Most Popular Man in World Joins 24-7 PrayerPete Greig - 18 May 2011
Ok so the title may have been a little misleading. The man in question has never appeared on the front cover of Time magazine, we haven’t appointed Bono or Nelson Mandela, nor, thankfully, are we announcing that Justin Beiber will be joining the movement! But in our minds it certainly feels like God has recruited, on behalf of 24-7 Prayer, the most popular man in the world. There certainly aren’t many who could honestly name a friend in every nation on the planet; Etienne Piek is one of those people.
We are thrilled to announce that Etienne Piek, known in every nation on earth for his role as the International Co-ordinator of Global Day of Prayer (GDoP), has been appointed to take up one of the most important roles in the expanding 24-7 Prayer movement.
Etienne, an ordained minister in the Dutch Reformed church of South Africa, moved permanently to the UK this week to become 24-7’s first Chaplain Overseer working closely with Pete Greig and the International Leadership Team to implement our 2020vision for prioritising prayer, mobilising mission and justice and training a new generation of leaders. It’s a move that has been unanimously welcomed, after much prayer, and comes with the gracious blessing of the GDoP.
Under Etienne’s leadership GDoP has spread into every nation on earth, making him one of very few people who can truly claim to have friends in all 220 countries.
This is probably the most exciting appointment we have ever made,’ says Pete Greig. ‘Etienne is a good friend and one of the most gifted leaders of this generation. We are just incredibly grateful to Graham Power and all our friends at GDoP for their grace in releasing Etienne to serve 24-7 Prayer in this way, and also to all those of you have prayed for this to happen.
As 24-7 continues to expand into its second decade, Etienne Piek is going to help us get more organised so we can continue impacting thousands and thousands of lives with the power of prayer. We’re excited because God has given us such a big vision and Etienne’s appointment is a big step forward.
Why does a wild, viral movement like 24-7 need to get organised?
Without river-banks whitewater loses its power. We’re called to steward the resources God has given us well. It doesn’t glorify him if we burn out, forget to pay the bills, or communicate badly. This isn’t about settling down – it’s about pushing ahead forcefully with the vision for prayer mission and justice, maintaining the values we hold dear and serving the global movement wherever in the world it touches down. You may remember that in our tenth year, God called 24-7 to ‘cross the river Jordan’ and inherit the Promised Land. For the people of Israel this meant transitioning from merely wandering in the wilderness with a dream, to become a nation of tribes who knew how to farm, build and govern. God’s promise meant getting organised and growing up. With this challenge in mind we’ve been praying and looking for someone to help us implement our vision for many months, but never imagined that God would provide someone as perfect as Etienne Piek. He puts it like this: ‘Prayer is my DNA and although this role is focussed on management, I know God will help us to manage without standing in the way of the Holy Spirit.’
If this is such an important appointment how do we know Etienne’s the right guy?
This has been a process soaked in prayer and God has spoken clearly about Etienne’s calling. It’s not just because of his role in the Global Day of Prayer. Etienne is also an old friend who’s attended many 24-7 gatherings, has two degrees and a diploma in business management, is an ordained minister, an experienced youth worker and a bilingual extreme-sports enthusiast who’s run multiple marathons, ultra marathons and even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro twice!
Etienne and his family are making an enormous sacrifice to take up this position. While he has now moved to the UK, his wife Wilma, and their two kids (Stefan, 18, and Marlene, 17) will remain in South Africa for at least a year until their schooling is completed. As a family they are so sure this is God’s plan for them that they are willing to live apart like this. ‘Please pray for us during this time as we sort out all the practical stuff,’ asks Etienne. ‘This is a HUGE move for us. Pray for Wilma, Stefan and Marlene as we will have to manage living apart for a while whilst they are ending their school careers. But above all, please pray that God will mould us in to one big, happy 24-7 family and that we will continue to follow in His footsteps.’
What about the Global day of Prayer?
Dr Dion Foster of GDoP writes:
“We are humbled and honoured that Etienne, who has done an amazing job as the International coordinator of the Global Day of Prayer, has been called to take up a new role with 24-7 Prayer. Etienne has helped to bring every nation on earth on board with the Global Day of Prayer vision – his network of relationships, understanding of the global Church, and most of all his passion for Christ, will be a valuable contribution to 24-7 Prayer! We can’t wait to see what God has in store in this new session.”
How does Etienne himself feel about all this?
Etienne himself says: ‘
The last 18 months have been a rollercoaster ride for my family. God’s been telling us about a new season that lies ahead and when we began exploring this possibility of a role at 24-7 Prayer there was immediate confirmation from Him and many friends. In that sense it was not difficult to answer to the call and to make the sacrifices needed for this journey.
‘We only had to say “YES!” and we know that God will do the rest. Therefore we are VERY excited to join the 24-7 family and I know that God has an exciting journey planned for us as a movement.
‘24-7 Prayer has become an “adult” over the last 10 years and there is a lot more to come, but if we want to be even more significant in what we do and see more impact across the nations, we need to carefully steward and deploy the resources God’s given the movement (without compromising our DNA!). I look forward to playing my little role in this journey.
‘I cannot wait to get started! It will be a tough transition time, but I know that God will also carry us through this. Wilma and I were at 24-7’s Magnify conference in Scotland last year and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our new 24-7 family, it really confirmed to us that this is where we belong and we are really excited about what God is doing with and through the movement.
How can we pray for Etienne and his family?
Please pray for:
- Etienne, his wife Wilma and their children Stefan and Marlene as they work through this transition. For God’s provision for the family as they negotiate the difficult time ahead and the challenging logistics of moving to a new country and adapting to a new culture.
- For our friends at GDOP, that God would pour blessing on them more than ever for their sacrifice in releasing Etienne to us.
- Really practically, Etienne needs to find a car and a permanent home in Guildford this month.