by Marcus Judge, CS International Board Chairman
The promise of new life was the theme of the day, when the CS International Council gathered amongst the scents and sights of the Australian bush at The Tops.
With leaders from 30 nations participating, the Council is the global voice of the CS family. It sets our global direction and values, and appoints our International Director and Board.
Saturday’s meeting was all about empowering our movement to bring the promise of new life to surfers around the world. We kicked off by recognising our creator God as the source of all life, and praying together for surfers - the ones we know who have come to new life in Jesus, and the ones we know who are not yet following him.
After that, we talked about how to give surfers that opportunity. The Council gave a strong endorsement of our new vision - that every surfer and every surfing community has opportunity to know and follow Jesus - and the strategic plans that ID Roy Harley and team had developed. Then we discussed how our mission statement, values and big 5 strategic ideas can be applied in ways that are relevant to the communities our missions serve.
Roy also shared with us his insights into our “family on a mission” from visiting the nations over the last 11 months. He encouraged all of us to meet the challenges of helping our movement to grow wider, grow wiser and grow younger. It was inspiring to hear Roy’s strategic vision and to feel his heart for our movement and for lost surfers.
The Council also re-appointed two board directors, Mark Chu (USA) and Mark Edwards (South Africa), and welcomed our new director Ruthie Salcedo, from Peru. It received the formal reports from the board on CSI finances and board activities.
After lunch, the focus turned to practical things. We heard the latest news on services that the international team has under way to support our mission workers. Andy Carruthers showed us how chaplaincy can help meet the heart needs of pro surfers, Brett Davis challenged us to find ways to keep the wisdom of “Old Salts” in our movement, perhaps by inviting on trips to our Surf House network, Alex Reynolds and Jeff Ryan outlined how we could create gospel opportunities by caring for people through social justice activities, Roy Harley talked about his vision for equipping leaders, and Jodene Watling challenged the board and mission leaders to remove barriers and open pathways for women in CS.
The second session was like a TV talk show, in this case, with our own Dustin Miller as the smart, witty and effervescent host. Rafael Ferreras from Dominican Republic, Nev Wells from New Zealand, Phil Williams from the UK and Mark Edwards from South Africa joined Dustin to discuss the challenges and successes of governance in their nations. This was a very helpful session, as the panel opened up about risks, personal conflict, the relationships at the board and between the board and the leader, and how the board can be more effective. Dustin - the TV people might come calling, but don’t go!
Wrapping up the day, our Founder/Adviser, Brett Davis, shared how encouraged he was to see the mission continuing to evolve and look to the future, and how confident he was in the leadership that is building on the legacy from his time as International Director. God bless you BD, and Gill, for the foundations that your faithful service has laid!
Finally, Eric Arakawa from Hawaii and Damian Boza from Costa Rica led the regions in prayer. We prayed for each person, in a moving and very personal conclusion to the 7 hours we had spent together. Just a short period in life, but we had packed a lot in! The girls and guys left feeling tired but encouraged, looking forward with confidence that our God had equipped us to walk in his paths. May our creator God fill us with true life, guiding, protecting, equipping and nourishing us all.