7 Billion

What kind of world will our children inherit?


7 Billion, National Geographic

With the worldwide population expected to exceed seven billion in 2011, National Geographic magazine offers a 7-part series examining specific challenges and solutions to the issues we face. The magazine introduces the series with its January cover story “7 Billion,” offering a broad overview of demographic trends that got us to today and will impact us all tomorrow. The first in-depth story will appear in the March issue, focusing on humans’ impact on the planet’s geology. Other stories will follow throughout 2011.


K is for Kidology

I have given myself a challenge for the next 26 days – post the complete A-Z of Ministry to Children.

K… kindness, kids, karate, King Kong…

K is for Kidology – Kidology is the study of kids! The Apostle Paul said he became all things to all men so that they might be reached. If you know the work of Karl Bastian, aka “The Kidologist” you know what I’m talking about. Karl founded Kidology.org and blogs at Kidologist.com and I am going to borrow his phrase for this entry.

Studying human behaviour is a fascinating insight for all pastors and leaders who want to understand just what makes people tick. What helps them to change and grow beyond their current circumstance. You don’t need to be a counsellor to use information like this to help others. A lot can be accomplished in a single conversation if you know what you’re doing.

You and I are immigrants into the world of kids. We are strangers in a foreign land seeking to understand the natives.

Have a sit down with your kids sometime and ask them about their world, find out what their interests are and what their accomplishments are… you will be surprised. When you bring toys to Church, bring your own. Buy a Nintendo DS for yourself, not your kids. Swap Wii games, trade football cards, give away your old stuffed toys. In short, kids love to see that you are interested in what they are interested in.

I am pretty comfortable conversing with a 7 year old, it no longer terrifies me, but there was a time where it seemed we spoke different languages. I needed to study this strange creature in its natural habitat, I needed to understand its strange ways and in time it grew to trust me.

Become a student of children and remember… you used to be one.

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C is for Culture

I have given myself a challenge for the next 26 days – post the complete A-Z of Ministry to Children.

C… Christ, cooking, craft, cookies, camping…

C is for Culture – Whether we want to accept it, ignore it, or use it–the reality is that our kids are growing up under the influence of a media-saturated culture.

If we refuse to engage young people in biblical discussions about what they’re watching and hearing, we make it easy for them to compartmentalize their faith and put it aside when they move beyond the church walls.

Through discussions that reveal either the gospel’s presence or absence in popular culture, we help young people develop a biblical filter that shines the light of Jesus’ truth on media messages, encourages them to live authentically at school and church, and engages the Holy Spirit’s discernment in their lives.

Knowledge of kids’ culture also enhances our efforts as missionaries within that culture.

I like to USE culture, when you use something you have power over it, you take away fear. I certainly don’t want my kids to be afraid of any forms of media. Book burnings should be left in the past lest they turn into iPad burnings!

Now in an effort to drum up comments… Harry Potter – discuss 🙂

(please don’t)

P.S. Hillsong Church now has an official Blog! VIsit Hillsong Collected and read my first post at the site – The Dispenser of Enthusiasm.


Why did I…

Why did I write about ‘US’ for the really cool ebook “What Matters Now?” (download free) released last month.

Why did I choose the word US?

The US I refer to is the Church.

I think that history, as told by God would be very different to history, as told by historians. The Bible doesn’t get too much into the politics of the day, it focuses on what really matters in God’s story. The fact is not everyone is called to be in politics, but everyone is called to be in ‘the Church’.

Compared to a lot of cultures around the world our ‘Western’ culture is massively individualistic. The problem is that strong families do not make for good reality shows or sitcoms, they do not serve up laughs at others expense or the drama of conflict.

Do you make jokes about ‘large’ families? You know, like ‘hey you guys ever heard of television?’.

If children are a blessing from God (they are), Then it follows that they are more blessed than you, right?

Anyway, that’s just one way our cocoon of individuality manifests itself (albeit a subtle one).

I love big families… it’s all so rebellious and counter-cultural!

Ha. We don’t burn bras anymore, we buy minivans!

So don’t just give lip-service to your cries for community, you will probably have to be different (different even to Church folks) to really nail the US thing… and that’s tough for adults… we’ve spent years trying to fit in!

Here is the chapter from the book:

South African Apartheid was not stopped by Nelson Mandela standing alone.

Segregation in the South of the United States was not extinguished by one speech from Martin Luther King, Jr.

It took a lot of passionate people building up a tidal wave of justice to overthrow inequality and prejudice. It’s true that one person can make a difference. discount viagra sale In fact, more than ever in history one person can be heard.

Our children need to realize that their individual voices have the potential to be louder than ever before… but volume has never guaranteed influence. When enough voices unite together, a moment happens, a tipping point occurs and a movement emerges. The conversation turns from a lone voice in the wilderness to a crowd in the town square.

A Super Bowl ad is not going redeem a culture that desperately needs God. It will take a generation whose faith is not only personal but grounded in community. Their prayers should be filled with “WE” and “OUR” not just “I” and “MINE”.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. (Margaret Mead)

What matters now? US!
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I am slammed at the moment which means the blog is last on the list for any meaningful content.

One of the reason’s I write this blog is because I see it as a barometer for my own development/creativity/learning. If I am not writing the blog it’s either one of two reasons:

1. I’m not growing/learning/thinking

2. I’m slammed

In this case… it is a season of the full calendar. My iPhone has never had more appointments to keep me on time with and we are filming/writing like crazy for Hillsong Kids Big Curriculum.

But even in this season I am still learning/growing… coreg 80 mg so instead of create content, I am just gonna steal and link to it 🙂

So for today’s inspiration check out this episode of TheOoze.tv

Andy Crouch talks about one of my favourite metaphors for faith… music, specifically Jazz and Classical…

(You should check out some of the other episodes, it’s turning into a great series!)

Dave Out

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Live Music!

So one cultural change is happening right now because of the changing face of the music industry — and I LIKE IT!

To our children growing up, music is FREE. You download it and chuck it on a iPod and it didn’t cost them anything. Sure they may have paid for it on iTunes, but the overwhelming majority probably got it from a friend who knows how to get it online.

Now that obviously leads to problems in the Music industry, their entire model of income is based on sales of music… an artist may never have to tour ever in order to make a good living!

But it has all changed, and now we are seeing evidence of that all over the place. Madonna clonidine 0.2 mg is no longer with Warner Brothers (Music Label) but with a touring/promotion company LiveNation.

So… in New Zealand where I grew up, it was a very rare occurrence to see a big name come to town. I remember Michael Jackson, and AC/DC… not sure what that says about my musical tastes. And forget about any Jazz musicians! It just wasn’t worth their while to travel to Middle Earth, when they could tour Europe and the U.S. and make a fine living!

So I am excited to see this change, a couple of weeks ago I saw Five Peace Band play at the Opera House, a group I could have never hoped to see even a few years ago! And in just one weeks time Brad Mehldau at the Basement in Sydney! My favourite Jazz pianist!

So I am excited, musicians and artists are touring more than ever before, which may not mean much if you live in the US or Europe with millions of people or you like Pop music whose big names can tour everywhere (i’m going to see coldplay when they get here, so I like me some Rock and Roll)… but for little old me who developed rather minority music tastes I am like a kid in a candy store!

In the future, the music may very well be free, and the experience may cost you!

What does this have to do with children?

It may suggest that culture in the future may place value upon the personal connection with those who inspire us even more than now!

In the fullness of time all will be revealed.

But… it does mean they think differently to me… and to you.

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Where we at?

This is the world i’m living in.

And I’m convinced that we very rarely realise it and the opportunity it is.

I really don’t want to settle for the status quo.

Anyway watch the vid…

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Are we to be destroyed by ideas?

Media in my world is restricted to the ‘G’ kind. I do not want to spend my life on the phone to upset parents explaining why their children were exposed to PG.

When cinema defines most of our pop-culture references this is restrictive… communicating truth visually and cinematically is a powerful way to get through to kids.
My childhood is full of experiences with books. Now this may be due to the fact that I didn’t have a TV until I turned 12! But I certainly know that my book choices were censored by my parents (including Orsen Wells ‘The Invisible Man‘, I don’t really know why I remember that) and I am certainly not worse off for it.
If Harry Potter had been casting spells in the early eighties I am pretty sure I would have never been allowed to experience his magic. And I am sure you are aware of the publishing boon it has been to authors who need to rant against popular culture.

Townhall.com contributor Erik Lokkesmoe writes about 10 mistakes conservatives make in art and entertainment.

His article REALLY resonates with me… Resonates like a opera singer smashing glass with a High ‘C’ (that’s a lot).

This is not so much about our kids getting to see edgy cinema but more about the idea that wee need to train them to make right decisions. What is right for one person may be completely wrong for another (Alcoholics shouldn’t really order wine).

But as a child of a creative God, I should be by definition, as Erik puts it… curators of the good, the true, and the beautiful.

I want the WORLD to marvel at the genuis of children wholeheartedly devoted to their Jesus and expressing themselves in ways unimaginable to the unredeemed life.