Over the past 12 months, it has been my privilege to visit and minister across Australia and throughout the world, both in the CRC and in some newer church movements.
My travels have taken me to PNG, Ghana, Madagascar, South Africa, Canada, Haiti and Malaysia. Yes, I have given out a lot, but at the same time, the Lord has been helping me to see things that are proving beneficial to both my local scene at the Christian Family Centre and to the wider CRC Fellowship.
For example, I had an evening in Chicago with the President and Vice-President of Compassion International, Wes Stafford and Mark Yeadon, who lead this amazing worldwide Christian organisation. Out of this meeting, I’m exploring with their Asian Director on whether they would be open to partner with us in some way as we outwork our 2045 Vision of having a CRC presence in every nation of the world.
Secondly, in developing relationships with leaders of other Pentecostal Denominations, I’m learning and doing some un-learning and have found myself growing in clarity and understanding about the evolving nature of Movements like ours. Interestingly, my 35 years of experience in leading the Christian Family Centre and 23 years in CRC National Leadership roles is being mined for wisdom by others who are pioneering new church movements.
I honestly don’t see a reason why the CRC can’t keep rapidly growing across the world in the coming decades if we deeply embed the responsible, cooperative, accountable and balanced Interdependent Autonomous Model that we have been purposefully outworking over the past decade.
Observing closely lots of other movements, reinforces to me the rightness of the wise organisational developments that are occurring across our CRC world. This is why it’s crucial for us to build for spiritual longevity by intentionally transmitting our vision and values and unique DNA to the next generation. Above all, it is paramount that we stay the course as a Biblically grounded, Cross focussed, Christ exalting and Holy Spirit dependent movement that is outworking a worldwide mission’s vision. This is making Jesus’ Great Commission our foremost priority and it ensures that we are always aligned to His final orders that are repeated in all four Gospels (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 24:44-49; John 20:21-23; Acts 1:4-8).
NEW STRATEGIC PLAN
A big thanks to the Pastors who took the time to fill out the surveys that were distributed late last year and for the many wise comments and creative ideas you shared with us. The National Executive, over the past 6 months, had a fantastic time reflecting on the information gathered, evaluating our previous Strategic Directions and then framing our next 5 year plan for 2013-2018. We have felt the Holy Spirit guiding us in the process and it’s with great joy and a real sense of anticipation that we release them to our entire movement at our 2013 CRC Pastors & Leader’s Conference. May God help us accomplish the faith goals centred on Spirit-Empowered Evangelism, Developing Churches, Connecting Ministers, Reaching Nations, Training People, Reproducing Churches, Shaping Generations (Youth & Children) and Christian Schools. I pray that every CRC Church and Minister will embrace these goals and practically oriented, movement-wide development strategies.
Our second International People’s Convention last September was even more powerful and effective than the first one we ran in 2010, but unfortunately we fell way short financially. In setting the budget for the 2012 Convention, we worked on a target of 1,500 delegates, as in 2010. We ended up, however, with 970 delegates, and even though many of the expenses were trimmed when this became apparent, it was not possible to do this for the large expenses of venue and equipment hire. This has led us to make significant cuts to our National budgets for 2013-2014 and I’m very thankful for the extra financial support that has already come in from our State Executives and from individual churches to meet this financial shortfall.
Our National Executive have reaffirmed that we will continue this biannual event in Adelaide as it has spiritually impacted the lives of thousands of people. However, we will be using the multi-purpose facilities at Seaton Christian Family Centre and Portlife to run the adults, children’s and youth Convention. We also have come up with a creative way to handle 2,000 people for the night rallies at Seaton.
At the International People’s Convention last year, I presented the need to repay our overseas missions fund the significant debt arising out of covering Pastor Nathan Poloso’s medical expenses. Nathan’s kidneys failed and he nearly died while attending our 2008 CRC Conference as the National Chairman from the Solomon Islands. These continuing medical costs have been covered by Medicare since Nathan became a permanent resident early in 2013.
The response to this has been truly encouraging but we still have an outstanding balance of $156,000, so please continue to contribute until this has been covered. If you haven’t had an opportunity to give, but would like to, please contact the Missions office at our Waurn Ponds office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 5241 1160.
NATIONAL OFFICE – NEW STAFF
The changeover from Nathan Bettcher and Janet Brice to Peter Gillard and Kassie Pidd, as our new General Administrator and Executive Secretary has been seamless. Both Janet and Nathan have moved into key ministry roles at the Christian Family Centre, Seaton and have completed their Ministers competencies and are now ordained as CRC Ministers in South Australia.
Peter Gillard, who has been an incredibly fruitful staff member at the Christian Family Centre since 1998, has been working so well with me and our National Executive and I know he is already endearing himself to many of our CRC pastors and churches across Australia.
Kassie Pidd, a well organised and competent professional (and much loved daughter of Steve & Evelyne Pidd from one of our CRC churches in Mildura) also commenced this year as my new PA and Secretary to the National Executive. She has been working close with Peter in organising our 2013 National Conference, and I’m sure you have been impressed with the way she outworks her responsibilities.
NATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM
Our National Executive and Chairman’s Commission are just brilliant and I commend them to you as great men and women of God who, though busy as anything running their churches and ministries, are volunteering their time to serve the best interests of our movement here in Australia and overseas.
|National Executive Team 2012-2014|
|National Chairman||Pastor Bill Vasilakis|
Victorian State Chairman
|Pastor Bruce Sharman|
|South Australian Chairman||Pastor Hans Voortman|
|New South Wales State Chairman||Pastor Vicki Gilchrist|
|Tasmanian State Chairman||Pastor Greg Jones|
|National Missions Director||Pastor Mike Cronin|
|National Church Planting Director||Pastor David Wright|
|National Church Evangelism Director||Pastor Ian Miller|
|National Training Director||Pastor Rob Nyhuis||Administrative Support Team|
|Mr Peter Gillard||National Administrator|
|Miss Kassie Pidd||Executive Secretary|
|Pastor Tim Lochens||National Youth Director|
|Pastor Caroline Dennis||National Children’s Director|
|Mrs Judy Shirley||National Missions Finances|
|Previous National Chairman (1988-1996)||Pastor Mike Cronin|
|Previous National Chairman (1996-2002)||Pastor Neil Milne|
|International Missions Director||Pastor Barry Silverback|
Please keep them in your prayers, particularly as we prayerfully and purposefully outwork our new strategic plan through our States and Regions.
Our theme for our 2013 conference is Revival and it’s my prayer that all the sessions will be used by God to help align all of our churches and ministers and delegates to the revival pattern of New Testament Christianity.
What a joy to be in Port Moresby in early July to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the CRC in Papua New Guinea. It was a fantastic weekend of celebration, where we laughed and cried and rejoiced at what God has done in that nation, which is now touching the world – through the sending of missionaries and because of founding Pastor Barry Silverback’s amazingly fruitful Apostolic ministry.
I also attended the Pentecostal World Conference in Kuala Lumpur in August, as the CRC is a member of the World Pentecostal Fellowship. There are now over 600 million Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians across the world and the Pentecostal World Fellowship has set a faith target, through one of its organisational action groups called Empowered 21, to see a million people baptised in the Holy Spirit each year around Pentecost Sunday.
I am very proud to be Pentecostal and to belong to one of the oldest Pentecostal movements in Australia (the CRC will be 70 years old in 2015) but, fellow Pastors and Delegates, it’s so important that our people have a rich, deep and continuing experience of the Spirit in their lives if we are to be fully empowered for the great task of world evangelism which Jesus set for us (Acts 1:8).
We belong to a great family of Churches and Ministers and it has been a joyous privilege for me to once again serve the movement over the past 12 months. May God exceed our expectations in the coming years as we continue to wholeheartedly serve Jesus’ purposes through the CRC family He has placed us in.
Pastor Bill Vasilakis