Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Conference Call

It’s been Conference week this past week - so for the first time we trooped down to Hawkes Bay for the 6th Annual Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand. It was a busy week of preparations. It was my first "live" Conference as National Secretary - a steep learning curve with lots of extra duties - next year, I will plan my pre Conference work load a little better! Anyways, some reflections personal and corporate:

> It’s a great church I belong to! Rich multi cultural and inter generational diversity. The relationships are incredibly strong. This was a real celebration!

> Dr Wayne Schmidt was outstanding. I can only hope the video record will come out OK, so this can be shared widely among the churches. Practical and biblically rooted leadership and strategy lessons.

> Dan Seaborn was quite frankly the most energetic preacher I’ve ever seen(!) with a timely word on protecting marriages. We have already begun putting some of what he shared in place.

> Saturday night it was amazing to see the range of people come forward for ministry – I love it that our leaders are soft enough to receive what they need from God at these times of refreshment and renewal.

> We celebrated 3 new church plants! Awesome to be part of a church planting movement...

> Overall, the experience was a time of reflection for me: a number of the threads I’ve been contemplating got woven a little more tightly into place. The time to reflect has to be one of the most necessary disciplines of a leader that there is.

> We enjoyed an extra day coming home to sleep in and relax just a little bit…the boy was a star the whole weekend as you can imagine those of you who know him…

The return to Auckland has seen one time wasting exercise concerning a Christian weekly newspaper sensationalising an issue that has arisen in the Methodist Church. The churches careful response was massaged into “a warning”. What gets me is this: surely a Christian newspaper is there to encourage and challenge, but always within the confines of protecting the unity of the body of Christ? So, placatory letters end up being written and a loss of time and energy occurs because of divisive journalism.

The Christian media in New Zealand is, in my humble opinion, very uneven. You get some great quality and some enormous crap. Why, for example, does NZ's only Christian TV station run Benny Hinn? How come Challenge Weekly prints every crackpot letter it can find? Why do tired (and arguably disreputable) radio hacks get constant replays of dodgy material?

Well thats my soapbox for the week!



Frank said...

Great post!!! I won't say why.

Fundie Fred said...

You leave the Challenge Weekly alone! It does an excellent job of representing me and the other rednecks who think that gays are an abomination in the sight of God.

Garth George is a breath of fresh air to the paper (even if he does have two first names). I even thought the page 3 girl a few weeks back was an appropriate statement of heterosexual orthodoxy that is much needed in our rapidly "to Hell in a handbag society".

I like this blog because the writer is hilarious, but his theology is a bit wishy washy. Also why does he think we care about his life quite so much?

Jonesboy said...

Now THAT'S funny!

RKDrumdude said...

Great blog Mr. KIWI.....
Hope this finds the wife and child doing well. All is well here cept nobody talks funny anymore and footbal is football. Any plans on coming to the States over the winter months?

Jonesboy said...

Yup we're coming up at Christmas - arriving 12 December and staying till 11 January! Get the barbie fired up! What the...?!