5 thoughts on “A More Diverse Perspective on Jesus

  1. Ta Fernando. Hadn’t heard of the Arrow Leadership Programme prior to your comments. This just raises more questions though. In using ’emerging leaders’ language should this be read as attempted engagement with the emerging church scene or something quite tangental to it? I heard Karl Faase is organising the NSW Baps conference this year too and taking it in a new direction. Is he positioning for the chief leadership spot ya think?

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  2. Matt
    The Arrow programme was conceived by Peter Corney during the 1990s, and then Karl Faase assumed the mantle when Peter “retired”. It was devised as a two-year training programme to assist younger or future Christian leaders develop a god praxis and philosophy about ministry and leadership. While many of those who have been through the programme have held posts as ministers or youth ministers in churches, others have been involved in different para-church ministries, and a few have also been completing theological studies side by side with the programme.
    The spectrum of ideas about leadership has been mixed, and I know from feedback with some of the participants that they have their own critical assessments of what is presented.
    My contributions to the programme have not been about leadership at all (because of the subject matter), though I do stir the pot in passing by alluding to Jesus on servanthood vs staple diets of topics in leadership conferences.
    The programme is capped at a specific number of participants. The participants meet as a national group for intensive retreats once each year, but also then meet in their respective state groups a bit more regularly.
    A diverse range of speakers address the National retreats on various subjects from ministry, evangelism, leadership theories and models, counselling and self-care (i.e. avoiding burn-out) and so on. I have been a speaker at the national retreats three times where I have talked about religious pluralism, alternate spiritualities and missions in Australia. I have also spoken at one the state group retreats too.
    Some of the people who have been in Arrow are part of mainstream congregations (Anglican, Uniting, Baptist etc), and some have been involved in experimental ministry activities. The language of “emerging leaders” has been used by Arrow for a number of years and was not shaped by the current surge of Emerging Church discussions.
    Another example where the vocabulary of “emerging leaders” was used in the early 1990s occurred in a post-Lausanne network that Mike Frost co-ordinated for a short time until he assumed duties at CEGM. The network was meant to encourage people who were under 35 yrs of age and engaged in missional-evangelistic ministries. Even though Mike has subsequently become known as a significant speaker in “emerging church” networks, the post-Lausanne network he co-ordinated was not linked to the movement now known as “emerging church”.

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  3. I’m far too far outof touch to speculate about baptist talking shop. Also, I’m probably too skeptical about changes in the leadership to really put much thought into it. I’ve twice seen changes at the top that lots of people “got excited” about and found them empty. I think you need more of a “bottom-up” change for there to be a lasting difference.
    Karl is a good egg though, I’d be willing to listen to what he has to say.
    As far as Arrow, I only brought it up on the multi-cultural front, not the emerging front. I was looking at their site recently and it made an interesting, if alarmingly mono-cultural montage of it’s own. It was just a way of drawing attention to the non-multi-culturalism of australian evangelicalism.

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  4. Well Fernando, despite your expat status you sound more in touch with it than me as I hadn’t even heard of the course!
    Shows how, despite the fact I keep my ear to the ground with the emerging scene, I’m rather disconnected from the establishment.
    I’m hardly going to argue with you with the need for ‘bottom up’ initiatives. After all, it is the raison d’etre for this blog and everything else I do. A project born out of impatience with waiting for duly trained, authorised and accredited ‘leaders’ to take a lead in western mission and critical contextualisation for post-moderns. I take heart from the fact Jesus came from outside the system too.
    As for Karl, yeah seems like an ok guy but I don’t know enough about him to make an informed comment about where he’s coming from. Got interviewed by him once but that’s my only exposure. Actually, there’s a funny story to go with that. The interviewed was part of an evangelistic outreach in Gymea. Think he tracked me down through Ross Clifford. Looking for testimony that touched based with New Age spirituality. Anyway the warm up act before me was … wait for it … the blond guy from High Five, the Wiggles clone. I had NO idea who he was at the time. Had to someone to point him out so I knew who to follow on. All different now that I have a three year old of course! But, hey, it amused me at the time.
    As for the monochromatic representation, yes that was well noted.
    ….
    Phil, ta for your comments too. Informative as ever.

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