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Dear friends and supporters,
Welcome to 2018. We are looking forward to another year of engagement and mission across the Fresh Hope movement. There have been lots of changes that our team have been working on over the holiday season as we continue to improve our communications and service. If you haven’t had a chance already, please log onto the Fresh Hope website to view our revised digital presence.
This year our theme is ‘stirrings’. With so much uncertainty happening globally, there remains a profound and important discipline for church leaders to listen for the stirrings of God through His Holy Spirit. Despite global uncertainty, shifts in economics, political upheavals, powers and principalities and philosophical or cultural threats, the church must diligently and proactively listen for God’s agenda – His will and His Spirit brooding over creation now!
For this reason, over the next 4 months, I intend to reflect on ‘understanding the times’ in the lead up to our Fresh Hope Collective.
Perhaps the most well know Scriptural verse that typifies understanding are the 200 men from the tribe of Issachar who understood the signs of the times and knew the best course or direction that Israel should take. (see I Chronicles 12:32) We have more than 200 leaders across the churches and ministries of our movement. Imagine if all of our leaders understood precisely God’s will and intention for the church now? Imagine if we all were boldly empowered by the Spirit of God with such conviction that we knew our strategic mandate and engaged in profound mission to stimulate revival? Could it be possible that God is stirring His church and His leaders in obedience to proclaim the Gospel for a new season in a new era with zeal and conviction? I believe He is and I pray that you might be stirred with new energy and hope. There is never a greater opportunity than now, to pioneer, engage, love and serve Australians for the cause of Jesus and His kingdom.
There are so many Scriptural encouragements calling us to purposeful action that come to mind…
‘Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.’ (I Corinthians 16:13)
‘So be on your guard, not asleep like others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.’ (I Thessalonians 5:6)
‘You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing.’ (2 Peter 3:17)
Purposeful action has a precursor; namely reflective discernment. I pray that this year your leadership team will take some quality time to discern the will of God together, not content to simply do what you have always done, but with God’s word as truth, help you advance with passion and purpose as God stirs among you. We are beside you and for you as you pursue God in mission for His Kingdom.
Much grace, courage and hope,
Dr. Andrew Ball
Executive Ministry Director