Ali is married to Lisa and they have two daughters, Hannah and Ellie. Ali runs “The Resource” as a youth and children’s ministry consultant. He has 30+ years experience in children’s, youth and family ministry. The Resource has a focus on equipping churches and faith-based organisations through training, mentoring, event support, consultancy and ministry tools that will empower those working with children and young people. Ali is particularly passionate about intergenerational ministry and encouraging the whole people to God to serve alongside each other.
Why are you passionate about digital?
I am passionate about digital because of its power to engage with and encourage the telling of stories. The theologian John Westerhoff says, “we are a story formed people” and it excites me to see the way stories can come alive in fresh ways through digital media.
Name a hero of yours and why.
Gladiator (Russell Crowe, in the film Gladiator). A fictional hero yes, but he says a great line near the beginning of the film as he gets his soldiers ready for battle, “what we do in life echoes in eternity.” I’m challenged and inspired by that statement in relation to my life online. We all have a digital impact, what will mine be? What do I leave behind - what will be my “echoes” in the digital firmament?
What can people expect from your session?
I’m posing a theological question - which we will explore together - about how the generations need to find ways of being together online. All the evidence from recent research into faith formation and church growth points to the value of the generations being together for worship and being part of the intergenerational community. If that is important, how do we see that worked out online? Is it even possible? I hope to stimulate some discussion and encourage thought and reflection on the subject whilst offering some ‘hooks” to get us started.
What most excites you about #PremDAC19?
Being with others who are engaged with digital. Following the #PremDAC19 while actually being in the room! I’m really looking forward to “Gaming and God” from Andy Robertson - a crucial area to be engaged with for all parents/families! Andrew Philips podcasting workshop (because I REALLY must make a start on putting together a Resource podcast) and, the keynote from Dr Elizabeth McNaught on digital and mental health - I’m hoping she can shed some light on the impact of social media on our mental health when there have been voices crying, “everything is fine” and others shouting, “it’s damaging us so much.” So much more I’m looking forward to - just get there if you can!