Out of the Woodwork & Into the Limelight

The pendulum is beginning to swing both ways for OSFA? as the film is beginning to stir conversation on both ends of the proverbial spectrum.

Out of the Woodowork

*Ministers and gospel enthusiasts in rural settings have contacted me asking if I have any thoughts or am aware of new and evolving expressions of church outside of medium and large urban centers.

Dylan Richards from Solomon’s Porch in Alberta expressed that ” Planting in a rural community has so many great benefits: building relationships is WAY easier, making in-roads into the greater community is much simpler.

But then there’s the challenges too: any development takes 5 times as long, people are VERY transient (my core team has changed 4 times in a year and a half due to things like school and work transfers)

And then there are the things that are both blessing AND curse, like the fact that in a small town you are expected to be pastor, counsellor, social worker, community organizer, arts co-ordinator, journalist, etc… and not just by people in the community of faith, but by EVERYONE in the area. It’s like having a congregation of 2500 where only 15 worship and pray together… makes it hard to stay afloat without outside help.”

In addition, Chris Goan from Aoradh in Scotland (UK) jumped in and articulated the challenge by asking “How do these things work their way out in small rural, dispersed settings?”

As I mull this over, two things come to mind:
1. Perhaps there should be a OSFA? V2.0 to amplify the voices and questions of rural expressions
2. In response to these questions, I offer the following initial advice: Network. Whether its connecting with other small town/rural ministers and churches that are of like mind or linking up with overarching web-based communities like Missional Tribe or Resonate may be of some help. (NB: see the WebShort ‘Role of the Internet’ for some added help.

Into the Limelight

On the other end, media outlets and others have caught of whiff of the film and are starting to pay some attention.

*February 14, 2009 – I’ll be in Toronto in studio with radio host Drew Marshall (Canada’s Most Listened to Spiritual Talkback Program) chatting about the doc.

*March 11, 2009 – I’ll be interviewed live on One Hundred Huntley Street showing clips and sharing about my findings.

*March 22, 2009 – I’ll be both preaching and screening the film at Freedomize, Toronto. Following the screening there will be a Q&A including a guest panel to converse about new forms of church and the arts. More details to follow so stay tuned.

*May 16, 2009 – The film will be screened at the next Cultivate Learning Party. Of note for this event, one of my favourite bloggers and thinkers on the subject of new and evolving forms forms of church Steve Taylor from New Zeland will be one of the keynotes.

All of these dates have also been added to the Showings section of the site.

Thanks again for tracking with the project…