Church – Rain, Hail and Shine

RHS1I’m troubled by the recent tendency to refer to times of corporate singing as “the [singular] worship”. The biblical textbook on the matter of worship, Romans 12, describes “intelligent worship” as the act of “giving God our bodies as a living sacrifice, consecrated to Him and acceptable by Him”. It then goes on to list what this looks like – intellect (“let God re-mould your minds from within”), spiritual formation , preaching, serving, stimulating the faith of others, generosity, leadership, empathy, affection for each other, hard work, prayer, magnanimity and hospitality. Something I like doing as worship is cost-benefit analysis. Read more of this post


God of Adventure

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA pastor recently asked: ‘Where in the Bible do you find camping culture mentioned?’   Well, I’m glad he asked because I’ve been reading an excellent book by Bruce Dunning called ‘God of Adventure’ which establishes the biblical validity of ‘Christian Adventure Learning’, arguing a case that liminality (conscious awareness) and adventure learning combine to be one of God’s principle tools to connect with his people, challenge them, and have them participate in his redemptive purpose for his creation.

The book takes the reader through more than one hundred biblical examples of adventure learning and camping.  For example:

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Light a candle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs the majority of QCCC Mapleton’s bookings are repeat bookings the year here settles into a fairly steady rhythm. 2012 is drawing to a close and QCCC Mapleton draws the curtain on hosting 400 groups and 25,000 guests.

The week before Christmas is given over to a charity group who bring a lot of kids to Mapleton in the first week of holidays to let their hair down. A lot of the kids come from a tough home situation and the week is about giving them some respite and coping strategies and mechanisms.

The “new year” kicks off again on Boxing Day with Family Summer program. Before we know it the busyness of Term One will descend and off we go again. So this week is a bit of an introspective time, thinking about what we’ve achieved this year and planning for what is to come. It’s fitting that the backdrop to all of this is the group we’ve hosted this week, because they bring so many reminders about what’s important about what we do. Read more of this post


In his important book “The Tangible Kingdom” Hugh Halter writes “if you go to Africa and hang out in a village of starving children you’ll get a heart for starving children.  If you hang out with the mentally ill, you’ll get a heart for the emotionally imbalanced.  If you want an authentic heart for people outside the church … you’ve got to be with them.  As they grab your heart, your posture will change, your angle of approach will change, and the Kingdom of God will be a little more tangible”.

About eighteen months ago we launched an overarching theme for our QCCC sites.  Known as R1202 (Romans 12:2) it’s a bright, colourful hand that is now a visual presence at each site.  The attributes in R1202 are drawn directly from the Beatitudes and it has multi-layering so that the interplay of colour, fingers (and thumbs) and words create up to sixty memorable object lessons that we can refer to, depending on the age and demographic of groups we’re working with

At QCCC we get to hang out with more than 50,000 people each year, with huge variation in age, needs and desires.  It means we have a heart for people coming away from their everyday hum drum, it gives us a heart of service to make sure they have a wonderful time away, and a heart to see their time with us spent well.  Often we don’t have a lot of time with people, but we’re just a small link in the chain of the Holy Spirit’s work and prompting in their life which started long before they come to us and will go on long past.

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On being a camping Dad

Transcendent:  “Extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience.”

I spent the first ten years of life growing up in the midst of a civil war in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).    During the time I was aged 5 to ten my Dad was drafted into compulsory military service as a chaplain, meaning that for most of those years he would spend three weeks on “call-up” away from home followed by six weeks at home where he’d frantically have to make up for lost time at work where he was National Director of Youth for Christ.

Transcendent memories are those that remain with us for a lifetime, moments where the ordinary is broken by something remarkable.  Some transcendent memories about Dad’s call-ups are the sorrow of the day he’d depart, and one particularly memorable day where he unexpectedly returned home early with tick bite fever (I’m not sure Dad was as overjoyed about this as Mum and I were). 

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