Chris Cole, Cross Rhythms Founder, charts the spiritual trends and emphases that the Cross Rhythms ministry has been a part of since its inception in 1982.

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All of us who have been bought through Jesus are now temples that the Triune Community inhabits, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What a mystery as Jesus declares "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." John 14 v 23. Hopefully you will be encouraged through your journey of faith that regardless of your very real earthly experiences and the fact that the enemy of your soul has come to rob, kill and destroy the very life from you, you will discern through revelation that you are a priceless Master Piece to God. That reality is a bigger reality than your personal experience. If you're connecting with Cross Rhythms, then hopefully you are part of this great flow of living water into this massive spiritual global awakening which is coming. Bob Jones, a recognised prophetic gifting in the USA, prophesied during the 70s a movement of a billion souls and this has inspired many media ministries to align with this word.

A brave new world

So how does this Jesus Movement fit into the wider picture? First of all, this spiritual reformation and revival in the western world is just one small stream and part of a wider river, which is flowing across the world. This wider Holy Spirit movement which surfaced in the early 1900s has impacted the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant denominations and accounts for approximately 700 million Christians worldwide. For example, this Holy Spirit movement has impacted China and many would say that this church has become one of the most authentic and significant with its growth from just under a million in 1947, when the Japanese almost wiped Christianity out of existence in the country, to almost 130 million today. This church in China almost has a single vision, which is to take the Gospel back to Jerusalem.

This Jesus Movement in the West was another small, but significant stream, flowing into this global spiritual river. The significant dna of the Jesus Movement was based on community and music, especially contemporary worship music. One of our long term friends John Smith stated that "in the 1960s a generation was asking the most relevant questions of the times, but the 'religious attitudes' within the church judged the length of their hair and the fact that they had no shoes on their feet and we (Church) lost one of the greatest opportunities to influence the generation who would soon become cultural leaders in the west". This is the cultural shift we as the Church are called to shape and influence for His good. We can observe that contemporary music, whether secular or Christian, now impacts the globe, with half the global population being under thirty according to the UN. Western popular music has gone global and many cultures now embrace every genre of popular music and use their own language to communicate within their peer groups. I am not reinforcing a sacred-secular divide in music. I am just pointing out that contemporary Christian music carries a Jesus lyric which was resisted by mainstream industry in the West because there is an agenda within the 'public sphere' in the West to keep our faith marginalised and private. Over thirty three years I have witnessed this first hand and understand we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but powers and principalities which do not like what is happening culturally through the younger Christian body. One of the miracles about Cross Rhythms is that the twenty five albums became tens of thousands.

It is important to honour those who fought through these religious attitudes, so that we recognise that the spiritual freedom we are building upon, as we shake off religious attitudes, came at great cost for those who went before. The battles we then fight will need to be built on by the next generation, and on it goes as God establishes His Kingdom on earth. Honouring our spiritual parents is a principle which will impact upon your life for good or ill depending upon how you align with it. David deeply honoured Saul because David knew God had established Saul. All of us stand on the shoulders of giants.

Some of those of the Jesus Movement in the West survived religious attitudes (like David did with Saul) and became the leaders with a new revelation of God as Father. David had a heart after God - something that I believe is within the motivation of Cross Rhythms and our desire to reach a younger generation with the fresh bread of life and not the stale bread of religion, and to resource a generation with Godly revelation who will then be the most influential individuals and communities in these challenging times across the globe.

These leaders who survived religious attitudes of the 60s and 70s also grew in the revelation of God as our Father and Godly Parent. What was important about this revelation was the way it would challenge and alter the way that Church leadership would govern structures and rebalance the structures, which are haemorrhaging thousands of church goers in the west, who are leaving church but not Jesus in their hearts. There were many in this generation who pioneered the understanding of the 'mountains of influence' with the church as the 'chief mountain', and understood that God was establishing a Kingdom, globally. Our vocation is in all areas of life. This is why the Word in Action has been such an important collaboration on the front of the website as Cross Rhythms, Cornerstone Vision and Gilead Rehabilitation have endeavoured to work together over the last twenty five years.

Our message to all who have left church structures is to find Godly community. The prodigals need to come back to properly aligned structures under God which will not be just hospital wards, but warships with hospital wards. Structures where individuals are truly seen in the spirit and thus become committed through the good and bad times. Watch, or read, Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' for a good understanding of relational accountability from an artistic perspective, which may soften the heart. Yes God is using the arts powerfully. View Rembrandt's masterpiece painting of 'The Return of the Prodigal Son' and notice that the father's hands are both male and female. When we talk about fathering, it also means mothering. Controversial, probably, but so was The Shack as a best seller which suggested God was female. This is artistic licence, not theology. The equality of genders is important. A husband and wife work in interdependent unity, aligned beautifully and both providing the perfect nature of a Perfect Parent. We need to know what we believe and not get thrown around by every wind of doctrine. It is time to seriously mature in personal faith if we're going to handle the future challenges.

Church governance, biblically, is essentially relational at all levels and based from Ephesians in the home, especially in Ephesians 5. Our parents are our first authoritative relationships of accountability and mentoring of values; if our homes are broken (which they all are), then our churches are also broken because it is these values which shape us to the core. Your parents have struggled, so honour them and think of the good they've done. Be gracious.

So without condemnation, all our homes and lives are broken because life is messy and people are far from perfect. We need a revolution of God's presence in our homes more than anything to help us realign with a Perfect Parent. I am aware, as I pastor our own community in Plymouth, what a massive pain exists within our humanity as Christians and I'm sensitive to so many reading this article that the brokenness of our identity started in our homes. Many of us weren't mothered or fathered brilliantly. However, these areas of pain can often be the most powerful circumstances when healed in a life of faith and can be used to heal others. We are all wounded healers through Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.

We can now see that from the western perspective there is a growing youth reformation which will over time truly impact and reform Western Christendom.

God is the Author and Perfector of our ministry's faith. Please stand and support the trustees, Jon and Heather and the amazing Cross Rhythms team, as we endeavour to be faithful to His call. Please keep Jon and Heather and the team in prayer as new opportunities reveal themselves. They now take the spiritual baton on into this 'brave new world' and need your prayers and support. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.