For many years, we have felt the Lord speaking to us about change.
When I was approaching my sixtieth birthday (and feeling a bit low about it), I attended a conference where three men independently approached me over two days and made the same statement to me: “You are about the enter the twenty most powerful years of your ministry.”
We knew we had a choice. Stay where we are, focus on the local church, maintain our financial security and gradually fade away. Or… throw our security away, leave where we are and sow ourselves into the kingdom of God around the world in whatever way God called us to do, making our latter years our most reckless and hopefully most effective for God.
And so there really wasn’t any choice.
A year ago in a blog I described it as jumping off a cliff.
Over that time we looked at all the options available to us, did everything we could to explore them, and came up with nothing we felt at peace about. In the meantime, I had committed to resigning the leadership of my church and moving away to give my replacement some space.
In a moment of utter desperation six weeks ago, knowing we had to leave, knowing we had nowhere to go, and knowing we were running out of time, the Lord graciously showed up. I felt God speaking to me about Stratford, Ontario.
What, Lord? I don’t even know anyone there!
Six short weeks later, and with many remarkable things happening in between, we have committed to moving to Stratford, and we have bought a house there. Our own house, in which we raised our 8 kids, is on the market. And we are being warmly welcomed by the leadership at Jubilee Christian Fellowship in Stratford, a church with a worldwide vision, and a church which, in its history, has affected the world in many ways since its founding by our friend John Arnott in 1981. As friends of Jubilee, we can remain part of our worldwide Newfrontiers family of churches and serve across networks as well as nations.
So what’s the plan?
We will divide our time three ways, between our base in Canada (from which we will serve churches here), the Firm Foundation churches in the USA, and the various churches in the UK we have many long years of relationship with. I am publishing my book on foundations of faith this summer, books on suffering and manhood after that, and others to follow. The blogs will continue, and I hope will be a blessing and encouragement to you who read them.
That’s the plan. But more fundamentally, what is the vision?
Our vision is to raise up a generation of leaders who will impact the body of Christ around the world, and to leave a legacy of faith, power and integrity in spiritual sons and daughters who will change this world for Christ for many, many years after we are gone.
Please pray for us. And if you feel called to support us financially, we are setting up ways in Canada, the USA and the UK for you to do that as of July 1. We don’t as yet have enough money to live on, but we know God will look after us as he always has.
One thing I know. God is faithful. I believe it was William Carey who said this: God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s provision. That is as true for you as it is for me.
And as for us... we’re getting ready for the best twenty years we’ve ever had.