Steve and Sandra Long have been pastors at Catch the Fire Toronto (formerly Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship) ...
We are halfway through 2012!
How have you found the year so far? Have you managed to keep your new year’s resolutions and goals?
"Jesus knew the Kingdom is a reality!"
Personally, it has caused me to think about both concepts of the Kingdom and God’s presence more often. I have had some new revelation on Kingdom because of it. When Jesus preached, the Kingdom was demonstrated in such an instantaneous way. Miracles happened with Jesus because He knew that the Kingdom is a reality!
Many others have been pursuing God’s presence through the 10 minute worship revolution, and the Kingdom has come in their lives - take a look at these stories.
We have a big sign that says ‘Presence’ on the stage in our Airport Campus building. Our worship pastor Jonathan Clarke shares that, “As I go to lead worship, it makes me pause and determine to go after those moments where His Spirit starts to move on our congregation.
“For the rest of this year I want to keep pushing in during our worship services, going after His heart rather than going through the motions of church.”
"God's been showing up"
Newmarket Young Adult worship has also changed. A lot of the people are new to the church, so they’ve been doing a series on what worship actually is. Jenny Bunker describes it: “Our worship sets have been going long for weeks now... God's been showing up as people are choosing to press into Him. We've seen a freedom in the congregation in worship - they are becoming more involved instead of just standing or sitting.”
It is my heart that the people in our congregations seek the Lord as individuals, because that is how we will see the Kingdom expanded.
This is the case for Gordon Harris: “The topic of pursuing the presence of God has refocused me in a personal way. It’s really helped give me a personal renewal... It came out of some individual and corporate prayer with my friends. I believe that this topic will continue to bring personal renewal to me and others.”
The Kid’s ministry have had incredible encounters with God’s Kingdom. Children’s pastor Sandra Berry explains that, “Our grades 1-6 took it to the next level by learning to ABIDE in His presence. They learned how Holy Spirit moves in situations and learned how to be atmosphere shifters by releasing the Kingdom of Heaven in every situation. We have moved in healing, the prophetic, global intercession and partnered with the power of declarations.
“We have learned about Kingdom Confrontation and we live in and walk out the culture of honour, which always pulls on the presence of our King. We are hungry! We have had 1.5 years of God meeting us in profound ways and we want more!”
"...we are beginning to see the amazing feast of all that He has made available."
Naomi Ierullo, pastor of the Newmarket campus, feels that now “the theme of love and His presence have merged. We are on the brink of realizing how hungry we are. In North America we have been satisfied with just a small amount of the things God has for us, but now we are beginning to see the amazing feast of all that He has made available."
Iain McDermid shared in this year’s vision video about God’s presence impacting his life. He has continued serving in the House of Prayer and discusses how this year’s theme has made a change, “In terms of leading worship, I’ve made a that a focus when planning sets. I’ve made a conscious effort to pursue God’s presence in House of Prayer worship.”
In case you missed it, our vision video for this year is attached to this article. Take a look and give yourself a few minutes to get re-inspired.
This is a great time of year! The sun is shining, many of us are going on vacation, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to intentionally focus on what God wants for us in the next 6 months.
I believe that we will see more Kingdom results as we continue to invest in His presence.