Behind the Scenes: Tal and Jo Fahy.

Wed, 18/05/2011 - 16:17

Tal has just joined the Eldership team here at CCK and he and his wife, Jo, head up the Family Life department together. They have four children; Jemima, James, Kaitlyn and Alex. Here they share their testimonies and talk about what they love about serving the church.

Jo

I was four years old when I first made a confession of faith. I was brought up in a Christian home and attended our family church, which was Anglican. There were certain confines of the church and although I saw some moves of the Holy Spirit, it wasn’t something we focused on. I backslid and stopped going to Church when I went to University, but I still had my faith so I attended a course outside of Uni called ‘Christianity in the Classroom’ which was relevant for me as I was training to be a teacher. The night before we came back, we sung from a chorus book that I’d sung from as a child and I remembered singing choruses and feeling just a very real sense of loss. On the day the course finished, during a hymn at Nottingham Cathedral, God convicted me of my sin and I cried with joy as I knew he’d forgiven me and that’s the moment when I felt God close and He really impacted my life.  It was then at a Stoneleigh Bible week that I was first baptised in the Holy Spirit, I’d been confirmed as a child and I had that faith but I wasn’t spirit-filled. After my degree I got involved in a London church and I came down to Brighton and joined CCK in 1992. I experienced God in a new way here and saw people speaking in tongues for the first time and got to experience incredible gifts of the spirit. I met Tal and we got married in 1993.

Tal

I grew up in a predominantly Christian home and remember quite clearly making a confession of faith at the age of eight in my bedroom. My parents joined the Church when it had just moved into the Clarendon Villas about 30 years ago when I was nine or ten. In that time I’ve been through different seasons, where I’ve gone from having a child-like faith to getting to teen-dom where you have the trappings of school and the tugging of two different identities, your Christian one vs. your school one. I only realised that I was effectively living two different lives until I was in my last year of senior school and a friend challenged my duplicitous lifestyle and I came back to God quite strongly in my mid-teens. I got very involved in the youth work and served in it for 10 or 11 years!

Jo

It was when I was serving in the crèche with our second son and Tal was serving in Rainbow corner for four-six year olds that we were asked if we would like to take over Rainbow Corner. We did that for a number of years and it wasn’t until I was away at a conference called New Wine that God spoke to me very clearly about a children’s work coordinator position that had come up at church. I was in a seminar and God clearly said ‘you can do this job’. I prayed for confirmation, as my youngest son Alex was only 18 months so it would be a big deal to decide to take it. I spoke to a friend on my return and hadn’t told her what God had told me but she just said ‘You take this job and I’ll have Alex’. That was amazing confirmation so I went to Steve Walford and asked for the job! I ran it on my own, working part-time, but as a couple we ran parenting courses together and led an intergenerational small group. Over the years Tal has got more and more involved with working voluntarily for the Church within the area of family life and with bringing the four elements together; marriage, parenting, youth and children’s work under one umbrella department. We were approached to head up this department so Tal came back on as a main leadership role.

Tal

The same time that Jo was heading up the kids’ work, I started getting involved with pastoral structure in Zones and Leaders training. I was asked to be part of the team that launched Zones and I also wrote and ran three successive years of leaders training. I work at Amex full-time but condense my hours so I’m at the church offices on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings. I work in risk management and oversee different teams and train leaders in strategy and development.  It’s very interesting to me that I do similar work at Amex as I do at church, as what Amex calls coaching, church calls discipleship - although obviously it’s more theologically sound!

Becoming an Elder doesn’t mean that I’ll be coming on full-time staff at all. My job and hours at Amex won’t change and the roles that Jo and I oversee won’t change. All of the biblical authority that comes with Eldership, the responsibility for oversight and government within the church will be the mantel for the role, but the practical day-to-day things won’t change. Eldership is about the recognition of what God has put in someone and giving them the opportunity to bring more wisdom and authority to what God has given them to oversee.

Jo

What I’ve loved about being part of this church is that through my job here I’ve been able to do training and develop areas of my life that interest me. I’ve also loved having a support network of really great friends, and couples who have been like surrogate parents to us over the years, who have spoken into our lives and really helped us in difficult times. A big church like ours has also really blessed our children and given them friendships and opened up opportunities for them.

Tal

I’ve grown up through the establishment of Newfrontiers and I’ve come through the restoration of charismatic church life. The Church is not just as a place where Christians meet, but it’s the answer to God’s plan. I’ve loved seeing how CCK has developed in that. It’s about the statement to the culture around us and how the gospel pervades culture and changes a generation. The history of CCK over 30 years makes us the church that God wants here in Brighton, but also gives us the foundation for the present and future to build a presence in Brighton.

Jo

I think for us both personally, we’re so excited for the Family Life department this year, which is a fairly new department and has come together over the last six months or so. The department has come together to emphasise the whole spectrum of family life and to show that the four departments of marriage, parenting, children’s work and youth are so interwoven with each other. For example, running a mother and daughter parenting course comes under youth as well as parenting. This is our heart for it, not to have a progression from one department to the next but for them to be linked, and to ensure that resources are used well. We’re also part of the East Zone leadership team with Stephen and Emma Dawson which is launching early next year – we’re so excited for the opportunities to take the gospel to a different area and to develop a real church community there.

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