As many of you will know, at the last GOTE meetings in Cyprus a major change in the leadership was announced. Most of the folk who have leadership responsibilities were present.
The announcement was to the effect that Denise and I have retired from the leadership of the ministry and that Mark Head is now leading and directing the ministry and we have appointed him as International Director.
This means that Mark is at the helm of the ministry and that Denise and I will step back from all organisational responsibility.
A New Season
We came to the edge of burnout at the end of last year and were “saved” by the love and brilliance of our friends Paul Fitzgerald and Shireen Seow. Denise contacted Paul after I realised that could not do another years itinerary without a break. Paul immediately came to the fore with the skill and understanding of what was needed. He took our itinerary and cancelled things and rescheduled things. He put things in place that saved us so that we could take this time out now to be refreshed.
We cannot say how much we owe him and Shireen and their willingness to help us at that time. After Paul had done what was needed he gave us back the reins of the ministry to hand on to the next leader.
Over this last year we have seen Mark grow on many levels as he has humbly embraced disappointments and challenges. We have seen that it has been Holy Spirit’s faithfulness to prepare him for this season. In Denise’s and my opinion he has come through with flying colours and we are very proud of him.
We had a wonderful evening in Cyprus where Denise and I blessed him in this new role and were joined by the other leaders also offering their love and support for him in this season.
So what was instituted in Cyprus has come into place.
There are several reasons for this change for Denise and I and they include:
1. We feel that a change in the way our ministry has functioned in the past is over and a new season and way of ministry is to come.
Over the last 19 years of our ministry it has grown to a point where our gifting is simply not what is needed at the helm for the future.
2. A wider gifting ability is now needed which includes management and organisational knowledge at a practical level.
3. Denise and I are at a stage of life where we are unable to continue to travel as intensely as we have in the past. Health and family needs indicate that we need to have more time at home in New Zealand.
Our Sabbatical Season
So although we have used the word “retire” we are not meaning that we are out of the ministry. We do not intend to spend the rest of our days counting clouds and holidaying in general. 🙂
For at least the next year we’ll be taking a sabbatical from all ministry for the purpose of seeking the Lord for our future within FHM for the years to come.
We are so established in a pattern of ministry and thought processes that the only way to get a really fresh perspective for the future is to simply stop what we have been doing. We need to be out long enough for our habitual way of ministry to cease dominating our thinking.
As our ministry is most strongly prophetic we will continue to have a Prophetic voice into the ministry at the highest level and of course we will always be the Founders and a mother and father to it.
The Eden Centre
As a result of all this, we have come to see that we need to put the Eden Centre on the market for sale. This has been a very emotionally hard decision. So much has happened here and so many lives changed forever. However, the fact is it very expensive to run and cannot be sustained without much travel. It is also very “high maintenance” with the large grounds and gardens. All that means is, it can be very hard to come home and “rest”.
The Fatherheart Ministry Trust will either buy or build a place for us to live where we can continue on with hospitality on a smaller more manageable scale.
Relationally nothing changes but organisationally it is a new era.
Fatherheart Ministries is what has been born over the years of the Lord’s working in our lives. Many years with Jack Winter being a major player in that of course. But the ministry as it is is the product of what is in Denise’s and my hearts. I say this to assure that we can never be separate from FHM as it is who we are. We look forward to all that the future has in store for all of us who are a part of the family of FHM and to you being a part of our lives as we go on into the future.
So we bless you all in this ministry and we pray for the greater spreading of our Father’s love until every stream and denomination of Christianity, every country, every culture and finally every person has had a revelation of Our Father in Heaven’s love for them. THAT is the good news.
Love from us.
– James and Denise