Tag Archive: shane claiborne


this year we got to be secret rooftop witnesses of this incredible act of Christmas mischief that Shane speaks about in this article and it was incredible hearing some of the stories from some of the people who had no idea where the money came from and yet for some of them it was a complete lifeline and life-changing moment for them:

So here is the start of the article shane wrote but click on the link to read the whole thing:

Critiquing the thick irony of the Christmas season is fair. It’s ludicrous that we celebrate the birth of the homeless baby Jesus by indulging in the biggest consumer spending of the year, scurrying around trying to find something to buy for people who have everything.

Nonetheless, there is something beautiful about giving, generosity and the contagious cheer that fills the world (not just the malls) during Christmas. We just need fresh imagination with how we celebrate amid the frenzy and clutter.

So we’ve started a new tradition here in the post-industrial concrete jungle of North Philadelphia … we call it the “Christmas Carol Conspiracy”.

You can read the rest of it here…

i was busy responding to a hospitality house [part of my job at the simple way] email when i saw this link to a shane claiborne uk tour happening later this year – if you watch the brief video clip you will get an idea of why val and i are hanging out in these parts with these people – it is an exciting dreama nd vision – what if Jesus actually meant the stuff? what if we lived like we believed it?

so watch the video clip to be inspired, encouraged and challenged [if you haven’t yet read ‘the irresistible revolution’ by shane that will give you a much better idea] and if you are in the uk or know of people who are then encourage them to get along to one of the venues below where he will be speaking – more details can be gotten on this site – http://www.upsidedownkingdomtour.com

Ballymena, Co Antrim
Coleford, Gloucestershire
Southampton
The Black Country
Cheltenham
Burslem, Stoke on Trent
London
Bromley, Kent
Halifax
Perth
Bristol

[fri 19th august to sat 3 september]

this is an article written by shane claiborne for relevant magazine that encourages the church to get creative in their imagination of what a new world could look like – what are you dreaming up?

i have started a separate blog for posting ‘the simple way’ adventure related stuff so that people who are wanting to follow our journeys and have an idea of what’s going on can simply sign up there and read whatever i get to write about things that are part of our philly trip – if that’s you, you may want to bookmark this link where i have written a basic idea of what it’s all about for those of you who don’t know but more will be written as we arrive there and start to live on the other side… http://thesimpleweigh.wordpress.com

so after weeks and months it is finally official – the beautiful val and myself received an invite letter from the simple way to join them by 15 june to start a 19 month job slash ministry…

for those of you who don’t know anything about the simple way i suggest you get hold of a book called ‘the irresistible revolution’ by a guy called shane claiborne – one of my top three books ever and definitely changed my life – the simple way is the community that shane, who wrote that book, lives in and is a part of ministering to – it is in a place called Kensington, Philadelphia [ironically i grew up in a place called Kensington, Johannesburg] and the idea is that we will go and live there and work and minister in the community. we see it largely as a huge learning, stretching experience as we want to live among some people who we think really seem to be doing a good job of seeking God and living it out in real, pratical and world-transforming ways – we also hope that we will be able to add to the community in the different ways we serve

tbV is going to be involved in a few things, the main one of which is managing daily crisis control stuff – so dealing with day to day crises that present themselves and also some community development stuff…

i am going to be largely responsible for the hospitality house which is where people who want to go and check out the life and work of the simple way get to stay for a weekend or week or night or whatever [so if you come and visit my official job will be to look after you, hm] so organising people visiting and staying in connection with those who have and maintaining the house and hopefully getting involved with the magazine they produce called Conspire so hopefully contributing to that.

i think it will only really sink in and feel really real when we are sitting in a plane flying americalandwards but it is nice to finally know [many skype calls and emails since end jan/beginning feb] what we are heading towards. at the end of last year i quit my job believing we had to wait on God for the next step and His hand is really all over this and in seeing us survive after 4 months of no salary [sometimes literally day to day] – val and i have been doing transcription this month so we will have money coming in again at the end of april and may but we are still going to need to trust big and probably extend an invitation for others to get involved when it comes to organising vias and airplane tickets and so on.

in part i think the idea of this, living and working alongside one of my heroes, is a dream come true – one i never actually had but which God has brought to the table and which has captured our attention and excited us – this is the next step in the hunger that started developing maybe 6 years ago for real, authentic, world-and-community-transforming church and it is exciting.

i don’t think the way ahead is going to all be easy, but at least know we know it will be simple.

been wandering around the simple way page and reading thru a couple of shane’s articles and really being inspired and challenged and challenged to inspire…

here is an extract from ‘Downward Mobility in an Upscale World’, an article by Shane Claiborne

“Over the years I have come to see how charity fits into — and legitimizes — our system of wealth and poverty. Charity assures that the rich will feel good while the poor will remain with us. It is important that the poor remain with us, because our capitalist system hinges on it. Without someone on the bottom, there is no American dream and no hope for upward mobility.

Charity also functions to keep the wealthy sane. Tithes, tax-exempt donations, and short-term mission trips, while they accomplish some good, also function as outlets that allow wealthy Christians to pay off their consciences while avoiding a revolution of lifestyle. People do their time in a social program or distribute food and clothes through organizations which take their excess. That way, they never actually have to face the poor and give their clothes, their food, their beds. Wealthy Christians never actually have to be with poor people, with Christ in disguise.

If charity did not provide these carefully sanctioned outlets, Christians might be forced to live the reckless Gospel of Jesus by abandoning the stuff of earth. Instead, thanks to charity, we can live out a comfortable, privatized discipleship.”

you can read the full article here and i encourage you to.

anyone who knows me even slightly well will know that one of my top three life-changing books is “The Irresistible Revolution” by shane claiborne who is one of my real life heroes – i met him briefly a couple of years ago when he was in J Bay speaking at an international Christian surf conference and got to chat to him for a bit and interview him for two magazine articles i was writing. i have visited ‘the simple way’ which is the community that he started in Philadelphia and his writing was partly responsible for my decision to move into Kayamandi township for a year and a half before i married the beautiful Val. In fact we are currently looking at a possible opportunity of hanging out in that community (now called ‘Village House’) as the next thing we do…

so we were looking around on the simple way site [thesimpleway.org] and came across this article where shane speaks out on the ’emerging church’ – i have generally had issues with people who speak against the emerging church as i believe it is such a broad definition that covers such a range of different ideas and ideologies but i really think shane nails it here in definition and response… and of course i loved the metaphor – here is that paragraph but go and read the rest of the article as well:

from ‘The Emerging Church Brand: The Good, the Bad, and the Messy’ by shane claiborne

“Eventually, books and brands began identifying as “emerging church” or “emergent.” So it got a little messy. In my opinion, “the movement” became a bit narcissistic, and often became little more than theological masturbation: feels good but doesn’t give birth to much. It’s one thing to talk about theology. It’s another thing to talk about talking about theology. There is some sloppy theology out there. Some “emerging church” folks have repeated some of the mistakes of fundamentalism (only with more tattoos), and others have repeated the mistakes of liberalism (only with more wit). Meanwhile, there are many folks who seem to know exactly what “emerging church” is and think it is the anti-Christ. However, neither of these, I am convinced, represents the silent majority of young evangelicals of all colors of skin who love Jesus with all that they are and are not willing to use our faith as simply a ticket to heaven and ignore the hells of the world around us. There is a new evangelicalism that loves Jesus and wants to change the world.”

you can read the rest of his article here

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