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This post runs through 5 ideas that help us situate the place of the church in society – which I think then helps us to critique and potentially adjust our engagement with society. Over the last few weeks I’ve been part of a conference with Christian Savings, Laidlaw College, and the Carey Centre for Lifelong Learning, where I talked around the idea that “something is different now” in terms of the relationship between church and society. In a previous post I looked at what the church will be like in 100 years – that was the first part of my talk, this post is the second part.

I’ve called the conference talk “something is different now” because our context is different to any other time in the history of the church in New Zealand. And while some of these changes might be unpleasing to us as the church – I think viewing the church through the lenses of these ideas can help with our engagement. Continue Reading…

The stress test

18 November, 2015 — 6 Comments

It’s been an interesting few months since my last blog post where I said I was getting married and my Dad was dying. I’ve had some of the biggest lows and highs I’ve ever experienced. On 16 July 2015 my father died, two days later Geraldine and I got married.


There has been so much change in my life over the last few months. Dickens sums it up well: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” 1 Through it all I feel I have a better understanding of myself and of stress. In this post I introduce a test I have found helpful in the assessment of life and stress. (Soon I will write again about communication, church, and society.)

Continue Reading…


  1. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens (1859).

This post is a personal reflection on some recent life events rather than anything specific about communication, church, or society – but you may notice those things coming through. I’m getting married, and my Dad is dying.


On Friday 24 April Geraldine and I came to the point of deciding we wanted to get married and spend the rest of our lives together. This was in London.

The next morning I was woken up at 5.30am by the vibration of my cellphone. When I saw my sister’s name on the screen I knew it wouldn’t be good news. She was phoning from New Zealand to tell me our Dad was very sick and I needed to come home. Continue Reading…

Near the end of 2014 I went on a 3-week trip visiting people in India, Bangladesh, and Thailand. I wanted to travel light, and managed to do this with a daypack weighing 6.5kg. Next time I could make it even lighter. In this post I share how I managed traveling light. I would love to hear some of your tricks and tips – please share them in the comments at the end.


I realise this is a bit of a diversion from my usual blog topics, but I figure a lot of people interested in communication, church, and society also travel. The photo above shows the contents of my bag. Continue Reading…

I’ve been made redundant

16 October, 2014 — 17 Comments

This is not my usual kind of blog post. Here is some news and reflection about my own personal situation right now: Sunday 21 December 2014 will be my last day as Assistant Minister at Oxford Terrace Baptist Church in Christchurch New Zealand.


My position being made redundant was no surprise, and I have been a willing participant in the process the church went though over a ten-month period. It was decided that on financial grounds, the church is currently over-staffed, and in the end the church members concluded they could no longer sustain an Assistant Minister. Continue Reading…

Today is the one-year anniversary of this blog, and I want your feedback! I’ve set up a short survey using Survey Monkey with 17 brief questions that you could probably click though in 90 seconds (a little longer if you give me specific feedback) – it is totally anonymous.


Over the last 12 months I have written 30 posts and there have been 382 comments. It has been a bit of an experiment that has gained momentum as the year has progressed. I would love to hear your feedback on how you think it’s going, what could be improved, and anything else you think might be helpful.  Thank you!