Volume 6 Number 1

  1. A nice *style* of discussion question. Particularly for teenagers (who tend to thrive on discussion questions) and particularly if you happened to find an image that related to what you were up to (eg on a rafting camp): "If the Christian life/life in general were a river where would you be?" It's good because it can just be re-interpreted anyway you want to. It therefore becomes a great means to get to know someone else.

  2. I think I had always assumed that the Christian application of Isaiah 40's 'your sins have been paid for' would be 'paid for on the cross by Christ'. But actually, it's more 'the *time* of your punishment has drawn to a close, so now God will consider how he will save you. So the application is not to Mark 10:45 so much as Mark 1:14-15.

  3. I understand that 'hope' and 'wait' are expressed by the same word in Hebrews. That's quite good, I think, as 'wait' doesn't carry with it the uncertainty that 'hope' does in English.

  4. A conference speaker recently suggested that we are 'part of community perhaps before we are individuals in our own right'. Could this reflection help us integrate people church life? Rather than first of all worrying and focusing too much on helping them find their feet in their own right, can we somehow help them come to realise their membership in the community? Aspects of what it means to wait on the Lord that this speaker suggested were: 1. Be ready to obey when asked 2. Be able to relax until asked 3. Be expecting to be asked

  5. I think a nifty contrast is between a servant leader, that we are called to be, and a 'martyr leader' that we often adopt... thinking the two are one and the same.

  6. J. Moltmann says a society of pleasure and achievement makes pain and death private affairs

  7. Have I made the Bible only an object for study and investigation and not an object of devotion? This can be one of the difficulties with making acutal Bible reading a part of close relationships: husband and wfie, close mates. The general tenor or whole conversations may be biblical. But the lack of actually reading the Bible with those closest to you can be discouraging for many. But whenever we try, it seems to shipwreck on being half-Bible study, half-inane reflections. So I suggest re-installing the Bible to its role as a devotional book. The key then is to read it at natural, ritualistic points - before saying grace, at the start of a meeting - and jsut read a section, with brief reflection or without comment at all. I think this is a way to bring Bible reading more comfrotably, naturally and centrally into our intimate relationships.

  8. When you face key problems, or wanna address misunderstandings or focus on new issues, as a leader, what should you do? Well as obvious as it sounds, you should deal with them by using your Vision, Mission, Strategy and Goals documents. I know this in theory. I am only now realising how many stresses and problems have been caused because I often don't do this in practice. And so instead of using these problems/issues as an opportunity to re-cast the vision etc, I fit them in a separate category: problem solving.

  9. When, if ever, should a Christian leader appeal to commitment, keep track of commitment and call people to account on the basis of commitment? Should we keep it as a last resort? Should it only be reserved for high level official leadership roles? Should we use it all the time since it is a natural way to motivate people?

  10. Reading Leunig's pantheistic prayer book, I got to thinking that a simple way that we can express our image of God responsibility is to make sure we as individuals and churches regulalry prayer for the environment, endangered species etc. This would also help to show to others that we don't say we care about the environment only when people accuse the Bible of modern ecological exploitation.