Free to serve

15 years ago I moved from being an I.T. professional into the world of full-time ministry and missions. It really felt like God was calling me. It’s important to say up-front that it is entirely possible to be a full-time minister of the Gospel without leaving a job, but for me this was the path God was calling me down.

Agapé staff don’t receive their income in the normal way. We don’t get a salary based on our role, responsibility or position. We are all on the same pay grade. It’s a philosophy of being ‘Free to Serve’ – not living extravagantly, nor living in poverty, but it does always come with a level of sacrifice. Being free to serve in the context God has called us is the principle.

Agapé obviously have a structure and rules around what this means and that is agreed by our Trustees.

 I believe that where God calls He will provide. I have a team of ‘Ministry Partners’ who journey with me in prayer, giving and encouragement. It is my responsibility to discover those God is bringing to partner with me in this role. This year the financial amount I’m discovering is now below the minimum Agapé determine is reasonable for me to be free to serve. And I believe it’s a right judgement.

To understand what that means here are some examples.

If everyone who receives my newsletter was able to give £5.45 extra a month I would be covered.

or

If I could discover another 25 people who each gave £25 each month I would be covered.

or

If everyone who already has a regular commitment to giving to me increased by 35% I would be covered. (i.e. £20 became £27, or £30 became £40.50, etc.)

For now I need to make a plan and to start I’m asking people to pray. I can’t entirely explain or understand how it works, but when people pray God answers. Could you pray? Could you let me know you are praying?

Thank you for your time in reading this.

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Operation update and MOVE magazine

Thank you for your prayers for my operation to rectify my hearing issue before Easter. The operation went well and without complications. I’ve had some great friends looking out for me. This week I’ve been back part-time in my role with Agapé and will try full-time after the bank holiday weekend. I don’t have my hearing back as I expected, but it can also take a few months whilst things settle down. I will have a follow up appointment mid-June.

Did you receive your MOVE magazine in the post? This edition profiles some great resources that our staff and volunteers use to help make Jesus known. Perhaps these could help you in your church or community? If you don’t get this magazine and would like it just let me know. I can send you one and add you to the list to receive the MOVE magazine twice a year.

Click on the above image to download a PDF of the current edition.

Prayer and Bits

Next week I am having surgery for Otosclerosis. It’s basically a procedure under general anaesthetic where the surgeon will remove some small bones behind the ear drum and replace them with an implant. It aims to restore my hearing in my left ear. As you can imagine it’s not very pleasant. Please pray that all goes well and my hearing is restored.

Please also continue to pray for Thad, Jana and the boys as they move to the UK to enable Thad to start as our Operations Director. Everything is in place apart from a home for them to live in! Once they find that it’s all go. Please pray for the right place for them, particularly thinking of a good locality for a school for the boys.

I’m particularly thankful for your prayers over winter. I’ve not been so affected by the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) this year, and I’m thankful. In part that has been because I’ve been meeting with a friend for coffee almost every week and we’ve been able to share bits of life together.

I’ve been using a phone app called ‘LikeJesus’. This pops up a bible verse and questions twice a day. It’s really helpful in keeping different scripture in the mind. I recommend it. Pray I can continue to apply what I’m reading.

Operation Leaders in Paris

I had a good and productive time with other Operational Leaders in Paris.  It was such a valuable insight into how some other countries (Northern Africa / Middle East areas) which have greater security concerns than ours have to work. Collaborating at this level is such a blessing. The photos show the representatives from Western Europe only.

Our new Operations Director

Edited in Lumia Selfie

I mentioned recently that we had appointed a new Operations Director. Thad will join us with his wife, Jana, and their three boys. Thad will start at the end of March. We’ve shared the role among various people for over a year so it’s great to have someone heading up this area again. The Operations team resource and enable this movement to exist, so having someone to head up this area is so vital. Thad will be my immediate line manager and I’ll get with work with him on the technology and other projects I’m tasked with implementing. I’m just a little excited!

How Agapé UK started

In 1966, Kalevi Lehtinen travelled from Finland to the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin. He met with Campus Crusade for Christ (Agapé) founder Bill Bright and expressed his burden for the evangelisation of Europe. At the same time, Bud and Shirley Hinkson were putting together a team of fresh faced American graduates willing to invest three years in building movements internationally. A year later, the University Ambassador Team boarded a ship to England.

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A team of 56 arrived in Southampton on the 14th November 1967 and travelled by train to London. They chose leaders and split into six teams. They settled on sending teams to London, Southampton, Reading, Birmingham, Brighton, and one team to Germany. They found accommodation and started to meet students.

This is how Agapé started.

50 years later Agapé is celebrating God’s faithfulness over the years and looking forward to what He has in store for our future. We’re hosting a celebration weekend 3rd to 5th February with tons of workshops and outreach opportunities in partnership with the local churches. It’s an exciting time.

Please pray for this event and for the local churches we’re partnering with. More details are here: http://www.agape.org.uk/50years