Archive for the 'Contemplative Practice' Category


Not prayer again! – march 15

Reading: Matthew 6, Highlighted reading Matthew 6:5-14

Why is prayer the last resort rather than the first thing we do?

Jesus gives us a patternĀ for prayer – not just a set of words to be learnt and repeated (valuable as that is). The challenge today is to take that pattern – find 20 minutes on your own and write a prayer that covers the areas covered in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. Then share your prayer here.

On a personal note I am still living with a challenge. Whilst in Egypt in November, I was deeply humbled by two things: 1) God working in a session on creative prayer which we had planned but which became not a training exercise but a real heart engagemernt, 2) The passion in prayer that I saw in people there – I have never seen that passion here. Learning to pray? I’m still just a novice!


A New Kind of Youth Ministry

I want to use this space to post about youth ministry books and issues. The first of these was published in 2007. A New Kind of Youth Ministry by Chris Folmsbee. It is an easy read and has lots of good stuff in there – stuff worth looking at and taking on board. Worth looking at his blog too. But so far this year I’ve began to wonder about the American Youth Minstry model. It seems to be programmatic and professional as opposed to relational and voluntary. Many of the shifts described in the book are excellent but are hard anyone other than highly trained workforce to do. I was staggered to hear that in parts of the States church attendance by teenagers runs at 40%. No wonder the issues they face are different to us.

On a positive note, I love the idea of ‘reculturing’ youth ministry. So much of what we do is passed down without much thought. We too often stick with methods and ideas that worked ten years ago without realising that we live in a different world. I was personally challenged by the contrast between ‘spiritual formation’ and ‘biblical information’. We need so much to be allowing God to transform our lives and helping others to do the same.

The Jesuits haves ome great resources to help with that. Their ‘Sacred Space’ website and ‘Pray as you go’ are great – so different to the tradition I am used to and yet so helpful. These have been helpful in reminding me of our own Scripture Union bible engagement site ‘WordLive.
I’m sure I will return to this book a lot as there are some gems – but mainly because as I continue on this journey of challenge with God, I sense that he is going to ‘reculture’ my faith. That will certainly be an adventure.

In the Alps

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