Yohaan: It’s been great having you with us at CCK this weekend Rory. I’m sure there are some very fired up men who would like to know more about you!
Rory: I grew up in a Christian home. My first encounter with the living God was when I was 5. I had meningitis and nearly died. My grandfather who was an Anglican vicar at the time prayed for me and the power of God touched me and I was left with marks on my face. I woke up the next day out of a coma without a trace of the meningitis. I knew that God was powerful and alive and I was living with a second chance.
But I got too busy playing sport to be Christian.
I had a rugby injury when I was at school which resulted in a brain tumour. After a great sport and school career I couldn’t make this pain go away. I felt like I wasn’t in control of my body. I started having black outs and incredible pain. At the time I didn’t know that there was something wrong with my head. One day I walked into an Anglican church and knelt down at the front saying God either I want to die and be with You or if I live I’ll spend the rest of my life serving You. A week later they diagnosed the brain tumour and so I had an operation to have it taken out. But I became very sick and spent the next 18 months in and out of bed at home pretty ill.
At the time I joined the Glenridge Church International, Durban, which I now lead. Before joining Glenridge, I wanted to know that you could serve God radically and be free and live a meaningful life. I was told that Christianity was about ‘don’t do things’ but I didn’t have the power not to do them. I wanted to live a righteous life with my girlfriend and yet I didn’t know where the power came to do that.
So I met a man called Chris Wienand who led Glendridge church where I saw a true expression of Christianity - A freedom and a faith. I saw young people serving God radically and walking righteously because of Jesus. I love to see the church working. So that’s how I joined the church.
My first Sunday I was completely freaked out by the freedom and the worship so I walked out. A man caught me at the back just as I was about to step out and engaged with me and invited me back which I did.
I’ve been at Glenridge for the past 22 years now.
Yohaan: 2 things that noticeably stand out about you are your heart of compassion and generosity. How has that developed?
Rory: The description of Jesus in the Song of Solomon and in Revelation really gripped my heart. It describes Jesus as One having ‘eyes like doves’ and ‘eyes like blazing fire’. Jesus was so profoundly authoritative and yet so profoundly compassionate. At different times, Jesus did both.
In Exodus 34 God proclaims His name as ‘the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.’
To me when the church represents both the compassion and authority of God, we make an impact on the world.
The generosity comes from John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that He GAVE’
I see very gracious people who are not generous. If you look at 2 Cor. 8, it says make sure you ‘bring to completion the act of grace.’ I believe giving is an act of grace which impacts the world. I don’t think there is a supply problem in the world. There is a distribution problem. When people say ‘where is God because of the hungry and the poor?’ it’s not because God hasn’t provided. It says in Malachi that ‘the storehouses of Heaven are full.’ I think men are blocking the doors of these storehouses by there selfishness. We need to learn generosity to unblock the storehouses of heaven and earth to reach out to the poor and needy.
Yohaan: So in what ways are you generous?
Rory: I think it’s like a stone that drops in water. The ripples go outward. First we’ve got to be generous to God. The moon has no energy but it reflects the light of the sun. Similarly as the Father blesses much, just reflect that back. Then my family must be the next to benefit. The Bible says the man must labour for his family. So I make sure that as soon as I get my salary I make sure my wife and kids benefit from that. Then to the elders and my closest friends and it carries forward from there and I believe that ripples its way outwards.
Yohaan: Brilliant. You’ve really provoked me to rethink my money! And I’ve heard others say the same too. So how’s your CCK experience been?
Rory: I’ve absolutely loved it. I’ve seen the evidence of God’s grace in amazing ways. You are a people of prayer. I came to the early morning prayer meeting and watched when the guys there prayed for one another. I found that very intriguing and wonderful. I see this amazing brotherhood and I like that. The Bible says that ‘when brothers dwell together in unity, God commands a blessing.’
I think your future is exciting. I think God is speaking. In Deut 29 it says ‘the secret things belong to God but what I reveal to you belong to you and your children.’ Being at CCK, you’re living in the incredible blessing of 25 – 30 years of revelation that God showed your fathers but God is speaking again now and you’re going to take this 25-30 years blessing to administer this season well and pass it on to the next generation. Many people are going to get blessed through you.
Preaching at CCK and the Men’s Weekend has been a great privilege for me. I love the partnership we are forging. We’d love to have Joel and your team with us. I think our partnership is going to be productive.
I love your graciousness. I love the multi generational make up of the church. Keep going and hold the line. I think to take it to the next level of effectiveness in Brighton is a very exciting thing to be watching.
Yohaan: Thanks Rory. Lastly, what do you want your legacy to be?
Rory: I want, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the finished work of Jesus Christ, to get people to the Father so that they can understand an inheritance of protection and care.
In the same way that the Father sent the Son in to the world through the power of the Holy Spirit, we would be sent into the world as missionaries to go and impact the world and reconnect a broken, lost, hurt dying world with a Father who really loves them and cares for them through the finished work of His Son.