Joe Noland :: 6.8

Joe Noland
Joe Noland

Joe Noland feels like he was born 40 years too early. In his 70’s he’s engaged with technology in ways that many people half his age only hope to be.

He’s a retired officer in the Salvation Army and using his knowledge and experience to help launch a new online network,

Find out what’s inspired him to “go for it” on this week’s podcast.

related ::

Joe’s blog
Joe on Twitter

music :: – The Owl Named Orion
lo tag blanco – Slumland
psychosonic – brainwaves

Thomas Mathie – The Fellowship of the Tribe :: 5.29

Thomas Mathie

This week we bring you something a little different. We’re sharing thoughts Thomas recently shared at the Airdrie Salvation Army’s Men’s Fellowship – on fellowship.

What are you thoughts on fellowship?

Where do you find it most?

On criticism

071110_ crest (310/365)

I have been thinking about criticism over the last few days… after highlighting the fact that Salvation Army’s “ISB120” festival had received it’s fair share of attacks from folk who didn’t get it.

One voice in particular has come to my attention. This voice comes from a person on twitter who goes by the handle of “[twitter]skeleton_army[/twitter]” who is being very vocal with his/her views on the Salvation Army.

Now… I can hear you shouting “don’t give them publicity, Thomas”… and “remember the Streisand Effect”… and yes… I understand by naming this individual I am giving them attention and the oxygen of publicity… but I have nothing to hide in this because I can see the value in his/her criticism and I won’t dismiss him/her nor try to ignore him/her.

In this case, what he/she has to say has value but the manner in which he/she is expressing him/herself it is reducing and diluting the effectiveness of this value.

Firstly… by posting anonymously on twitter in a passive-aggressive manner… he/she is diluting the value of the points he/she is raising. It may be easier to hide behind anonymity… and yes, their approach has gotten the attention of the Salvation Army’s twitterati… but it is not effective in the longer-term when you are seeking to out wrong and bring transformation.

Why..? by doing so and remaining anonymous he/she risks coming over as a deranged, unhinged and cowardly ranting troll who isn’t prepared to stand for what they believe. Anonymous people do not stand up, out and by what they believe, in my opinion… and I think this opinion is shared by the majority of folks on the Internet.

Secondly… by refusing dialogue with representatives of the point of criticism, he/she is again diluting the effectiveness and value of his/her message. Transformation can only come through relationship.

Why..? If you don’t engage in dialogue then you are shouting into the wind… and change will not come that way. People genuinely want to understand and this understanding only comes through conversation and engagement. Dialogue, not monologue, is what’s needed.

One thing I am mindful of is that I have been more than forthright of my criticism of the Salvation Army in the past… but believe I have the freedom and, dare I say, the right to express my views because I am part of the movement… albeit on the fringes. Effective change doesn’t come through walking away but by fighting from within for what is deemed to be right and necessary. I am part, I am a participant and I hope to continue. The Pharisees haven’t broken me yet 🙂

Thirdly… in generalising their situation and experience as being representative of “the whole” he/she risks further diluting the value of his/her message. No one has the monopoly on absolute truth… everything is seen through the lens of subjective perception. Whilst the experience expressed maybe the opinion of him/her it is only part… and we must respect this… it is not the whole story.

That said… this isn’t all one-sided. We need to consider our manner in this… and how we approach our critics is of vital importance. We need to, at the very least, be gracious to him/her. I have witnessed people, obviously riled by what they have read, attacking him/her. This is wrong for two reasons:

Firstly, this person is speaking from his/her experience… and his/her experience is of equal value to yours or mine. You may not like what he/she is saying but you shouldn’t attack him/her for saying it. The ability to freely express an opinion is what makes the West a wonderful place to live. If you take away the right of someone to express themselves, however repugnant or malicious that expression is, you become an oppressor… and oppression is not the way of Jesus.

Furthermore, we must be mindful that in responding we are putting forward our opinions and, similarly, we can not make sweeping generalisations because we too only have part of the picture.

Secondly, as followers of Jesus, we are called to love and to love with everything we have. In fact, we are to be known by our love. If we act in any way other than with kindness, patience, graciousness and self-control then we lose something of our love. Let’s not stoop to the personal attacks of our opponent but love them… after all aren’t we meant to love our enemies? This isn’t optional.

In addition… we shouldn’t be dismissive and write off the concerns expressed as being simply the musings of a troll looking for attention. I have given the points raised the prayerful and introspective consideration they deserve and every member of the Salvation Army should do so too… just as critics of Christianity should be given the respect of being heard and, more important, listened to and not dismissed outright.

I would love to see some resolution to this. I believe there is value in what [twitter]skeleton_army[/twitter] has to say and I pray there can be some form of dialogue.

In fact, if [twitter]skeleton_army[/twitter] would like to air his/her views on this podcast, then I would be more than happy to blether with him/her. I am reaching out to him/her… let’s do this right… let’s be constructive rather than destructive… and work together to build a better Salvation Army.

Your call.


Not everyone has an iPhone

my first gen iPhone (245/365)

Not everyone has an iPhone. I know this may seem like an obvious statement to make… but if you are surrounded with folks who all like the same kind of things that you like then sometimes you forget.

I need to be reminded that some people have phones that run Android… or laptops that run Ubuntu. Apples are not the only fruit… literally and metaphorically.

I also need to realise that there isn’t one way to approach God. There are many ways to worship God and there are many interpretations of what church is… (almost as many as there are theological outlooks).

I am currently a member of the Salvation Army. I don’t wear the uniform although I am still “officially” a soldier. I don’t participate in the band and I am not a member of the choir. I am on the fringes… and I am comfortable there.

Recently the Salvation Army had a big shindig in London where fans of brass band music gathered to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the founding of the premier band in the Army: the International Staff Band. As part of this celebration, staff bands from throughout the world… as far afield as Japan… came to the Albert Hall in London for a huge concert… and a public procession down the Mall to Buckingham Palace. They did other things but these were the main things they did.

I’m not a fan of brass band music… apart from when it is part of a bombastic orchestra or it has someone as awesome as Lester Bowie at the helm. It’s not my thing.

That said… just because it isn’t “my thing” doesn’t mean I don’t consider it an effective ministry and outreach channel. The best people to reach brass band fans are brass band fans. This is simply reiterating that like attracts like or “birds of a feather flock together”.

Not everyone is like me. Whilst my ego would love for everyone to be like me… it’s a hard fact I have to acknowledge. I can’t effectively reach a brass band fan with ultra post-modern worship that involves ambient soundscapes and meditative liturgy expressed as slam poetry. However much I’d love to… I can’t.

Just as brass leaves me flat… so does the stuff that gets me going leaves others flat. There is not one way of doing worship.

By now you are probably shouting at me… saying faith should be relational and transcend experience and what we like… and this is true. Relationships can and do transcend the ways we define and divide ourselves… but you do tend to enjoy the company of like-minded people… it’s only natural.

ISB120 has received criticism from folks within the Army… and bless them, I get what they are saying… but they are missing the point. There isn’t just one way of doing worship and being church… and no one way is more right than the other.

Let’s be honest for a moment… Missional isn’t a “capital M” noun kind of thing… or at least it shouldn’t be. It is and must always be considered a verb… its a doing word not a naming word. Everything we do should be missional… because everything we do and everything we are should be in tune with what the Lord wants.

Was ISB120 a “Missional” event..? No way! It was exclusively for brass band fans… and people should be honest about this. However, was it used missionally… or did it have the opportunity to be used missionally? Of course it did… because people with a heart for God’s mission ceased seized the opportunity presented. I know of one dear sister whose brother came back to God as a result of the event and, more importantly, her.

People were blessed at ISB120 and began their faith journeys there. This is awesome news and, in my humble opinion, vindicates the cost and effort involved in putting on the event.

That said… it should not be the only form of worship encouraged. All forms of expression should be given an equal footing… because they all have the opportunity to reach someone.

Consider your hand… most people have four fingers and a thumb. Think of each finger as a channel… a means of reaching someone. We need all the fingers to work in harmony. Otherwise we are not as effectual as we could be… just like someone trying to touch-type with the index fingers of both hands… we could do so much more if all the fingers were in use.

We need ALL expressions of church to work together for our reach to have the greatest effect. The first step in this is to realise that my way may not be your way… or, to use a metaphor, not everyone has an iPhone.


thomas mathie :: 3.21.1 (special bonus episode)

Thomas Mathie - THE headphonaught

as a follow-up to Friday’s podcast, we’re sharing some of Thomas’ thoughts that he shared with his tribe on Sunday, June 13, 2010.

we hope you enjoy what Thomas has to say as he shares his heart with his local tribe, as well as the entire sbpodcast tribe.

related ::
hear thomas’ story on the podcast
thomas’ blog
thomas on twitter
thomas on facebook
thomas on flickr
hint of bergamot
thomas on tumblr

music ::
medium – christian

william stanger :: 3.6

this week Thomas talks with William Stanger: Follower of Christ, husband, father, book lover, music fanatic, movie and coffee addict, part-time blogger, sports enthusiast (mainly watching!), exiled Scotsman on the verge of applying for Canadian citizenship who works for the Salvation Army.


william’s blog – Two weeks from everywhere

william’s flickr 365/2010

william on Twitter

on, LibraryThing, 43Things,, and flickr william is ‘wcs53’

skype: wcstanger

william on Facebook


Ulrich Schnauss – Shine (MINT Remix)

Z-arc – Theta Sigma (Remix)

both on the album Intelligent Toys 5

pernell goodyear :: 3.4 :: part 2

this week, Thomas continues his chat with fellow Salvationist, Pernell Goodyear. Pernell is a pastor, writer, speaker, coach, trainer, artist, musician, designer, husband, dad, and friend in downtown Hamilton, Ontario. he heads a holistic Christian community, The Freeway in Hamilton, in one of Canada’s most under-resourced communities.

be sure and listen to part one of their conversation.

related ::
pernell’s website
pernell on twitter
pernell on facebook
the freeway
the freeway coffeehouse
a fish trying to learn to breathe air: this too shall pass

music ::
sun lux – to pluto’s moon
derek webb – what you give up (remix)
OK go – this too will pass (with notre dame marching band)

pernell goodyear :: 3.3 :: part 1

this week, Thomas talks with fellow Salvationist, Pernell Goodyear. Pernell is a pastor, writer, speaker, coach, trainer, artist, musician, designer, husband, dad, and friend in downtown Hamilton, Ontario. he heads a holistic Christian community, The Freeway in Hamilton, in one of Canada’s most under-resourced communities.

Pernell talks about the Freeway and some of their projects, including the FairTrade coffee house they’ve opened to serve as a third-place for the community.

related ::
pernell’s website
pernell on twitter
pernell on facebook
the freeway
the freeway coffeehouse

music ::
arcade fire – haiti
brian mclaren – learning how to love
dead heart bloom – someday soon our time will come

johnny laird :: 2.33

johnny laird

this week Thomas chats with our good friend Johnny Laird.

Johnny describes himself as ::

Follower of Jesus, Husband to my beautiful Janet, Dad to the wonderful Mia Alana & Noah Joseph, Salvationist, Scot with an English accent, International Director of sitting around & drinking coffee,

we just know him as a good friend and an inspirational chat who’s always encouraging us on our journey. listen in and then get to know Johnny online via his blog and twitter.

if you’d like to listen to this episode in 2 parts, visit

related ::
johnny’s blog
johnny on twitter
johnny’s facebook

music ::
helado negro – awe owe-deja
noah and the whale – first day of spring