27 November, 2005

How We Journey

One of the great things about The Journey is that it is not a "journey wherever you like journey." The journey we are on, even though it will look radically different for us than from another church, or even between those of us in the community, is specific. It is centered around Christ as our starting point and end point (and he's even there as we journey in between those points). Much of what this blog does is allow us to share our journeys and encourage one another in Christ centerdness.

I emailed around this description of core values from a church called
The Living Room which is in Australia.They list their three core values:


1. inner journey (worship, prayer - spiritual formation),
2. outer journey (mission, justice, service) and
3. together journey (community, fellowship etc).

Cormac used these for his IBI assembly presentation. I think these are some great centre points for our journey (personal and missional and communal) specifically because they are all points close to the heart of Christ.


Defining the Emergent Church

No definitions available. Sorry. But for those wanting to discuss and think through the conversation, you can head over to Andrew's Blog (do I even read any other blog?) as he has just updated his "On Defining Emerging Church" post. I've read a few of them and it's a good place to just dig in (but please don't get lost in - at some point we actually have to be who we are) to the conversation.

Link: On Defining Emerging Church (updated)


Bible School Cliff Notes

I was on Andrew's blog (surprise, I know) today and came across some articles he pointed too. I quickly noticed they were excerpts/thoughts from a book my Dad has been reading:

"Church Without Walls: Moving Beyond Traditional Boundaries" (Jim Peterson)

The excerpt is HERE and an explanation of how this thinking relates to the emerging conversation is found HERE. I also did a little snooping of my own and I found this review of

"The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21 Century Church" (Michael Frost, Alan Hirsch)

I also found this synopsis of a Mike Frost lecture, as well as some MP3s by him (haven't listened to them yet). If either Mike Frost or Alan Hirsch have blogs I haven't been able to find them yet (even though I have noticed that Alan does post on a lot of people's blogs, c.f. HERE and HERE).

Well there it is, for those of us horrible at reading/finishing books (I think I'm in the middle of 7 or 8 at the moment), here are some Cliff's notes of the ideas. Enjoy.


25 November, 2005

Housekeeping: Something New

Well, I decided to take a moment and re-do the Journey Blog. The biggest change is the overall look. It was pink, now it's blue. I also amended the description of The Journey based on some email discussions. I've also organized the links, as well as have added some new ones.


24 November, 2005

No More Church for 'Them'

Karl emailed some of us this post by Ryan Bolger and I thought here might be a great place to discuss it. Ryan argues that it is pointless to create "relevant" churches or church services because the reality is that they simply will not be. Church is weird. Lets face it. He goes on to argue (and I totally agree with this) that,

"What Christians need to do is create meaningful worship through bringing their very own lives to God. Worship must reflect the culture of the community that is currently part of the church, not replicate current worship CDs, nor 1980s soft rock, nor 18th century hymns. Instead of mimicking other church cultures, the community collectively brings their own idiosyncratic ways of life to God, whatever they may be."
I have been thinking the same thing recently. Not only should the structure/form of the church emerge out of those in it, but the worship too should come from those involved. Thus we don't rely on the newest worship songs out there (nor the oldest ones) to facilitate our worship but we bring the ways we worship God to the community (which indeed may be those worship songs but I hope there are many more ways also), creating a unique expression of worship. Unique in the sense that it emanates from the gifts God has given specifically to us to return to him.

Bolger continues by pointing out that evangelism is not brining people to church, but is being missional, going to the 'them,' presenting Christ in everyday life and not in our evangelical sub-culture.

Bolger goes on to note that by focusing on the Church services as the core of what church is simply perpetuates the the mythical secular/sacred divide, it perpetuates the laity/clergy split (implying that only those paid for ministry do it), and it perpetuates a producer/consumer faith.

Bolger finishes up by presenting some alternatives.

This post was great, in my mind, at distinguishing the main differences between the seeker sensitive models of church and the emerging/organic model we are finding ourselves in conversation with. In other words, it helps explain why the picture below is a bit confusing.

(I found this pic. over at
Andrew's Blog)


23 November, 2005

Emrg Newsletter

Click here for the latest EMRG Newsletter.


Our journey with Jesus

Thought I'd share this quote from a book I was reading today. It's good to remind ourselves who should be in the driving seat!

Our journey with Jesus begins when we are willing to drop our own agenda and submit to His authority. Our natural tendency is to forge our own way. But because of His compelling power in our lives, there comes a moment when we realise we need to do what He asks ‘because He says so’. We let down our nets, even if we think that it’s the wrong thing to do. Submitting our lives to Christ’s authority, whether or not we understand it, is the key to becoming all He created us to be.

Quote taken from ‘Brave Enough to Follow – What Jesus can do when you keep your eyes on Him’ by Stuart Briscoe (Navpress, CO, USA, 2004)


Thursday group discussion

Here is a study plan for the next four Thursday nights, to improve our intake of the Word as a group. It is a devastatingly simple plan which involves investigating the Christmas story in the scriptures for four weeks, beginning this Thursday night, the 24th of November. Below you'll see the passages we'll be examining, and a few starter questions to get us thinking and question-asking about these passages. The questions are merely a starting point (not an ending point) and aimed at helping us interact meaningfully with what we're reading.

Of course, this simple plan requires that each of us spends some time before the Thursday night meetings (maybe 30 mins) examining these scriptures and thinking about them. I suspect we'll each find that our connection with the scriptures will be proportional to the amount of time we spend actually interacting with the Word.

Let's give it a try, see if it works! See you Thursday.


18 November, 2005

The Journey Emerging...

OK, I admit I'm probably putting up here more than we few can chew to any degree of adequacy but alas, I'm up browsing blogs and my mind is a racing...

I came again across an Andrew Jones post where he notes 3 areas of potential emergence. It has been fun to see these areas in action within The Journey and its larger community:

"1. Submerging - those going deep into culture to listen, think, pray, and share the gospel among the emerging culture." - I think specifically of those of us who did the deconstructing thing. I also think of those we are connected to, seeing them simply existing in the Irish culture, sharing the gospel both directly and indirectly.

"2. Emerging - When the new church structures begin to rise up and take shape organically inside the culture, a process that will often be described as having "emergent characteristics" and displaying "emergent behavior." - OK, I think this is us, not that we have to assume the label "Emergent Church" or agree with everything "emerging," but in that we are growing organically out of a conversation that began over 2 years ago.

"3. Converging - When the new church structures begin to connect to the other existing structures, local and global, and form part of the web that is the body of Christ." - I think we saw this most recently when Andrew Jones was just out, but also in connecting with others in Ireland thinking through similar questions both online, at meetings (planned & accidental), and in networking.


Emergent/Emerging Criticism

I know a few of us asked recently about the criticisms being placed upon the Emerging conversation as well as looking for some responses. I've been doing a bit of reading myself in the area and so I thought I'd post up some of the beneficial conversations here (I find that much of the talk out there is simply time-wasting, i.e. both sides loose sight of Christ's mission for the world in us and begin simply trying to denounce one another). I began by reading "Our Response to Critics of Emergent" (which is also posted here at the Ooze) and found it to be helpful as a place to start looking at the Emerging conversation even though it was very vague(but necessarily so, seeing at there are many a critic out there and a large group of people with varying ideas was being represented). The response is from the core leaders at Emergent, a group of people in the Emerging conversation who are having a huge impact on the movement in the USA and the rest of the World but don't speak for all who consider themselves emerging (i.e. there would be many who would consider themselves a part of the emerging conversation but not agree with all that is Emergent - hope that makes sense). The A-Team Blog posted up a discussion-worthy response here. The comments in response to it are posted by some of the main Emergent leaders and I think help clear up a lot of where they are at. Another post, that I found read-worthy, was by Andrew Jones. I like his careful response to one of his critics in clarifying up some doctrinal issues. In doing so he lays out a lot of his theological biases. Read what he has to say here.

Hope this helps those of us thinking through God's heart for The Journey.


One other thing, here are some MP3s aggregated by Andrew Jones in which McLaren & Dobson debate the Emerging Church. Oddly enough, in my mind, both of these guys are on the extreme ends of either side (need there be "sides"?). The majority of people, I imagine, would fall somewhere in between these two.

17 November, 2005

Erwin McManus Podcast

Not sure if I'm just late to notice this but Mosaic, one of the churches Cormac (and a few others) visited while in LA, have released a podcast of their pastor, Erwin Mcmanus. Just a heads up for anyone who wants to get in on the action.

Link: Erwin Mcmanus Podcast

16 November, 2005

Kids in the Emerging/Organic/Missional/Incarnation...

Kids in the Emerging/Organic/Missional/Incarnational/Emergent/Simple/etc. Church

It has been on my heart recently, the idea of what we should be doing with our kids (and with each other's kids) to see them growing more in love with Christ at The Journey. So I took off for the internet in the hopes that I'd find others struggling through the same questions. I presumed that the question had already been addressed and that there would be a plethora of ideas to work through. Not the case. In searching "children emergent church" in Google I mostly came across blog posts and blog comments. Some suggest that the Emerging Church is not addressing the question as much because in many countries it is very much a youth initiative. But this is not the case across the board and definitely not the case at The Journey.

I love the discussion we had on Sunday about this issue, suggesting Sunday be more activity based and the teaching on the day be organically integrated into that activity (and hence our lives). But I think the discussion still has a ways to go. To help move us along I found an article, again by Neil Cole, letting us know about his experiences in this issue.

Link: What About Kids in Organic Church?


Update: I wonder if this article will help further the discussion at all. It's from Leadership Journal.

14 November, 2005

Neil Cole Interview

Just wanted to put up a Neil Cole interview I found online. I know he has been influential in the thinking of both my Dad and Karl and is slowly being read by others of us in The Journey. If you haven't had a chance to read anything of his yet (that would be me), he gives a great introduction into his thinking here.

Link: Growing God's Kingdom from the Harvest


13 November, 2005

Vox Pop

Just got back from a great night out with Cormac S. The two of us went around asking people on the streets of Blackrock about their faith and capturing the interview on video. As Cormac said on the drive home, it was less about the actual product we were left with at the end and more about connecting with people. Some of them were legitimately interested in what we were doing out there. It was a great evening of listening to the hearts of Dublin. I'm hoping to get it edited for Monday - i.e "Journey Day."