By God’s grace, April of 2014 will see the launch of our third City on a Hill church, being led by Pastor Luke Nelson and will be meeting at the Hoyts cinema at Highpoint Shopping Centre in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Luke has been serving faithfully for years as the Community Pastor for City on a Hill, and has been responsible building and managing our critical Community Groups structure, identifying and training new Community Group Leaders, overseeing the Connections team headed up by Emily Lancaster, as well as heading up our Engage internship program.
As Luke diverts more and more of his attention to leading the new plant and transitions into his role as the City on a Hill West Lead Pastor, a crucial ministry position became available. In order to fill this position, we embarked on a prayerful search to find a new Community Director who would be able to continue to lead and grow the Community Group ministry.
After an extensive interview process, we are excited to announce that Leighton Cantrill has been offered the Community Director position, and will begin in the role from April, 2014. Leighton and his wife, Sarah, have been with City on a Hill for about 2 years, and have served in various areas including leading a Community Group from their home. With a background in Human Resources and people management, Leighton brings a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge to this critical ministry position at City on a Hill.
We’d love for you to get to know Leighton, so we asked him a few questions:
Leighton, who are you?
I am a grateful child of God. My dad is a pastor, so my family moved around quite a bit as I was growing up, which has given me a love of adventures and meeting new people.
I grew up mostly in New South Wales and Queensland, so I still feel like a bit of a newbie in Melbourne at times - but I love it (especially the coffee!). I married the beautiful Sarah in 2009 and soon after we married, we spent two years working and playing in Vancouver, Canada. In November 2013 we were blessed to have a baby boy, Charlie. Other than losing a bit of sleep, I am loving being a dad and experiencing parenthood and all its joys.
I am an extrovert who loves to try anything at least once, a wannabe guitarist and a keen cyclist. Invite me to join your trivia night table if there are going to be questions on Australian sport and world geography… pop culture is not my strong suit.
Tell us about how you came to know Jesus.
I grew up in a Christian family who faithfully taught me about Jesus and his love and modelled what being part of the body of Christ was all about. I also had some wonderful teachers and youth leaders who were instrumental in shaping my faith.
After spending some time exploring life and testing what my faith really meant to me in my mid twenties, I recommitted my life to God. The more I learn of Jesus' life and love for us, the more inspired I am to build the kingdom of God here on earth.
What excites you about joining the City on a Hill team?
For me, this is an amazing opportunity to join a passionate and humble team of leaders who have a big, spirit-breathed vision. I am particularly excited about the City Steps vision and goals. Luke Nelson has done such an amazing job in growing this ministry and I'm excited to continue the work he has begun. I am really humbled to join the City on a Hill team as I believe that God wants to use us to serve and shine His light on the city of Melbourne.
Also, I really like wearing checked shirts.
What are your hopes for how Jesus will use you for His Kingdom?
I have long felt a call to serve Jesus in a community focused role where I can make an difference. I hope that through the work of the spirit, people will be blessed and brought into closer fellowship with each other and with God. I hope that we will boldly continue to shine God's love for His City and His world, and to those who don't yet know him.