Emerging Church Archives

Page:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12 

Creative Worship Reader

30 January, 2004 11:14 AM

As regular readers will know - I'm involved in running a subject at a local college this semester in 'Creative Worship - in Postmodernism' (I still don't like the title, but we have to run with it now).

We are currently putting together a list of readings and texts for students and I was wondering if anyone reading this might have any suggestions? We're taking a look at the emerging culture in the first week or so and then looking at some of the ways that the church has responded to it in the last few decades (ie contemporary worship, seeker sensitive services, alt worship, ancient future worship etc). So we are digging up readings on these topics (both pro and against), but also ones on 'tips for creative worship' etc.

We're after books, journal articles, online essays etc. Whatever you may know of. Please leave your tips below - I'm happy to publish the list (giving you credit for your suggestions) here on the blog - perhaps we could all learn something through the process. Some of what we're going to use are:

- Prodigal Project - Riddell, Pierson and Kirkpatrick
- Alternative Worship - Jonny Backer
- Worship Evangelism - Sally Morgenthaler
- What is wrong with Contemporary Worship - Stephen Said
- Is this the next new worship? - Andrew Jones
- Tech Cathdrals

There is heaps more - but am running out the door. Any suggestions?

The Tribe Gathers

28 January, 2004 8:32 AM

Today I'm hosting the Forge National Tribal Gathering. Sound pretty primitive doesn't it! There will be no rain dances or human sacrifices - don't worry.

Forge is a missional training network that helps people to rethink church and mission. Out of the network many new forms of churches (like Livingroom) have been birthed around Australia. We are the people behind Phuture (which has become dormant lately).

The core of what we do is a year long internship in which interns experience intense times of learning, 20 hours a week in missional contexts, peer learning groups and individual coaching. We also run 3 intensives and a variety of other half day events throughout the year. We're also involved at speaking at festivals, conferences and camps and are getting more involved in the bible colleges in Melbourne. We also do consulting with churches - helping them to think about mission in their own contexts.

Anyway - today and tomorrow the key stake holders from around the nation are gathering in our livingroom for story telling, learning and planning. Its always a fun time.

Melbourne Emerging Churches

28 January, 2004 8:24 AM

Eddie has put together a list of 'alternative-worship/emerging churches' in Melbourne. Good idea.

Cafe Church

27 January, 2004 10:12 PM

Hamo has come to stay with us for a couple of days - he arrived tonight just in time to come to Living Room (as depleted as we were in number tonight!) We had dinner together, shared stories, some good Western Australian wine and ate vegetarian spaghetti.

After dinner we went to one of our member's boyfriend's place. He is part of Cafe Church which is an interesting Melbourne church experimenting with gathering in cafes. They were having a film night in a backyard where they invited those in the local neighborhood to come and have dinner and watch a movie together.

Hamo and I had an opportunity to speak with Steve the leader of the group - Hamo asked about what lessons they had learnt in the three years that they had been going. Steve answered by saying that two of the key things were that

1. People wanted to grow closer to God. Without this key desire in people such a group would become just an empty social group.

2. A core group of committed people living out the faith was important for them. He talked about how they were not 'directive' in style - but rather more fluid - and it was therefore important to have faith modeled by the core group.

Good reflections.

Creative Worship

27 January, 2004 1:54 PM

I spent this morning working with Mark on the upcoming subject we're running at Tabor College on 'Creative Worship - Postmodernism'. I'm really looking forward to the semester ahead. We're going to tackle the topic in a fun and interactive way.

We've got readings, topics, assessment - now all we need is some students! Apparently there are a few who are interested already which is promising - should be a good year of learning.

Museum Church

25 January, 2004 5:05 PM

V and spent the afternoon today at the Melbourne Museum. As we wandered through the exhibitions my mind wandered back to when I was a child visiting the old Melbourne Museum back in the 70s. Things have changed a lot.

In the 'good old days' the Museum was a much more static, dark and passive experience. I remember looking at some displays and thinking that the display cases themselves looked like they belonged in a museum. Everything was behind glass, the walls were all beige, security guards kept you away from all exhibits, the only way to find out information about an item was to read a rather uninspiring 'essay' next to it and exhibitions rarely changed from visit to visit.

The new Melbourne Museum is a different experience altogether. For starters the architecture is very 'now' with big airy spaces, loads of light and enough room too have a good game of indoor cricket (OK, I might be exaggerating slightly on the cricket thing).

The changes don't stop with architecture - the whole vibe of the place is different. People are encouraged to engage with the exhibits wherever possible. There are buttons to push, draws and slide out displays to pull out, movies to watch, things to touch, audio tracks playing to recreate scenes and many displays are of a 'walk in' nature. Then in the middle of it all are cafes where you can have your coffee. The museum is now something to be fully experienced with all the senses. And I'm just talking about the 'adult sections' - the 'children's museum is even more so!

As I tend to do my mind began to wonder across to the topic of 'Church'. I found myself wondering if the church could learn something from the Melbourne Museum?

I wonder if for many churches the 'old model' of a predictable, passive, hands off experience of God has crept into what we do. Maybe it is time for something different. I wonder what it could look like if we allowed ourselves to dream of something new.

On Emerging Church

24 January, 2004 10:39 AM

An experience of God is an interesting article worth taking a look at. Here are a few excerpts:

'Most of the evidently successful "mega-churches" and
church-growth movements have actually been failures because they have watered down the "radical gospel message of transformation of individual and
community lives," a leading religious innovator told a crowd of nearly 1,000
Presbyterian leaders on Jan. 23....

He said his studies of "the emerging church" have revealed that all
successful 21st-century churches are:

- Intentionally missional;
- Multicultural;
- Multi-sensory; and
- Multi-media.

"Post-moderns don't want to be put on a committee," he said. "They
want to be equipped to make a difference in the lives of others."'

Taste the Shaping of Things to Come

23 January, 2004 9:27 AM

Quite a number of bloggers have been talking about the great book The Shaping of Things to Come lately.

I have just been told that you can download a free chapter from the book in PDF file at the publishers website - Hendrickson. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the download. It is well worth the effort.

3 Top Questions for Business Church

8 January, 2004 1:37 PM

Brand Mantra makes reference to an interesting article Learning to Grow Again by Ian Davis (requires registration) which presents the 3 top questions for Business today.

I wonder if the questions are actually similar to those that we should be asking as Christians about the Church?

Davis writes (with some modifications from yours truly)

"Boards and top managers Church leaders would do well to ask three basic questions.

1. What is success? - (Good question - how do we define a 'successful church'? It goes beyond being a numbers game surely?)
2. How can we nurture talent emerging leaders?
3. What is the role of business church in society?"

Forgive me for the lack of personal comment on this - I'm posting on the run today! Interested in your thoughts?

The Shaping of Missional Church

7 January, 2004 12:20 PM

I've have really been enjoying the opportunity for a bit more time to dedicate to reading a variety of books in the past few weeks. I'm sure that when I get the computer back at home (the update is that it is frustratingly not likely to happen this week) that I'll blog on some more of it.

One book that I've been slowly working through over the past month or so is The Shaping of Things to Come by a couple of friends - Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost. I've blogged about it previously but am continuing to be challenged and stimulated by it. Here are a couple of quotes from it regarding 'Missional Church' which is the central theme of the book.

'The Missional Church doesn't immediately think in terms of strategies, but in terms of people and places.' - I've been really challenged by this concept since starting Living Room. Previously church has always been so much about getting the program, service or strategy right. The idea behind this is that if we build the best possible program that people will come to us. This attractional methodology is something of a trap. Like Alan and Mike I don't completely write it off - there are times where it can be effective for some individuals, but I suspect we will be much more effective as the mission we've been left to make disciples if we take another approach and actually 'go' and build relationships.

'Too much existing bible teaching happens to passive groups of Christians, many of whom are not involved in any kind of risky missional activity.' - Again, this resonates with me. As I think back over the past years to the most invigorating times of bible study that I've had - they have always taken place in the context of mission. Conversely the times where I've found Scripture a struggle to find inspiring are times when I've withdrawn into myself or holy huddles and not been engaging with the world I live in.

You can buy the book here.

Mars Hill - Emerging Church Article

31 December, 2003 10:14 AM

Just found this interesting Article on Mars Hill in the Seattle Times. Here is an excerpt:

'But in the past few years, certain in-city churches, founded by people in their 20s and 30s, have quietly amassed followings. Around the country, Seattle is becoming known as a center for these churches, variously referred to as "emerging," "postmodern" or, galling to their founders, "Gen X" churches.

Typically, they seek alternative ways of presenting the message of Christ - ways that tap into current youth culture rather than villainize it, as some churches do. Often these churches are small and less top-down, more like a gathering of friends. They value intuitive experiences of God, encouraging a vital relationship with him, rather than assuming people already have one. They are often culturally liberal (welcoming of, say, nose rings and expressing one's love of God through punk rock) but theologically conservative, emphasizing early Christianity and the root meaning of Bible stories.

But here, too, Mars Hill has become an anomaly. With its sheer size and orthodox theology - far more conservative than most other emerging churches - it no longer fits neatly into that niche....

The Rev. Karen Ward, pastor of the postmodern Church of the Apostles in Seattle, says Mars Hill is "espousing a certain tradition, a very conservative, fundamental, Promise Keepers ethos." Emerging-church pastors, she says, are generally more open to saying they don't have all the answers. '

Interesting article - interested in your reflections

Are Emerging Churches Still Emerging?

24 December, 2003 11:45 AM

I've only got a few minutes of my public library net access left - but thought I'd post to this link that someone sent me via email. Thanks Andy.

Christianity Today asks 'are Emerging Churches still Emerging?

Also just found Canadian Christianity's 'Emerging' churches going back to basics

Have a great Christmas all - thanks for your comments and well wishes in the last post. I appreciate your kind words! Hopefully will be back online from home again on the 5th Jan!

Sing, sing a song

22 December, 2003 7:28 AM

On Sunday night V and I went to my old church to drop off the presents from last night. It was really nice to go back. They did a little interview with me to hear a bit about how Living Room is going. They also generously gave us a gift which was a complete surprise and greatly appreciated. The church there has a lot going for it and are very supportive of new things.

It was a strange feeling to be back in a 'contemporary worship' service (full of Christmas Carols) after 10 months of Living Room. It is only the second time I've sung a song corporately since February. I personally don't mind singing (although Carols are not my favorite) - I even used to worship lead occasionally - but I realized tonight that I haven't really missed it much at all. In fact it is quite refreshing to be a part of a community that has deliberately chosen to find other creative ways to worship.

By no means have we found all the answers when it comes to worship. We need to grow a heap more in it and will continue to experiment and explore - but I'm enjoying the journey.

Living Room Christmas Party

21 December, 2003 9:39 AM

candles.jpgOur 'redemptive party' last night went really well. About 30 friends of Living Room showed up from a variety of different places - some were churched others not.

It was an informal night of great food (V cooked up a storm), good music, interesting conversation, lots of laughter and a chance to reflect upon the birth of Jesus.

We invited people to bring a gift for a child in need. Tonight I'll take about 40 gifts over to an organization who works with refugees, families affected by drug dependancy and homeless people.

We also set up a place on our landing for people to reflect upon Jesus as 'the light of the world' - basically it was a spot to light a candle and read poems/prayers. It was really nice to see people taking time out from the party's center to light a candle.

Lastly we had a series of projected images shot up onto a wall where people walked in that picked up the Christmas story as depicted in art throughout the centuries. It was the thing that seemed to grab peoples attention the most.

I had some great conversations with a number of people on the edges of our community - one of whom has just decided to become a follower of Jesus after years of relationship with two members of the Living Room. Its been really exciting to be able to share some of her walk over the past few weeks since making that decision. Its brought a real life to the group as a whole.

Overall the night was a lot of work - we are very tired this morning - but well worth the effort.

Now....back to the cleaning up process!

Santa Read - 'Moving Beyond the Worship Service'

20 December, 2003 4:56 PM

Justin Baeder of Radical Congruency Justin Baeder has written a great article over at the Ooze called Moving Beyond the Worship Service

It is well worth the read - and I'm not just saying that because his Secret Santa asked me to mention it for them!

Actually this Secret Santa is taking a very unique and ingenious approach by not only asking bloggers to link to Justin's writing - but by donating $1 to Tear Fund in Justin's name for each one of that links up (limited to just those asked).

Creative Worship - Postmodern Culture

9 December, 2003 10:01 PM

Today it was confirmed that Mark Sayers and I will be running a subject at Tabor College (a bible college here in Melbourne) next semester. We've been developing it for a little while now but today got official word that it is going ahead.

The subject is called 'Creative Worship - Postmodern Culture'.

We're still finalizing the curriculum but it is our hope for it to be a very interactive and hands on 14 weeks of exploring some of the new forms of worship that are emerging around the globe at present. Some would call what we're studying 'alternative worship' but its a term I'm not entirely comfortable with. Having said that 'Creative Worship' isn't my choice of title either but its what we've been given - I probably would have called it 'Emerging Worship' if I'd had the choice....anyway) We'd also like to give students an opportunity to experiment, dream and put together some creative worship experiences of their own for their communities of faith and each other.

If you're in Melbourne and are interested in the subject it will be held out at Tabor on a Tuesday afternoon. It can be done at diploma, degree or grad dip level. Let me know if you'd like more information.

Church Growth

4 December, 2003 11:35 AM

Here are a few thoughts from the Forge Intensive session I went to on Monday about Missional Church DNA. The speaker was Alan Hirsch.

The church in 100AD was approximately 25,000 people in number. The Roman Empire at the time was 45 million people.

By 300AD before Constantine the church is estimated to be 27 million people. The Roman Empire was 60 million. Something happened that brought about an explosion in this time.

Alan made a number of observations:

- they had no (or very few) centralized buildings
- they met in small ecclesial units - often based around households
- there was very little in the way of professional clergy
- they were persecuted - their movement was often quite underground
- they grew through multiplication - not through growing large churches

Interesting to compare this early approach to they way we go about things today.

The Shaping of Things to Come - Book Review

3 December, 2003 11:20 PM

Hamo just posted a review of The Shaping of Things to Come. Both the book and the review are well worth the read.

Paul at Prodigal also has a collection of great quotes from the book. (see 2nd December 2003 entry)

It looks like the book is getting out there - I heard this week its in the Christian best seller list here in Australia at the moment and starting to doing well overseas too.

Emerging Church Intensive

1 December, 2003 9:09 AM

Today I'm spending a day in Melbourne's eastern suburbs at an intensive for those exploring Emerging Church, Mission, Leadership etc.

I work voluntarily for an organization called Forge (webpage is a bit out of date) who put on three week long intensive (on different subjects) each year. These intensive make up the core teaching elements of a year long internship where students are placed in Missional contexts for a year to explore incarnational mission and new forms of church. It is an exciting program that I myself did two years ago.

This week's intensive is on Leadership and covers topics including:

- The DNA of Missional Church
- Images of Leadership: The Wounded Healer
- From Machine to Organism: New Images of Church & Mission
- From Discipleship to Leadership
- Prophetic Leadership
- The Innovator & Innovation
- Belonging before Believing: Creating Community as a Missional Activity
- Unlikely Images of the Church
- The Future in 3D
- If I could do it all again...

One of the best things about these intensives is that you get together with other people thinking similar things from all over the country. The first time I went I felt like I was coming home. Up to that point I felt like I might be a heretic or something - to find other people asking similar questions was amazing.

The other great thing about these weeks is the quality of the speakers. All are practitioners (no theoreticians are invited to speak) and all are top quality people from around Australia and the world.

If you're ever interested in flying out here for one of these intensives (or for the year long internship) let me know and I'll get you the information.

I'm Reading 'The Shaping of Things to Come'

30 November, 2003 8:22 AM

I've previously posted about The Shaping of things to Come but have finally got my copy of it and am about to delve into it.

I always like to read the first lines in books - here is the first paragraph from the intro:

'In this book expect to encounter revolutionary ideas that will sometimes unnerve you. We hope to reawaken the latent apostolic imagination at the heart of the biblical faith and to exhort God's people to courageous missional engagement for our time - living out the gospel within its cultural context rather than perpetuating an institutional commitment apart from its cultural context. In writing this book we are advocating a wholesale change in the way Christians are doing and being the church, and because of this ours is not necessarily a popular message. We've become disturbingly aware through personal experience and observation that those who advocate such a thoroughgoing re-calibration of the church will not always be met with open arms by the prevailing church leadership. And yet we feel compelled to lovingly challenge the church to dismantle many of the arcane institutional structures it is now beholden to and to bravely face the future with imagination and courage.'

This looks like a worthwhile read - its called 'The Shaping of Things to Come' - its written by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch - it is published by Hendrickson and you can get it for as little as $13.60 (US) here.

I'm interested in what others who have read it think.

Page:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12