So I went back and found my old blog - thought I would post all the entries here just for the record. Kind of interesting reading if you've got the time - interesting to see what I thought back then!

Had a really good night in Toronto with friends Todd and Niki Cantelon. They are planting a church, Freedomize, downtown and had a coffee house deal last night in the beaches. Loads of fun and good friends. It got me to thinking - he said that he is comitted to the building of the Kingdom by the planting of local churches. And I think I agree. The issue might be what does planting local church look like. Often it is a modern construct, involving service times and buildings and stuff - not that all of that is bad, just limited at some level. If, however, we start the planting of the local church as a community of disciples centered around work, or business ventures, or mom's groups or what have you; there is a growing network of diciples which is really the church anyway. Isn't it? Denominationalism becomes less of a factor and we are enabled to grow explonentialy (I think I'll leave that typo in!) without borders. Now I realize that this all sounds ideal and I don't think it's as easy as all that, however, what if we said that church planting involved communities of disicples and left it at that - would that help the discourse? God builds the church and the church grows by connecting disciples. Apostles becomes important, prophets etc... hmmm gotta think some more. Very liquid churchish, a la Pete Ward.
:: Chris Jones 8:38 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 ::

We did our second alternative worship service called Elevate this last Sunday night. We are a little frustrated withthe space that we have to work with. Pews are useless for just about everything! Since it was so close to All Saints day, we jumped off that cliff and rounded up a mass of facts on saints and persecuted Christians and folks who did some really neat stuff from Stephen until fairly current. It went really well and one of our guys wrote a liturgy for it - we chickened out on one part that he wrote..."make us one body Lord, like Voltron, only better!" One thing that we did that was kind of neat was we brought a tread mill in from someone's house and set it up with a lamp outside and a scripture from Hebrews about running the race with perseverance. You could get on and go for a run while meditating on this scripture. Surprisingly it was quite a spiritual experience and certainly for me I was encouraged in my own race to run more diligently!
Another thing that we tried that didn't really work very well was creating a representation of heaven. The kids tried really hard, with tons of white lights, white sheets, and mirrors but it just ended up a little flat. I guess we just can't do "no eye has seen, no ear heard, no mind concieved what the Lord has in store!"
:: Chris Jones 2:19 PM [+] ::
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:: Friday, November 01, 2002 ::

The new Freshresource site is up - really neat online community where users can post events, links, articles etc... I'm not so sure how they intend to stop people using it as a major advertising spot, or maybe they don't care. Not certain, at any rate, another fantastic site by electricurrent. They do some great things.
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Just finished a neat article on the relationship between theology and the prophetic. The gist of the article is that we often elevate theology as a modern, rational pursuit above the inspired living word. The only issue being of course that the prophetic word is often subjective and prone to mistake, the verifying of the prophetic position is a must. Seems in some ways that our current climate to accept anything cultural as OK spiritually because God loves people is an example of this. I'm speaking here mostly of sexual issues on either side of the gender orientation divide.
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We will be running a youth leaders training program in the winter specifically aimed at those attempting to be missionaries to emerging culture within the anglican scene. Should be interesting to say the least. At this point we are planning on doing several evening session over the course of a few months. More info to follow.
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:: Chris Jones 7:52 AM [+] ::
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:: Friday, October 25, 2002 ::

Alright,
Looks as if I need to start a section on books. I read many; some, including my wife would say that I read too many - is that possible I wonder. At any rate, I've started a new book by George Barna entitled, hmm now I've forgotten it - oh, "The Power of Team Leadership" Really quite good, the premise so far is that we have elevated the role that leaders play to an unrealistic degree. So, leadership is intregal to the effectiveness of any mission, and yet without a good team of leaders where everynoe is empowered to lead to their potential you are left with another thin end of a bottle. Good premise, because as a leader I am often called upon to do such a wide variety of tasks and have such a wide variety of skills that it is almost impossible to succeed. Perhaps that is why we have more leaders that are less specifist (if that is a word) and more generalists. They can get along in most fields adequately.
hmmm,
:: Chris Jones 11:52 AM [+] ::
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:: Friday, October 18, 2002 ::

I mentioned a book a couple of days ago by Thomas Dubay on John of the Cross. I was so struck by a discourse on faith that I had to pop it up on the blog.

"To appreciate what John is saying as he insists upon the insufficiency of the created order to bring us to the Uncreated, we must first grasp something of the utter otherness, the transcendece of God. He is not only beyond all things; He is boundlessly beyond them. Created realities are, as one of the councils puts it, more unlike God than like Him."..."If the intellect, then, is to reach union with God in this life, insofar as is possible, it must take that means which bears a proximate resemblence to God and unites with Him. That which bears this near similtude to God is the virtue of faith."

That takes a while to get the 'ole head around, but is good food for thought.
:: Chris Jones 8:42 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 ::

Another month goes by and I am still behind in everything, including the 'ole blog! So,... lots of stuff going on. We started a new alternative worship service, 'elevate.' The first one went really well. We used the theme of thanksgiving and had a bunch of stuff that people could do to give thanks and to reflect on God's goodness to us - couple of them were a) we stacked all the bibles that we could find into a massive stack, including four really massive, really old ones (one was printed in the 1600's!) and then we made a little plaque kind of thing that stated this fact - "2oo million Christians worldwide do not have a bible." It was pretty powerful and certainly touched a lot of people. b) we had a station with a bunch of clay which people could mold into some representation of themselves and then we had one of those chimnea fireplace things that people could go and throw their clay into almost like an offering of themselves. I wrote a few bits of liturgy just to tie it together and one of the guys created a CD for the whole night - really good and incorporated Lauryn hill's new CD which is incredible!
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Couple books read over the last little while, George Barna "Growing true Disciples", "Fire of Love" by Thomas Dubay which is ostensibly about John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, "Sacred Romance" by John Eldrege, and a couple more. John Maxwell's book on leadership too. I think that where the Maxwells and Barnas meet the Eldredges and Dubays and Bickles is where I want to form my ministry centre. The One thing, love of the Lord combined with a real sense of mission. I haven't read this book yet but a mentor of mine qouted from the new Dick Eastman book saying, "the reason that we need mission organisations is because there is no real worship!" hmmmmm, wow.
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The Surge is still on the burner and we're gearing up for it -seems to be a real test of faith right now!
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That's all for now.
:: Chris Jones 10:51 AM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, September 05, 2002 ::

WOW, haven't written for over a month! Not that I don't have much to say, but it does appear true that it is hard to get back into the swing of things. Hopefully that will change as of now! Couple of new sites to note, FreshResource site is currently undergoing construction looks like it will be great! It is getting redesigned by a fantastic design company that I have connected with in the past - www.electricurrent.com. Their site is incredile and well worth the surf! Also, Jessica one of the youth at RFL just returned for a holiday from her time at NGM. She spent the summer in Ibetha and in conjunction with 24-7 NGM created a fantastic site www.clubberstemple.com also well worth the surf. I hope to do some more thinking soon, right now we are in the thick of start up for the fall as I am sure everyone is, so I might be a bit spotty getting back into the blogging saddle, but here goes!
:: Chris Jones 7:46 AM [+] ::

:: Friday, June 07, 2002 ::

Sometimes thinking hurts my brain, but it's an addiction of the mind - I can't stop
I've been exploring some of this alternative worship stuff - incredible. I mean some of us have been doing things like this for a while without really embracing it all - I mean at camps that I've run, or services I've taken we have done things like honey on the lips, a light to my path and explored those images as worship - however this stuff takes it to a whole other level! It's almost like stumbling on a hidden mine field here! Props to Jonny Baker et al who have been running with this for a while. Real encouraging.
Still struggling with icons of Jesus - and here's the question. Does a Christian artist have any responsibility to represent Jesus as He was lodged in space and time? I mean I always struggle with that in music too - I know that U2 are being honest when they challenge peace on earth, but does honesty have sway over truth? I mean peace is confusing but if we are going to believe God we know that He will do it and in the mean time we need to partner with Him not walk in disbelief. In the same way does an artist have any responsibility to represent Jesus as he was - a first century Jewish carpenter - not a white anglosaxon with a halo, nor a black woman, but an Israeli who was probably pretty poor in the material sense. Hmmm.
I think we also have to look at how we are representing things to our culture. I agree that the common image of Jesus as this glassy eyed British guy with long hair is probably not the best image, but the very impetus for us to rail against that and change it because it isn't a good representation should drive us to to find a real representation, which since there were no cameras is going to be pretty damn difficult.
Well there you have it - where does that leave us? I guess with Paul "Don't let anything distract you from pure and simple devotion to Jesus."
:: Chris Jones 12:23 PM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 ::

Haven't done nearly what I need to today - checked out some more of John Maxwell's Leadership Laws - nice work here. I suppose one of the major questions is how does Maxwell and Hybels and the mega-church, business model gell with Jesus. I mean at one level, they have got the people. Something still doesn't feel exactly right though - maybe because I don't have the people?
The issue, though, seems to be whether or not a system or a method can really convey authenticity. I suppose in a postmodern sense, I would argue that it doesn't and that the system is just added to other systems that people live with each day. I mean Christianity is a whole world view change - on the other hand who can judge a person's heart...not me.
Perhaps as in most of these things we must consider a balance.
I just get uncomfortable when, for instance, worship, has to be comfortable for everyone - and yet if we don't consider that at somepoint we end up with complete isolation and independence in worship - which I am sure the Lord never intended.
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Nice ezine out that I found through Jonny Baker blog - thirst. It can be found at http://www.thirstmagazine.co.uk
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:: Chris Jones 11:37 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, June 04, 2002 ::

Well, you know I'll be watching!
Neat thing this blog is. I'm glad I'll be able to keep up to speed with your thought life now! yikes! This should fill up really quickly if you can get your thoughts down in keeping with your 'idea productivity'!
I love you
(This is Chris's wife for those of you wondering.)
:: Catherine Jones 4:14 PM [+] ::
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So, a blog... I like the idea of a blog, kind of risky at one level - exposed for all to see, and yet so hidden. Hmm, there's definitely a poem in there somewhere. At any rate, I guess this is a forum for me to think, to have others think back, to explore, to report. A place to journal too I suppose. Maybe I'll be the only one watching - maybe.
:: Chris Jones 12:08 PM [+] ::
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: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 ::

Just watched Black Hawk Down for the first time. I think it is one of the most disturbing movies I have seen, that and traffic. I mean what kind of screwd up world is this where people make millions of dollars on the fact that there are kids shooting their fathers and women getting shot and starving. And I just rented the movie! Where does that money go? I hope that some of it goes to Somalia but I doubt it. What does a Christian do? One of the characters said something that stuck with me. He was basically talking about the horror of war and the need to justify it and how he stays focussed and able to continue. He says to his comrade "out there, it is all about the man beside you." I suppose that's the only way you survive.
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Still working, slowly on all of the stuff for R-93, our leadership training program this summer. Man, I need to not procrastinate! If anyone has a good solution for a lack of self-disicpline send it on over, quit hogging the solution!
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So - wierd situation in the West. The Anglican diocese out there is deciding basically whether to allow gays and homosexuals to be married and practicing homosexuals to be ministers. The deal here that seems pretty unfortunate is that the real debate for most people, including myself, is the authority of God's word to speak into our lives. For me, the debate might as well be about a decision to ordain a chronic liar. I mean the principle is all the same. Crazy. The whole debate focusses on pluralism when you get down to brass tacks. I mean is there or is there not an absolute truth and if there is, am I allowed to believe it without being a bigot?
Things that make you go hmmm.
:: Chris Jones 1:35 PM [+] ::
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Tuesday, June 18, 2002 ::

OK - so the diocese in New Westminster voted and the bishop gave his assent for the blessing of same sex marriages. Now before any blog readers label me a bigot and a homophobe, my issue is not with the gay, lesbian population. God loves them, and I love them - do I think that living as a practicing homosexual is wrong? Yes, but I also think evading taxation is wrong and that murdering one's neighbour is wrong and I have the freedom apparently to believe that - in fact if I don't I get sent to jail. Odd. At any rate -the point here is whether or not the bible can inform our lives. If it can't on this issue, then on what can it inform our lives. You can see hopefully then, that the issue is so much bigger than homosexuality and it is such a shame that it centers on this issue.
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In other news, the Surge is starting to Surge. Pretty neat, and we now have a review on the new thirst online magazine run by Lewis Parfitt. Pretty cool. I checked out a link from another blog and ended up at the small ritual site I think. Neat poetry there, and in fact the use of the poem about God in a sleeping bag combined with Jeff Snyder's song, "Stay awhile" is a pretty good combination.
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England and Brazil on Friday. I staunch Welshman (or at least a Canadian with strong Welsh roots) I must cheer for the English. I know, but what are my other options? The Welsh are not really doing much well these days with no football and very little rugby to speak of, given the recent thrashing by the Springboks.
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:: Chris Jones 9:31 AM [+] ::

Wednesday, June 26, 2002 ::

Delirious last night in Toronto! Nice. Man what a great band. I'm a lyric guy and I love their lyrics, perhaps second only to the best band of all time, U2. Good music too, stu G the guitarist used to be the weak point for me, but he really has progressed and I like their sound. relatively small show- maybe 2500 but really sweet. Also bumped into a few people that I haven't seen in a long time. Todd C the pastor of a church plant in Toronto called Freedomize. When I get a sec I'll post a link. Also reconnected with some old friends including someone who I knew in high school who is an actor/write in Toronto. Neat guy, he does some one man show stuff on David and Job and it looks really good. I'm actually quite a big fan of incorporating drama into worship. Seems useful to use your whole body to express your love. [again, I'll post the link later but it's something like fallinggiant.com] At any rate, I'm struggling with all this Anglican stuff, my job, my calling etc... and this guy Jason who I haven't seen since his wedding 5 years or so ago asks me the most intense question. Actually before I get to that, it was pretty cool since he also suggested a book by Eldridge that I had already read and loved! Wild at Heart - check it out! So Jason asks me the whopper..."what are you passionate about?"
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What am I passionate about?
I'm passionate about Jesus, He is my passion.
I'm passionate about youth, they are His passion too.
I'm passionate about worship, about being a servant.
I'm passionate about teaching, about creativity.
I'm passionate about the gifts of the Spirit and their use.
I'm passionate about relationships.
I'm passionate about my kids, about my wife.
I'm passionate about writing, about leadership.
I'm passionate about identity, about the heart.
I'm passionate about heaven, and about earth.
I'm passionate about need, and passionate about pain.
I'm passionate about love, and about freedom.
I'm passionate about art and truth.
I'm passionate about impressions and alternatives.
I'm passioante about media and about culture.
I'm passionate about the emerging generation.
I'm passionate about God's manifest presence.
I'm passionate about war and sex.
I'm passionate about music.
I'm passionate about projects that smash the paradigm of secular and sacred.
I'm passionate about grace and truth.
I'm passionate.
I'm passionate about Jesus, I love Him.
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In other news, are we up for a Brazil - Germany final? Oh man.
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The Thirst online magazine has some poems that I have written up now. Faith and Here and now are both pieces that I wrote over the past year. I hope that Thirst lasts, as it seems to be a good connecting point. There are so many ezine type places out now with music, art, photo's etc... I wonder what will be the next thing. I don't think that they connect youth very well actually. College and young careers probably, but youth seem to be more into communication rather than viewing. MSN, etc... are the big youth connections. I do more youth work online through MSN than anything else! Talk about Liquid church.

:: Chris Jones 9:18 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 02, 2002 ::

Middle of camp right now - pretty tired - also beginning of a five week leadership course that we are running called R-93. Nice. So, pretty good so far - God is showing up and right now everything I do seems to lead to one truth that is just challenging everything I have done and do in youth minstry. Here she be..."God does not want you to be good - He wants you to be free." As the institutional church we so often treat the symptoms and ignore the sickness perhaps believing that all God wants from us is morality. He didn't die on the cross so that you could be a good boy or girl, or so that I would make it on His list that He checks twice! He wants us to be free. More on that later, but right now suffice it to say that this is a big thought that I've maybe thought before but has never really hit me. Another truth hit me today as well - Jesus wept.
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We had a great worship service the other day with the kids - it involved cutting a watermelon apart with my sword and burning a pile of rocks to recreate Elijah and the fire coming down from heaven. Well, not exactly like that - but since it was 45 here yesterday the idea was the same!
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:: Chris Jones 7:49 PM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 ::

I received a great article today from the Prime leadership people. Written by Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Fellowship in Seattle it puts together some great thoughts on postmodern youth ministry. I've posted a link to it on the side and in it there is a link to Mars Hill Fellowship. Neat church and some good thinking. I still wonder if it is just impressive to ourselves. Are we being missiological when we just change what is inside the box of church instead of chucking the box and doing church in life. Church is life, life is church, people are church the church is people... hmmm. I mean I kow that folks put a high regard for community but don't we always start church planting and thinking with the question "what are we going to do in the service?" Maybe not, but it seems like it. The other element that I still see as critical to all of this that doesn't seem to play a big role in much postmodern thinking is the leading of the Spirit. No matter which way you slice it I believe we still have to keep in step with Him or else we jsut resort to systematic ministry which it doesn't seem like Jesus ever did. One time it was spit, one time it wasn't. Briner has a great quote about this that I'll just throw in here for comment - ?We feel we are making a difference [Christians] because we are so important to ourselves. We have created a phenomenal subculture with our own media, entertainment, educational system, and political hierarchy so that we have the sense that we?re doing a lot. But what we have really done is create a ghetto that is easily dismissed by the rest of society.? (pg.31, Briner - "Roaring Lambs")
All for today - feel free to email comments, or I may figure out how to add a comment possibility, they just take so long to load.
:: Chris Jones 11:36 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, July 23, 2002 ::

So I think I have come up with a personal belief about ministry. I still reserve the right to alter this but I think as a guiding principal it is the basis for how I operate. Basiclly this is based on something a friend of mine used to say, "People either see God through us or supernaturally, for themselves." Although it has it's drawbacks, the point is quite good. So here is what I have arrived at, ideally in a service I would like youth to come because of relationships that they have through discipleship etc... and that way even if things are wierd they have solid enough relationships that they are OK and can continue on. If youth just show up cold turkey at a service I would like to think that we make the place so conducive to the ministry of the Holy Spirit that they are changed and experience the presence of the Living God. That will draw them back. Well as I said, I still reserve the right to edit - but I feel pretty good about this so far.
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In other news, Jason Boucher is leading a session at R-93 right now on leadership and doing a bang up job! Check out his youth church site at the side, JOLGEN. He does some great stuff and has thought through a lot of this stuff quite well. If I get the chance I'll put up an interview with him that a group in the States did. Good show.
:: Chris Jones 1:11 PM [+] ::
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