Interview with Pernell Goodyear

Another interview here at jordoncooper.com and this time it is Pernell Goodyear. Pernell is the pastor of the Freeway, an emerging community in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. As they put it on their website…

The Freeway is part of an international movement known as The Salvation Army. That’s right, now the folks who bring you quality vintage clothing at a reasonable price, also bring you church–done differently.

We began in 2002 with the simple desire to be a healthy, innovative church community that reaches a new culture of people searching for truth in their lives with THE truth, Jesus Christ.

In addition to bringing church done differently, Pernell is a part of Resonate and the publisher of what I think is the best designed blog on the web right now. I speak highly of his blog to compensate for the fact that I never linked to it for many months and am feeling convicted by either Pernell or the Holy Spirit for not linking to it.

Enough about me and some more about Pernell.

1) The Freeway is a non-traditional church in a denomination (The Salvation Army) that is rightly or wrongly known for being a church that asks for conformity. Does that create tension and how do you deal with that?

Good question. It has created some tension within our tribe, which has, for the most part, become pretty cookie-cutter in a lot of ways for the past number of decades. Although, perhaps surprisingly for us, for the most part our leaders are pretty excited about what we’re doing. Besides, The Salvation Army has a long history of reaching those who may be unreached by many other churches. The Freeway has had some “success” reaching a demographic of people that are generally missing from many other churches. And when push comes to shove, accomplishing mission and bringing the Kingdom is what we’re all about.

What makes The Freeway different from the bazillion other “contemporary” churches in North America?

I don’t really know, I have never been to most of those churches… and I don’t think we’re “contemporary”. But from what I have seen, we tend to be fairly organic, creativity-focused, eclectic, relational, missional and less hierarchical and structured than the average church. But I would also say we’re less sure about what we know and who we really are, we’re more chaotic, and harder to explain or put on a flow chart than many churches… actually, we’re kind of a mess most of the time.

3) If you could go back and change any decision being made while planting The Freeway, is there any that you wish you could change and “do-over”? What would you change?
I would have hired Jordon Cooper to give me back massages after the long, tough days. Just kidding. We have made so many mistakes, I would have a hard time picking just one. I guess I would say that we started out with many constructs of the modern, church growth focused model, even though that didn’t fit us at all… because that was the only way we knew, and had to fumble into what really resonated for us… explore and experiment and “try it on”. If it’s possible to paint broad, judgemental strokes, we started out as a hyper-modern church wanting desperately to reach people in the emerging culture. We have had to shed much of our comfy terminology, structure, focus, etc. in order to become the community that we are (and we will likely need to shed much more to become the community God wants us to be in this new, emerging culture).

4) Does having a permanent building change community life for FRWY? If it has changed, how?

We don’t know yet. We just got possession of our space at the beginning of February and are currently renovating it into a cafe / music / art / worship space. We likely won’t be in there until May. I hope it does change things for us though. In that, I hope it allows us to meet up with people we wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to meet and journey with and do some stuff we wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do.

5) What’s the biggest obstacle (or opportunity) for FRWY as a community in the near future?

The biggest obstacle and the biggest opportunity could be the same thing… getting a funky, innovative non-profit cafe off the ground. We want to love our community – no strings attached. We want to live with them. We want to follow God. We want to change the world by bringing the message and experience of Christ in a way that people can understand and embrace. That’s a lofty enough goal, I would say.

6) So much of the Canadian discussion about church growth through the 1970’s until now has been dominated by the American church. How does the context in Canada differ?

Radically. We live in a very different culture.You (and likely many of your readers) have read Fire & Ice by Michael Adams. I think that he’s dead on as far as the differences between the two countries goes. “Emerging” here and “emerging” there can look very different. This would also be true to some extent from one community to another within Canada. I think the major difference is the fact that we are in a post-Christian culture and I’m not sure that the US is yet. Also, mega church mentality doesn’t sit well here, generally. Although there are certainly enough American (you know who) ripoff, wanna-be’s in churches in Canada too.

7) What’s been the impact of FRWY.ca on your community. Is the web making a difference in the life of your church? What about that blog you publish?

For one thing, the web is really our only form of “advertising” to people outside our community (well, except the lives of community members themselves… and the billboard pictures of me naked plastered all over Hamilton). People around here work, study, volunteer and play on crazy conflicting schedules… busy, busy, busy… so getting together is tough alot of times. We have found that blogging (a bunch of Freewayers blog), our discussion forum, and e-mail has really increased the amount of community we can do. We keep up on each other this way and dialogue about tons of stuff. We have even recently started an e-Living Room – an online community group. Actually, all the “keeping up on each other” is kind of creepy when I really think about it… that’s it, I’m shutting down the web.

8) Who have been some of the most influential thinkers along your spiritual journey?

My six year old daughter, Samantha. My friend, Mark Jefferson. My mom. My community at FRWY. Douglas Coupland. Leonard Sweet. Brian McLaren. Henri Nouwen. C.S. Lewis. Homer Simpson.

9) When our kids look back at the start of the postmodern world and our efforts to lead churches in it, what do you think they are going to see that we got right? What do think they will say we got wrong?

Right: Finally choosing me as Lord Sultan of the Canadian Emerging Church movement. Joking… sort of. I hope they’ll see that we at least were courageous enough to question and wrestle with the status quo. I hope they’ll see that we really loved Jesus and his truth, enough to try and look past our cultural view of him and to live for him at all cost. I hope they’ll see that we made an effort to really love our neighbours.

Wrong: My fear is that they may see that we took too long making the necessary changes, taking the necessary risks, adjusting the way we live missionally to really have the kind of Kingdom impact we could have. And I think that they’ll see that we took ourselves far too seriously too much of the time.

An interview with Sally Morgenthaller

From One Small Barking Dog

My own generation of Americans (baby boomers) suffers from a particularly virile form of narcissism. In our quest for personal fulfillment, we have failed to both teach and know our children well. Truly, our deprioritization of our own offspring is one of the great tragedies of late twentieth century America. The effects are staggering, and I’m not just talking about broken homes. It goes much deeper than that. The cessation of intergenerational narrative is at the core. The exchange of story has been one of the most important roles of family life. But getting involved in that exchange means sacrificing time, listening, and value that our children are actually worth the effort. A few days ago, I was at a Christian conference and had just ended a talk about creating sacred space outside the four walls of our churches. I didn’t focus the talk on young people, but one father came up to me afterward and plied me with questions about what kind of music he should let his kids listen to, what kind of media, films, TV programs, etc. I was comforted that he was evidently having an epiphany moment that he might need to be involved in these sort of things, but the attitude was still trying to protect them from their own culture, their own stories. It’s amazing how rarely I hear parent’s ask how they can dialog and actually share life with their children, how they can enter their offspring’s worlds, find out the stories their children are actually living, and earn the right to tell their own stories. We are truly relationally challenged as a nation.

jordoncooper.com interviews Mike Gingerich

Today I interview my good friend Mike Gingerich. I worked with Mike at Lakeview Church. Not only was he a super talented programmer, he has a grasp on NFL and sports minutia that Cliff Claven would respect, and is as easily as good of a drummer as Ringo Starr. Right now he is going back to school and blogs over here. Mike is also revered by my son Mike who along with Todd, is referred to as “Rockstar Mike”. He is married to Sandi and they have a daughter, Emma.

What’s your age and occupation? How long have you lived there? Where did you come from, and where do you live now?

I am 31 years old and presently a student, taking Business Management w/ a major in HR and Marketing I have been a student since September and will be finished in January of 05. I came from my mother who was living in Regina at the time. I live in Saskatoon SK with me wife and daughter

As a die hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan, you have never seen them win a Stanley Cup. What’s the most painful loss you have had to endure?

Has to be in ’94 when Gretzky was with the LA kings he scored late in the 3rd period to advance to the Stanley Cup final against the Canadians.

As a football coach, we are hoping you can answer the question that has haunted us for the ages… what’s the better defence 4-3 or 3-4 and why?

Hands down 4-3, D-line keeps contain and can peruse from either end while strong side LB shoots the gap and gets the sack on the blind side or stop the rush coming through either the A or B gaps. It’s quite elementary really.

Worst Toronto Maple Leaf trade of all time?

That easy 96 when there was a 6 player deal in the end we gave up a young defensemen named Kenny Jonsson and got and old Wendel Clark in return. Sorry Wendel you know it’s true.

You and I have spent hours talking NFL football. Who do you think were the five biggest quarterback busts of our era. Not including Ryan Leaf… that’s too easy.

Since I can’t say Ryan Leaf, I think the top 5 are:

1) Todd Blackridge in ’83 1st round 7th overall before Jim Kelly and Tony Eason, Ken O’ Brien and some guy named Dan Marino

2) Andre Ware in ’90 1st round 7th overall heismen curse “Andre ware are ya”

3) Todd Marinovich in’91 1st round 24th overall, a tragic tale of wasted youth, drafted that year before Brett Farve.

4) Kordell Stewart in ’95 2nd round 60th overall, this dude has sucked since his first day in the NFL.

5) Giovanni Carmazzi in 93 3rd round 65th overall. I have never heard of this guy, he must be a bust he was however drafted before Tom Brady, Marc Bulger and Tim Rattay. He is Currently inactive on the 49er roster

What’s the best part about living in Saskatoon?

The people (corny but true),

What’s the most important lesson you learned while working at Lakeview Church that you can apply to life outside the church?

2 things really

1) Everybody regardless of title or position wants to be valued to some degree, in his or her work

2) Leadership is relationship, you can’t have one without the other.

If you could have any three figures from history over for dinner, who would it be?

Kurt Cobain I think that dude just needed a hug, Jimi Hendrix, cause I would love to jam with him and C.S Lewis…oh yeah and ahh Jesus

If you could change any one thing about Saskatoon, what would it be?

The fact that it is in the middle of Saskatchewan

As a driver of a very nice and cool car, what is the worst looking car, That you have ever seen?

I once saw a full size pick up truck it was all pimped up it had been lowered and it had a very large ridiculous spoiler on it, on the gate of the truck he/she most likely he had airbrushed a proportionately impossible women and the 2 words “spoiler rotten”.

9pm, Wednesday – what are you doing?

Most likely homework or relaxing with my Sandi, there is most likely TV being watched and nachos or popcorn being consumed.

All of the interviews can be found here.

Interviewing Daniel Miller

Today we interview Daniel Miller, artist, web designer, programmer, and no fan of the National Hockey League. He is also one of the early bloggers. First with blogspot and later at Daniel’s Journey where a variety of CMS’s have been tried and even developed there. He is also the founder of Intregration Research, a cultural and technological incubator in the form of art collective, publisher and software developer.

What’s your age and occupation? How long have you lived there? Where did you come from, and where do you live now?

29 year old artist, entrepreneur and web developer. I’m originally from Pennsylvania and over the last 10 years have lived in Tucson, Ft. Lauderdale, Washington DC, Sarajevo, Florida (again), and now Dallas, where I’ve lived for one month so far.

You are a well traveled American. How does the rest of the world see America right now compare to how you see your country? If there is a difference? What is causing it?

I feel like I should ask you that question since you are not an American. :) I’ve become un-nationalistic in my approach; I’m more interested in broader trends in power-based relationships, social dynamics, and the like. I actually hate politics, and have observed how it corrupts even at its lowest levels, so I try to keep my own personal politics to the voting booth.

To answer your question, in my experience many people would prefer to see a different president in the next term, and in that we agree. But there are bigger things at work, and I think we are in a unique time where we can all, travel or no, get a better idea for the world’s common values and concerns and work collectively to try and address them.

What is the coolest gadget that you have ever owned?

I’m a pretty low-tech geek; my two main gadgets are a 3 year old Dell laptop and a very pedestrian pair of headphones. I have a Korg D-12 digital recorder that’s nice; we’re about to be reunited after 10 months apart.

Can you tell us a little about Integration Research? Can you give us a glimpse at some of the projects you are working on?

I’ll try to make this brief without giving the standard line. Integration Research (IR) has been fashioned to try and work out new ways for creative people to approach the processes of cultural production and dissemination. We’re specifically looking at technological solutions that facilitate a cultural dynamic that benefits all. The web, blogs, digitization of cultural artifacts, ubiquitous broadband, and the low entry price for professional-level creative technologies have all contributed to a rapid de-centralization of cultural control; but we have yet to develop models that successfully reward these new creators, because culture industries are historically so centralized. We are in a transitional moment, and IR is trying to examine this space and create solutions that work within its new landscape.

Our first project is a piece of personal library management software. It will allow you to enter in anything from books to blenders and then attach metadata to those items–lent out or borrowed and to/from whom, queued for future interest and/or added to your Amazon wish list, for sale and/or added to your Amazon sale items–and keep a historical record of those artifacts. It will also support publish/subscribe via RSS, so that, for example, you could easily publish information about your cultural choices on a blog, and, most importantly, find out what resources are available within various
communities you participate in.

Another project that is in the works is what I call creative management software. It is like blogging with a twist, and will hopefully retain the power of micro Content Management Systems (mCMS) while making all that data more useful and navigating it more intuitive.

We’re in the middle of developing some white papers on all of these topics, so stay tuned in the next few months for that.

What’s the coolest part about living in the Dallas megatropolis?

Decent weather and people. I’ve lived enough places to find my niche anywhere, and know that having community is essential to making a city one’s home.

Your blog has seen a couple different programming languages and content management systems over the years. What has been the best you have worked with? The worst?

Every language and system have their good points and their bad, and they are usually opposite characteristics across platforms. Blogger is simple but feature poor and inflexible; Moveable Type is more flexible but convoluted. One programming language makes X hard and Y easy, the other Y hard and X easy. I’m never going to develop a programming language, but I hope the mCMS that I’m building strikes a good balance between simplicity and flexibility.

There hasn’t been a best and worst yet. This space is still young.

What’s the worst airline or train traveling experience ever?

I’ve spent so many nights in airports or negotiating with sketchy cab drivers that they all blur together. The physical act of traveling is rarely fun or relaxing, but the payoffs and surprises are well worth it. I got lost once walking back to Johnny’s at 4am, and it was cold and I was tired, but at one point it was like a music video–there were people falling headfirst out of pubs onto the sidewalk in front of me, a car pulled up and a gang of people jumped out of it, ran into an alley beside me, and two of the guys started fighting. It was frightening and invigorating and I remember that 2 hour walk fondly.

9pm, Wednesday night – what are you doing?

Sitting at my computer answering your questions. :)

Mac or PC?

Both if I could only afford a Mac.

If Integration Research could get any celebrity spokesperson in the world, who would it be? Why?

Madonna. She personifies success under the old/established structures of cultural dissemination, so there would be a beautiful irony there. She’s the most powerful relevant public figure I could think of and her pocket change could fund IR forEVAR.

If you could summer anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Dang these are good questions! I’m going to have to go with……Vienna. Beautiful, diverse city to begin with and a hop-skip to a lot of interesting places. Wait. Or Sydney, for the same reasons.

Best three weblogs you are reading right now?

Amateur Hour: the me in media, Purse Lip Square Jaw, dooce.

What is one thing that the National Hockey League could do to make you into a diehard hockey fan (for the Canadian readers of my blog)

Um, go back in time, transplant my DNA, and drop me in Saskatchewan maybe?

All of the interviews can be found here (well, except the ones that I haven’t posted yet)