COMPLETION!...From an old wineskin to a new wineskin!

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“COMPLETION!...From an old wineskin to a new wineskin!

It’s been clear for a while now. We’ve been going through an extraordinary time of change. A re-positioning to become a ’new wineskin’. Preparation for a new season. Quite a testing but thrilling challenge too. What Ecclesiastes calls ’a time to tear down and a time to build up...a time to uproot and a time to plant’.

God’s been gentle but unrelenting, and thorough. Cutting off things He doesn’t want us to carry. At the same time, adding some incredible new. Additions which speak of greater effectiveness in the days ahead. Now we’re on a threshold, ready to enter the doors of a new season. Let me explain...

On Your Marks

January 2019: By now, it was clear God was taking us through a major transition. It started last June. We had just held the first xRhythms Contributor Day: envisaging the first young recruits to the XR Army. We felt close, practically and spiritually, to bringing this vision to birth. We were On Our Marks!

So in July we doubled our efforts, when suddenly in August, after 18 years waiting on the Lord and believing in His promise, my wife Heather became pregnant! Yep, as we put everything into going for spiritual ’broadcast’ children, God chose then to give our first natural child! God was clearly up to something!

Remarkably then, our nine month personal transition seemed to closely parallel a nine month transition for Cross Rhythms. Indeed it began the very same day we discovered Heather was pregnant when Richard, our IT Manager and brains behind the xRhythms website, revealed God was leading him to move on! Having also just heard that one of our main XR contributors, Emily, was also pregnant, it was clear, God had put xRhythms ’on pause’! Queue accelerated change...

Time for Richard to leave...and time for a young Japanese man from Scotland, ’Sam’, to move south and take his place...Time for Heather to step back and have a child...and time for Amy to join as a new Communications Assistant...Time to close our online shop, CR Direct...and time to add two new presenters to CR City Radio, Tessy and Tom.

February 2019: Then a significant new development...Five months before, God opened the door for me to Chair the Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Business Improvement District, tasked to serve 436 city centre businesses with £2.2 million over five years. Wow, what a responsibility, but what a Kingdom opportunity! By February we’d appointed a team of five and set them up in their new office in the Cross Rhythms building! God has positioned us for increased influence and engagement with the local business marketplace in our next season.

March 2019: Then this month we found ourselves accelerating towards completion of our ’new wineskin’:

    Rejoice 2019
  1. First, the city council awarded us £3,000 to purchase new equipment, so we could increase our community engagement through live outside broadcasts, right across the city.
  2. Then, after 11 years, a BIG surprise: Cross Rhythms Teesside announced it was time to close their radio station. It will cease broadcasting this month. Whilst not something we expected, in this time of major re-positioning we are very at peace this is an aspect the Lord is saying is ’time to uproot’.
  3. Conversely, after 16 months development, March 27th saw the launch of Wheelhouse - a co-working space business hub we’ve set up in our building – yet more Kingdom marketplace engagement! Attended by 40 local business, political and church leaders, the ribbon was cut by Sara Williams, Chief Exec at Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce.
  4. And, after 29 years...another major announcement! The Cross Rhythms music editorial policy is changing! No longer will it attempt to cover all styles of Christian music, from classical to heavy metal. Rather it will be dedicated specifically to giving in-depth coverage to those styles that make up the sound of our FM community radio and xRhythms media platforms.
  5. Most significant of all, this is the month when xRhythms came back ’off pause’, and we were thrilled to welcome Rejoice Mawire as the new xRhythms Content Controller, responsible to manage and take the XR vision forward. The XR engine is back in gear!

Heather 35 weeksIt’s amazing how many aspects have come into position just this month! Not to mention the imminent arrival of baby Bellamy, wrapping up an incredible nine months of transition! The re-positioning is complete. Our ’new wineskin’ is in place. It is time for xRhythms, and the whole of the CR Ministry, to move forward once again. There’s just one more thing God is saying for us to do…

It’s Time For Rain!

At the end of March 2016, I first shared with you the xRhythms vision. I also shared how God had confirmed it to us through the story of Elijah raising the widow’s son back to life (you can read it at www.crossrhythms.co.uk/xrhythms). That was exactly three years ago. Then this very month I read the next chapter in that Elijah story. 1 Kings 18:1 reads: “After many days, the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year saying…I will send rain upon the earth”. It’s time for rain, and we are right on God’s timing!

One day later, and yet more confirmation. Zephaniah 10:1 declared, “Ask of the Lord rain in the time of the latter or spring rain”. A quick search online, and this occurs, of course, in March/April!

After years of preparation, it is time for rain! After months of being re-positioned and made ready, the seeds have been planted, and it is time now to “Ask of the Lord rain”!

The Lord is our source and our provider. We look to Him. But He does provide through His people. As we “Ask of the Lord rain” this month, would you be open to see whether He prompts you to be part of His response to us?

If you can see God is at work in Cross Rhythms and want to share with us in the fruitfulness that is to come, then you can ’pour rain’ on us today by donating either a one off gift or by becoming a precious regular giver. You can give today online or or call 01782 251000 during office hours.

Thank You!