We’re excited to have been involved in pulling together such a strong line-up for the fourth Christian New Media Conference (9th November 2013, The Brewery, London), so we’ve given all the speakers the opportunity to answer a few questions:
Who are you, what do you do, and how does your story feed into #CNMAC13?
I am a writer, speaker and broadcaster with a particular interest in our everyday search for faith, spirituality and meaning. I’ve had eighteen years in radio, over a decade speaking, and I’ve written some books—the latest being a memoir called Resurrection Year.
Before coming to the UK in June 2011 I was the host of a national radio show in Australia called Open House which sought to engage mainstream society on matters of ‘life, faith and culture’. It was a fun, exciting, exhausting experiment that drew (and continues to draw) significant numbers of ‘spiritual but not religious’ listeners. I’m looking forward to sharing some insights discovered through that show that I think have wider application to Christian communicators of all kinds.
Can you give us a ‘sneak peak’ into your session at #CNMAC13?
I will be looking briefly at the four commitments that we built the Open House radio show on—a commitment to be missional, to be credible, to be holistic and to be hospitable—sharing some poignant audio clips from the show’s guest and callers. As the final session of the conference, I hope it brings some inspiration to put all the brilliant ideas we’ve heard during the day into practise for the sake of those beyond the church walls.
The theme for 2013 is ‘Reimagining Church’. Share a dream for what church could look like in 2023
I dream of a church that is powerful through humility, winsome through hospitality, bold in its convictions and broad in its interests, bringing illumination to all of life with the light of the Father, Son and Spirit.
We have a number of #digidisciple(s) writing for the @bigbible project. What do you think the digital age means for discipleship?
Like any technology, digital tools extend our human capacities. While the invention of the binoculars extended the range of our sight and the invention of the car our ability to traverse space, digital tools enable us to transcend time, space and culture in so many exciting, bewildering ways. And like any technology, these tools in turn shape us, just as a shovel handle hardens the hands. As disciples in a digital age we are therefore called to use these tools faithfully, utilising all the opportunities they bring while managing their shaping effects, allowing only that which brings conformity to Christ-likeness.
Outside of your own session, what are you most looking forward to at #CNMAC13?
Sadly, I’ll be getting to the conference a little later in the day due to flying in from an Australian speaking trip. I’ll therefore miss John Drane’s keynote, which sounds brilliant. Tim Hutchings’ New Media, New Bible, Will Van Der Hart’s Can Pastoral care be Digitally Enhanced, and Pete Phillips’ FutureChurch all look brilliant, as do so many others. The conference really is a feast of digital delights!
Check out Sheridan’s website, more on the conference itself where we’d love to see you (easy to book here), or some of the videos we’ve started to upload with reactions from last year’s conference delegates.