Blake thinks that having a blog is ‘sad’. It’s one of the things I so adore about him – his relentless freedom and ability to speak his mind, regardless of the circumstances. So truth being told – the fact that he has just won a highly regarded
and sought-after scholarship to Cambridge University. There are two such scholarships offered each year – Blake was the only student to be shortlisted for both, and consequently won the most outstanding of them.
He’s delightful because he’s not a geek, he’s just a great, confident young man who has weathered a number of storms but has a genuine and real faith, is intelligent beyond belief and has seamlessly transitioned from being student to friend – in fact one of my best friends. I’m devastated and overjoyed at his success and my loss!
It’s three weeks essentially until I put everything down to paper for the final time and enter GO-mode for Eastercamp 2006. I’ve been reading “Story” by Stephen James and he writes about the human tendency to worship that which we create.
I am trying not to worship the creation that is Easter. I am trying to pray consistently and earnestly for each of my programming decisions, and my team members, the speakers, the delivery, the execution of elements. I’m trying not to break things apart into human-sized blocks of achievement, because the moment I fail to recognise God is at work – the moment I have lost the purpose of my role.
I was speaking to someone yesterday, referring to another someone doing an internship under Michael Frost. The conversation turned to opinion and perception of MF .. my comment wasn’t to do with MF at all, rather the number of people who admire him because they have read the back of his book (co-authored with Alan Hirsch) and think that they ought to like those ideas.
Conversing with another youthworker in the opposite spectrum of socio-economic ministry factors as I, we discussed how much of the emerging conversation in NZ circles leaves us cold. How, as post-moderns, so many of the biggest talkers are those trying to connect with our instinctive culture from outside it, and so we ourselves feel somehow excluded from the conversation about ministry to us.
We compared ministry experience with those who are another generation below us, and laughed as we recounted stories that dealt with heartache issues. We are so comfortable in the conundrum, whilst so many are trying to methodically model their way out.
Now – all of this was simply conversations and snippets of thinking compiled hastily as I try and process my thoughts in the matter – especially in regards to programming Eastercamp. I’m balancing expectations of myself and others, trying to stay relevant and faithful to God-cause in it, telling the story to the right people – not just how I would like to hear it. So I see some connections between the struggle to try and figure out how to go about teh task of postmodern ministry in a world caught between many diverging pathways of thought, interpretation and application.
It echoes the struggle YFC is having to rethink and understand, examine the task of Summer Harvest in light of the new national value structure and practices, and to balance that with the burgeoning heart of those who want to push ahead to see a camp with historical value move into the future.
One must ask the questions, figure out how to ask the questions, who to ask and who to answer, who to ask the questions to begin with?
Who will ask these questions of Eastercamp?
This year again I have struggled with peers and leaders around me as they have challenged me with their urge to rely on the reliable, the fear of the unknown, the paralysing question of boundaries and clifftops. Everything that is natural within me wants to dance stormily towards the edge – sensing in some respects that what is a clifftop for me is a mere rolling slope for those I am ministering to.
A question perhaps – how much of our seeking find relevant ways to minister to the postmodern is part of a deeper desire to be still connected to that which is developing and hatching, a desire to minister some refreshment to ourselves?