13thFLOOR Letter

Greetings to our 13thFLOOR Friends and Family

You have been redirected to this page to take note of the future development of 13thFLOOR. You can still access our archived website content on the links above, so feel free to have a look around at what we have done till date.

13thFLOOR has come to the end of our official Sabbatical. Maybe you missed that! Last year, after finishing our 20th year in ministry we decided to take a 6 month break in order to reposition ourselves for the future. Every year we ask the question: “Does God not perhaps want us to do something new!” And every year we actually feel God is still saying “Continue what you’re doing”.  And we see much fruit. And we continue. But this time we felt a very strong unction to wait, and rest, and seek out God with fresh hearts and minds. And God truly surprised us.

During the sabbatical, we connected with Bruce Wilkinson. Bruce is well known for rolling out teaching products across the globe. He currently runs a ministry called Teach Every Nation through which he has committed to produce 100 teaching courses to equip leaders in Africa. Currently these courses are broadcasted via satellite to 1500 campuses across Africa to equip people who get very little opportunity to learn the basics of discipleship, growing your church, understanding human dynamics etc. During our sabbatical we spent some time with Bruce and he challenged us towards exponential goals and exponential impact. This implied trusting God for gigantic vision that will impact a multitude of people. In 13thFLOOR we’ve never been afraid of tackling something new. However, we’ve always slanted towards the ‘quality’ value rather than that of ‘quantity’. Bruce asked us: “What is wrong with having both?” That conversation woke something up inside of us. A seed God had planted within our leadership’s hearts over 20 years ago.

That seed was the seed of TEACHING. 13thFLOOR is passionate about teaching and equipping people. This has been the driving force behind our gap-year ministry the last two decades. The reason for our existence. Given the nature of our gap-year product, face to face discipleship with a number of young people who commit their hearts and a year of their lives to God and to ministry, our opportunity for impact had always been limited. Despite being proud to see alumni across the country and across the world making a difference and having great influence inside both the realms of ministry and the ‘secular environment’, exponential goals always seemed out of reach.  So the question arose: how can we impact more people through our gifts, and our passion? Through our 20 years of ministry experience and connections and disciples that are walking this earth?

We couldn’t help but consider media as a vehicle. Over the last 10 years, through 13thFLOOR media and 13.tv, 13thFLOOR has created media products for ministry purposes as well as for corporate clients in order to supplement our ministry funding. The internet presents a multitude of opportunities to minister to the masses through media. Each one of us carry a phone in our hands most of the day. Our latest ministry product is 13 ON AIR, our audio stream radio station. It’s like the writing was on the wall, and we just needed to open our eyes and see. Our vision has always been to be on the frontline of change and development. And if you consider that carefully then continuing forward with stage performances as primary ministry medium to influence people probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. It took a sabbatical to realise this. :-) We needed to step away. Because what our eyes kept seeing every year was that young people were still being transformed and there was still much fruit, impact, and transformational change resulting out of our youth weeks. But now we know that God is inviting us forward to a new medium.

A new medium that is actually not so new for us. MEDIA. God has been preparing us for years. And perhaps this move in our 21st year is actually perfect timing. We would like to believe that.

Doxa Deo has extended an invitation to us to partner with them regarding the start up of a full time media house. Doxa Deo is a local church in Pretoria that has over 20 campuses in South Africa, and also in other parts of the world in key cities in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Germany and England. Doxa Deo also wishes to transform society, in areas such as education, business, governance, social upliftment… and MEDIA.

We intend to create a platform as a web application (as well as mobile application), that hosts a multitude of products that can inspire and equip people to a closer walk with God.  These products include videos, podcasts, articles, music, training courses, books and short movies. It also includes maximising opportunities on radio, television, and hopefully feature films. We will collaborate with associates who are already in the industry and seek to combine strength with strength in order to do exactly the thing Bruce Wilkinson inspired us towards. Impacting the lives of millions of people.

We ask that you keep the ministry, the staff, and our future endeavours in your prayers. As you know, the 13thFLOOR body has always been much bigger than the boundaries of our offices.

Watch this space to stay in touch with future developments.

Flaps van der Merwe

b Informatic (Pty) Ltd