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Peter Dominey
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Hi Andy, I see a number of comments echoing your frustration so I thought I'd start to set out reasons why we need to carefully nurture this vulnerable fledgling practice... So I offer some points to broaden the conversation, though this will need others to help develop it as I struggle to 'get' and very rarely use twitter - I'm a bit of a dinosaur... Tweeting in services may help to: 1. Avoid the sacred:secular divide which has developed between services and life where people are encouraged to leave their 'lives' and 'troubles' at the door for a spiritual experience apart from their context. 2. Help a duplex relationship between the service and the rest of reality. (duplex communication / relationship flows in both directions and are dialogical) 3. Avoid churchs' over-emphasis on asynchronous broadcast techniques (static church websites, mp3's of sermons, video broadcast of services, sermon notes in the notice sheet, home group resources, letter from the pastors desk, etc). To do this by providing a complimentary synchronous engagement between people so allowing live-time conversation.(The notion of synchronous communication develops the previous point about duplex) 4. Makes our meetings more 'in the public square' and hosted by culture (as in hosted by twitter platform) and so we are hosted by culture (incarnational) and Christ can then be mediated through culture to convert his church to him. 5. Twitter provides an enduring trail and continuity of conversation beyond the time of the sevice 6. Allows those beyond the service to participate 7. Helps kinaesthetic learners, who often struggle with church services, engage with and process a mainly auditory experience which is often more monologue. 8. Enculturates the Gospel - twitter is particularly relevant to certain demographics and so it gets the church out of a sometimes odd sub-culture rather than a contextualised and also also counter-cultural stance 9. as our mouth and ears are part of our physical body so our phone and tweeting (listening/speaking) are an extension and expression of being human 10. provides a tool to facilitate multi-voice worship in larger (20+?) gatherings where it cannot easily be achieved through conversation alone. Be that person to person or/and a way for the main service leader (if there is one) to be asked questions, challenged and corrected. 11. distributes power and discernment of truth amongst a wider group than the one(s) with the microphone - though this then has the knock on of a newly disempowered group of those without smart phone which needs addressing. Looking forward to others who 'get' twitter to show more us other things abot this or argue against this.... And I'll try and tweet more in the mean time...
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2012 on Tweeting and Worship at andygoodliff
I agree with you Phil in that our structures need to be established to facilitate the mission and if that mission is incarnational the emphasis has to be local and local is our gift and opportunity baptists. Amen! But and it's a big but, I see a Futures Group (now disbanded) that either sees its work as done or has been terminated by council and that work is now public for comment (on blogs at least). The plan cannot be seen as missionally neutral and what is agreed does not seem to block mission more than before but there is little vision or imagination in it to bring mission about. We have dropped the missional ball in not seizing this opportunity.
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2012 on BUGB Council - potential? at Distinct Reflections
This is not good. I fear that our history was as a pioneering movement and that it has again been consigned to history. The pioneer heart looks outward to the culture it is called to and lets that shape the vision, not in on an inertia-laden restructuring exercise - we have dropped the missional ball. If we recover enough to pick it up we will have less resources to be God's people in this world. It's not that I see much to disagree with, its the deep lack of missional vision which is so sad. Neil I wish your point 2. would play out well. But once the push factors for change are quenched will we then take the bold missional steps? I'd be very surprised and delighted.
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2012 on BUGB Council - potential? at Distinct Reflections
Hi Andrew, I read the title and wanted to dive in and defend the intentionality and virtue of church planting - this fish swallowed the hook. Reading on I see the tricksy phrase 'church planting' is being aligned with establishing a church defined as and by worship events, Sundays, services, usually public, in a 'church' building and so on... In the church planting and conversations I know best in Incarnate Network which is mainly Baptist and mainly UK in context, the meaning of that tricksy phrase has markedly moved on to it being increasingly linked with understandings of joining in with God's mission, incarnation, discipleship, community organising and transformation, etc... Though as you'd expect, the practice is lagging behind the thinking... But am I working too hard to redeem the phase 'church planting'? I've still half a mind to jettison it for other language, and in that case would I'd need to drop the word 'church' with all it's baggage. When I was involved in planting 'Church from Scratch' I often wonder if it would have given more freedom if the bunch of us who were it at the time had not used the word 'church' in the name, but I can't see us renaming ourselves now, it's our name afterall...
Andy, thanks for your blog, the questions raised and insights shared. It's providing a healthy space for concerns, discussion and imagination. It's also a place for people to put their name to views and ideas in the comments. God bless you!
Toggle Commented Dec 8, 2011 on Renewing the Baptist Assembly at andygoodliff
Neil, Thanks for stiring this up... Point 2 "We would seek to use larger churches as resource centres and encourage them to take responsibility for encouraging smaller ones." The more pioneering churches tend to be smaller and newer, and are quite often led by Newly Accredited Ministers (NAM's). It is often easier to roll the creative missional dice without the inertia of size and age of church and when the leaders are not in some way hampered by a long history of serving as a minister. These creative and courageous small pioneering churches and leaders are typically accountable and encouraged from beyond themselves through Home Mission funding, NAM programmes and often frustrated by the narrow understandings of success that go with these programmes and support. And some larger churches act as a resource, generously giving money and people without assuming that they can understand what needs to be done from their perspective - good for them! More of this resourcing and encouragement is needed and would be a good goal. But, the larger churches also need resourcing and encouraged to be missional. It would work if the bigger churches were equally encouraged, resourced in their thinking and helped to be accountable beyond themselves to the smaller pioneering churches which have much to give. There are people in those small churches who would love to take responsibility for helping the bigger ones...
Good to hear of BMS heart for the margins and shared vision with those on the same path in the UK.
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2011 on urban expression at thinking mission
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Oct 23, 2011