Cheerleaders

doesn't matter the size

Church – It’s not the size that counts, but what you do with it.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the right metrics are for determining if Church or faith is “successful”.

As one of my friends reminded me the other day “I don’t think we should be applying KPI’s and business metrics to the Church!” And he’s right, but the reality is we do.

I was reminded of this on The Weekly with Charlie Pickering as he interviewed the former Australian Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes. He commented on the need for targets (as opposed to quotas) for employment of women and disabled workers, stating “If we don’t count things, then they simply don’t count”.

So what is it that we should be counting, to honestly reflect whether church and faith is doing what it’s intended for? What are the things that truly “count” when it comes to counting how successful our faith is? Read More

work life balance

Surviving the rebellion

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Some of my work colleagues were this week discussing the challenges of undertaking “knowledge work” and how to survive it.

Knowledge work is an idea coined by Peter Drucker which means work that consists primarily of creating, using and communicating knowledge, as opposed to manual labour. Any work whose focus consists of generating ideas, communicating and leading is knowledge work.

This means that essentially, it’s work that can follow you everywhere you go. It’s not limited to set times, locations or activities. It can be anywhere, everywhere and all the time.

As I followed the thread of the conversation I recalled a sermon that I’d heard that argued that there shouldn’t actually be a thing called work-life balance. We shouldn’t be compartmentalising our lives so as to distinguish one part as work from the other but should actually work towards integrating our work into the rest of our lives to ensure that we remain whole. Read More

Blue light disco

Proof of God: the power of love

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Over the last couple of months my family and I have been through a tumultuous time with the birth of our third child. Not only was this addition to our family quite unexpected, but just as we were getting our heads around the reality of it, she was born with a previously undetected cleft palate and small chin requiring her to have a permanent breathing and feeding tubes in her nose for up to the first 9 months of her young life.

Confronted by this new set of unknowns and dramatic changes to our loosely set plans, we struggled to fathom where God was in the midst of all this.

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Dave and Nora

Opening our hearts & minds to loving our Muslim neighbours

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In light of the struggle and tension that is surrounding us at the moment with regard to asylum seekers, war in the Middle East and the place of Islam in our community, we have compiled some resources to help those who are interested gain a broader insight into Islam, our shared beliefs and ways forward to a better future together.

On being: Vali Nasr — The Sunni-Shia Divide and the Future of Islam

Mosaic Podcast: The Truth Between Us – Islam

Dave Andrews: Here I stand, 10 steps to nurturing change

John Dickson: A letter to my church

Relevant Magazine: Why you need more Muslim friends

unnamed

Asking Questions

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I heard a fascinating interview this morning with Yo-yo Ma the renowned cellist, in the On Being podcast with Krista Tippett.

In the course of their conversation they found themselves discussing vulnerability and Ma made the statement that “vulnerability to weakness provides the wholeness of the world.” He suggested that our willingness to be vulnerable allows us to share fully in any given moment with another.

As they continued, Ma made the further statement that our willingness to ask questions reveals our willingness to be vulnerable and open ourselves to someone else’s stories and solutions to situations.

This made me reflect on my experience working in the “church world” over the last 20 years. More often than not, the conversations that were engaged in were the provision of answers, sometimes to questions that weren’t even being asked. Rarely were the nature of the conversations reflecting an openness and willingness to listen to and truly hear others stories and fully embrace a vulnerability that might allow us to be challenged and changed in the course of the shared moment.

I wonder how often this too is reflected in how we approach God.

We approach with the answers in mind, lacking vulnerability and a willingness to truly listen and hear alternatives from the heart of all that is. Our prayers of many words fill the air with the sound of our own voice. This draws me to Luke 18:9-14 the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. “God have mercy on me a sinner” prays the tax collector. The prayer of the truly vulnerable. The prayer of one who is truly willing to commune with the Giver of Grace and be transformed in the shared moment.

Imagine what our lives would look like if we lived into this faith? Vulnerable before God and humanity. Listening openly, willing to be changed and become the answer the world needs in flesh.

women

Women and the Church

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I recently had the pleasure of being the guest speaker at another church, and in conversation with one of the elders afterwards (while sipping the usual Nescafé Blend 43 and eating an iced vovo) I discovered that they don’t allow women to preach. Now before I go any further, it’s worth making a very strong note that I am not going to lay out what I think on the matter in this very short article, nor give a theological treatise on the topic, nor is anything I say necessarily the perspective of PostcardRadio. My intention is just to open up the topic, so that you our intelligent readers can have the conversations, because I believe it’s an important conversation to have.

Now a few observations. First, without going into any of the details, it needs to be said that the culture in first century Palestine where the church first started is not the same as the culture of 21st Century Australia. With that in mind, the answers the New Testament church came up with to various questions (including this one) may not always fit as snugly in our world today. Whatever answers we come up with today (to any of the “how to” questions) need to reflect both the way of Jesus and the needs of our own culture. I’ll leave you to nut that one out.

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