Insights from The OOZE

I received the latest newsletter from The OOZE the other day and, prefacing all of their new info, was a really thoughful and insightful article by Spencer Burke, founder of The OOZE, regarding the dialogue on what many are calling the "emerging church".

For the sake of reprinting it on the Wind Farm, I have edited out some small, irrelevant elements that relate specifically to OOZE events. The omitted pieces have no bearing on the overall import of his thoughts.

Enjoy them .. they ought to give us all pause as we consider how we’re communicating with people, and how we might be interpreting what we hear, during a time of great flux in the church.

For the record, whilever we waste our time arguing over the "emerging" v’s "institutional" church, I think we’re missing the point. It is, what I call, the "great leveller" we ought to be discussing .. because it is the emerging Kingdom of God, and not the church, that is ultimately all-important.

To allow the Kingdom of God to fully emerge, all of us in the church, regardless of our theology, ecclesiology, christology or eschatology, must fall in line with the reign of the King. Our King is so secure in who He is as King, that He is more than happy to allow a multitude of expressions of His body in the earth, regardless of what we think or believe.

Remember, so long as Christ is "first and last", whatever we do "in between" is not that important!!  Enjoy Spencer’s insights …..

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This’ll Get You Thinking ….

I stumbled on this video and was really impressed that it was produced by an Australian church. As a professional broadcaster, I was totally blown away by the outstanding production values. This is some of the best, most thought provoking video I’ve ever seen an Aussie church produce. You can download a range of material from them here


"The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man."
Psalm 115:16

It’s been our responsibility from the start! No wonder it’s such a mess. There’s no-one else to blame but ourselves.

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From a “Homily on Christmas Morning”

"Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been ‘in planted’ on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels.

"Why is this? Because God is now on earth, and man in heaven; on every side all things commingle. He became Flesh. He did not become God. He was God. Wherefore He became flesh, so that He Whom heaven did not contain, a manger would this day receive. He was placed in a manger, so that He, by whom all things are nourished, may receive an infant’s food from His virgin mother. So, the Father of all ages, as an infant at the breast, nestles in the virginal arms, that the Magi may more easily see Him. Since this day the Magi too have come, and made a beginning of withstanding tyranny; and the heavens give glory, as the Lord is revealed by a star.

"To Him, then, Who out of confusion has wrought a clear path, to Christ, to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, we offer all praise, now and for ever. Amen."

St. John Chrysostom (349– 407 AD)

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Willow Creek is Waking Up …

Please allow me to preface the reprinting of "Guitar Priest’s" incredibly encouraging blog post by saying that, for many who know me personally and who are readers of the Wind Farm, I know one of the most difficult things for you to do is to reconcile who you’ve known me to be with the things I am presently researching and exploring at the leading of God. How is it that an otherwise gregarious prophet could be exploring monastic wisdom, principles and values, for example? It doesn’t make sense .. or does it?

You see, underlying all of this "research" and "exploration" has been a hunger in my heart for a deeper, richer and more authentic experience in my relationship with God; the same God who founded the Christian faith some 2000 years ago. I have longed to find spiritual practices that I could maintain on a daily basis that would develop consistent fruit in my life; practices that were more fulfilling than just a quiet time squeezed into the busyness of the day that left no other time for regular encounters with God.

The Apostle Paul said in {bible }Colossians 1:9-10{/bible} (as translated in the New Century Version):

We pray that you’ll have great wisdom and understanding in spiritual things so that you’ll live the kind of life that honours and pleases the Lord in every way…

I have been desperate to find the kind of relationship with God that so many of the ancients knew, but that seems to have become so elusive to many 21st century Christians. Put simply, I need to at least have an awareness of God in a moment-by-moment, day-by-day experience. But more than that. I need to encounter and know God in such a way that my relationship with Him is deepened every day of what’s left of my life, because I feel as though I have wasted so much of my life to this point with involvement in useless things, such as a multitude of programs, services and conferences that generally do not produce fruit.

Please be clear, I love the church; spiritual Israel; the mystical body of Christ, but I do not love much of what we as Pentecostals and Charismatics presently call church. As leaders, no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves otherwise, programs will never satisfy. Volunteering (or being conscripted) on a work crew in the church will never cause ongoing spiritual growth. And attendance of services will never be sufficient to produce anything more than spectators.

We are not teaching our people how to pray .. and we ought to be. We are not teaching them how to read the Bible so that they have a vital encounter with the living Word of God, that is, the person of Jesus Christ .. and we really ought to be. We’re not teaching our people how to order their lives according to Kingdom values .. and we absolutely ought to be.

By way of illustration, the mere mention of the word "poverty" causes us as leaders to kick and squeal. But, to the ancients, the idea of poverty had nothing to do with being a pauper. Rather, it was and is a matter of being willing to lay aside everything in order that, together with my brother, we might live a common life in Christ. That’s what Jesus was trying to say to the rich, young ruler. "Unless you lay aside everything that is presently important to you, sure you’ll come and follow me, but you’ll still be the rich, young ruler .. not a true disciple."

So, whether we like it or not, we must be willing to see that much of what we "Pente-matics" here in Australia (and in many parts of the world) call the Christian church, is in fact an adoption of American church culture which only seems capable of producing a vicarious faith rather than the vital faith of our apostolic fathers. And, whether you agree with these statements or not is irrelevant. The fact is, I believe they’re true.

But my hope in these past few months has been that those who know me might have picked up on a prophetic principle at work here. Could it be that Kerry, as a prophetic ministry, might have been communicating the word of the Lord to us, even though he never "said" so? Think about Ezekial and Isaiah and remember that they lived what they had heard long before they proclaimed the word of the Lord. One of my mentors taught me long ago that "the prophets of old always put legs on what they believed before they spoke what they heard".

Truth be told, I have been researching, exploring and endeavouring to live what I believe I am hearing the Holy Spirit saying to the church at this time. The trouble is, He’s saying it in such an emphatic whisper that few, in the busyness of their schedules, seem able to hear it. Now, I’m sure He’s saying plenty of other things, but I am convicted that this is at least my "part" of a prophetic whole that God is trying to communicate to us. But sadly, in so many cases, we are failing to hear. Even worse, we are not wanting to hear, because what is being said by the Holy Spirit is so "outside our box".

Regardless, it seems that at least one church is starting to pick up on what God is saying, even though they’ve heard it from an unlikely source. I just thank God that their response to what they’ve learned seems so wise, at least at this point in the game. The church I’m talking about is Willow Creek Community Church. Yep, Bill Hybels’ church.

So, as mentioned earlier the following is a reprint of a post written by Peter Matthews, the Vicar of St Patrick’s Anglican Church in Lexington, Kentucky, better known as "Guitar Priest".

PLEASE, read on. I believe you’ll be glad you did.

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What Does It Mean to Be Saved?

Call me ignorant, but I didn’t even know that the Evangelical Alliance existed here in Australia! OK, now that you’ve picked yourself up off the floor after sliding off your chair in laughter, you’ll be pleased to know that, while scanning their website, I stumbled on this article by Aussie Dr Rikki Watts. There are parts of this article that are so simple they are profound. It gave me some answers. I hope you find some too. Enjoy!


What Does It Mean to Be Saved?

I’ve always struggled with what it means to be a Christian. And it’s not because I didn’t think God was real. I was brought up in the Pentecostal church. I knew God was real, but there was some sense of dislocation between my Christian experience and relating that life to the world around me. I realise now that many Christians do not know why they are here.

What does it mean to be saved? I remember when I was working at IBM this was often satirised. A poster in a friend’s cubicle said ‘Jesus saves – at First National’. I remember at first being offended by this, but in time I began to wonder if we haven’t half deserved it. I began to realise how odd the language must sound to a 21st century person.

ImageIt began to dawn on me that we were using a word that really doesn’t mean what it meant in Roman times. ‘Saviour’ was a well-known political term. There’s a famous inscription which speaks of Caesar Augustus – ‘it seemed good to the Greeks of Asia and in the opinion of the High Priest to say the following – Since Providence which has ordered all things and is deeply interested in our life, has set in most perfect order by giving us Augustus, whom she filled with virtue that he might benefit mankind – sending him a saviour, both for us and for our descendants, that he might end war and arrange all things.’

Pay attention to the language here. No one is talking about going to heaven, about sins forgiven. The term ‘saviour’ here has to do with concrete changes in the lives and the world in which people of the first century lived,worked, and sought to bring up their families. This was real life stuff.

There’s nothing here about somewhere beyond the blue. Being saved by a saviour had a well-known economic and political meaning. It was a word from everyday life. Augustus was considered the people’s Saviour because he’d restored peace to the empire. He was their benefactor.

It seems to me we’ve dropped the classical clanger – we’ve made the kind of mistake that no decent missiologist would make today. We’ve hung on to the word and lost the meaning. So what does it mean to be savedLet’s track the imagery that Genesis gives us in order to understand salvation. You can’t really talk about salvation until you talk about creation. There’s a reason for beginning in Genesis.

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A Benediction …

How's this for a benediction .. a prayer .. a way to end a worship gathering? I found it on an alternative worship blog …

maybe in this there has been a glimpse of the kingdom
a foretaste
a hint
a promise
let it hold you and let it send you
so you will never be at peace
until all are fed
until all know home
until all are free
until justice is done
until peace is the way
until grace is the law
until love is the rule
until God
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Talkin’ the “Talk”

One of my first mentors taught me something simple yet profound about the "prophets of old", as he called them. He said that the prophets of the Old Testament rarely ever spoke out their "word" until they had first lived it, or at least, acted it out. It was the "acting out" that caused people to wonder what was going on; it was what caused them to ask "what might the Lord be saying?".

I still remember the night I was first baptised in the Holy Spirit. My pastor at the time spoke to me prophetically and said, "you are a man who will live by his convictions".

Put this two things together and, as a prophetic man, the result is that I have often found myself living out what the Lord has been saying even before I understood it! In fact, this has been the pattern of my life for nearly 20 years now. I would be living life happily and merrily when, through no compulsion of my own, I would find myself in a season of life I did not understand but that had that distinct "scent of God" about it.

When I came to understand what the Lord was saying by, eg, the path He had led me to, or by the season of life I now seemed to be in; that understanding would then cause me to live in a particular way because I was all the more convinced about what the Lord was saying to me and to His church.

This is incredibly helpful when trying to see ahead for both myself and for the church, because you begin to live the "things that are not, as though they were". Of course, the down-side of that is that you have to live everything twice. When your season of "seeing ahead" is done, then you have to walk with the church through their season when the things that "were not", now are!

Does that make sense?

That’s why I found this second article by Dr Thomas Hohstadt to be so helpful and encouraging. I continue to find myself in another of those times of "not understanding", but for the longest time there has been that "God scent" about it. I may not fully understand it, but I just know God is in it.

Enjoy this second article by Dr Thomas Hohstadt of



TALKIN’ THE "TALK" by Dr Thomas Hohstadt

It’s a scandal!

Today’s believers no longer speak today’s language! The Lord of History is doing a "new thing,"(1) yet our linguistic journeymen have missed the journey. And, as a result, God’s "representatives" seldom represent God.

They may "walk the walk," but they can’t "talk the talk."

Lost in the past, some know the language of the seminary, but almost none know the language of the sidewalk. Looking into rearview mirrors, many understand scientific reality, but few understand virtual reality. And, learning from soured skeptics, the majority speak knowingly of grim realities, but few speak convincingly of glorious visions.

The Christian "elite" walk confidently in the grammatical, but not in the mystical. They work tirelessly at the political, but not the poetical. And, they are experts in the literal, but not the metaphorical.

In short, they’re great at "God talk," but they don’t know "God’s talk." They embolden their "modern world," yet they don’t realize their world is no longer modern.

Meanwhile, history moves on:

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Spirituality and the Language of the Future

I continue to do research and reading, as and when I am able, into the global discussion regarding the evolution of church as we know it and church as it is intended to become. I find it heartening that many of the things that I have shared with churches and leaders for what feels like decades regarding the future of the church, are in fact beginning to come to fruition. I wasn’t crazy or making trouble after all!

However, it is challenging as a prophetic person to be able to see so far ahead and to believe what is seen as though is already here .. to then be ignored and even persecuted because of what is seen. All prophets need to make friends with rejection, that’s just a part of the deal. But all prophets also need to make sure their character has been sufficiently developed so that when the slew of apologies begins to flow, they don’t go off on an "I told you so" binge which, believe it or not, leads to pride, bitterness and ultimately, ineffectiveness.

Anyway, I stumbled onto the following article today and felt it was worth sharing. As is so often the case with American Christians, they love to fill their writing with grandiose language that can make you feel like you’re wading through a liquid dictionary. That’s certainly the case at times here, but the essence of what is being communicated is well worth reprinting. Some of the concepts will seem a bit far fetched, but they are nonetheless things that are becoming a reality for us all whether we agree or not.

As usual, chew the meat and spit out the bones, but give this guy a decent hearing .. you’ll be glad you did.



by Thomas Hohstadt of

History is overthrowing the way we think. Futurist Ray Kurzweil in fact believes our era will end 6,000 years of "civilization" as we’ve known it. And, in this century alone, we’ll see on the order of 20,000 years of change (at today’s rate of change).

In massive historical shifts, the very structure of knowing changes—not "what" we know, but "how" we know. We are changing, for example, to an oral culture where words do things—where virtual reality becomes real—where fiction becomes fact—where metaphor becomes the very seed of the future.

In other words, language is breaking with the past. Today’s spiritual language, for example, is going against "proper" churches and "respectable" seminaries. It’s shifting from logic to revelation, from mind to spirit, from proposition to intuition, from labeling to doing, from the literate to the prophetic ….

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An Emerging Blur: Journeying Towards the Simplicity Beyond Complexity

This article, written by a young bloke named Drew Moser, is very insightful. In fact, recently I spoke at the Rising Tide Conference in Yeppoon, Central Queensland and used language not dissimilar to Drew’s. However, I also think that so many in ministry in the United States are hung up on creating a whole other language for the Christian church. So much so, that there is a very real possibility of complicating what God is trying to simplify for the world we are trying to reach. Some of that comes through in this article, but the heart of what Drew has to say is worth reading. Chew the meat, spit out the bones, but read the article. It will be worth your time.

An Emerging Blur: Journeying Towards the Simplicity Beyond Complexity

The Church is a dusty, messy enterprise. This is especially so in the present. Many books are written and many blogs are devoted to the ‘shifts’ occurring in the Western church. The conferences, the books, the blogs, and the podcasts are all propelling a dynamic change that is shaking the very foundations of the Western church. As the dust flies, definitions and boundaries seem fleeting.

In a way, it feels like we’re in the midst of an emerging blur. Our picture of the church-at-large has become less focused, and a new picture is starting to present itself. Our human nature wants crystal clear HDTV, with perfectly equalized surround sound. But we don’t have it yet. So we pound the side of the TV in frustration.

Why are things so blurry?

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