NEWS – january 20

new year news – a message from steve oliver

Steve and Heather have been spending time on their farm in South Africa over the Christmas and new year period. Whilst being refreshed in the beautiful surroundings, Steve penned this message for all those in Regions Beyond churches worldwide…

May I begin this short update by wishing you all the very best for this new year and the new decade. I hope that, like Heather & I, you have had time to refresh yourselves over the Christmas period and that you are feeling re-charged for all that lies ahead of us. Looking at the plan for the year, it certainly is full of great initiatives and further advance. Whenever I reflect on our

progress or consider what lies ahead, it’s hard not to remember one of my favourite secular quotes by Nelson Mandela, as he reflected not only on what had been achieved but also considered all that needed to be done in our nation of South Africa;

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

2019 was another fruitful year for Regions Beyond but, like Nelson Mandela, we can only take a short time to reflect upon what’s been achieved, and then set our sights on all that remains unfinished. One only has to spend time considering the state of the world we live in to realise that the church, you and I, have a great responsibility in these days. My hope is that, as our faith continues to grow in our togetherness, we will be able to press on to the true regions beyond, the unreached people in our towns, cities and in the ends of the earth. That, my dear friends, is something I want us to truly focus on in 2020, through prayer, togetherness and sacrifice.

In February the global team, who serve with me, will be finalising our strategy for 2020, settling how we will fulfil our call – then begins the great task of communicating all we will be carrying in our hearts. Already, there are great opportunities in our diary and I look forward to fellowshipping with you in the nations. My year begins with our Hub National on the Isle of Wight; then it’s on to Australia, followed by the inaugural Legacy20 in Clarens, South Africa.

The part I play is but a small part of the overall gospel advance that includes great initiatives like strengthening existing churches, planting new churches; gatherings like Amplify in Montana, Challenge20 in Mumbai, Fusion in Norfolk, UK – there are many training initiatives, teams to Mexico, Africa Ablaze in Kwazulu-Natal SA, Connexion in Guadalajara – all this happens with the backdrop of many locally-based church programmes….amazing!

Finally, as we set our course for 2020 with faith, it’s a joy for me to introduce Gavin Northcote, who is going to serve me as a personal assistant, carrying much of the admin and planning I have had to do while on my travels. We wish him well and I would ask that you respond to him quickly if asked.

It’s time to press on, let’s go make Jesus famous! In His and your service, Steve Oliver.

a new era for hope and for hull (uk)

Tony & Tina receive prayer from Steve, Heather, Ray, Sue, Trevor and Rachel.

In December, Trevor Payne handed the oversight for the Hope churches of South East London to Tony Hall. Tony and his wife Tina, now based at Hope Bromley, received prayer along with the leadership teams from all the Hope congregations in the area.

Steve and Ray honoured the vision, work and effective ministry of Trevor and Rachel as they stepped down from their leadership role in order to be more available to travel to and minister in other churches in the UK and overseas.

Steve prays for the leadership couples from all the Hope congregations.

Passing on the baton: Dan Fryer & Steve Whittington

Jubilee Church Hull Leadership Team

Trevor Payne preaching at the commissioning event.

Sunday 6th January was a very special day in the history of Jubilee Church Hull, as Steve Whittington handed over his lead eldership role to Dan Fryer. Having led this vibrant church for thirteen years, Steve, although remaining in the eldership team, will now be able to embrace a wider role in Regions Beyond, help develop deeper connections with other local churches, and encourage new church plants in the area.

Several leaders from other RB churches, including Trevor Payne, attended the meeting, and were there to pray over the new team as hands were laid on Dan and his wife Rachel. Dan himself honoured Steve and Jo Whittington in a very moving tribute, celebrating all that they have achieved in building up the church to its present strength.

Both Steve and Trevor gave short messages about the biblical role of leadership and encouraged the whole church to step up and step out into new responsibilities as the church embraces a new era in its ministry.

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