Ok well, I'm starting to get the feeling whoever came onto my blog at 4am last week, I'll call that person BOB, and wrote that comment about how I should go to the Sydney Anglican Church and stay there isn't going to expand on just exactly what he or she meant. So I'm going to respond now anyway! (Oh yeah and this got quiet long and passionate as i started writing so settle in, go grab a coffee or something and get ready to read my essay!)

My assumption is that as the comment was posted after my post for a vision for youth ministry in the Anglican church, BOB must have had some problem with what I wrote there. Without knowing the specific problem that BOB had with what I said then I can't make any specific response. But I can make a more general one. The stuff that I posted in that blog reflected one desire of mine, that desire is to reach out to young people in high school and college. To let these young people know that there is hope for this life, that they are loved more than they could imagine just for who they are, and that by following and trusting Jesus, they can become the people they are supposed to be! That they can get involved in something bigger than themselves, that they can be part of Gods amazing plan of salvation for this world, and that they can have an awesome community of friends, better than that they can have the best family who will always be there and will always be supporting, keeping accountable, being generous and just trying to love them with some of the love that Jesus has for us, the people of his Kingdom!

Now surely this isn't a bad thing? But why go to the Sydney Anglican church? What is BOB meaning when he says this? Well again, I can only guess but I think it might again have something to do with the belief and desire of the Anglican church in Sydney. As far as I can tell Sydney Anglicans have a reputation for being fundamentalists! A dirty word today (think Islamic fundamentalist). But are they really narrow minded? Well I don't know that many Sydney Anglicans but those I do know seem to be very genuine people, who are all willing to discuss ideas and examine the bible and what God says about things. Most of them are also willing to admit that they don't even come close to knowing everything there is to know about the bible. At the MTS challenge conference that I went on over the weekend, I met John Woodhouse, Principal of Moore College (the place that trains all the Sydney Anglicans to be ''narrow minded'' etc.) and I was very impressed by him as a person. He was genuine and had an obvious love for people and for God. No problems there as far as I'm concerned. There are also several Sydney Anglican trained people in the Anglican church in Tasmania (including David, our minister at BayWest, the Dean, the rector at St John's Launceston... to name a few). All of these men are also fantastic, genuine people with a heart for seeing people come to know Jesus and the life he brings. Again, I see no problem there. In fact the whole ethos of the Anglican church in Sydney as far as I can tell seems to be faithfully teaching the bible to all people, and applying that to reach out to generations of lost people. A place that I would gladly go and be a part of!

Now sure there are some things about Sydney that aren't perfect! Maybe they do seem to talk more about the word of God (meaning the Bible) and not as much about Jesus or the Holy Spirit as I would like, but I will not hold that against them. They are one of the only Anglican church, to my knowledge, who is experiencing true growth, both numerically and spiritually (I happen to think that these things are somewhat related, but that can be another blog post!). So I don't know about you, or about BOB, but I certainly praise God for the work the Sydney Anglicans do!

So where does this leave me? Well I don't necessarily think I would fit into the Sydney Anglican model as nicely as BOB seems to think. I happen to like Hillsong, and think they do some good work (again I don't agree with all that they do, but that doesn't mean everything they do is wrong or bad!). In fact I really admire the ''pentecostal'' church! I don't enjoy bashing them as I think some Sydney Anglicans tend to do. Like Sydney, these Hillsong style churches also do a great job at letting people meet and come to know Jesus. I do not advocate sitting around cynically criticizing the work other Godly men and women do, whilst we sit back and have little to show for our own work.

Where does this leave BOB? Well I am not entirely sure what motivates someone to come online late at night and write an anonymous message telling the author of the blog to stop dreaming about the different ways his church could reach out better to a generation of young people with the Gospel! In fact I get the feeling from BOB's message that he doesn't want any more young people in the church? (If that's not true BOB then I'm happy to take that back). If this is true, and BOB doesn't want us to reach out to young people more effectively then there is a major problem. I feel that BOB may need to re-read the bible and find out the whole point of existing! the whole reason for living! the whole reason for going to church! the whole reason for loving! the whole reason for getting out of bed in the morning! the whole reason for following Jesus! the whole reason for going to bible study! the whole reason for running any youth ministry! The whole reason God has placed BOB on this earth and the whole reason God has placed me here! That purpose is to respond to Jesus, how do we do that? Not by becoming perfect, not by stopping ourselves from sinning, but by jumping out in faith and serving God! And how does Jesus tell us to do that? Look in Matthew 28, the Great Commission, Go out into all the world and preach the good news! Make disciples of all nations (baptizing people and teaching them to follow Jesus)! And if we do this then surely Jesus Christ will be with us all the time, every day until the very end of time!!! Isn't that fantastic! Doesn't that just make your heart skip a beat?? Are you ready to get up? To work out the best way for you to follow Jesus final words to his disciples?? That is why we exist! That is why we have churches - TO REACH OUT TO PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH!!!!! Not to be a self-serving, small, irrelevant, enclaves of weirdos who worship some weird Jesus guy from along time ago. But A PLACE THAT REACHES OUT TO A GENERATION WITH THE MOST RELEVANT NEWS, WITH LIFE CHANGING, WORLD CHANGING NEWS!

So to BOB I say this. What are you doing to tell others about the Kingdom of God? Why are you criticizing those of us who are trying (however bad and feeble our attempts might be) to tell others the good news of Jesus! Wake up BOB! If your not so caught up in Jesus that you cant help but try and tell people about him, something is wrong! In fact all of us need to pray that we would be able to more boldly, more passionately proclaim the good news of Jesus! Not just any other god, but the LORD of ALL! The GREAT I AM! The most amazing, awesome, scary, fascinating, person ever to walk the earth! That's my God! Is He yours??