It’s honestly a privilege to be part of the work that Jesus is doing in another nation. We spent time with a number of churches and leaders over the two weeks that Marcus and I were in New Zealand, being part of what they are doing and encouraging them.
After a twenty-seven hour flight to Auckland, Marcus and I journeyed with Bruce and Josh Benge to Hamilton (about an hour south). There we had the privilege of joining their prayer meeting and connecting with the Horsham Downs community church.
For the two days that followed, we had the joy of being with a son of Cornerstone church, Cliff Cherry. Cliff has transitioned the leadership of a church and these couple of days were certainly part of God’s timing as Cliff talked us through some of the transitional steps that were soon to be announced to the church in Havlock North – these included a change of name and a new site in the city. It was an exciting time as the church completely embraced this change and rose to take hold of the inheritance our King has for them.
Next was a six hour drive up through some amazing scenery to EQUIP New Zealand in Auckland. We met many leaders and spent a fair amount of time with the leaders from Faith City, Mike and Alison Nicholas; and Gateway, Andrew and Emma Bergh. (We were hosted so well wherever we went!)
EQUIP times are such breakthrough moments. They are times when God speaks, when He clarifies things and when our King reminds us of the spiritual season we’re in. During one of the sessions, Allison Nicholas reminded us that the spiritual season we are in dictates the way we are to move forward. Every church has to hear what God is saying to them to be successful.
God personalised the conference for me, even though we were in a corporate setting and far away from home. Here are some thoughts that impacted me:
- The Gospel is the power that changes lives – nothing else!
- We must make time for intimacy with our King.
- Marcus – God looks at “me” and sees nations open up.
- Marcus – The gospel is the power of God, not social programs, they are only tools.
- Paul Zanardo – we are to model faithfulness, passion, integrity, adventure, forgiveness.
- Mike Hanchett felt strongly that we have three to five years to open up and set our youth up. They are busting for a purpose, a reason to give their lives to.
- God has given us all a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5: 18-20)
- Mike Nicholas – An honest look at life across the globe is that change is everywhere – in some cases, so much so that people are struggling with the shock of it. (New ways to communicate, rapid change in knowledge.) We cannot afford to walk in any other way than with the Holy Spirit.
- Mike Nicholas – The key to the presence of God in our own life is to obey and do His will. Many people struggle with unbelief and even though they see manifestations and changed lives, people are still not sure. (God, help us in our unbelief.) The antidote to unbelief is to GO and do his will. You cannot separate the Kingdom of God from the will of God.
With watching the Fathers team up, lead and encourage strongly, while relatively young, front-footed guys link arms and intentionally take new ground, my heart has been stirred and I can only fall on my knees and thank our King that he loves us so much. No matter what nation we are a part of, Jesus calls us to partner with him.