“Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us…run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
The lives and encouragement of those who have gone before us have long inspired me and fascinated me with the relationship of past, present and future. I am a husband, a dad, a mentor, a musician, a story-teller, an author and a barefoot runner. I live with my family in Victoria’s Yarra Valley – a beautiful region of farms and Vineyards, where I serve as Lead Pastor of Yarra Valley Vineyard Christian Fellowship. An enthusiastic Australian, my heritage is English, Welsh and Ghanaian. My amazing wife, Ruth, who is a passionate Primary School Teacher and the founder of AfroShe, is of Ghanaian heritage.
My personal inspirations are diverse, including the holism of educators like Paolo Freire, the radical imitation of Christ and soul friendship of exemplars like Francis and Clare of Assisi, Aidan of Lindisfarne, Hilda of Whitby and Benedict of Norcia. I feel related to pioneers like John Wesley and the first Methodists and Thomas Helwys and the first Baptists. I also draw from the well of Hesychasts of the Eastern Orthodox churches – people like Seraphim of Sarov, Theophan the Recluse, Dmitri of Rostov etc who teach me to breathe the quietness and energies of God.
My journey of faith began in a powerful, personal encounter with Jesus in 1982 at St Andrew’s Chorleywood, UK – an Anglican (Episcopal) church in the UK which was then soaking in everything that John Wimber and the Vineyard churches were bringing to the renewal at that time. And that’s the spiritual DNA I have carried with me since. Theological training in the UK and Brazil kicked off a journey that has taken me around the world, from the UK to Australia as a Chaplain, Church-Planter, Ministry Companion, Church Consultant, Intentional Interim and Archdeacon.
I aspire to be a life-long learner. And by God’s goodness we are all in the process of becoming ourselves! So if you read my commendations pages and think, ”Streuth, Paul wasn’t that sorted when I met him!’ then let me ask your grace. God’s goodness never ceases to shape our hearts and actions (Philippians 2.13) He perfects our faith (Hebrews 12.2) and guides our work (Ephesians 2.10). What a wonderful and surprising journey that makes!