Sunday, May 22, 2005

ouch :)

At the door of our Sunday morning congregation, as my hand is shaken. “I pray for you every day pastor. I pray that God would deepen your teaching ministry among us, so that we can hear the Word.”

Ouch. So amidst all the change, there is (inevitable) unease.
Ouch. Isn’t this the use of prayer as a Trojan horse to deliver a message to a person, not to God?

Posted by steve at 02:45 PM

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

living theology and boundaries

The focus of my PhD research was on living theology (what an emerging church was actually praying and preaching) in relation to boundaries (relationships between society).

Today I am working with a group of 40 chaplains. I said yes, because it seems to me that chaplains are a fine example living theology in relation to society. I’ve been asked to nourish them with some biblical metaphors that will help them better process their boundaries.

I was going to haul the “pastoral ministry” books of the shelf when I suddenly thought, “what are the biblical images that nourish me.” They are not pastor as prophet or preacher, but minister as midwife, gardener, storyteller and DJ. So I’m going to see how they “fly” in a chaplain context.

I’m really looking forward to it. The downside is that it’s 5 hours of input (not all talk, there’s group work and art and case studies and storytelling and creative prayer stations), and then I have my usual Bible College of New Zealand lecture – gospel and film – 2 hours. 7 hours will be a long day.

Posted by steve at 08:59 AM

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

what are the theological models that guide chaplaincy? Steve Taylor will lead a workshopping seminar to identify one’s theology of chaplaincy, reflect on one’s theological bottom lines and how to walk with others of different faiths and persuasions.

beyond religious trappings – Chaplaincy course. Wednesday, 6th April, 4 hours, Community of sacred name, Christchurch.

Posted by steve at 03:22 PM

Friday, September 10, 2004

blah blah blah

i am spending more and more of my life talking to groups of people. i often wonder if there is any point … you speak to groups who say nice things, but does anything change … is it worth the energy … how to bring about change … is it worth the cost to family and to personal time spent smelling the roses.

today is my 5th day of speaking in a row. i am speaking on a theological response to the foreshore and seabed issue. it is a hugely explosive issue in new zealand today, with big implications for identity and culture and reconciliation. i am nervous.

i get out of the car and a person walks over. “i have a bone to pick with you” he announces, “from the talk you did on future church last year”

“oh dear” i think.

“that talk changed our life” he says, and shares some of his story. oh well, going blah, blah, blah has been useful for at least one person.

update: while I do appreciate all the nice comments, I wish to emphasis that this post was done with a note of glad surprise, not a depressed funk seeking pats on the back.

Posted by steve at 10:47 PM

Monday, August 23, 2004

Destiny marches and some questions need asking

On Monday a new church group in New Zealand, Destiny Church, marched in protest against the Civil Unions Bill. They marched in black, they shouted in unison, and they caused a lot of media attention. For a report on the march, go here. I would not have marched in the march and my views on the Civil Unions Bill are expressed here and here.

However the march did raise for me the following questions;

does the fact that most of Destiny are Maori alter one’s views on the march? are people not actually concerned about angry, black men, but about angry, black, Maori men? are there in fact some levels of racism involved in responses to the march?

is it inconsistent for the counter protest-marchers to talk on the news about tolerance and diversity, when in fact any protest march should be applauded as an expression of diversity? or does tolerance only mean certain types of tolerance?

similarly, was not the shouted statement by Georgina Beyer; “your hatred is intolerable” also a contradiction? again, does tolerance only mean certain types of tolerance?

is it inconsistent for the news media to express concern about the use of children in the march, and then for the media to then ask children why they marched? did the news media gain parental consent? or are their different rules for media using children than religious groups?

Posted by steve at 12:13 PM

Sunday, August 22, 2004

church is people

At the carpark before church I met B. who has been a Christian for about 3 months, and C. who has been a Christian for 2 weeks.

At the door we were greeted by A, a local community kid, roped in by D. to help welcome people.

In worship we thanked God for C.P.’s first haircut since recovering from leukemia. T. thanked God for her rest home, a milestone for her as she has struggled with this particular life transition. A. wanted to thank God for her parents. She is 8, so neat to have her voice shaping our worship. S. who is also 8, re-told a Bible story on the hot text seat.

After the service S., another community kid, faced smudged with tears, needed a sticking plaster for a grazed army.

This blog spends a lot of time re-imagining church. All good stuff. For me, the re-imagining has one main point; to connect people with God and each other.

Or the Maori proverb says so eloquently: What is the most important thing? It is people. It is people. It is people.

Posted by steve at 03:45 PM

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Taylors commissioning

My welcoming and commissioning today. Friends are flying down from Graceway to hand us over to Opawa. That is a great honour and it will be neat to catch up.

Other guests are meant to include local MP’s like Tim Barnett (best known in New Zealand for this) and also Ruth Dyson.

I’ve shaped the service which will include writing heart prayers and a big communal welcome.

I’m nervous.

Posted by steve at 11:01 AM

Monday, February 02, 2004

NZ impacts UK anglicans

cafĂ© church ‘is an approach that originates in New Zealand. It’s particularly aimed at young adults who might want to explore their spirituality in a welcoming environment. It’s much more about dialogue.’ from UK Guardian

Posted by steve at 12:06 PM

ez on by

Yesterday Graceway, the emerging/ent church I planted and then pastored until late last year, welcomed it’s new minister, Mark Barnard.

Mark B Commissioning 009.jpg

Mark is 26 years old and is married to Bridget. He has a background in social work and community development, a love for the poor and was the lead singer of a band. Bridget works in promotion for a Christia n Aid agency and is really good value. They have both been part of Graceway for the last 3 years.

I flew up to Auckland for the day to share in the celebration and occasion. It was a day of a huge range of emotions for me. I gave the best of 9 years of my life to Graceway. I developed an internship scheme to train leaders and Mark was one of the 6 emerging leaders I directly worked with. I am very proud of him.

The transition from founding pastor to new pastor is a fragile time for a church and a number of church plants in New Zealand have not made the transition. So there is huge relief for me to see a very competent leadership team at Graceway welcome Mark and Bridget on board.

I sat at the back, marvelling at the goodness of God. Half way through last year God ezed me out of Graceway. It was a hugely traumatic decision. 8 months later God is ezing a new leader into Graceway and I have become a cheering bystander.

A toast:
to the Graceway leadership team, who ezed in a new pastor
to Mark and Bridget, may they ez Graceway into a new season
to God, whom I love.

Posted by steve at 09:34 AM

Thursday, January 22, 2004


On Saturday February 21 I become the “Senior Pastor” at Opawa Baptist Church (part-time, alongside my teaching at BCNZ). I join to lead a staff team of 4 (possibly 6) and a congregation of about 150 people.

Induct v.
introduce someone formally to a post
from the latin inducere, ‘lead in’

I get to shape the service and they have asked for “multi-media.” So there’s room for creativity. Any suggestions; of words, rituals, visuals, songs?

Posted by steve at 09:39 AM