Steve and Sandra Long have been pastors at Catch the Fire Toronto (formerly Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship) ...
The vision statement of Catch The Fire is "to walk in God's love and give it away to Toronto and the world". Sandra and I are very happy and honoured to announce a "give it away." Let me explain.
Earlier this year, John and Alexandra, the pastors of the Ajax campus, came to Sandra and I and shared some of the dreams and prophetic words that they as well as some members of Ajax have been having. We talked about what they might mean and asked what the Lord was saying to us. The simplification of what many of the team have felt is that it was time for the Ajax campus to take the next step and to graduate from a campus of Catch The Fire Toronto, to be a Partners in Harvest church. Partners in Harvest is the umbrella of Catch The Fire as well as 240 other churches worldwide and thousands of churches in Africa. Some examples of those churches are Heidi Baker's churches, Ivan and Isabel Allum's church and Jubilee church, the first church John and Carol Arnott started in Stratford.
As we talked about this possibility, Sandra and I met with John and Carol Arnott to get their perspective as our Founding Pastors. They were completely in agreement and had no reservations that this was something that the leadership of Catch The Fire would allow to happen with full blessings. At Catch The fire, we have a record of blessing some of our congregation to be churches and they are doing well. We have been on this journey before; it is part of our vision statement to "give it away." We have had a prophetic word that there will be changes at Catch The Fire and all will be well.
Sandra and I met with the cell leaders of the Ajax campus in early May. We talked about what it would look like if the campus became a Partners in Harvest church. Was this really what the Lord was saying? The decision was left that the leadership team in Ajax would spend a couple of weeks seeking the Lord for confirmation. John and Alexandra told the group that if the group were not convinced that we would not proceed down this path. All of them were in agreement.
Over the last couple of months Sandra and I, John and Alexandra have had discussions with Dan Slade who leads Partners in Harvest and Bryan Stephenson who is the executive director for Catch The Fire. We have begun to put together a transition that would allow the Ajax campus to begin the process of changing their name to True Life Fellowship.
Catch The Fire Toronto is very happy to bless the Ajax campus and to release them as a church. We will still be family in that they will be members of Partners in Harvest, as is Catch The Fire. Partners in Harvest and Catch The Tire have the same values and statement of faith. Because of our friendship with John and Alexandra and many of the team, we will still be connecting from time to time. We will see each other at conferences. Everyone is welcome to continue to attend our conferences, schools and camps. Sandra and I will still come to Ajax to speak as well.
We do not know when the formal transition date will take place. This is not a church split, this is a blessing from Catch The Fire to True Life Fellowship. John and Alexandra have already filed papers to begin this new charity upon our approval. Once the Canadian government affirms your charity, we will set a formal date when Sandra and I, and hopefully John and Carol can come and bless the next step. We can have a party to celebrate the last 7 years and to ask God's blessing on the next phase of this congregation's adventure. John and Alexandra and the family have been with us at Catch The Fire for 18 years.
John and Alexandra are in the process of visiting all of the Ajax cell groups to talk with them further. We are thankful to each member of the Ajax campus for being a part of this congregation and being a part of Catch The Fire. We are excited for the new church status and congregation!