Twelve years ago we walked into a Joshua Generation Church (JoshGen) meeting and within 5 mins we knew it was where we needed to be. For 12 years we gave ourselves to our local JoshGen congregation and we loved it and we loved our church family.
Then in 2015 while on holiday in Richards Bay (myself, my wife and our two young daughters) God started speaking to me about the town. He started by really opening my heart to the town and its people. Before then I didn’t even like the place, so I knew it was God speaking when my heart started shifting. It changed to such a point that soon I was envisioning us living there. My wife Cherie knew it too and so when I told her what it was that I felt God saying to me she burst into tears and said God had been telling her the same thing. A while later we packed up our life in Cape Town and moved to Richards Bay… with NO real idea as to why we were going but knowing that God had told us “GO”.
When we arrived in Richards Bay we realised (with much shock) that in our ignorance we’d assumed we’d slot straight into a local, healthy church just like the one we were a part of back in Cape Town, sadly we couldn’t find one. Out of desperation for authentic church and a real fear that we would become ‘unhealthy’ in our walk with the Lord we realised that if we cant find it where we are, we might need to start something. Remaining submitted to the Elders back in Cape Town we started our first ‘church gathering’ with 4 people in our lounge. As that grew it became evident that God’s hand was on this new thing… we started to realise that this was why God had brought us to Richards Bay, we were going to plant a church.
…this was why God had brought us to Richards Bay, we were going to plant a church.
Now, many of you won’t know us, so maybe you think we’ve been at a church planters courses or intensive leadership training but the truth is that when we left Cape Town we weren’t even recognised leaders in the church. What we did have however was the DNA from 12 years of healthy church life, a church where the core value was to equip the saints. Without even knowing we were being equipped, by building biblically, we were being prepared for this new chapter of our lives.
No one was more shocked than us that we were now church planters, “Gerrit and Cherie…really?”.
Twenty-five people from Kingdom Community Church (the name of the church we planted in January 2017) attended the Four12 Conference in South Africa 2017 (in October 2017). That’s pretty crazy, in such a short amount of time these saints ‘caught’ the vision for ‘sitting under the apostles teaching’ and took their time and money to invest in the trip to Cape Town.
We now know that God has called us to Richards Bay to reestablish authentic church the way it was meant to be, to an area that has lost some of God’s intention for his church. It took stepping out the boat to get here and although we aren’t sure of all God is going to do through this church plant into the future, or through our lives as we lead these precious people, what we can say is that we will keep stepping out the boat when He asks us to and wait with great excitement to see what He will do.
Leaving our friends, family and home church in Cape Town was incredibly hard, stepping into the unknown was very challenging but now as we already see the fruits of obedience we see just how good our God is in leading us into His adventures for our lives.
Find out more about Kingdom Community Church here:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gerrit is the lead Elder of Kingdom Community Church in Richards Bay, RSA. Married to beautiful Cherie & proud father to two energetic daughters. Gerrit is an avid surfer, coffee connoisseur, family man and most of all passionate lover of Christ & his Church.
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