Power and Partnership: Partnership begins at home

This is a rough transcript of a talk I was due to give at the Global Connections Thinking Mission forum next month. The theme of the event was due to be partnership and power relationships in mission. Unfortunately, the event has been cancelled, but this means I get to write another blog post instead.

New father things I have done in the past two days

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  • Walked around shattered out of my brains, like the world’s happiest zombie.
  • Just sat there holding and staring at the baby for hours on end.
  • Joyfully crossed the nappy-changing Rubicon. (Although I will probably never eat Marmite again.)
  • Not only been prepared to seriously defend the thesis that my baby is the most beautiful baby of all, but also that her cries are more pleasant and bearable than other babies’ cries.
  • Got twitchy after a few hours away from the baby, and resorted to looking at the photos I took of the baby instead.

Big is not beautiful

In the past week I came across two similar church planting concepts, one in the UK, one in Germany. Both are aimed at the millenial generation, both have what I would consider insane start-up costs of over £50,000, and both really left me cold. Which is not good, because I’m supposed to be in favour of church planting. First I thought it was just the money, but thankfully, Henrietta encouraged me to think beyond just the money and work through what was wrong with these ideas. And I think the problem is: big. Read more about Big is not beautiful

House church metaphors and narratives

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I’ll say this about current organic/simple/house church proponents: they certainly understand the value of a good story. They’re excellent at finding words and pictures to express what they’re doing and why it’s good. But a metaphor is, by definition, not the truth but something that stands for the truth. Read more about House church metaphors and narratives

What Wikileaks says about us as a species

So much digital ink has already been spilled on the subject of Wikileaks that I wasn’t sure there was any interesting contribution left to make. But yesterday I was helping to teach our MA course on leadership and organisational change, and we were looking at the idea of the third wave and what it means for organisations.

During the session, I mentioned that I thought Wikileaks was an incredibly important demonstration of what Manuel Castells calls decentered interconnectedness. At which point Rob said “and look for the rest on Simon’s blog in the next few days.” Which I took to be a challenge… Read more about What Wikileaks says about us as a species

Tweeting and tweeness

I love Twitter. I love the interaction, the openness and the flatness of it all. But it does have its downsides. And Christian leaders on Twitter, my goodness, drive me up the wall.

There are a number of factors at play. Partly there’s an echo chamber effect where people retweet and pass on things uncritically around a circle of friends, hardly interacting with those who have a different opinion. And 140 characters isn’t much space to develop an intelligent thought. But for Christians there’s an added danger: they’re trying to be inspiring. And everything else, like truth, be damned, in this hunt for twee repeatability. Read more about Tweeting and tweeness

Devotions, the hard way

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Last week my mentor challenged me about my devotional life. I confessed that I often only dipped into the Bible these days when I’m preparing a sermon or similar. Sometimes I do pick it up just to read, but not regularly.

When I was at All Nations I came across a great book called More Light On The Path, which gives you one verse of Hebrew, one verse of Greek and one sentence of commentary, plus any vocabulary you need. It’s devotional hardcore, but it’s about twenty pounds, and we have the Internet these days. I set myself the task of creating my own. Read more about Devotions, the hard way