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July 15, 2006



Hey Deb,
I've got to say that I've quite enjoyed your posts on this topic.
I wanted to make a post at this point, because I think that the opportunities for the EM movement are incredible.
The weaknesses that you outlined in your previous post are, I think, well substantiated, and certainly provide alot of food for thought in the self-critiquing process.
Personally, the EM movement inspires me and really 'hits me where I'm at,' although I attend and work for a traditional church at this point in time, and I would never want to advocate the scrapping of traditional church expressions, for, just as I think traditional expressions of church are not for everyone, they are reaching a huge amount of people who would feel quite uncomfortable (I would imagine) outside the traditional church context.
The opportunities that the EM movement offers are so exciting for me, because it inspires in me creativity and freedom of expression that I do not find in traditional expressions of church.
My personal goal is to plant a 'BBQ Church.' I'm sure this has already been done many times, and the idea is quite simple:
The congregation meets together on probably a Saturday afternoon at someone's house for a time together over food (hence the BBQ part) and take part in a subtly guided conversation on a given topic. There may or may not be a member who has, for example, an acoustic guitar and might invite some others in the group to join in a song of praise, and the conversation would aim to promote engaging discussion on relevant topics to Australians living in Sydney (for that is where I am), and utlimately encourage thought about God and the Christian life.
The idea is that there is no need to pay a 'professional' pastor etc, or for building costs (for the meetings would be in homes), and therefore members could be encouraged to give generously to worthy causes, charities, ministries etc.
I know that this idea is quite conservative to some, yet still quite outrageous to others, but I feel that this idea is something that God has layed on my heart and won't let me let it go.
I mention all of this because I am interested meeting people who have experience in these matters, and any creative ideas that people would like to offer.(I had noticed that there weren't too many responses to this particular post, so I hope I'm not hijacking any conversation here).
If anyone feels inspired to do something like this after reading this post, let me know how you go :)

Craig Bennett

G'day Josh,

I was only talking to Deb on Tuesday about my thoughts for a future church plant holding a BBQ meeting and calling it a meeting of hope....

Great idea...and one that I need to seriously pray and think about and after the first lecture of Evangelism yesterday under Chris Simon, it might be something that I will start up this year rather then next.

The thoughts I was thinking through was to get some of the local young blokes over for a BBQ, and talk about purpose, destiny and Hope and how that fits into Christianity and what and who Christ is...

I too fellowship at a traditional church and though we have recently planted a new congregation - it is still restrained and restricted to who would find it attractive, and I am thinking of something more out of the box.

Joshua Ballard

Hey Josh, as we talked about this earlier...I'm there mate. Time and Place...I'll bring some Hungarian Csabai. Beautiful mate....

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