Passing the Baton
Introducing Bruce Hills – International Director Designate
Back in 2014 when praying about a number of things, I felt the Holy Spirit speak into my heart that I should make plans to hand over the day-to-day leadership of World Outreach International. As my wife Mary and I talked and prayed about this together, the same resonated in her heart also. A few months later I informed my WOI Executive Team and the WOI International Board of our thinking. Over a short period of time and after much discussion, we were all on the same page. For Mary and I, the thinking was that after 31 years with WOI, with 21 of these being as the International Director (ID), I would hand over the day-to-day leadership responsibilities, and take up a different role while still serving with WOI.
A selection committee was subsequently formed to begin the search for a future WOI ID, the goal being to have someone appointed and in place come 01 January 2017. Besides looking at a person’s background, life experience and abilities, it was agreed that a big key for deciding who God’s choice would be, was that the person must have a clear and strong sense of God’s call to such a position. After much dialogue and following due process over a six-month period, the ID selection committee recommended to the WOI Executive Team and to the Board, that Bruce Hills become the future ID. This recommendation was then presented to the WOI members (field personnel and country offices) to vote on, which they did, and were in favour of Bruce’s nomination.
Bruce (54) is married to Fiona and they live in Melbourne, Australia. They have three adult children, one of whom is married, and they have one granddaughter. Born into a Christian minister’s family, Bruce has been active in all forms of church life for over 30 years, and has travelled abroad many times over the years to minister in developing nations. Prior to joining WOI just over six years ago, Bruce was senior pastor at Garden City Church in Brisbane, Australia for nearly nine years. In serving in WOI, Bruce has been the Leadership Development Director, heading up many different teaching, training and equipping programmes for Christian leaders throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
For Mary and I, it has truly been a wonderful honour and privilege to serve WOI personnel around the globe all these years. From January 2017 I will become WOI President-Emeritus, a non-executive role. I will continue to represent WOI and work to make a difference in the world of cross-cultural missions. We believe the leadership of WOI will be left in great hands, and have full confidence that with God’s enabling, Bruce will do a great work in helping strengthen and grow the ministries of WOI in impacting more Least Reached People groups with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I highly commend Bruce to you all.
John is the Present Emeritus of World Outreach. He lives with his wife, Mary, in New Zealand.