Outreach Trends for Next Year

In July of 2013,  a well known Christian magazine that focuses on Christian outreach asked me what I thought they should cover in 2014. WHAT I SUGGESTED I suggested articles on urban agriculture, going off-grid, permaculture, voluntary simplicity, interaction with Muslims, nomads, social enterprise, DIY and self sufficiency, outreach that includes seekers rather than targets…

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Hanging with the Brethren Church

We visited my old Brethren church yesterday which is now called Orewa Community Church. I attended the youth group here as a teenager and a few people remembered me. I have been away overseas for 30 years so I thought it would be just POLITE to return and say hi, and thanks. Good Bible teaching, as always.…

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Is the number 666 really on our barcodes?

A blog reader asked if the number 666 is somehow integrated into the barcodes. This has been a discussion for over 30 years among Christians. I asked my friend David Allis who is not only a Christian man but is also a leading seller of barcodes, to reply to the question, “Do all barcodes have…

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So what do Aussies REALLY think of the church?

A recent survey from Olive Tree Media shows what Australians think about Christianity. Here are the main reasons why Aussies say they don’t go to church: Here’s some doctrines and practices that Australians say block them from church. However, the survey showed a surprising knowledge of what Jesus said. Read the whole thing or download…

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American church: Not dead yet

“Most of our churches are built around feeding consumers.” Mike Breen My English friend Mike Breen just wrote an article called “An Obituary for the American Church” in which he outlines 3 problems he believes could kill it: a culture of Celebrity, Consumerism and Competition. Well said. I agree with Mike and recommend reading his article. But…

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In Search of Masculine Christianity

Rachel Held Evans issued a challenge to male bloggers last week in response to John Piper’s suggestion at the Desiring God conference that “God has given Christianity a masculine feel”, which she thought was “a strange way to talk about the Bride of Christ.” I didn’t have time to write anything but I noticed that 150…

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Covenant Making is not always evil

Yesterday I was at All Saints [Hataitai] Church to witness and participate in a covenant signing ceremony. But before you get all excited about that word “covenant“,  I should tell you that: 1. Yes, I know all about last week’s contract/covenant controversy at Mars Hill Seattle and agree that covenants can be abused to control people…

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New Christian websites

2 new Christian websites are launching soon that you should know about: OpenChurch.com from USA (January) courtesy of Kent Shaffer. Christian.co.uk from UK (February). Everyone say hello to Ian Matthews. Both are open for Christian content, articles, blog posts, etc. Go check them out, join them and submit something before the crowds come. What other similar…

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The English church that went up a mountain but came down a hill

I have lived in USA for ten years and UK for five. In both countries I worked for the churches. They are different, the churches in USA and UK, something that became more evident this weekend after Mark Driscoll suggested the UK church was the poorer for not having any well-known teachers. Interview is here.…

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Ka-Ching in the Ka-Church

In Nigeria, Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel has accumulated US$150 million. He is currently selling 2 of his 4 jets. He is not selling his jets because of the recent documentaries that criticize his lifestyle for being “at odds with the poverty and helplessness that exists” in the communities he operates in, or the pressure from other…

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Egypt: Ev. church treating victims

I just spent a week and a half in Cairo, Egypt. People have asked me what’s behind all the violence – is it the Christians or the Muslims? Neither. This is more political than it is religious. Muslims are standing up for Christians and vice versa. It’s not hard to figure out who or what is…

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PassionFest 2012 in New Zealand

Last summer we were at Parachute Festival as well as PassionFest. But this summer our family will only be at PassionFest who have asked me to teach a workshop. I offered to speak at Parachute but they already have their speakers this year and don't need me. [sob sob] They are very different festivals, as…

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Hey children!

We are camped about 15kms from Ephesus, Turkey. So this morning, being Sunday, we passed the Bible around the family and each of us read a chapter of Ephesians. What stuck out to me was when Paul addresses the children directly: “Children, obey your parents.” 6:1 This letter would have been read out to family groups…

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How does your church rank on the Informality Scale?

How much does your church resemble the community around it? Contextuality is a hot issue. Pyromaniacs have posted a lot on engaging the culture over the past year. Emerging church folk have popped up on the other side to defend it. Even I had some response to John McArthur’s “Contextualization is a curse” rant. More importantly, there…

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Hanging out in Istanbul

We are taking a week’s holiday and we chose Turkey. We arrived in Istanbul yesterday. Amazing, wonderful, historical city. The people are REALLY REALLY friendly and I totally recommend all my friends to come to this country to visit and enjoy. Last night I went out with my son, Sam, who is with us for…

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Wild Jesus freaks gathering at a festival

This week we will be part of a global gathering of emerging urban underground ministry leaders who are coming together as part of a roundtable event. Cornerstone Festival in Illinois, USA has generously allowed us to gatecrash their event and in fact has even put some of us on the speaking schedule. Like me, my…

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