« March 2006 Archives »

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Podcast about LivingRoom

30 March, 2006 3:12 PM

I spent 45 minutes on Skype this morning with Jon from the Matters of the Heart recording a podcast. The focus of it was LivingRoom and some of the basics of how we run, how we started and how I view other forms of church etc.

Listen to it at Fascinating Approach to Church - Australias Living Room Church (it goes for around 40 minutes - sorry about the echoey recording - might be my microphone).

Neil Cole in Melbourne: 5th-7th April - Highly Recommended

29 March, 2006 8:41 PM

One of the best speakers I've ever heard in recent years on mission and church is Neil Cole who came and spoke at a Forge event a couple of years back.

He shared some of his story in one of the most humble and simple way. No big theories, no big words, no blog - just a guy doing what he felt God put before him to do in a way that had an incredible impact on the lives of many. Very inspiring.

Neil is back in Melbourne between 5 - 7 April for three days of teaching on 'How to Shape, Transition and Pioneer new ministries, missions, congregation and churches'.

I'm so so upset that I'm going to miss it (Forge seem to plan their events by when I'm out of town) but would highly recommend it to anyone who can make it.

The details are in the following pdf (click it to enlarge).

Forge Neil Cole
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Christians Only Social Networking

29 March, 2006 1:40 PM

I've just seen one of the more bizarre blogging tools out there - Xianz is it's name and it's promoting itself as 'MySpace for Christians'.

It's an invitation only social networking and blogging tool which at a first glance seems to me like a site with a real 'holy huddle' kind of mentality.

While I do see the importance of spaces for Christians to gather and interact with each other I do worry when such places become exclusive and loose their fuzziness.

Forgive me if I'm wrong - but I tend to remember someone saying something like 'Go into all the World....' rather than 'run away from it'.

Rather than dragging Christians out of places like MySpace (I'm not a massive fan myself - although I did start a page a couple of weeks ago) I wonder what would happen if we all decided to become actively involved in the community there.

The last thing most Christians that I know need is another place to go and hang out with Christians. Instead I think we need to step outside of our comfort zones and actually learn to speak the language of and engage with the world that we're called to 'go' to.

Maybe I'm just not getting it (perhaps partly because a lot of their areas seem to be 'members only' area) but it doesn't really work for me (quite literally as looking at one of the pages on it just crashed my browser).

found via TallSkinnyKiwi

LivingRoom talks Money

11 March, 2006 1:22 AM

This past week at LivingRoom was one of our big gatherings (where our two groups came together - something we do every 7 weeks).

The night was a first on two fronts.

Firstly we had a sermon/preaching for the first time in 3 years (since we began). Yep LivingRoom is largely a church without sermons!

It's not that we're anti preaching - we're just experimenting with different ways of communicating, teaching and learning. This has largely happened through discussion, dialogue and different methods of creative communication.

Having said that - we decided that this year we'd have a night occasionally where one person would prepare a presentation or talk on a topic in a more monologue (ish) sort of way. This week was our first time).

The second 'first' was that it was the first time we've talked about money at LivingRoom since starting.

We've mentioned it in passing over the years - but this week we spent the night exploring the issue.

The reasons we've not talked about money so far are numerous but the main two are:

1. We've had no real need to talk about money. We don't have a building, we don't pay any staff and apart from an occasional expense have no need to spend anything.
2. Some of us have been part of churches where money became something of an obsession (or a distraction) from time to time. Some of us have also seen situations where money has been the source of big problems in churches - problem manipulation, division and hurt. This is in a minority of cases of course - but is probably one of the reasons we've kept off the topic.

Despite these reasons we've also had a growing sense as a community that money is something that we should talk about. For one it's a topic that the world we live in talks about constantly and so to think about it from a faith perspective seems a worthwhile discussion to have. The other reason is that the more I read the teaching of Jesus (and other passage of the Bible) the more I see that he talked about the topic.

In fact he talked about money and possessions more than almost any other topic (it's second only to 'the Kingdom of God'). Of course his message was very counter cultural and had many layers (not something you can sum up in a night).

As a result this week we began tackling the topic.

I don't have time to type up what I said here right now - but will attempt to summarize it later in the week.

BYO Worship - Lent

1 March, 2006 10:29 PM

LivingRoom tonight (our group at least) was another BYO Worship night where each person was invited to bring something along to talk about or lead the rest of the group through as Worship (more explaining how we do it here).

Tonight we did it without a set theme (ie everyone could bring whatever they wanted) but what we did do seemed to have some themes in it.

Our first two parts were both on Lent (one some teaching on what it is with some Ash being put on people's foreheads and the other being a visual representation of Jesus 40 days in the desert).

The next two parts were both guided imagination/meditation/wonderings from Luke (Luke 19: 37-44 and Luke 5:1-11).

They I shared some reflections on a poe by Edna St. Vincent Millay which Brian Mclaren shared last week at a session I attended (the poem is below).

Then someone shared some Tomato Relish with the group that she'd made (yummmmy) and our last part was the story of how one person is feeling drawn to worship though his involvement with sport, both in playing in a team and the involvement that this has opened up in his life and by an opportunity he has to coach a Cricket team of young kids.

All in all I found the night to be both interesting and challenging. I love these nights - to see what people come up with and how the different elements often come together in very complementary ways.

Next week at LivingRoom is our 'Big Gathering' where both of our groups come together (we do that every 6-7 weeks at present). These nights are always fun. I'll be sharing on the topic of 'Generosity'.

The poem from Edna St. Vincent Millay is below:

Upon this age, that never speaks its mind,
This furtive age, this age endowed with power
To wake the moon with footsteps, fit an oar
Into the rowlocks of the wind, and find
What swims before his prow, what swirls behind -
Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of factsthey lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun; but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric.

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