpg

Eight shipping containers, around a common, paved courtyard. Like a Christmas gift, waiting to be opened. Each shipping container explores a different part of the Christmas journey – interactive, tactile worship. It’s like moving in and out of 8 different worlds.

Open 7-11 pm; every day this (Christmas) week. Last year about 1000 people came through a similar exhibition. (Done with straw hay bales as a labyrinth)

Posted by steve at 03:08 PM

Friday, December 17, 2004

Liquid thinking: Many congregations, one mission

How to be church in a diverse city? How to resource congregations for change? How to be one body, sharing Christ’s love into our communities?

A one day seminar exploring mission in our contemporary world.

Saturday 22nd January 9:30-4:30 pm

with: Phil and Dan McCredden, ministers with Church of Christ, Northern Melbourne.

Sessions will include:


Posted by steve at 10:53 PM

Thursday, December 16, 2004

blue christmas

Christmas, for some people, is a blue time. It’s not joy and presents, but a time when they remember absent loved ones, face dysfunctional families or financial hardship. So last nite, I ran a Blue Christmas service.

As part of it, I invited people to tie a knot (using blue twisty tie) onto a white sheet, suspended in the middle of the room. This served to allow us to remember what makes us/our friends “blue.”

I then projected the art image below onto the cloth and onto our “blues. (My sister-in-law sent me the link last week).
Painted in 1515, its titled the Adoration of the Christ Child. The painter is unknown. Look closely at the faces of the angel beside Mary and the shepherd standing. Psychiatrists have diagnosed them both as having Downs Syndrome.

Angels and shepherds, as Downs syndrome, adoring Christ. This raised some fascinating reflections.
1. Is the stigma of Downs Syndrome a recent societal phenomenon, and were such people an accepted part of the artists world of 1515?

2. Can we accept Downs Syndrome as part of the birth of Christ? Can we accept the love and worship that such people offer? What does it mean for our church communities to be places that include such people?

3. What does this art piece do to our notions of a Blue Christmas?

For a high res version from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, go here.

For more information on the medical background go here.

Posted by steve at 03:34 PM

an eco-theological hermeneutic
– thanks Mike

Posted by steve at 01:23 PM