A few months ago myself and my two intrepid co-pastors were wrestling with the challenges of leading a young and growing church and considering how we should be using our gifts and prioritising our time in order to best serve and lead the church. We decided that Jeff is a genius when it comes to systems, structures, operations and logistics and Jim has been preaching like a ninja of late, so teaching the Bible and training saints was definitely his niche.
But what about me?
We kinda landed on this – that my passion is church planting and the advancing of the gospel, both locally with Hill City and nationally across Wales. So we began to discuss my primary role at Hill City being that of establishing our local gospel communities and pursuing our vision to be a church planting church (and that’s a dream ticket for me!) This seems like an appropriate step as we have recently launched a fourth gospel community in the eastern valley and are dreaming up plans for others being launched in the new year. Similarly, having sent 2 couples to go and plant in the Rhondda valleys earlier this year, we now have another 2 couples who have joined us with a view to being trained up and sent out to plant, and also have another family joining us after Christmas for the same purpose.
Suffice to say that this was a timely and exciting conversation.
And it was during the time that we were having this discussion that Steve Timmis (Global Director of Acts 29), told me he wanted a word. Despite the fact that I’m now 37 and probably more sensible than I’ve ever been (though that’s not saying much) whenever someone higher up the food chain tells me they want to have a chat I still get this sinking feeling in my guts like I used to in school when I was told that the headmaster wanted to see me! Thankfully, I wasn’t in trouble (this time!) Rather, Steve asked me to consider taking on a new role with Acts 29 Europe (the church planting network that I am privileged to belong to) – that of director of Acts 29 Wales. He informed me that appointing national directors was an essential part of Acts 29 achieving their goal of being a truly global network and that this was going to be a vital and well resourced appointment. Despite the conversations that I’d been having with the Hill City guys (that Steve knew nothing about) I didn’t give him my answer straight way, but rather came home to pray it through. However, I’m delighted to report that I have agreed to accept the role and look forward to getting stuck into it in the new year.
The exact specifics of what this new position will entail are yet to be finalised, but here’s what I do know:
- From January I will be dedicating a day a week to networking with other leaders, planters and potential planters, seeking ways to strengthen, support and resource other churches, and do whatever I can to play my part in seeing gospel-centred churches planted across Wales.
- I will be looking for a ‘Timothy’ – a man who is passionate about the gospel and the cause of church planting in Wales to come and work with me as an intern – to travel, to learn, to serve, to grow, to pray and to get tooled-up for future ministry. (Anyone out there interested?)
- I will continue to play my part as a leader at Hill City as we seek to continue with our mission of reaching this valley for Christ, whilst also identifying, resourcing and releasing other men and women into church planting and gospel ministries across Wales.
- I will seek to track down every man and woman in Wales with a church planting pulse and get them fired up, trained up and unleashed on church planting adventures all over this principality! (I keep being made aware of exciting church planting opportunities that are popping up all over the place – just this afternoon I was told of 2 church buildings in needy parts of Cardiff that are abandoned and crying out for a church planting team!)
So that’s my news. I feel incredibly humbled and inadequate for the task. However, I’m also buzzin about the opportunity and so incredibly grateful for the clear guidance and grace of God. I would also really value your prayers. That this would be a strategic move for the cause of the gospel in Wales and that I would be wise in my use of time so that I don’t spread myself too thin and that my family and my church family still get the best of me. Thanks guys.
THE GOSPEL FOR WALES FOR LIFE.