In a long, difficult yet exciting spiritual journey, CROSS RHYTHMS is standing at a crossroads after a more than 20 year history.
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The close relationship between the two ministries has been further strengthened with the announcement that God TV agreed to carry Cross Rhythms' satellite signal. This new arrangement has meant that not only will Cross Rhythms' radio broadcasts continue on satellite but now the station is being heard over Israel and parts of the Middle East as well. God TV have replaced their Dream Radio service with the live Cross Rhythms feed. God TV now reaches more than 210 million people in 214 countries via 12 different satellites. Rory and Wendy Alec, who head up God TV, said in a press release, "We believe it is prophetically significant that God's Word be broadcast from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth and we are delighted to be able to add a radio component to our broadcasts. God TV and Cross Rhythms share a passion for media. We both exist to reach the lost and equip the Church and together we are privileged to take a powerful combination of the best British Christian youth programming to the nations."
As he waits for The Dream's next guest, singer/songwriter Rob Halligan, to tune his guitar and the God TV technicians to line up this week's Top 10 captions, Chris comments, "God TV coming to support Cross Rhythms satellite broadcasts is exciting news not only for the thousands of listeners concerned that we might have to come off satellite for purely financial reasons. It's good news for all Christians waiting to see proper collaboration between different ministries. A whole city, indeed a whole nation, can be changed if the body correctly discerns itself and develops true consensus. That's what we're developing with God TV. The principles of Ephesians 4 are wider than just church community governance. It is time to collaborate to honour Christ Jesus and his strategy."
The design studio of Cornerstone Vision in Plymouth is such a frenetic hubbub of noise and activity that this can only mean that one or more of the publications it designs are going to press this day. It's a growing and intriguingly diverse bunch. As well as Cross Rhythms, on the Christian front there's the youth magazine The Walk, diocesan newspapers The Guildford Herald and The Pompey Chimes while in the mainstream there's Sainsbury's Supply Chain magazine The Link and Westland Helicopters' The Communication Bulletin.
Cornerstone Vision also acts as advertising agents for several of these publications. In a surprisingly neat and tidy office one of Cornerstone's partners Chris Girdler speaks about the key role Cornerstone Vision carries out for Cross Rhythms and Gilead Foundations. "Awhile back Chris Cole shared with us a prophetic vision about an arrow given to him by the late church leader and spiritual father John Barr. Cornerstone Vision is very much the shaft of that arrow. On the one end of the arrow you have the flight, the feathers, with Gilead Foundation's radical expression of the word in action reaching out to bring healing and releasing human potential. They're connected to us - the shaft - and we work with Gilead building up their data base of supporters, giving them practical help in advertising and marketing. Then the shaft is connected to the arrow head, Cross Rhythms, with its proven ability to speak through the media to both Christians and the unchurched.
"The arrow analogy is not complete without one other component. When Chris Cole pictures the arrow he sees it as a 'nuclear' arrow - carrying a power beyond the norm. This power comes through prayer, and over the last four years Cross Rhythms has seen a strong relationship build with a national prayer movement known as Women Arise. There have been many prophetic words confirming the 'divine connection', one in particular came from American Rick Joyner in his 1997 word Bridge To Revival, where he saw 'women's prayer movements shaped like arrowheads'! This is just how we'd see the involvement of Women Arise. They overlap and cover the shape of the arrow, wrapping it and upholding it in prayer, so that the work it does carries a spiritual dimension and authority more powerful than what we could do without it. Across their prayer groups and as individuals Women Arise have made a commitment to pray every day for the work at Cross Rhythms and with that Cornerstone and Gilead." Chris Girdler has to break off as he casts his expert eye over a proof for The Plymouth Magazine, the latest Cornerstone Vision magazine which is getting free distribution into 36,000 homes and offers adverts and nonreligious Christian editorial. When he returns he nods in agreement as Cornerstone Vision's other partner Ian Pilkington shares his passion about mobilising the Christian Church into action. "There's still a great deal to be done in getting the truth through to people. Christian media isn't an end in itself. Art is important, entertainment is important, buying CDs or watching Christian TV is important. But if that's the beginning and the end of it Christians have merely shifted their consumer allegiance from a secular brand to what they perceive is a more sanctified one. What is exciting about British Christian media today is that some of it is really looking outwards. So God TV can talk about reaching tens of millions of people in China with the Gospel message. Or Cross Rhythms can, through its work with Gilead Foundations, help put a Liberty Centre rehabilitation ministry in the heart of Stoke-on- Trent's red light district. This is much deeper than shallow evangelical consumerism. It's getting Christians engaged in sharp end activism - and that's where the blessing comes. We reap what we sow in this life."
Heather Bellamy administers the Cross Rhythms website. With its diverse elements - a comprehensive selection of albums for sale each independently reviewed, a radio on line service drawing in listeners from around the world, a Connections service which offers contact information on a huge range of subjects from bereavement to sex, the frequently updated Christian music directory, a popular chat room, prayer rooms, weekly email Bible studies and a music news service updated every day of the year - the Cross Rhythms website is an ambitious website for any Christian organisation, let alone a small one like Cross Rhythms. But the website's recent growth has been spectacular. As she sits over her far-from-modern work station, Heather speaks about the growth. "I have to blink hard when I read the statistics. In February we had 2.1 million hits, in March 2.2 million and in April 2.3 million hits. We've invested a lot of resources into the website because we saw years ago that for youth, the internet was THE medium for gathering information. What excites us is not just that thousands of people are accessing our site every day but that they are going into a site that is unashamedly encouraging them to walk deeper with God."
As well as running the Cross Rhythms website, Heather is also the marketing manager and plays a key role in the new collaborations. Says Heather, "I'm very excited about The Word In Action. It's a new level for all of us. Whether you call it synergy or spiritual multiplication The Word In Action is going to be so much more effective than anything we could do on our own. Christian media working with Christian rehab, marketing and prayer is really going to be proclamation with action. Hopefully helping to save a lot of people's lives along the way. With my marketing hat on I'd like to say that if people are excited about this vision then please, please, please do join with us. Phone us for brochures for your church, friends and mailing lists; encourage people to partner with us at £5.00 a month; invite us to do presentations and get active with us. Drugs is a huge issue in our country and a damaging reality to so many people. As Christians we can do much more than talk about it, we must act." Heather continues, "One other thing, come to Stoke! If you are an on fire Christian willing to serve wherever you can and your passion is being a disciple of Jesus, then I'd love to hear from you. We're looking for the spiritual SAS, for such an opportunity as this!" You can contact Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01872 877304.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.
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