I am sure by now you have heard the whispering evolutions of the Southlands story.
This summer has been an extraordinary one. When the text says that "in His time He does things swiftly", well those words have proven wildly true. We entered the summer somewhat breathless. There was a weighted sense that it would be a big one for us in many ways. Our prayers were passionate that the summer would see the lawsuits draw to a faith-filled close, that righteousness would prevail and somehow the kingdom would advance through some pretty dastardly days.
As it became apparent that this could happen, we went through a 4 day prophetic download that came out of left field. As you know, we had been exploring a model of ministry with Alan taking more and more of the local leadership load, allowing Meryl and I to focus more and more on the translocal story. This shape, we anticipated, would be the format for the immediate future. Well when the Father spoke, it left none of us with any doubt that we were to push through with the track of expectation, allowing Alan and Rynelle to embrace the captaincy of this extraordinary community, with Meryl and I being released to a broader conversation.
We are delighted that Alan and Rynelle will be leading this team. Their ever evident love for "this girl" matched with their clear leadership passion and their rich visionary juices, set them up perfectly for the task that lies ahead. Southlands is entering a season of peace and blessing and Alan and Rynelle's captaincy will surely reflect that. The handover will take place on Sunday the 10th of October when Michael Eaton is with us. The core community here at Southlands seems to have seen it coming so, it was no surprise to the family.
What will Meryl and I be doing? There is so much still shaded with faith in its uncertainty. At best we can offer the following in this journey of faith. We will remain based here at Southlands, continuing in a teaching role whilst we fulfill an ongoing Eph 4 voice into the community. There seems to be a call for us to prioritize connecting, collaborating and working with other networks, movements and allies [remembering Gill Patterson's prophetic word given in London in the summer of 2007 - Gal 1 and 2]. We will certainly give due priority time to the churches who wish to partner with us [Phil 1], always seeking ways to bring them to maturity and empower them on their own journey, fulfilling their mandate and mantle[Eph 4] . Thirdly, we are looking to give time to church planters around the world, aiding, supporting and working with strategic churches in this their task.[Acts 20]. There certainly will be a strong pioneering ingredient in there somewhere. And finally we will be giving more time to the writing of resources that, we trust, will be helpful for pastors, leaders and the great priesthood of all believers.
Thanks for your friendship and prayers over the years.
We are strapping on our seat belts in what seems to be a new chapter requiring raw faith, journeying with friends and seeking to a life of humble obedience.
With much thanks
Chris and Meryl