This weekend I went to the Mobilise student workers conference and had a great time. I love hanging out with old friends and making new friends at these events and the student worker weekend has given me a fine bunch of guys and girls to become friends with and steal ideas from.
This weekends high point was the Saturday night preach/talk/comedy from Nick Sharp. Nick planted and now leads Grace Church Nottingham. His talk was characterised by some stunning honesty. At one point Nick explained that his church was NOT the best church in Nottingham and the reason for that was that he was NOT the best church leader in Nottingham. Brilliant.
He talked about his early days in Nottingham and the difficulties he faced in church planting. In particular he talked about how he got caught up in triumphalism, for example “we are going to to take our city for Jesus” or “we are taking our city for Jesus” and also with the constant discussion of numbers of people in churches (something I am VERY guilty of).
Nick was very funny and very challenging. His honesty was utterly disarming and entirely convicting. When things are going well, and currently we are experiencing some momentum and growth, it easy to get caught up the moment and stray into triumphalism which, as Nick pointed out, does not help anyone.
Nick used a good analogy when describing our triumphalism. When talking about church planting or growing church we often use army or war metaphors but they are often like a cavalry sweeping across a sunlight plain towards a weak and stupid enemy. He claimed the reality was far more like fighting door to door in Iraq against a well organised enemy that you can barely see and your only concern is to get home unharmed.
I am not a fan of Christians using war and army pictures to describe church life as most of us have no idea of what it means to be in an army let alone a war. Nick, however, used to be in the Parachute Regiment so he can pretty much say what he likes.
So I was sat in the final session of Together on a Mission (Christian conference) listening to Joel Virgo preach. He was holding my attention, he was funny and I was learning stuff as he taught from 2 Samuel 10. Joel started to talk about the need to honour leaders that have been raised up (the Ammonites were failing to do this). In my opinion, it was the second best talk of the week (Andrew Wilson blew my mind in mobilise. How can someone talk so quick and still be so very engaging and challenging?).
Joel spent sometime talking about how we need to honour leaders and how this is unpopular in modern culture. He is probably right but the idea makes me uncomfortable, which is most likely the culture with in me reacting!
Then Joel started to talk about bloggers. His point being that bloggers can get attention way above their level of leadership and that they can express opinion without accountability. I guess this means that just because some dude/dudette can use a blogging website then we pay them more attention than perhaps there maturity deserves. All excellent points.
For a moment I was distracted. Was this me? I am fairly mouthy at the best of times.
Maybe it is me, but that is the joy of blogging. The internet gives us a level playing field and democracy rules. The good stuff floats to the top, which is how the internet honours people! If you don’t like it don’t read it, chances are not many other people do either.
Personally, I only follow blogs when I know the writer has a life outside of blogging or has actual expertise in what they write about. I also avoid blogs with a high and mighty tone. Which rules out a great deal.
I am going to give the ranting a rest for a little bit. I am at Mobilise this week and Together on a Mission this week so I may comment a little on that. If you are desperately bored and feel your life has become a futile exsistence then you can follow me on twitter
I would guess that a whole bunch of Newfrontiers bloggers will have there say so I may just post a bunch of links OR I may write about other things (the worship music genre?).
Anyways, this is a rubbish blog post. Watch this and be grateful that I am here to improve your taste in music –