Brad Verreynne

Posts by Brad Verreynne



Who is Holding Your Arms Up?

Brad Verreynne
April 28, 2016



Moses’ call to lead is encouraging for the most fledging leader. As his story unfolds, we see that he had an exceptional leadership gift. He was a large capacity man who could handle ‘truck-loads’ of responsibility. Yet, as we will see with Moses, even if you are very gifted, God has His way of reminding us that we need to depend on others.

Exodus 17:8-16 is such a moment in Moses’ life. Israel get viciously attacked by a people called Amalek. Moses acts decisively and delegates Joshua to lead the ground forces while he heads to a hilltop for a birds-eye view of the battle. The battle begins below, with Moses standing on the hill with his hands raised in prayer for his friends. But Moses notices, when his hands begin dropping from tiredness, the tables seem to turn in favour of Amalek. He needs his arms to be held up. But how will he do it? He hasn’t enough strength on his own. Enter Aaron and Hur. By the grace of God, they had headed up the mountain with Moses. God had brought them along to assist not just Moses, but all of the brothers in battle. They helped Moses by keeping his arms raised, which had a profound effect on the battle below- the tide turned in favour of the Israelites!

This is a classic Ephesians 4 moment; “when each part is working properly” (v16), victory can be achieved. From the men on the hilltop to the last man standing on the battle ground, each needed to fulfil their respective roles, working as one in unity. 

God was bringing home a point, not just to Moses but to every Israelite: everyone is to play their part in His army. This is leadership 101 in His kingdom. There is no lone-ranger activity and no dictatorial-styled leadership. Dependence on God is the order of the day, and we all need to depend on others too. God was driving home the point that no leader of His was to do things on their own. We need our brothers; we need to ensure we are leading together in team; we cannot fulfil God’s call on our own.

If you find yourself in a leadership position such as Moses did, ask yourself these questions:

    Are you heading up the leadership mountain on your own?

    Do you have people around you to help you hold up your hands? These need to be people that you trust with your life.

    Are you taking people with you in your leadership by envisioning them, sharing your life with them, and being humble and admitting your own need of them?

    Are the roles of the people around you clearly defined, so that they can fulfill the role they are called to? Perhaps you are called to be an Aaron or Hur-type leader - holding up the hands of your leader. Or like a friend of mine once said; “I thought they were with me to hold up my hands, but instead they pulled down my pants!”

At a glance this is a humorous, but in God’s economy it is tragic and will obviously lack any of His blessing.

If you find yourself in a supporting leadership role, such as Aaron or Hur did, ask yourself the following questions (courtesy of Nick Davis):

    Is my life a fresh testimony to my leader?

    Does my tongue bring breakthrough and encouragement?

    Is freedom a testimony of my life?

    Does my private life have any sloppy aspects?

    Is my marriage strong?

    Is the vision of Christ a self-motivating generator for me?

    Is my life filled with faith stories?

Let us ensure we are not isolated leaders. Let’s take people with us so we can be better together. Let’s support and follow as Jesus would want us to follow. Whether it is leadership in the church or in business, let us lead the way and show the world leadership that reflects the magnificence of God’s character!

 

Start Your Engines!

Brad Verreynne
February 23, 2016




I have recently been on Sabbatical, which has afforded me much needed family time, DIY catch up around the house, fun in the sun and some nice ‘leisurely’ reading, like AW Tozer's book 'The Crucified Life'.  As per the title, to call it a leisurely read is a far cry from what it is! Rather, the Spirit is using this book to tear me apart so that He can continue to make my body, which is His temple, into a dwelling place which God can inhabit more fully.

I have been challenged afresh by the words of Paul in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

What does it mean that “I no longer live”, or that Christ now “lives in me”?

The implications of the above-mentioned truth are staggering, to say the least. Christ, who lives in me, is now the centre of my universe. He has replaced the big 'I' with the ever-increasing 'HIM'. His desires have now been placed in my spirit and I have an entirely new and all-powerful ‘engine’ operating from within my being. This ‘engine’ fires up on faith, and faith is not hearing but doing. Doing not what I want, but what He wants. Obedience. Obedience is rarely easy, but it is essential. The more we walk in obedience, the more we live by faith in the Son of God, and the more we experience the ceaseless potential of His life unlocked in us.

The true power of new life in Christ is found in getting to know His heart, and that happens when I prize His life in me more than the life I live in the flesh. Life in the flesh (in this context) simply speaks about living as me, on this earth, in my body. Life in the flesh only finds its fullness of meaning when I live it “by faith in the Son of God, who loved me”. This means making daily choices to trust Him unconditionally, to believe His promises wholeheartedly and to obey Him willingly.

There are distractions, challenges and hindrances when living in the flesh, but as I access the life of the Son of God through faith – a faith that is grounded in God and His love for me in His Son – things happen! I no longer live in a realm of “I live for me” but that “He died for me.”

There is no more exciting place to be than the life that is lived by faith in the Son of God! Fasten your seatbelts and say good-bye to mundane living. Embrace a life of faith in the Son of God. Accept the truth of His mind-blowing love. Determine, above all things, not to just start up the motor within but to hear it roar on all cylinders and feel its torque as we engage life in the POWER of God. Let us START OUR ENGINES and get ready for the ride of our lives!

“Let the word of Christ influence you richly!” (Colossians 3:16)

Surf Missioning For Jesus

Brad Verreynne
July 14, 2015



Most of the time, going on a mission for Jesus is associated with some measure of suffering and sacrifice. I have been on many of those types of missions; on two of them, we needed to make sure we had said our goodbyes to our families properly, as the places we were going were considered dangerous, and our safety could not be guaranteed. God certainly uses these factors to shape more of Himself in the person who goes! To be honest, that sense of danger does feel more true to the origins of going on a mission for Jesus than one that feels more safe and easy.

Then there are trips such as the one I have just been on: Five guys hit the road in two off-road vehicles from Cape Town, heading north along the west coast of Africa armed with 13 surfboards, camping gear, enough food and water to last for about 6 days, film equipment and enough excitement and adrenalin to start a revolution.

Don't be fooled: There were dangers aplenty, discomfort, inconvenience and suffering. To name a few:

1. Three days of constant fog, which drenched everything outside of our tents and posed a challenge to our enthusiasm, as we couldn't film and had to surf with minimal visibility.

2. Freezing nights and mornings, which meant wearing nearly every piece of available clothing.

3. Icy cold water, which sought to freeze any exposed flesh.

4. There was the constant danger of the 'men in grey suits', as surfers like to call Great White sharks.

5. Serious injury was always a possibility, as some of the waves we surfed were really heavy, and being injured and far from civilization could be problematic.

6. No running water meant no warm showers and no toilets. So the low-lying fynbos had to suffice.

7. Last but not least, there was NO cell phone reception. This can be tantamount to torture for some!

But don't feel sorry for us – it was all part of the experience! It was authentic to what lives in the heart of adventurers!

What made everything super sweet was the goal of the trip. 

How's this?

Ivan van Vuuren, a sold out Christian, is a filmmaker and the founder of a faith-based TV show called XLTV. He initiated the trip so he could document it all and make a program from the footage, which will be called 'The Search'. The show will feature five surfers searching for and finding hidden treasures (waves) along a deserted coastline, and off the back of our experience the show will correlate our respective searches for meaning in life, all of which are short-lived and temporary unless we find the true treasure and meaning for living in Jesus Christ. The program will be distributed through TBN, an international broadcasting network, and aired in 170 countries – reaching up to 100 million viewers over a period of time. One of Ivan's clients includes the entire U.S. military's internal television station, which is broadcast wherever there’s a U.S. military base on the globe! Ha ha!

In terms of impact, this particular mission had the potential of being my most impactful ever – what a privilege! I was truly honored to be invited to surf for Jesus, and this was an experience I will always cherish. Going on a mission for God certainly can look different, and this trip was a reminder not to box God in. Every day is a mission day for Jesus; no matter where we are and what we are doing, we can make it count for Him.

“Go into all the world, and make disciples of all nations... and surely then I am with you to the very end of the age.” 
– Jesus








Four12 Leadership Equip and Connect Time

Brad Verreynne
October 3, 2014

We’re into the third day of an equipping and relationally connecting time for about 30 people involved in specific leadership roles within the Four12 partner churches. We are staying in a newly acquired property owned by Joshua Generation Church, situated in the quaint town of Wellington. Josh Gen has just purchased this property as an investment, and it will serve as a multi-purpose base for their Bible school, local church venue and training and equipping facility. This is a massive piece of property, a little over 6 hectares to be exact, and as per usual has come with a testimony of God's faithfulness and people’s co-operation with Him making it all possible. Needless to say, this brave bunch of people called Josh Gen have risen to the occasion, which has included extravagant giving of their time, skills and finances. In fact, last weekend over 500 Josh Genners rocked up here to help prepare this property for our leadership time here. Over 500. That's insane. 500 people giving up their weekend to participate in renovating and preparing this physical piece of real estate for kingdom advancement to take place within its borders! C'mon!

So here we are, 3 days in and we have had such a good time together. We’ve had report-backs from the various regions as to what God is doing in them. Andrew (the Four12 apostolic leader) has taught powerfully on various subjects such as the presence of God, what a model church looks like based on Paul's letter to the Thessalonian church, and growing the church. All the teaching has been exceptionally practical, with Andrew's wisdom coming to the fore and also the heart of God being shown through him in both a wonderful and challenging way.

Ange and I are really grateful for the partnership with Andrew and others who have linked their hearts and vision with his. The Spirit is at work among us; we have also had some intimate times of worship together, where the Spirit has spoken to us through impressions and a dream, and where He has come upon us in a tangible way, filling us with love, peace and courage!

Next week is gonna be a blast, where we meet together for three days for a Four12 Global conference in Cape Town. I can't wait! If you couldn't make it this year, make a plan for the next! These times are ALWAYS life changing! See you in PE next week Sunday – enjoy Sam and Fiona Peters, who are with us this Sunday the 5th October. Wish we were there!

Love Brad

 

The Beautiful Task

Brad Verreynne
September 22, 2014


In Paul’s letter to Timothy, a fellow worker and son in the Gospel, he gives some instructions pertaining to the character qualifications for those who are called to be elders/pastors in the church. He introduces his instruction with these words: “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer [or elder or pastor], he desires a noble task.” The word ‘noble’ which he uses here is the Greek word “kalos,” which means ‘beautiful or good (literally or morally)’.  Why would he say this? Why would it be beautiful to lead God’s people? To be accountable for them? To be an overseer over their faith? To be a servant-leader to people? I think it is beautiful because the task is one which portrays the Good Shepherd over our souls, the one who has accounted for every hair on our heads, the one who leads us with a servant heart. The bottom line is that to desire leadership in God’s house is to desire to be like Jesus, and He likes that type of heart.

We are at a place as a church where we have just released our tenth person into the beautiful task of leading in the family of God. (Cliff Hiscock, who now elders in Josh Gen in Cape Town, is one of the ten.) This person is Shaun Harrison. He and his family have been part of the church for the last 12 years, and we have seen the Holy Spirit do so much in his life over the years since joining us as Oxygen Life Church. He is an estate agent by occupation, a father of three, a husband to his lovely wife Angie, and all-in-all a friend and leader to many within and outside the church. I asked Shaun a couple of questions regarding his call to this beautiful task:

Q: When did you know that you were called to elder in the church? 

“Basically right at the very beginning of Oxygen Life, a prophetess named Kerry Southey came to the church and prophesied over myself and Angie. She prophesied that Angie would be married to a pastor. Funnily enough, I was standing next to her, and I certainly wasn’t a pastor! Haha! But that was the start of an awakening of what God saw over me in leadership. Not long after this we were released as deacons into the life of the church, which was a very important part in preparing me for this moment.

“I can also remember that at a Leadership Training Time in Bloemfontein, Brad asked me if I felt a call over my life to be an elder. At that time I was not thinking in that direction, but it was like the Lord was planting seeds in me that resulted in a desire in my heart to elder in His church. In the years that followed, God gave life to that desire, and began to confirm it through others around me who were prompted by the Spirit to tell me what they felt God was saying to me. Like in May 2010, at a church meeting, Claudette Erasmus had a prophetic word for me, saying that the Lord wanted to give me more authority and that the Lord was fashioning a bronze breastplate of righteousness that had been tailor-made for me. The breast plate was meant for increase authority and increase capacity. This and other words from God through people served as confirmations, feeding this growing call to elder one day. But I also knew I had to prepare myself and rest in the fact that God knew the timing.”

Q: How have you prepared or positioned yourself towards eldership since having received the recurring ‘calls’ to elder?

“I felt strongly that I needed to position myself better. One of the key things I did was to chat to Brad and ask him what areas he saw in my life that would potentially disqualify me as an elder. It was a hectic question to ask, as you don’t often get the answers you want hear – actually, you never do! Haha! I needed to know about possible blind spots and hindrances that would prevent me walking in the call of God over my life, so that when the call did come, whether it was then or in 10 years time, I would be ready.

“Then through prayer and counsel, working together with Brad, I submitted myself to him and asked him to speak into my life, which then allowed God to work in me as I responded to Him by addressing those areas He highlighted. I had already submitted my life to Brad and the eldership team many times in the past, but this was specifically in the area of eldership. It was in that time that I felt God challenging me in my walk with Him, telling me to stop holding back from the things he had called me into. I felt God wanting me to pursue Him, not the eldership call. The best ‘positioning’ is to be satisfied in Him first!”

Q: What fears and excitement do you have as you approach being released amongst us as an elder? 

Well, my fears are natural fears, I think… The fear of the unknown: What am I getting myself into? Haha. A big fear is the fact that the Lord will hold me accountable even more so for every word spoken out of my mouth; the weight of my words will be much heavier. The words I speak will no longer come from me as a deacon but from an eldership authority, which is quite daunting. Another fear: Will I shepherd his people correctly - the ones under my care? The beauty is that I’ll be eldering in team, so that is very comforting in dealing with some of these fears.

“What excites me is that I'm already feeling a deeper sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. I'm really excited about joining the current team of elders. I say so because I have been privileged to have been there and seen all the deacons and elders appointed in Oxygen since the start of the church. I have known them and seen the testing by God that needs to take place before any of the leaders have been released, plus the prayer and fasting by the eldership before anyone is appointed to any 'position'. The awesome part of this is that none of the appointments have then come by surprise, as all the leaders were all actually functioning in that office of leadership before they were appointed. That’s exciting for me – knowing that God calls and appoints, and it’s not man looking to fill a vacant position.

“The other thing that excites me is that God showed me a picture of a rugby team and the different positions needed for the game. Each player is needed in their own position. God showed me that I was being added to the team because he wanted me in a certain position, like a good flyhalf or flank, for example. It's the working together as a TEAM that's important to God, and also that each one should play their absolute best – at times even covering for others that may be caught in the ruck or maul for the Lord. The better the players are in their positions, the better the team will function. So it's exciting for me; God has confirmed it to me by showing me through this picture that He is strengthening His team for HIS glory.

“It’s just so exciting knowing I am going to part of an eldership team who are already in full swing in leading God’s people into a new season – our very own building. It is an absolute privilege being able to serve His body in this exciting season. We all know that growth is busy happening, new people are being added, new leaders are being raised up and lives are being changed. This is an exciting time. It’s an absolute privilege to be part of it all. I feel that we all just need to be the best me's we can be in the Lord so He can use us all in our positions to strengthen His Bride.”

So that’s it for Shaun. We are so pumped having him come on board. He has a heart of gold and a servant heart second to none. Angie is a woman who has clothed herself with Jesus and is oozing with good works for His glory. She is a pocket rocket for God herself, and as a team we will all benefit by having her come on board with all her experience – in the Lord, and in life as a mother of three and wife to Shaun! She needs a lot of medals for that alone! Haha!

Oxygen Life Church, it’s a new season! It’s a time of celebration! A time to PRAY for our leaders and thank the Lord for those who have willingly been enlisted to the beautiful call to elder God’s flock. Let’s love on this precious couple and their family! They are all one very special family whom we are proud of and love deeply! Exciting times!

Love you guys!
Brad