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Why New Beginnings? Well, like much of the Christian body the Cross Rhythms ministry is going through significant change at present. Outwardly this is evident through our closer relational ties with UCB; the January launch of the Cross Rhythms TV programme; the gradual emerging of the Cross Rhythms radio station and roadshows; the developing of the magazine and CD design, and the increasing sense of being able to administrate these elements. Inwardly however we are entering a new phase as a ministry. For the last ten years Cross Rhythms has been called to work and focus specifically in the church; to help educate the church on the potential of contemporary Christian music and Christian media as tools to carry the gospel to today's generations. Now we feel God wanting to add evangelism into our focus.
As yet the Cross Rhythms radio station has not been released to general awareness through terrestrial, "normal", radio but when it does it will obviously reach Christians and non-Christians alike. We believe that as the radio emerges it will draw more non-Christians to the festivals.
At last year's event we became aware that the structure we had was getting tired and beginning to creak. We were not strong enough for the future. We see the festival becoming a meaty environment that brings together powerful Biblical teaching with supernatural experiences of the move of God's Spirit. We want it to be able to embrace Christian and non-Christian alike, and be a place where God reveals to all His realness for their lives in today's world. It will probably see the problems of brokeness more evident than it has in the past but we hope it will also be a place where the church embraces and loves the broken lives caught in these manifestations of darkness. It will be a place where two kingdoms collide and love brings forth powerful new life.
To prepare for this environment we feel this year's event is the opportunity to get ready, to strengthen all areas and develop the structure that can govern this event.
This year we are taking our first steps in evangelism by offering free tickets for the non-Christian friends of Christians in youth groups. We are also strengthening our Children's work and putting far more resource into upgrading our onsite facilities: better toilet, shower and water facilities, more variety of food caterers and more stewards. We want to develop the "feel" of the festival in terms of being more contemporary so we hope to increase the colour, creativity and multimedia presentations in various venues.
In our questionaire research from last year one of the main things that came out was the sense of meeting with God. The spiritual atmosphere throughout the event was evident to many. To us this is the most important thing. The move last year to change the flavour of our main venue, "The Powerhouse", from music based to ministry based with open ended sessions was an expression to say "God, we want to give you all the room you want at this festival". This year we hope to continue this by bringing together an anointed arrowhead mix of contemporary music, ministry, testimony and art. Along with the established ministry from Tony Fitzgerald, Tom Brock and Chris Cole we are also pleased to introduce the Open Doors speaker Johnny Li - a man who turned from the occult and Triad gangs of Hong Kong to smuggling Bibles into China out of a love for Jesus Christ. We also have the ministry of Dublin based Brian and Vivienne Murtagh who share some of the best teaching on sexuality we've heard. Also flying in from America is the basketball evangelist K. P. Westmoreland. K. P. has seen many young people make commitments to Jesus Christ through his culturally relevant presentation of the Christian message.
As a further "New Beginning" we believe God has been leading us to give a greater platform for women to minister at the event. Dating back to the Garden of Eden, the biggest issue in need of reconciliation (outside of that with God) is between male and female, and when this happens in the church we can expect to see a greater release of the power of God. God's power is made perfect in weakness and man's suppression of woman, "the weaker sex", has suppressed the perfect power of God coming through. We want to release women to minister with authority and give them room beside men in their combined mission to subdue the earth and govern it for the glory of God - through mutual submission to each other and God. We want to show a young generation their value in the sight of God and before each other for their masculinity and femininity. Accordingly, this year you will see Tom and Suzie Brock, Chris and Kerry Cole, Brian and Vivienne Murtagh all ministering together throughout the weekend.
So, these are our New Beginnings - although truly they are progressions in a journey. We hope you'll join us.Pictures from the 2000 Cross Rhythms festival
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