Monthly Archives: May 2006

links for 2006-05-11

eBible invitations

Please note that all my ten invitations for beta testing of eBible have now gone. Five people left requests on the blog, and five others emailed me privately. Good job I was in tonight!

I’ve started to leave a few comments in the forums having started to use it for sermon preparation tonight. My general impression is that at this stage it is well-suited to someone like a home group leader but less suited to someone with formal academic theological qualifications. However it is only a beta, and it sounds like the developers are negotiating licences to add other features. If they manage to do so it could be a very useful tool.

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eBible Invitations

My cup runneth over – not one invitation, but ten to give out! Again, first come first served – send me your email address and I can send you an invitation. (The man to thank at eBible is Mark Sears.)

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Further to my earlier post, I have (to my pleasant surprise) been given a speedy invitation to become a beta tester for the eBible search app. I also have one invitation to give out. The first person to send me their email address gets it.

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Sacred-Secular Divide

From Brian McLaren’s foreword to Steve Chalke and Anthony Watkis’ book Intelligent Church:

… too often our churches have become human
warehouses, where people are gathered and stored so that they can be delivered
after death to heaven with minimum loss, spoilage, rust, rot or breakage. These
air-conditioned warehouses are equipped with every comfort – from padded seats
to a kind of religious muzak – so that those who enter will be happy and never
want to leave until they are shipped to their final destination.

No wonder we have a sacred-secular divide in church thinking.

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Found this very Web 2.0 Bible search engine. It isn’t complete yet and I’ve signed up for an invitation to be a beta tester. Alpha – Get in Line

Link via TechCrunch.

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links for 2006-05-10

links for 2006-05-09

links for 2006-05-09

Why We Should Not Copy The ‘Successful’ Church

Have a look at this: Seth’s Blog: But I like the sticky floors

Seth Godin reports on McDonald’s redesigning their ‘restaurants’ to look more like Starbuck’s. But as Godin says,

The challenge McDonald’s faces is not to be like Starbucks. Why? Because Starbucks is already like Starbucks. The challenge is to to tell a story to the existing
McDonald’s fan, a story that combines fresh and comfortable with the
stuff they’ve always liked and trusted (the place is cheap, and it
feels cheap, which makes it easier to bring the baseball team…)

And this puts me in mind of church stuff. Apart from the fact that I’m more of a Costa man than a Starbuck’s customer (give me one of Costa’s Fairtrade cappucinos with a lemon and white chocolate muffin soon, please) it’s that danger of copying the ‘successful’ church down the road, or that we’ve read about in the latest trendy Christian paperback (if anyone is still reading books). The largest of the churches I serve, Broomfield Methodist, is in a covenant with our local Anglican church, St Mary’s. St Mary’s is an ancient buildin – even possibly Norman, I think. Its Sunday worship for adults reflects that traditional flavour. They also have a modern church hall in which there is a thriving Junior Church. We, on the other hand, have a 1960s building that has just been refurbished with all mod cons, and yes I can now play with PowerPoint during the sermons. Unlike them, we don’t even have a Sunday School at present. I have maintained since soon after arriving here that our role here is not to ape or copy St Mary’s but to provide something complementary in the locality. Yes, we need to recover children and young people but we may not do it in the same way as our Anglican friends. We have a weekend coming up in September with Mike Bossingham of the Family Friendly Churches Trust and that may lead us in a different direction from the conventional Sunday School. Our worship certainly needs to be different, too, but worshiping the same God and Father through Jesus Christ.

Of course this is the harder way to do things: no ‘off the peg’ suit but something made to measure. Not content creators but context innovators, as Fred Peatross said in a recent Abductive Columns email.

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