Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fair Dinkum

Ever since St Paul travelled along the incredible road network of the Roman Empire writing letters in what had become the common language of The Known World, missionaries and other pioneers within the Church have always made use of the new communication technologies of their day. That is, of course, the nature of pioneers. The Church pioneered the media of printed text, and secured its place as dominant communication form in its time. Looking at the ever-growing list of Christian books, I think perhaps we have come to love it too much, and for the wrong reasons: for its own sake, or for the sake of promoting ourselves. And perhaps not least as an antidote, pioneers reach a point where they have to walk away, from something that still has a significant future, and go do something else instead.

Also, while it is invaluable to the wider Church to have pioneers sharing their experimental practices as they go along, eventually it just becomes harder and harder to ‘do what you do’ with the eyes of the world on you, and outsiders looking in wanting your time and effort. So the sharing/modelling thing is perhaps best done like geese in flight, where each bird takes their rotating turn to be at the front…

Andrew Hamilton over in Perth, Western Australia, has been a true pioneer of missional church blogging. We had the privilege of hanging out with him, and Danelle and their kids, when we spent three months in Perth at the end of 2005. It was an extended encounter that still shapes me. Now Hamo has decided to stop blogging, at least for the next two years. At one level, this is a real loss; but my guess is that where Hamo steps aside, we’ll see others who have been inspired by him step up – and that we’ll see Hamo back again, in due course, recognisably the same and yet transformed into something new. Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies…

Thank you, Andrew.



  1. Wow... Got it in one mate!

    Have you been reading my journal?

    Thansk for the kind words - it has been great to share the journey online and as you say - this is hopefully not for ever, but for a time as god directs us.

    Bless you and your family mate - we will stay in touch.

  2. Reading your journal? Mate, I can read your inner thoughts: "Am I getting too old to surf?"..."Where's that cold beer?"...and something deeper down about cold rain (I'm guessing that taps back into your Northern Ireland origins)...

    Yes, we'll stay in touch.