Isaiah 61: 1-7
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion –
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendour.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
SUMMARY OF ENCOURAGEMENT FROM LEADERS AROUND THE GLOBE
What an incredible Sunday morning we had as we celebrated and commissioned Neil and Janet Young as the new Senior Pastors of CCV. Throughout the service there was worship, interviews, kind words offered via video from friends far and wide and then the formal laying on of hands by Alan and Kathryn Scott, the staff and others. Here are just a sample of what was said.
David and Ben MacGregor (New Zealand): “This is a great day of celebration…. Neil, Janet and Caleb are amazingly gifted and they are going to lead you in such a beautiful way and they’re going to show you the Father’s heart. CCV, you’re in very safe hands.
John Dickinson (Carnmoney Church): “Often on days like this people quote Joshua 1 and exhort you to be strong and courageous – and that is right, you do need strength and courage. But they sometimes forget to say the other more important thing that God says to people in your situation: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” As the Lord was with Alan and Kathryn so, Neil and Janet, the Lord will be with you."
Tim and Rachel Hughes (England): "This is an exciting next step on the journey for what God is doing in and through your church. We can't wait to see what happens under Neil and Janet's leadership and to remaining partners and friends along the journey with you."
John and Debby Wright (Nottingham): "Causeway Coast Vineyard holds a dear place in our hearts. As a church you have pioneered so much, you have really blessed our movement and been an example to us all.... As you pursue God and His calling on your lives, there are three areas we want to encourage you in. Firstly, you have God-given grace for what He's calling you to....honour your past and be expectant for a great future. Secondly, we serve the most creative person in the universe who is passionate about Coleraine.... Your culture is steeped in pioneering and releasing. Hold onto this and foster it.... Thirdly, you are Christ's ambassadors to your city. There is greater transformation still to come, and as you push into greater intimacy with Jesus, he will lead you and your city into life."
Ben Armstrong (Bethel Church, USA): “I feel like there has been a planting of God in that region and you’re coming in to add an irrigation system to tap into things and to…strategically put water where it’s needed, resources where they are needed and you’re going to see exponential growth in fruit in this season…”
Julian Adams (South Africa): “A mantle of fathering and mothering will come upon Neil and Janet which will establish a new model of what it means to raise up men and women who are fully empowered, fully gifted and who understand their true identity….. For CCV there is yet another season of acceleration, breakthrough, salvation, healing and influence. God is going to begin to give you a platform at the highest level…a dynamic expression of influence in different platforms including the political arena and the broken and marginalised…. There will be significant connections with high ranking officials in government and in the region and they will seek your wisdom…. The next season is going to be about the multiplication of leaders, you will see incredible leaders come through, not just trained in skill, but who develop a heart culture that looks like Heaven.”
Alan Scott: “Today has a reverence to it, it has a weight to it, this is a sacred moment when Heaven leans in and God’s favour is resting on you.”
Continue this week to pray for Neil and Janet (and Caleb) as they step into this exciting new stage of leadership in our church and community.