It all started…


It all started with a feeling, ‘there must be more to the Christian life and to the ministry than this!’ This was after some 38 years in mainline denominational, pastoral ministry in three provinces of South Africa. This ministry included about 12 years (latterly) of functioning as a ‘pukka’ cell church, with many rich and fruitful times, and yet also frustrations because of being looked to as a ‘senior pastor’ who had to constantly drive and administrate the ‘vision,’ in a fairly hierarchical way (this encouraged by some large, national cell church conferences in Johannesburg, Cape Town, etc – when it wasn’t really ‘me’). I can remember going away for a week or two (during my last pastorate, i.e. in the traditional, ‘institutional’ sense), having been asked by my leadership to bring fresh ‘vision’ to the church, only to have the basics of this vision rejected on my return. That was the beginning of a ministry that had been very ‘successful,’ denominationally speaking (many baptisms, dynamic youth ministry, multiplying cell groups, placement of missionaries in various parts in SA and abroad), but was now beginning to ‘fall off’ in unity and impact…

I felt like I was tired of just being with ‘believers’ and seeing to their needs day in and day out. I craved meeting with ‘real people’ again, sharing the Good News with people at the coal face, getting my hands dirty with ministry to the poor and forgotten, etc. I believe it was God Who, amongst other things, reminded me of a pre-publication copy of a book on house churches, given me at an international cell church conference in the late nineties in Hong Kong. I had read it on my return, but not been taken with it… until I re-read it some 4 years ago, in a sense with ‘new eyes,’ looking for a lifestyle and ministry that felt ‘real,’ authentic and biblical at the same time (I had seen too many church movements and programs come and go in my time…).

It’s been quite a journey since, one which I would not change for anything in the world. So here’s my first blog, from a hopefully maturer man who desperately wants to keep nimble and useful in the work of the Kingdom, with the technical help of his son who also finds himself somewhere on this journey in a manner of speaking…

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