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Posts from September 2009

Random stuff

- I can related to the blog-weary Phoenix Preacher who seeks a cave between and the Lighthouse Trails and the renewal movement.

- The Sovereignty series on Man of Depravity ended well. Lots of good thoughts, including one from me.

- When I was at Greenbelt Festival, I met Rob Bell and the controversial but congenial Gene Robinson on the same day. Later that day, I listened to the evangelical apologist Alistair McGrath defend the faith against new atheism. What an interesting mix of people.

- Rob Bell seems like a nice guy, btw. I am still not sure why some people peg him as "emerging church", esp. when his church started with such a large infusion of people. More thoughts here.


Random photo:

Shovel it! This is me clearing away cowpats to prepare the campsite at Slot Festival, Poland.

- How do you measure successful holistic ministry? Social entreprenuers Andy Schofield, Shannon Hopkins, with additional brain power from missiologist-geek Brad Sargent, are working on a transformational index which I finally got to see last night. Jon Birch's cartoons really make it look great.

- Four bottom lines of holistic transformation: social, economic, environmental and spiritual. Andy and Shannon dragged me into their social enterprise presentation at Greenbelt to discuss the fourth one. I talked about linking the enterprise to God's missional plan to reconcile all things. I also suggested the missional entrepreneur is like a DJ who spins 4 records at one time, but the spiritual should be the first.

- One laptop per child didn't seem to achieve what it hoped to, according to some criticism, but I wonder if an ipod touch per child, in a world of free wifi, would be a better solution.

Tallskinnykiwi on Problogger and why the Reformed bloggers are beating the Emerging Bloggers

My humble little blog gets a mention and a link today in Darren's Problogger blog [one is the biggest blogs in the world] as "the first blog that I had ever read". Thanks! Darren's post is about the place of links in today's blogging world. He ends with 2 tips from Matt Cutts for attracting links:

1) making great content that will attract links in the first place, and 2) choosing a site architecture that makes your site usable/crawlable for humans and search engines alike.”

A related converstation is Ed Stetzer on the recent Top 100 Church Blogs where the new Reformed bloggers have ousted the emerging church bloggers from their leading spots. I like Ed's ideas of why that may have happened but I would also add a few of my own.

1. Many emerging church bloggers do not run "church" blogs but rather, in true missional fashion, they host blogs in many areas of life and culture. Or in the case of Darren Rowse, pro blogging,

2. Many emerging church blog readers use RSS feeds and dont bother turning up anymore, except on special occasions, on the actual blog.

3. Social media sites and microblogging is, I guess, more common in the EC scene and certainly more common among the females (Ed notes this also) so the big clunky text-based theological sites are often left to the Reformed men to run.

4. People just dont link anymore like they used to, as Darren was saying today, and the results show up.

5. The emerging controversies and conversations were huge a number of years ago but are now a more accepted part of the church and mission landscape. The new reformed movement, on the other hand, has generated some fresh controversy in certain denominations that will not be named [ . . . OK . . . Southern Baptist!] and controversy generates buzz which generates LINKS and links lead to rankings.

Have I missed anything?

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Christian Web Conference Today

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The Christian Web Conference starts today. As you probably know, I was scheduled to speak on a panel and a great debate, but had to cancel due to sudden funding drop and inability to get over to USA. The organizers were very gracious and understanding. Sorry I didnt get to see you all there this year. Pray for us as we reorganize our mission support base and find a new way forward. The recession sucks but at least its moving us all towards a greater level of self-sustainability and efficiency.

Go along to the conference. Its cheap - only $50 and there are stacks of brilliant bloggers and thinkers on new media. I gave a talk last year when it happened in Las Vegas under the GodBlogCon identity, inside the wider Blogworld conference. This year it goes back to its roots at Biola. All the best to them.

Postmodern Apologetics

Mike Morrell explores Postmodern Apologetics in a Post-Postmodern Time. Nice well thought out blog post. The word has a lot of baggage but still a lot to be learnt. I was just reading my old 2003 Postmodern Truth series 1 2 and 3 in response to Charles Colson. Funny how the subject keeps churning away but never really disappears.

Snippet from number 3

"if you can change
the way you process information
then we have a message
from God
for you
either God is not able
to speak to you in
your language
the church
need to go back
to the drawing board
and yet if we are honest
we have too much investment
in our drawing board
to rethink it
in todays

Andrew Jones, Postmodern Truth 3.0, the intuitive skinny response.

The Nines Event for International Viewers

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The Nines is an online event that happens today, which, in case you didn't realize, is 09/09/09. Leadership Network and Catalyst are behind this FREE event. They have selected a large number of well known speakers and leaders from churches around USA.

"THE NINES is a free one-day event that will take place totally on-line. It is designed for all church staff members who want to be motivated and stretched in their leadership."

I would really like to have some international viewers watch it here on my blog and participate with each other on my comments below. Love to hear what you are thinking or what you are learning and perhaps get some of your observations of what you see of American church leaders.

Creative people needed to figure out fundraising through social media

Last week we ran out of gas [butane] and could no longer cook for the crowds at our campsite. Not to worry, someone else had some gas and we were away again, brewing coffee and flipping crepes. Same thing just happened with our finances. Our mission funding took a wicked hit this year and we have been compensating by cutting expenses and getting creative. Even becoming homeless for a season. But a big unexpected cut just happened and we no longer have enough funding for our personal needs as well as some mission projects over the next few months.

Thus, I had to cancel my USA trip this week to the Christian Web Conference [thanks for being understanding - I think Cynthia Ware might be taking my place in the Great Debate and she will do much better than me]. And we will not be doing our furlough in USA this year [last time was 4 years ago] because it is too expensive and because we think we can raise funds just as easily through the web. Or maybe we can just postpone it until we get our feet on solid ground.

Anyway, this week we are putting our heads together on how to raise funds, how to be more economically creative in our lifestyle and ministry, and how to become more sustainable in the long term through social enterprise and micro-business.

A few things have been put into motion including the idea of monitizing this blog with some link ads that you will probably hate and will complain about but hey . . . I need to feed the family . . . and this is one way I think I can make ends meet.

But the immediate need is for some creative people to help me figure out how to involve more people in our mission projects and raise some immediate cash. And so, if you have some good ideas for doing this, please let me know. I am working on a account, btw, which will give people the chance to help spread the word through their social media accounts. Any advice?

Top 100 Church Blogs

On the Church Crunch site I noticed Kent Schafer of Church Relevance has a new listing of the world's Top 100 Church blogs.

What do I think about the Tall Skinny Kiwi blog sinking down to 25th place? I think its incredible that I am still on the list considering my extended blog fast and continued neglect of this blog over the past 4 months. What a treat! I also think its great that Ed Stetzer has finally caught up on a relatively new blog, and that Al Mohler is ahead of me.


Thanks Kent and thanks to all the readers. And in case you are wondering when I will get this blog back in gear for the next season, keep watching this month for some big changes.

Here's the Top 100 Church Blogs list:

Continue reading "Top 100 Church Blogs" »