Monday, September 26, 2005

Mind Body Spirit

one of the things i do in the UK is train churches to run stalls at Mind Body Spirit fairs. i am involed in one this wekeend in manchester, with people from the Sanctus 1 community. this year i'm also doing a talk for the first time as part of thre programme. follow this link to find out about the fair look up 2nd october to find my talk lisitng.

i find these fairs fascinating places to be and meet a whole variety of people exploring the spiritual. it's a place people don't expect to find a christian presence, the Church often assumed to be 'unspiritual' on the one hand and automatically condemning of contemporary spirituality on the other. we try to enable people to discover rich resources from the christian tradition and open up the possibility that the Christian path has things to offer after all.

we spend much time sharing personal stories and i often have a lot to reflect on afterwards. I keep meeting people who, as i would understand it, are having encounters with the God I discover in Jesus Christ. i think Christians have somtimes got used to an idea that people 'out there' are secular and unspiritual and we bring God to them and have to persuade them of the reality of ther spiritual realm. either that or we assume that anyone who is having spiritual expereinces outside Chrsitianity must be encountering something demoninc. but what if neither assumption is necessarily true? what if God is speaking directly into the lives of people who are not at all interested in Christinaity but are spiritual explorers? how might that change the way we seek to connect with such people?

i think this is one of ther reasons i like speaking of 'a fellow explorer model' of evangelism, those we seek to open up the christian faith to are already often on the journey. similalry i think Christians are increasingly becoming aware of the extent to which we are also still on a journey, that 'becoming a christian' isn't the end of a journey but a key stage on the jounrey. and of course we are increasingly aware of the very different ways faith in Jesus comes alive for people so that for many knowing when they 'became a christisn' is not possible. in this world the evangelist becomes lead explorer ( i gather that Brian Mclaren has used this phrase BTW does anyone have information on that?) searching out the territory and inviting others to journey with them, rather than a salesman offering a product.

Friday, September 23, 2005

refreshing the not so new

a post greenbelt post. i've been involed in the alterantive worship scene now for 15 years. helped start two groups and been a participant in a third. i still think there is loads in here, indeed much of what has most inspired me has come from this approach to faith. yet i find myself getting weary sometimes. of finding much of what 'we' do rather lifeless over time. yet at GB this year amd last found really refreshing stuff comming from places abroad where 15 year ago little was going on. my highlight last year was Ikon from Belfast, real grit and engagement. this year may highlight was COTA from Seattle. groups like this have a frshness i find most Uk groups lack these days. this may jst be me! but i feel someting freash is abroad and that is deeply needed.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Change to settings

Folks sorry that I have added a word verification setting when you post. Hope it won't be too inconvenient, but I have had a spam attack and really don't want you or me to have to read spam!