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Posts from January 2011

Video: The Bible in 11 Minutes

There's a new video called "The Bible in 11 minutes" which is an attempt to sum up the Bible in a way everyone can understand, and do so in eleven minutes. Not an easy task!!!  The video was released recently and went viral in New Zealanad when a radio announcer gave the website address and the server crashed under the huge demand of kiwis trying to watch it.

  Evangelism strategies international - julian batchelor and team

I just met the creator, Julian Batchelor, and his team at Evangelism Strategies International. They really hope more more people see their video, and ask for some guidance at the end, but they probably also need some bigger servers if people outside NZ are going to watch. Can you help?

I also recommended they hook up with my friends at the International Evangelism Day

If you live in NZ, you might want to attend their training Day next week. How to Create a Church with a DNA of Evangelism, Feb 12, 9-4 at Palmerston North Central Baptist Church. Email elenororg at ihug dot co dot nz for details.

Alaska: Surprise hit band of Parachute 2011

I just finished listening to Alaska play the mainstage. They won the 'Best of White Elephant" at Parachute Festival 2011 and my kids heard them many times. I told you they were worth checking out!!!! They have a harpist and violinist in the band and have a unique sound - a bit like Radiohead, actually, and they even did a Radiohead cover.

Alaska at parachute festival

You can download Alaska's music here.

Other great bands here: Skillet rocked! - I had never heard them before but their sound is amazing. And Brian Welch made a good impression on the Parachute crowd through his music, his talks and through encouraging guitar skills in the workshops.

Murray Deaker should be here

Hearing Prime Minister John Key speak yesterday to the Parachute Festival crowd made me think that Murray Deaker should come one year to speak and stir things up.

Murray Deaker is a Kiwi icon and well-known sports commentator. I grew up in Orewa and Murray was one of my dad's drinking mates. I remember Murray, back in those days, as loud, opininated, and drunk. Three decades later, he is no longer drunk. In fact, he has become the best crusader that the NZ Temperance Movement never had.

A few weeks ago I read Deak's book "Just An Opinion". I liked it!. NZ Herald liked it also.

Murray DeakerIn the first few chapters, Deaker complains, whinges, calls out sportsmen who have done wrong to NZ  and generally throws a verbal fit, thus showing the potential arsehole side of his personality that lurks beneath the surface, awaiting less-than-worthy sportspeople to let their country down by chasing foreign fame or wealth. But as the book progresses, he softens to confess his wasted years of drunkness and bravely plummets the depths of depression-related consequences on his marriage and career, shedding light on why he hasnt gone back to drinking. The depression years take up a large chunk of his story and, in fact, is what gives backbone to the book. He describes with painful rawness the moment when he reached the end of his emotional resources and cried out to God for help.

I thought the best part of the book was the chapter on Sponsors and how 'Deak' relates to them, treats them like best mates, honors his commitment to their brands, and overacheives in the area of social accounting. I highly recommend any non-profit leader to read that chapter.

By the end of the book, Deaker has rounded off his assessment of who he is as an honest human being, professional ball-kicker, commited husband, loyal citizen, depression-overcomer, temperance champion and worthy partner in the world of sports broadcasting where he makes a living by being a professional big-mouth and larger-than-life personality. He is a great person and it's an honor knowing him, at least for an earlier part of his life. And it would be great to hear him address 25,000 mostly-Christian people at Parachute.

UPDATE [March]: I talked to Murray on the phone yesterday - He's doing well.

PM John Key Talks and Sings at Parachute Festival

Update: 2012 Best Bet is NZ'er of the Year Sam Chapman speaking at PassionFest.

John key at parachute image

"NZ is the best little country in the world."

Rt. Hon. John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, Parachute Festival's mainstage.

And yes, he really DID sing! PM John Key turned up this morning at Parachute Festival, which is the largest Christian event in New Zealand with 25,000 people attending . . .  so . . . it made sense for an official visit from the Gov. and some words of encouragement.

Parachute crowd listening to john key

Loads of people appreciating John Key. I wonder why Helen Clark never came?

Prime Minster Key was interviewed briefly by Parachute's Mark de Jong on his leisure pursuits (cooking), what it means to be a kiwi (to have your heart in NZ, whether you are there or not), and what NZ needs to be in ten years time (wealthier . . . and high speed broadband will help).

Agreed on all of those btw, esp. the BROADBAND which I find is slow, expensive, and difficult to find in New Zealand. Broadband was easier in Morocco for me last year than NZ.

But enough whinging . . . back to Parachute. John Key was asked to lead us in the national anthem. Which he did. Heres the audio - John Key both talking and singing along with us

John key

Please enjoy the audio because, at 28 Megs, it cost me a load of money to upload AND it took a long time. John Key was right about the broadband. I have a video also but someone else uploaded theirs on Youtube. Good. And read what Stuff had to say.

Screen shot 2011-01-30 at 08.59.38

Nice being here at Parachute!

Social Media and the Cape Town Commitment

Here's the soical media part of the Cape Town Commitment that was just released by the Lausanne Movement, based on our congress last September in South Africa.

4. Truth and the globalized media

We commit ourselves to a renewed critical and creative engagement with media and technology, as part of making the case for the truth of Christ in our media cultures. We must do so as God’s ambassadors of truth, grace, love, peace and justice.

We identify the following major needs:

A)    Media awareness: to help people develop a more critical awareness of the messages they receive, and of the worldview behind them. The media can be neutral, and sometimes gospel friendly. But they are also used for pornography, violence and greed. We encourage pastors and churches to face these issues openly and to provide teaching and guidance for believers in resisting such pressures and temptations.

B)    Media presence: to develop authentic and credible Christian role models and communicators for the general news media and the entertainment media, and to commend these careers as a worthy means of influence for Christ.

C)    Media ministries: to develop creative, combined and interactive use of ‘traditional’, ‘old’ and ‘new’ media, to communicate the gospel of Christ in the context of a holistic biblical worldview.

. You might also want to listen to Dr Dion Forster at Lausanne World Congress on the topic of social media. He was the leader of our social media team in Cape Town. Download audio - Mp4

It would be great to have some conversation on this. I am thinking a lot about how to move forward this year in training new media storytellers . ..  and have already begun to do so. What are you thinking? You can leave response here or even jump into a larger conversation on the Lausanne site.

Parachute: Largest Christian Event in the Southern Hemisphere

Thats what the word is down here in Hamilton, New Zealand at Parachute Festival 2011. 25,000 people are coming this weekend. Apparently that makes it the "largest Christian event of any kind in the Southern hemisphere" . . .or in other words . .  IT BEATS THOSE BLODDY AUSSIES and makes all their wimpy Christian events look barren and pitiful!

Parachute starts in a few hours. It good to be here.This will be my first time. Parachute, as you know, is primarily a music festival and I, as you also know, have NO TASTE WHATSOEVER IN MUSIC but from what I hear, the best bets at Parachute are Brian "Head" Welch, Elemeno.P, [who I mentioned yesterday] The Lads and Dave White doing Bob Dylan tribute. Dave's my friend so I am biased. I am also biased towards Alaska who were practising at the house we were staying in [thanks Megan Jolly] and one of them plays for Avalanche City who are also good, I hear.

The big picture bible society at parachute 2011

Apart from the music, I recommend the Call and Response movie, which was made by my friend Justin, and its totally worth seeing. Bible Society is showing the world premiere of The Big Picture which I cant wait to see. If I hear anything else I will add it to the blog post.


Some cool stuff at Parachute like . . . THE COOLEST BUS!  . . .

Parachute festival 2011 coolest bus

and the COOLEST HOUSE TRUCK! . . .

Continue reading "Parachute: Largest Christian Event in the Southern Hemisphere" »

JUST RELEASED: Social Media talk at Lausanne World Congress

 I am making this audio available because the good people at Lausanne have a backlog of audio to upload and I heard it might take a few months for this one to see the light of web.


This is Dr Dion Forster, Social media team leader for Lausanne World Congress, speaking as part of a panel at the Congress in Cape Town, Sep 2010. Dion blogs at An Uncommon Path. I recorded this as a memo on my ipod so the quality is not perfect.

Download audio - Dion Forster at Lausanne Mp4 [14 minutes, 30Megs - sorry - i will upload a trimmer version soon]

I made reference to Dion's talk in my recent lecture at US Center for World Mission, entitled Social Media and the 1024 Window.

1024 pixels ipad

In the beginning of Dion's talk, which I discussed at length, he quotes German theologian Helmut Thielicke.

"The Gospel must be contantly forwarded to a new address because its recipient is repeatedly changing his place of residence." Helmut Theilicke

I agreed with Dion's excellent choice of quote and highly recommend you listen to his speech at Cape Town. Especially when he says wonderful things about my blog. [THANKS DION!] I also added my own thoughts to the topic in regards to the necessity of understanding new media, which behaves differently than old media, and requires a different approach.

I suggested to the group at USCWM that we move from Transcribing to Transcoding, especially as we look at creating meaningful online content for the new mobile platforms such as phone, ipad, kindle, etc. 

Writing for the screen is different than writing for a page. And with the new mobile platforms, we are moving into something that looks like a tablet but acts like a scroll.

 Screen shot 2011-01-27 at 13.08.22

So, if we are serious about transcribing the message so that it has its same impact on mobile devices and the screen, then I might be tempted to adapt Helmet Theilicke's statement to say . . .

"The Gospel must be constantly transcoded to a new appliance because the recipient is repeatedly changing his platform of reading." TallSkinnyKiwi

Need wheels in NZ

Good news. Dave White has sold his old van.

Bad news. We were borrowing it to get around New Zealand so we are about to be without wheels.

Nz van

Does anyone out there have a spare car or van or camper we can borrow for the next month or so?

Cape Town Commitment Now Released

UPDATE. Its Friday. Here it is: The greatly anticipated . . . Cape Town Commitment

The Cape Town Commitment has been given to participants of the Lausanne World Congress and will be released to the wider public tomorrow (Friday - but I am in New Zealand so Friday comes sooner). I am reading it today and will put a link to it right here tomorrow. So come back and discuss it with me, esp. the parts that deal with new media and emerging technologies.

The Lausanne Covenant has been a massive resource to us over the years and I expect the Cape Town Commitment will also play a similar role in giving us a united voice around our missional priorities.

Doug Birdsall emailed us this morning, saying . .

"Our thanks to Dr. Chris Wright and the Statement Working Group for their tremendous work in drawing together what was said at Cape Town 2010 so this document could be a true reflection of the Congress voices.

More, it is a reflection of the consultation process on the challenges and opportunities before the Church which began in 2007 and continued through the Congress.  We are grateful for the literally thousands of Christian leaders who have spoken into this process.  The Lausanne Board has fully endorsed The Cape Town Commitment and they urge you to prayerfully read and reflect on this document."

Come back to this post tomorrow and I will have the link for you, as will many of the Lausanne bloggers.

Oh and heres a picture of took of Chris Wright in Cape Town at an event we both spoke at.


Secular bands at Christian Festivals?

Should 'secular" bands play at Christian festivals? The question is being asked in New Zealand - where I have just arrived a week ago - in regard to a "normal" band playing at Parachute Festival, NZ's biggest Christian Music Festival which weigh's in at 25,000 people. Dave Gibson discuss the issue with his band Elemeno.P and and controversy regarding their invitation to Parachute on audio here.


The Skinny? Of course they can play . .  DUH!! Somebody pass me a frozen NZ leg of lamb so I can WHACK MY FLIPPIN FOREHEAD WITH IT!!!

I bet a lot of the "Christian" bands playing at Parachute contain the odd person who is still on their spiritual journey and hasn't yet landed on the home base. And anyway, many of the festivals I attend in other countries are run by Christians but are welcoming to bands that, although they may not be "Christian", are at least in tune with the aims and goals of the festival.

Slot Festival in Poland does this. I saw Coldcut perform at Greenbelt Festival (UK) one year and Polyphonic Spree the year before. None of them Christian bands. But I hoped they all experienced a warm welcome from us funny "Christian" type people and I hope they caught some of what it meant to follow Jesus.

Elemeno.P - if you are reading - I hope you have a great time at Parachute and I hope you'll forgive us if one or two Christian folk are less than welcoming. And if they really give you a hard time . . . well . . its probably the best PR you will ever get. Rock on! Look for me in the back when you play. The tall, skinny, good looking guy.

More: Is Elemeno.P Christian enough for Parachute? on Entertainment News and Stuff.