References about Christopher and what Fresh Bread Ministry has done:
"I have had the privilege of knowing Christopher since he was a teenager at youth camps. It has been a special joy to be a witness to his life, to his ministry and to his heart. There are many things I could celebrate but I will limit myself to the three main things I have valued most about him.
First and foremost, there has been his enduring and passionate commitment to Christ. His life and ministry have been shaped profoundly by his desire to know Christ and to make Christ known. Over the years this passionate commitment has led him into much formal learning and study, the pastoral vocation, a willingness to serve others within and outside the church and the journey of ongoing character renovation. An evangelist at heart, his witness has always been inclusive, thoughtful and respectful rather than their opposites.
Secondly, there are his many leadership and ministry gifts. He is clear and enthusiastic in his communication of the Good News. He has a developed grasp of what leadership involves both in theory and practice. He affirms others around him and empowers them for ministry. He has the capacity to reimagine fresh expressions of church within the SA context. He is also aware of the temptations that come with this immense gifting and takes seriously the guarding of his inner life in this regard. I have valued hugely his capacity to face and overcome disappointment within ministry.
Most importantly, there is his deep loving commitment to Leigh and family. This is expressed through their many years of marriage through all the usual ups and downs, his willingness to keep working intentionally on the deepening of his marriage, his partnering with Leigh whenever possible in doing ministry and so much else. I know that he means the world to Leigh and will have her support and encouragement in whatever ministry he undertakes.
I commend Christopher without hesitation as a disciple of Jesus, a person of much integrity and a leader with so much more potential still to be expressed. Should you want to know more I would be more than happy to be in touch."
Trevor Hudson. ( Rev), Northfield Methodist Church, Benoni
"There was an overwhelming response of gratitude for the message of encouragement and hope that you brought to us as we journey to grow the church spiritually, numerically and most important of all “to be a disciple making congregation”. You left us with a big challenge and much food for thought.
Your challenge to think outside the box of, “church as usual,” has sparked some creative and fresh ways of looking at where and how we can be a church outside the normal Sunday Service – so that wherever we are we can impact” our community for the Kingdom of God."
Rev Dick Mahne, Louis Trichardt Methodist Church, Soutpansberg
“Chris has the blessings of the MCSA to pursue a ministry of enabling local churches to be effective in their missional and evangelization work. Chris has throughout his ministry demonstrated signs of one who is called by God and who has competent abilities for the Lord’s work. His special gifts and innovative thinking makes him a worthy ambassador to promote alternative models of being and doing Church.”
Rev Vido Nyobole, previous General Secretary, MCSA
“Chris has a passionate heart for the mission of God and has developed the skills and knowledge to assist churches in a godly, deeply spiritual way to explore this and redirect themselves onto a path where their partnership with God in the mission field comes back into focus.”
Rev Dave Morgan, St Pauls United Church, Mulbarton
"I have known Christopher for 25 years. I am very happy to provide this reference for him and would regard him and his wife Leigh as personal friends. Chris and I were colleagues at the Northfield Methodist for six years from 1990 to 1995 and I was his senior minister for the last four of those years. Chris worked very well in the team ministry situation at Northfield. We were three ordained ministers then (Rev Trevor Hudson was the third) and I found him an excellent colleague to work with, co-operative and very hard working. From my perspective he proved that he was able to work under authority. And when he was called upon to exercise authority he has carried out those responsibilities effectively and in a balanced way.
Christopher has a number of strong gifts. He is an above average preacher and with strong gifts of evangelism and teaching. He has proved himself to be a capable leader and he exercises that leadership in balanced and democratic ways. He is able to motivate people and get them meaningfully involved to a remarkable degree. He has strong musical and worship leading abilities. In his ministry he manages to touch people deeply and is able to develop strong loyalties and relationships. He has a strong work-ethic, is a good organizer and a hard worker. He is a self-motivated person who is not afraid to initiate things. He gets things done. Most of the people who work with Chris speak of him as a “Duracell bunny” – he has a lot of energy! Chris has a deep sense of call to the work of God in the Church. He has profound love and respect for the established church and is deeply committed to the work of God through the local congregation.
When Chris left Northfield he was stationed at the Westview Methodist Church in Centurion. He built that church up into one of the leading congregations in the MCSA and had a very effective ministry there.
He then moved to the Bryanston Methodist Church where again he had a very successful ministry for a number of years until certain relationship problems developed amongst the staff and some of the leaders. Chris has faced up to and worked through his part in the events that led to the break-up that occurred there with honesty and humility, and at a deep level. (However, I need to say that it is my opinion that there were many aspects of that situation that were not Chris’ fault. I personally believe our Church (the MCSA) handled things very badly there and caused a lot of damage that could have been avoided). In any event, this has led to Chris deciding to move outside the pastoral ministry of the MCSA and go out in faith on his own. He has established a para-church ministry called “Fresh Bread Ministries” which aims to provide resources and help local churches grow in meaningful and creative ways. By all accounts this seems to be a success and is providing much needed assistance to congregations in impoverished situations.
Please feel free to contact me if you need any further information from my perspective, or clarity on any of the things I have said.
Rev Bill Meaker, Retired Bishop of the MCSA, Cell: 082 537 6422