This is a brief note to inform all our friends about new shifts and changes in our lives.
Just over four years ago I handed the leadership of Valley Vineyard to a younger leader, in order to base myself full time in our community (on the farm where Gill and I live). It was partly in response to the need to give vision, leadership and direction towards growth in our community. However, after a process of discussion in our community over the past four years, there was no consensus as to the key issues – including the way forward for the community. So I decided that I needed to lay down my leadership in the community.
This, among other things, led to a process of unbundling our community commitments, and legal, financial and other structures. The purpose was to free one another to make decisions for our lives without dependencies or vested interests. At the beginning of this year Gill and I felt under God – with the blessing of the community – that we should make ourselves available for a calling to pastor or plant a church once again.
Since then we have had some discussions regarding possible openings. But recently the pastor and leadership at Valley Vineyard invited me into a process of discussion due to certain serious challenges they are facing. The short story is that after various meetings at all levels of leadership in and beyond the church, they have invited me to re-engage in Valley. And Gill and I have responded positively as we believe God is in this.
The specific agreement or commitment is to give leadership to the church for a period of a couple of months. This will give time for me to assess and evaluate what’s happening from within the life of the church. Then after a couple of months we can make informed decisions together with the eldership in regard to the medium and longterm future of the church. It may include a call to lead and pastor Valley ongoingly, or to make other arrangements for the church and to respond to a call elsewhere. We need these few months to more clearly discern God’s will both for Valley and for ourselves.
Please will you pray for the leaders and the church, and for Gill and I, as we immediately engage in this journey. And if you know of people in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg who need a spiritual home, you can put them in contact with us! Thanks, and God bless!