Archives For explaining our faith

The city I live in is recovering from a series of earthquakes that began three years ago. It’s a long slow grind. Earthquakes damage a city’s infrastructure, such as roads, and the sewers and water pipes that are mostly hidden deep below the road surface. Christchurch post-earthquakes has been riddled with orange road cones to highlight damage and repairs in progress. In June last year there were 100,000 road cones in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million. A day doesn’t go by without seeing many of them, they are a part of life here.


This photo is a simple nativity scene made of road cones. Local artist Pete Majendie from the Side Door Arts Trust has placed this pregnant Mary and Joseph upon a pile of rubble on the corner of a busy intersection. The pile of rubble was once an historic church building.

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Stop the weird people!

20 August, 2013 — 13 Comments

I’ve just finished the longest rest I’ve had in a long time: sitting on a plane for 23 hours flying to London. I’m looking forward to Greenbelt this weekend!
For two days last week I attended the annual Baptist Pastor’s Conference for the South Island (NZ) ministers. It was pretty good. It was mostly sitting listening to people talk, and I listened with my usual filter looking for signs of engagement with communication issues.


The highlight of this was during an interview panel of pastors facilitated by Murray Robertson from the Leadership Network. To the panel of three pastors he asked them why their churches were part of a small minority of (I think about ten) Baptist churches in New Zealand that have increased in size over the last five years. The comment I thought was the most revealing in terns of considering communication, was along the lines of:
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This picture below probably looks familiar to you. I first came across a more simplified version of it in high school when a teacher scribbled on the board two stick figures and a few arrows. This is the Shannon-Weaver model of communication from 1948. In this blog post I want to introduce the idea that this simple representation of communication needs to be considered whenever anyone inside the church tries to communicate anything outside the church.

Shanon-Weaver-model-of-communication-MikeCrudge.comIn other words, whenever the church attempts mission, evangelism, being missional, being incarnational, everything we do: the process of communication needs to be considered. I don’t just mean spoken or written, but actions and everything else we do.

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The “kingdom of God” is a phrase translated into English from something that was central to the teaching of Jesus. This phrase has become church jargon. What does it actually mean? Is the intended original significance lost in the way it gets used today?

How do you describe the kingdom of God?

Are you able to simply define the kingdom of God to someone not part of the church who has never been Christianised?
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