To our beautiful Liberty Church Family
Thank you for taking the time to listen to what has been said today (8th May 2022). Our desire is to accompany the Sunday’s message with some written words as a reminder of the some of the details. We do this because we place a high value on family and thank you in advance for not sharing this in the public domain.
Leah’s and my’s “Liberty Story” started almost 8 years ago in reality, August 2014. In our hearts it has stirred from 2010 and then in 2014 we found ourselves facing a defining moment where we felt God in His kindness bring significant people alongside us to begin the journey of planting a New Testament, Eldership led church.
We thank those who took the plunge and risk to stand with us, and we thank Mike & Charmaine Eltringham who laid foundations for what we see now as Liberty Church. It has been an amazing adventure and journey.
In the summer of 2019, Rob & Linda Hutton visited Liberty, they posed the question around a sabbatical period for us as a lead couple and as a family. As you know our children are part of this journey as we have seen them experience both the pain and privilege of being in this with us.
At first we considered the sabbatical time would be in 2023, but in January of this year we again were prompted to reconsider the timings and bring it forward to this year 2022. Why? Because primarily we want to enter this time in a healthy mindset, with energy and excitement.
Both Rob & Linda Hutton and Matt & Kristen Larson (Genesis Collective Team) along with the Eldership suggested this would be helpful for us and the church to have this time as we prepare for what lies ahead.
Having prayed this through ourselves, taken on board Eldership and apostolic counsel, we can see it would be advantageous and it seems good timing to take this step.
The over riding sense and goals for this time is 3 fold. 1. Rest 2. Reset 3. Re-Vision.
1. Rest is a true pause. We are aware that leading the church, we generally do not stop or put this role down. We live it, love it, often go to bed thinking and talking about it. So part of time would be for rest. To enjoy each other as a family, connect with our children, go on an adventure, create memories. This would be an absence from social media, emails and have no active responsibility in the church.
2. Reset: This is an intentional time of laying foundations for the next season. In Scripture, prayer, journaling, reading, for us and for the church, creating space for God to speak to us. This will also be a time that we seek out input from mentors and ask them to speak into our lives; individually, our marriage and as leaders.
3. Re-Vision: This is a dreaming, shaping and listening moment where we go before the Lord and ask for clarity looking forward. What do the next years of our lives look like as leaders of Liberty Church and contributors to the mission of helping people find their way back to God.
Gary Morgan, who has has a significant impact on our journey, said that he felt this would be a time of cocooning to re-emerge into what lies ahead. He felt that it will bring the courage, confidence and clarity to lead into the next season ahead.
The agreement is that we would have our sabbatical time from July through to end of September 2022.
Officially this would start on 1st July 2022, our last Sunday being the 26th June 2022.
Our first Sunday back in church would be Sunday 2nd October. and first day back in the office would be Monday 3rd October.
Our Re-Vision time would include a trip with Genesis Collective Global Team which we have been invited to be a part of. This is significant for the team and the church as God positions us to be influential in the nations and helping raise leaders and plant churches.
Some of our goals during this time….
1. Jeremiah 1:11 - And the word of the Lord came to me saying, Jeremiah, what do you see? Lord, what do you want to show us? What do you want us to see in this next season?
2. Philippians 3:14 - Straining forward to what lies ahead. Lord, what do you want us to do as leaders of Liberty in this next year? What does Liberty need?
3. Heath Specifically - To know what to put down and pick, up in the next season of leading Liberty, being on a national (New Wine) and Global (Genesis Collective) teams. His yoke and His Burden.
How can you support us during this time?
Pray for us. Will you take some time to pray for us in your quiet times, with your family and as a church.
Honour, support and pray for the Eldership and deacon team who will lead the church.
Rise to the opportunities which God is going to present in this season.
Determine to set time aside to read, pray and seek God.
Pray for our city, region, nation.
We understand that the time is short and know there are a number of things to be put into place for this time. We will work hard to achieve this. We are also aware of the new deacon team and the church plant which lies ahead.
We also know that we have an excellent Eldership team, who with the support of the deacons and the Genesis Collective Team, Liberty Church is in excellent hands.
We do sense this is God’s timing, but we are open to questions and considerations.
Finally we get a sense this is a crossing over moment for us as a church. We are a ground breaking, pioneering people and we feel we are going to help other churches and leaders walk in their healthiness. Model and Message - we want to live both of these.
Thank you for sending us on this sabbatical. We feel such appreciation as we know this will be a defining and refining time.
We love you and pray blessing over each of you.
Thank you Jesus for what lies ahead,
Heath & Leah van Staden