31 October 2008

Friday Links

I debated skipping posting links, because I have not been online this week.   but I did see one think that was of interest.   One of my favorite Authors - Shane Hipps has 3 new podcast posted

So that's it for this week.  I'll try to make it up next Friday... enjoy the sun (assuming you live between the east and west cost of Canada - I didn't pay attention to the rest of the world this morning)

30 October 2008

I'm not totally M.I.A.

So, we are moved to Stratford and will begin the new role of house parents on Saturday.  There have been a few glitches in the moving process (not counting the things that delayed the move in the first place) the biggest being.... I will not have internet until Tuesday November 4th.

Thankfully I have access to the computers at EBC's library and the public library in Stratford.

I think my Google Reader is over 1000 posts to catch up on.... so between reading and posting I will have a lot to catch up on once the tubes are reconnected.

23 October 2008

The Video Venue Church article

Collide Magazine is doing an cover article on the pros and cons of the video venue churches.
We organized a debate between two pastors, one of whom is against the idea of churches video venues and the other of whom is the campus pastor at a video venue: Bob Hyatt and James Harleman, respectively
If you have been reading my posts you know that I am working through the less than obvious drawbacks, some of the comments are all over the map... worth checking out.

Was it something I said?

It seems that for the last few days commenting was not working on this site.

Umm....yeah.... I think that was my bad.

Over the last few months I have been tweaking the site in different ways, and apparently that caused the comments to not work right. (I wanted them to show at the end of the post, not a pop up) but when I discovered that even I couldn't post I figured that maybe others had had the same problem.

So if you wanted to post a comment and could not... it should work.

Or nobody cares.

22 October 2008

Friday Links

Here a few links that might be worth your entertainment time

God doesn't like girls who play football (via BWB)
How Holy is you church logo
Heck while we're rating stuff What's you Twitter Score


The Mentoring Project

Donald Miller has founded what seems to be an excellent venture to link kids in families without dads with men who want to be mentors. It's called the Mentoring Project and I hope it will be quite successful. There is also a promo video over at Donald's Blog that is worth watching if you are more interested.

I think this hits close to home for me right now as Brea and I get ready to be the house parents of Sarah Place (a maternity home for girls). I have been thinking about the fathers that have a role in each girl that will come to live with us. Who is guiding them? Who are their mentors? I'm not sure how much I will be able to be an influence, but I see more and more the big role of mentors in our society.

So best wishes to Don and his team.

Analog to digital

I can't tell you how many conversations I have had about digital TV and the end of analog.

Props to BWB for the link

20 October 2008

Video killed the house audio technician

I don't feel like writing another blog post about technology today. So here is the link and the short description.

Tim Stevens has a post in defense of a 100% video church service.

gosh... I think the thing that bugs me on this one, is they are propping it up as being all in the name of saving money.... umm how about doing smaller churches? or house churches?

Someday soon I am going to start discussing these posts in the virtual voices of Marshall McLuhan, Shane Hipps and Frank Viola
(and yes I linked to them all because I want them to see this)


I think it is great thoughts from a website that by nature promotes the use of tools (technology) in communication.
If ever there was a buzzword for the past several years that the church--myself included--has been in love with, it would be the word "community." And rightly so because community is so desperately lacking these days. People are lonely and isolated. Today, 1 out of every 4 households in the U.S. has just one person living there. In 1950, it was 1 out of every 10. So while we may be more connected than any other generation, we're more detached than ever before.

Sure, Facebook an the like have the illusion of Community - their not all bad either, but it is great to see balanced coverage of the effects on our communities, one that is not "EVIL" and one that is not adopt everything because it is there.

Thoughts on the Meeting House

The Gig had a farewell for us two weeks ago, because we were supposed to be living and working in Stratford by now. As we had said all our goodbyes we felt a little strange going there on Sunday morning and also thought it would be a great chance to check out another church community in Kitchener. So we decided to check out The Meeting House. I thought maybe I would post on my thoughts about my first time being a part of their Sunday morning gathering. First I have to say is was good to see so many familiar faces - looking over the staff list there are a lot of friends from the past (even an old roommate) - I think that they are all striving to do good work so I hope my criticism is not taken as an attack on what they are doing, more this is my analysis of how I think they are heading in the wrong direction.

First, the things that thought were good. The elements were all very good - worship music and presentation. It's all very coordinated and smooth. Bruxy Cavey was on his usual game as an excellent laid back teacher. I can see why people come out, the product is very good.

So what is my problem? well if you read my last post or have been following my thoughts on technology and the church you would know that I'm trying to look at the bigger issues than just what happen on the Sunday morning. One of the problems with the video venue is what it is saying (this is a medium is the message type thing) about who can speak to the church. Bruxy is an amazing speaker - no contest. But the meeting house just keeps adding sites. When you look at everything else, the meeting house is just about the same as many other churches, except they all watch the big screen to see a common message. So if you extrapolate the vision or goal - eventually you would have a Meeting house in every city or town. Or maybe the end expansion would (or should) be that every church is a video extension of Bruxy's teaching. I'm not saying the Bruxy shouldn't teach a lot of poeple, but what does it say when we enforce a message that only one voice is good enough to teach? Is there no person in all of the Golden Horeshoe or Western Ontario (and coming to Ottawa) that is a good enough speaker to teach the public? I think people would deny this as a statement, but you have to see this is what the "medium" is sending as a message.

What if Bruxy isn't the best teacher - what if say Rob Bell is a better speaker? The Meeting House had defined its existence on transmitting the best teacher they can find. Maybe they would have better results if someone else what the teacher and we could double the churches because someone like Rob Bell would draw more people (sort of sound like celebrity doesn't it?) do the people that come out care about who as long as it is deemed good? The motion is towards all sites digesting whatever come on the screen as truth. Whatever the Great OZ says is truth. There is the potential for the thing to get so big that only those at the top really have any control over what is said or preached. Right now, I assume there are good checks and balances in place, but how big does it get to be out of control? What if no one thinks it is out of control?

I'm not saying that the Meeting House has no checks and balances. I'm not saying that the teaching is wrong, all I'm saying is that they seem to think that growth by more sites is unlimitedly good (we cheered a new satellite location) But is this the type of growth that is good for the church? That we all tune in for directions? I think this is what the Protestant reformation was all about. Rome told people what their religion was about and they did not have a voice. I think the Meeting House model moves the average person in community farther away from having a voice or being a part of conversation.

I believe more and more in raising up new leaders, can you do this in a model where only the very best is heard? Is there room for learning and training - especially if you expand the method to it's extreme?

I hope that the Meeting House is making a difference in the community. I hope lives are change and Jesus is the centre. I also hope it doesn't ever go where I think it could.

16 October 2008

Mostly a plug for Shane Hipps

I have been doing a lot of research on the effects of technology on culture (both church and everyday regular life) I happened across an article in Slate about video venues and mega churches and was happily surprised to find that Shane Hipps was quoted:
Using video goes against a critical tenet of Protestant faith: the priesthood of all believers. Instead of a real experience, it offers a mediated one that inherently puts the pastor in a position of greater power over the masses. "It's actually undermining their theology,"
in his book Shane has written about the effects of video - not necessarily the separate venue site, but certainly it pertains. The above statement is pretty strong, but I think it needs to be. While I have been expanding my thoughts on media through other authors (Postman, McLuhan etc.) I strongly recommend Shane Hipps as a place to start to become aware of the influence of media on our culture. (I think I have to steal my book back from Rob)

I want to write more on the things that I am learning and thinking, but they will have to wait - check out the article in the meantime.

3 October 2008

Patrol Magazine

Just discovered Patrol Magazine

and the scanner
I'm not sure how to describe it just yet...but man I like what I see

1 October 2008

You know you want to.

Not having enough fun googling yourself in real time

now you can see how you googled in 2001


excellent fun...for me the page didn't exist anymore but the description reminded me of old times

More stuff on "stuff"

Jonathan Brink writes

The coolest thing I heard today was while reading, “The Tangible Kingdom.

“We have to remember that the ancient faith communities that set a course to change the world did so without church programs, without paid staff, without websites, and without brochures, blogs or buildings. They were lean! The point of going without all the stuff is simple but profound. When you don’t have all the “stuff,” you’re left with a lot of time to stpend[sic] with people.”

I liked that quote, I think that is very in tune with how I feel lately, but the statement does seem to indicate that everything we do is bad. Frank Viola (and others) would certainly agree that we need to return to a first century way of doing things... but then we admit that we don't mind having some technology to work with. I don't think we want to return to the days before the printing press, which the ancient faiths did not have their own personal bibles for study. I doubt the author above was including bible studying as "stuff" that get in the way.

I agree our "stuff" does get in the way at times - but it is more than a soundbite to agree on what "stuff" is good and what is bad.