Monday, September 13, 2004

xtreme ways

xtreme sports are a new cultural phenomenon; adventure racing, bungy jumping, white water rafting – a chance to take risks, to stretch and grow in the process.

I have seen, experienced and designed xtreme worship experiences – blocks of ice and hot coals as prayer, chardonnay bottles as acts of grace descending from the ceiling, naked flames. Alternative worship has mixed image and culture and brought us xtreme worship.

I have seen, experienced and sought for xtreme community – church as shared meal, community as the essence of Christian expression. Friends like Living Room and Al Creech have used relationships as the prolegomena to mission.

I want to see xtreme discipleship. In a world where the passion of Islam includes a willingness to take up one’s cross to death do us part, it is time for xtreme worship and extreme community to be entwined with xtreme discipleship. It is time for radical peacemaking and keen environmental concern and social justice to enter the regular praxis of the emerging church.

xtreme worship + xtreme community + xtreme discipleship = xtreme ways of the Kingdom of God

Posted by steve at 10:19 AM


  1. Hear, hear…I remember reading a tract written by Pentecostal pastor, Leonard Ravenhill. many years ago…when he contrast the radical discipleship exemplified within Islam, and the kind of radical love-infused discipleship largely absent from Christianity in the West…that tract and the challenge of the tract has sat with me for many years…at the time I felt Ravenhill was saying something really important. I still believe he is, though now dead, through his writing, sermons etc. You’re expressing a very similar sentiment. Thanks.

    Comment by Paul Fromont — September 13, 2004 @ 10:46 am

  2. Sounds a lot like messy mission!

    Comment by Andrew — September 13, 2004 @ 2:19 pm

  3. How?

    Comment by Andrew Mac — September 13, 2004 @ 5:47 pm

  4. Sorry, I think Steve knows what I mean, it is a compliment. I meant that when Christians take seriously the need for “xtreme ways of the Kingdom of God” that often leads us into situations and circumstances that are difficult and ambiguous and ultimately messy.Things like the need for ecotheology, social justice, God’s groundedness with the poor and the outcast all call Christians beyond the our tidy churches and out into the reality of our world. A Christian praxis that emphsises God’s concern for things like social justice often leads us out of the tidy/clean Christian church environment (based on my experience) and out into the reality and mess of our surrounding society.
    Hope this explains my comment? I think it lines up with something of what Steve’s suggesting? Could be way off too…

    Comment by Andrew — September 14, 2004 @ 8:31 am

  5. I know I’d appreciate some extreme discipleship…

    In the last few years God has really turned me upside down and shaken me and all sorts of things have come loose and I often feel quite bewildered.

    My views on women in the church and ecology (and creation in general) are two huge ones that have (to be honest) startled me in the resultant reversal of position I now find myself taking

    All the time I am left wondering – how do I fit all this together? I love God intently and intensely but how do I share that with other people; encourage my brothers and sisters around me; all the time driving my car less so I’m not a party to the atrocities committed in the pursuit of oil; and ensure the ongoing survival of New Zealands plethora of endangered birds? (And all the time keep God at the centre of all of this and be totally reliant on His Spirit?)

    Sometimes it feels like you’re alone in wrestling with these things. (that’s not an accusatorial statement – I know many of the people who read this blog look at these topics and far more heady ones – it’s just a statement about reflecting on my immediate surroundings)

    How does one find someone who 1) sees value in the same things I do 2) Has actual experience of even choosing to look at these for themselves 3) Is willing to take time to listen the often confused ravings of another who is only just beginning to take them on?

    I feel sometimes like there is a huge amount of alienation within the Church (big C – not little C)

    Come along if you want to sing – but we don’t really do ecology. Come along if you do ecology – but we’re not really into Bible Study. Come along if… but…

    Just some more random thoughts in progress to chuck in to the mix

    Comment by Randall — September 15, 2004 @ 11:15 am

  6. xtreme faith

    I really like Steve’s post on xtreme ways. He talks about having seen xtreme worship, xtreme community but wants to see xtreme discipleship. He writes: ‘I want to see xtreme discipleship. In a world where the passion of Islam includes…

    Comment by LivingRoom >> A space for Life — September 15, 2004 @ 2:56 pm

  7. great thoughts – you’ve re-ignited something I’ve been mulling around in my mind this week. I’ve attempted to extrapolate it here. Interested in your thoughts….

    Comment by Darren Rowse — September 15, 2004 @ 2:58 pm

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