It all started at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010, trying to include my church, local community, friends and family in my journey there as a chaplain in the Athletes’ Village. I love to connect with people and my reflective splurges and splooters found new audiences beyond weekly sermons. The Irvine Times’ keenness to continue printing my blogs beyond India was a major incentive to continue corralling contemplations, shepherding words & ideas, and connecting with the people of my parish, congregation and world.
With the help of social media and streaming our 10.30am Sunday Services my parish now extends well beyond Fullarton & Harbourside with many more pastoral, evangelical and educational opportunities through which to ‘Share the love of Jesus, Help people take steps closer to Jesus, and Grow apprentices of Christ’ (my mission statement, by which I try to measure all I do).
But there’s something even more personal and primal at work during my Monday mornings, blogging is a ‘spiritual discipline’, a speed-bump, early in my working week, when I’m tempted to plough headlong into a whirl of activity. So, God slows me down to look and listen to what’s happening in me, church, community, world, and how God’s Wisdom in The Word of God (Bible) relates to it all.
Last week’s ‘Create’ conference at Fullarton ConneXions, drew 120 peopl from all over Scotland (including Inverness) to launch a creative community for sharpening digital communication skills, with which to share Jesus Love and Good News. Keynote speaker Stephen McQuoid (Gospel Literature Outreach) set the scene well and asked a challenging question, “If God is an awesome creator, with such an amazing imagination, why is church sometimes so boring?”God forgive me for when I coast on past creativity and don’t devote time and energy to allow God’s creative Spirit to infuse our services!
My ‘blog / vlog workshop’, joined other workshops on graphics, videography, church service screening, social media, etc. It forced me to recognise that engaging blogs & vlogs are often entertaining, relevant, honest, vulnerable and humorous. Some dangers are, that: we can obscure God through pride, self justification, jargon, clichés and liking the sight of our own script, without critical and constructive feedback.
Stuart Forsyth, the ‘Create’ conference’s brainchild, challenges, “Sharing the greatest story of all time won’t matter if nobody is paying attention. If the church wants to reach people then we need to stop demanding people come to us. The pulpit isn’t the only way to share the good news.” Stephen McQuoid tied things up nicely by reminding us that, it doesn’t matter how sharp our communication skills are, if we are not in tune with God and failing to walk humbly, in love, with our God, then the glorious Good News of Jesus Christ will not shine through. Dear God, forgive me when my efforts are ‘more fog than blog’! And friends, keep me accountable with your feedback, comments and questions, thank you.
Join the ‘Create’ Community group https://www.facebook.com/createconference2019/