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Posts from May 2004

Breakfast with the radio crew

Having brekkie with the nice people from the radio show. went pretty well, tell you about it later.
[Day later] Rob Frost is a nice guy and someone who is really active in doing ministry as well has having people talk about it on his radio show. When we finished breakfast, he hopped on a plane fora 5 day preaching tour of the small islands off the coast of England, starting with the Shetlands. The man is a doer. and a great networker. He invited me back for another show so I couldn't have upset his listeners too much.
Also on the show was a Doctor named John (oops, forget his last name) who is doing research on human brain disorders related to babies. And a filmmaker, Norman Stone, who is re-releasing a movie called Man Dancing in the Movie. Nice guy, Norman, and we hope to stay in contact.


Couch Grass, Seeding, and a Hard Week

Its been a hard one this week - and it has left me a little depressed.
- i was one handed with my injury
- i missed the nashville event
- i didn't really do the reading i was hoping to do (curse that workaholism!)
- my external hard drive is not talking to me
- my computers are not talking to each other
- the cut on my hand has not yet sealed. It awaits a ventriloquist to bring it to life.
- my bank decided to play hard to get and we waited over 3 weeks to get my support deposited. Its in now, but waiting to pay the rent has worn me out.
- i feel down and out of season.
- i want to do something physical but my hand wont let me
- did i tell you all my friends were in 'Nashvegas' (Lemenspeak) eating BBQ?
- without me

Now i have to run off to a radio station for an interview.
Will i be honest?
Yes.
Welcome Andrew, tell our listeners how you feel this morning?
Awful. Life sucks . . . and then you die!

Well, maybe not that honest. But i certainly don't feel the need to put on a happy church face. Call that post-charasmatic, if you like. [Can people who never were fully charasmatic, still experience post-charasmatic symptoms?] The English call it "post-Kendrick"

On the positive side, I have been having some good thoughts this week:
1. Couch Grass.
couch
Its a rhizome structure, like potatoes. People liken the web-like interconnected structure of the internet to Rhizomes. The thing about rhizomes is that they do not multiply- they are a single multiplicity that extend themselves outward into new territory, yet maintain their oneness. If we are to adopt a similar view of church, then Couch Grass is either:
a) a pest that could wipe away 30 years of Church reproduction/multiplication theory, or
b) a framework for understanding the invisible unity of the church while maintaining a missional strategy.

Maybe i wont tell anyone about Couch Grass. Or Rhizomes. Too controversial. I studied at Fuller School of World Mission, under Peter Wagner, where i learned much about church growth and church planting. i would hate for something as simple as the existence of Couch Grass to undermine the idea that churches must multiply or reproduce as seperate entites, rather than maintain their unity as a single organism. Maybe i will just keep it to myself, and this little online journal of mine, that my dad reads once a week, and a few people here and there that stop by.

2. Seeding the Gospel
When I download a Div-x movie file using BitTorrent, i can do so only if someone has "seeded" that movie first. There is no central server. I take it from one of the seeded sites. As i am downloading the file, i am also uploading it at the same time to many others. If i get greedy and limit my upload, then my download is also limited. There more i give, the more i can take. (To the one who has much, much more will be given.) There is an interesting download/upload relationship that reminds me of the teaching/discovering of pilgrimage, and the receiving/passing on of discipleship. We don't wait until we get the whole file before we pass it on - in fact, with BitPass, the only time you are allowing others to download from you, is when you are downloading it yourself.
I like the word "seed", as a VERB.
Seeding the story of God.
Seeding communities of God.
Seeding is a better word than "planting", as in "church planting". Planting suggests something seperate and removed - a very modern and individualist way of seeing church - [my church, your church, my empire, your little "pot plant" experiment].

Seeding in the geeky sense of the word, and combined with a Couch Grass Ecclesiology, is a way of seeing it as an extension of the same thing.

That fits with my understanding of the One Church that i belong to. It also fits with my preference for underground, discreet methodology.
Or, as Roland once said.
"I do not trust spectacular things. Give me the seed growing secretly everytime"
[Roland Allen, responding to request for spectacular stories, in a missionary report, 1933.]
See, even Roland like the word "seed". But he was re:mixing Jesus who said it first.

Right, off to the radio station. To be myself. My depressed self. My self that is down and kicked about but is enjoying a flickering, smouldering hot burning lantern inside, something the Bible and my church friends would call JOY.
At least i don't have to shave!


Epicentre Roundtable: Advance

This is an advance notice for our Global Roundtable event this summer, in particular for those of you buying plane tickets to be here. The actual roundtable event, that we will probably call "Epicentre", in the tradition of Epicenter (USA, 2001) and Epicentrum (Europe, 2002), will be held at Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham, Friday, August 27th, from 2pm to 5pm in the Crest Room of the Grandstand.
There will be a welcoming event in London on Thursday, August 26th, and the festival runs until Monday 30th.
The cost for the festival is 70 pounds and that includes FREE ACCOMODATION if you bring your tent. The Roundtable should be free to you, assuming we can raise a little money to make it all work. The roundtable will be an Emergent/Boaz/DAWN sponsored event. It was suggested by Brian MacLaren, as i have mentioned before, but you should know that Brian will not be able to be with us this year.
We have invited key leaders of emerging networks around the world and will be inviting a few more. There will be a limit of 50 leaders present at our Roundtable. Already, they are coming from Japan, Brazil, Australia, USA, Germany, Holland, Switzerland . . . Do you know of someone that really needs to be there? Let me know and i can send an application to them.
Much more information soon . . .


Experiencing Matrix

I am adding some comments to a friend's book today - a book about emerging church that will come out next year. I was writing about our redefined relationship with media and the Matrix came up as an example. Sure would hate to leave my thought undiscovered and untested for a year, so i will blog it out here. This redefined relationship with media has been . . .

31m. . . "reflected in the way we experienced the Matrix films.
1999 - Matrix 1: Within a week of its theatrical release, we Emailers had a discussion that continued for 2 months.
2003 - Matrix 2: Within a week of its theatrical release, we Bloggers posted a single weblog entry that added to our interpretation and appreciation of the movie. It lasted a few days.
2003 - Matrix 3: Within a week of its theatrical release, we VJ's had access to enough footage to reuse the video in our own presentations. Even before its release, we could download the movie trailer files, edit, modify, and reuse in totally different ways.
2004 – Matrixonline.com: Within a week of the matrixonline.com game release, we Gamers will have another playground, another world, another community in which we can play and live.
Within 6 years, we have moved from Consumer, to Commentor, to Co-author, to Citizen"