New wheels

| No Comments

You know when you are a kid, and as you grow up one of the markers is getting a bike with bigger wheels than the previous one! Well I guess I've grown up a bit this week as I've moved from Mountain biking on 26" wheels to moving onto the new standard, 29-ers, oh yes!

This is my new rural assault weapon .... rolling past (fast) on a Bridleway near you!


Wheels might have got bigger but the number of gears has gone down. There are now 20 gears as there is a double rather than a triple chainset at the front. There is less overlap on gearing now though and the set up offers a very useful range for both climbing and blitzing.

Job Opportunities

| No Comments

Greyfriars Church in Reading are looking for a Children's worker, whilst their partner project "New Hope Church" is looking for a Youth and Childrens Worker. They are both full time roles and the details can be found here: Greyfriars job adverts.docx

Friday smileage

| No Comments


Micro climate

| No Comments

I have a meeting today at a coffee shop (not unusual I know!) but this is the picture from the link that my colleague sent me to confirm the venue/location. Hoping that this obscure village doesn't have some sort of bizarre localized micro climate.


Obviously I have set myself the traget of seeing how many snow related words I can get into our discussion without it being noticed .... if you get my drift?

Job Opportunity

| No Comments

Southwell in Nottinghamshire
details: Holy Trinity Youth and Children's Minstry Team Leader.docx

Bio angst


I have been asked for a Bio' for a conference I am speaking at next year. It is SO HARD to write something that is a useful summary of yourself that doesn't come across as either, a bit pretentious or instead, too flippant!

Errrr ........

Ian Macdonald is a youthful middle-aged geek who seeks to serve his twin passions of Stand Up Comedy and Youth Ministry usefully (one of which he pays to do, the other he gets paid for). He feels very blessed to have four sheds, three teenagers, two bicycles and one wife.

Ian Macdonald is a Contemplative Christian Activist seeking to redefine Orthodoxy (partly because he doesn't fit easily into any particular category). When he is not enabling Youth Ministry or Mission in the Diocese of Oxford he can be found out in THE cathedral, either cycling, hiking or kayaking.

Ian Macdonald is an amateur ecclesiologist and a professional youth worker. He finds a home in the Mission department in the Diocese of Oxford helping churches to engage with young people and community. He is interested in everything (which makes a bio difficult to write) but is currently very excited that he is to be speaking on a ski trip, meaning he can claim his ministry is going downhill!

Whilst taking comedy very seriously, Ian Macdonald retains a sense of humour and playfulness in his approach to theology and spirituality. He works within the mission department of the Diocese of Oxford focused on youth ministry, emerging culture and discipleship. He has recently returned from speaking overseas and finds that this experience of the Isle of Wight has completely changed his geography.

There are well over a million entries relating to "Ian Macdonald" on Google, nearly all of which aren't him. If you are patient enough though you can eventually find that he is a Christian, a cyclist, an expert on Creosote (don't ask) and works for the Church of England in the arenas of Discipleship and Youth Ministry.

You see?


| No Comments


ht to Christian Memes

The right to be safe

| No Comments

protecting disabled children.jpg

This is the NSPCC report on safeguarding disabled children ( Executive Summary )

Hope MK

| No Comments

hope mk.jpg

Fantastic to see what is happening up in Milton Keynes with 130 teenagers involved in "Hope" and actively making a difference to the communities of Milton Keynes.

The Website and/or hashtag #hopemk

I love the 'branding' and the awareness being generated around what the young people and churches are doing. I love the fact too that the 'uniform' is intentionally a Hoodie, to counteract stereotyping of young people.

Mistrusting our souls

| No Comments

Loving this piece from Richard Rohr on the danger of religion actually mediating an unspiritual life:

"The most unfortunate thing about the concept of mysticism is that the word itself has become mystified--and relegated to a "misty" and distant realm that implies it is only available to a very few. For me, the word simply means experiential knowledge of spiritual things, as opposed to book knowledge, secondhand knowledge, or even church knowledge.

Most of organized religion, without meaning to, has actually discouraged us from taking the mystical path by telling us almost exclusively to trust outer authority, Scripture, tradition, or various kinds of experts (what I call the "containers")--instead of telling us the value and importance of inner experience itself (which is the actual "content" the containers were made to hold). In fact, most of us were strongly warned against ever trusting ourselves. Roman Catholics were told to trust the church hierarchy first and last, while mainline Protestants were often warned that inner experience was dangerous, unscriptural, or even unnecessary.

Both were ways of discouraging actual experience of God and often created passive (and passive aggressive) people and, more sadly, a lot of people who concluded that there was no God to be experienced. We were taught to mistrust our own souls--and thus the Holy Spirit! Contrast that with Jesus' common phrase, "Go in peace, your faith has made you whole!" He said this to people who had made no dogmatic affirmations, did not think he was "God," did not pass any moral checklist, and often did not belong to the "correct" group! They were simply people who trustfully affirmed, with open hearts, the grace of their own hungry experience--in that moment--and that God could or would even care about it!"


| No Comments

"Join a community of people changing the world. Live Different"


Had a great conversation with the Tearfund Youth Team yesterday exploring calling, culture, social activism, discipleship and the like.

I really love the Rhythms material, great to hear about individuals using Rhythms as a kind of "rule of life," youth groups using it as part of their programme, and also teens and young adults forming hubs where they commit together to living differently.

Tear Fund Rhythms are going to be at Youthwork the conference .... I highly recommend a chat with them!

Safeguarding Training

| No Comments

Oxford Diocesan Safeguarding training is Mandatory for all Ordained roles, and for PCC employed Youth, Children, Family workers. The dates for 2015 have just been finalized so here is the information you need:

Wed 7th Jan - Oxford
Tues 3rd Feb - Didcot
Wed 4th Mar - Milton Keynes
Tues 28th Jul - Witney
Tues 15th Sept - Newbury
Thurs 1st Oct - Oxford
Tues 17th Nov - Bicester


Add this blog to my Technorati Favorites!

October 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Other places where you'll find me

  • Facebook
  • Facebook
  • Gold Hill Holidays
  • Combibos Coffee
  • St Nicolas Newbury
  • Twitter  @youthblogoxford
  • St Nix Youth Dep't

Currently Reading

Recent Comments

  • youthblog: *blushing* thanks Sarah It made me laugh writing them. The read more
  • Sarah P: quite frankly those are all genius! Couldn't choose my favourite! read more
  • youthblog: I am thinking of doing a serious piece instead, namely read more
  • Ian J: It's certainly a very high bar to aim for, but read more
  • Ian: Thank you so much for the encouragement. I enjoyed the read more
  • Ambling Saint: Thanks for the evening. It was a great discussion. read more
  • Euan Parker: Laz Is a Beast, he makes the best milkshake! read more
  • Martin T: A useful discussion start technique which works just as well read more
  • Youthblog: Katy, That would be great I am on duty at read more
  • Katharine Thompson: Hi Ian, I will be at greenbelt and would love read more


Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Ian Macdonald's Facebook profile