Annual Report 2015

Twenty fifteen was a year filled with incredible momentum and unexpected journeys. There were many things planned, but perhaps those that captured our imagination most and brought life to our city were the moments we didn’t envision. The next few pages trace our kingdom journey and tell our story of breakthrough in the past year. Hopefully you’ll be able to relive some of the moments that were special to you, and rejoice in the miracles we experienced together.

It was a year of rewriting the story in compassion and rebuilding broken lives in our community. Our ‘Compassion at the Centre’ offering in May allowed us to raise over half a million pounds to create one door of hope in the heart of our city. We also expanded our engagement in education, deepening our relationships and broadening our connecting with local schools. Our 10000 hours project was another moment where we had the honour of standing with and serving those who supply the destiny of our city – from local businesses to government agencies and education services. New business partnerships were created, thousands came to faith, many were healed, Dadfest was launched and we welcomed the nations as many came to see what the Lord is doing right here on the North Coast.

As we look towards the future, we anticipate a year of favour – one where God enables us to flourish as we receive His word in our lives and release it in our neighbourhoods. While bringing hope to the city is not the easiest way to do church – it’s messy and costly - it is the only way to release the kingdom. The sacrifice of the people of this church, and the miraculous power of God at work among us have produced tremendous Kingdom results. And we believe the best is still to come as each one of us releases the kingdom everyday, everywhere.

It’s an honour to be your pastor. Let’s step out again this year and bring back life to our community, our region and the nations.

Blessings, Alan Scott 

Exploring Generosity

1. Treasure Principle

“All your life, you've been on a treasure hunt. You've been searching for a perfect person and perfect plan. Jesus is that person; heaven is that place. So if you're a Christian, you've already met the person, and you're already headed to the place. 

But there's a problem. You're not yet living with that person, you're not yet living in that place!

You may attend church regularly, pray, and read the Bible. But life can still be drudgery, can't it? You dutifully put one foot in front of the other, plodding across the hot, barren ground, longing for a joy you cannot find, a treasure that eludes you.

Jesus told a story like that. It's about a hidden treasure that, once discovered, brings life-changing joy. But before we get started on our little journey, I want you to know something. Some books try to motivate giving out of guilt. This isn't one of them.

This book is about something else - the joy of giving. The Treasure Principle has long been buried. It's time to unearth it. It's a simple yet profound idea - with radical implications. Once you grasp it and put it into practice, nothing will ever look the same. And believe me, you won't want it to.

When you discover the secret joy of the Treasure Principle, I guarantee you'll never be content with less” 

This is a book extract from Randy Alcorn's 'The Treasure Principle'. It unearths the secret wrapped in giving. We would love to give you a free copy of this book as you begin or continue on your journey of living a life of breathtaking generosity. Fill in your details below and we can post this book to you.

2. Asking God to Intervene

“Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me” – Luke 12:13

There was a man who wanted Jesus to do something that would solve his financial problems. Ever been there? God, could you turn this situation around so that debt does not define my life? Would you help my boss to recognise what I bring to the company and give me a raise? God intervene in my finances. This man invited Jesus into his financial world. He effectively said ‘Jesus help me get more. I need more.’ 

Many of us have been in a time, season or stage where we were in financial need. Maybe you didn’t get as much money for the sale of the house, maybe you suddenly found yourself unemployed, maybe your relative changed the will. What would you do? 

The man in the story did what we would all do when the bottom falls out of our financial world. He wanted God involved in his finances. Not because he had ever given to God. “Lord, I'm asking You, I'm giving You permission, I'm inviting You in to the area of my financial security.” We all do it, suddenly we reconnect the world of our faith and our finances and we want God involved. It is clear his perspective needed reframed as Jesus told him a “man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” He was seeing himself as a victim of circumstance rather than a carrier of abundance. He was looking at what was missing instead of seeing what had been given. When we do this, we miss the invitation into what the Father is making available.

3. Building lives of Breathtaking Generosity

Building lives of breathtaking generosity is the gateway to becoming spiritually healthy and truly alive. More than anything else, generosity has the capacity to break the power of idolatry in our lives. It loosens the grip of greed and helps us find the freedom our hearts need. We need to learn to cultivate an abundance mentality that closes the door on anxiety and simultaneously invites us into joyous expectancy. We discover that generosity is something God wants FOR us and not something he wants FROM us. We need learn how to take the next step in fueling the impossible in our lives and how to multiply life in our cities through the biblical practice of breathtaking generosity. 

Listen to Alan below share on this from our series in 2013:

4. Struggling with Money? 

“I wasn't quite sure where to post this, so thought I'd message you… I wanted to thank the Coleraine Vineyard massively. I had lost my job, debts getting out of control on interest and didn't know where to turn. I rang CAP and that's when I came across John and David. Having recently become unemployed I was embarrassed and very low. They were very reassuring and positive. They set up a budget and plan. As I was unemployed at the time I had no extra funds so didn't exactly follow the plan exactly. I kept the budget and when I gained employment in September I could start following the plan. Long story short on Friday I became Debt Free for the first time since I was 19. A load off my mind and opens more avenues now in my future for example house owning etc. Could you please pass my huge gratitude to the CAP team at Vineyard who without I would probably still be in a horrible place financially and emotionally. Thank you, Andrew."

This is our most recent story of hope that has come come through our Christians Against Poverty centre. Since it's inception, we have seen over 2.9 million pounds worth of debt processed and many lives transformed.

Debt can impact us all. It can put strain on your health, on your relationships and on your mind. If you are feeling weighed down by money, then our centre can help. You may think your situation is impossible, but there is hope. Below are two ways CAP can help:

- CAP Debt Counselling: This service is tailed to provide support to those in debt who are finding it hard to cope. It provides a holistic and personal approach to bring a long term solution. To find out more or receive help call 0800 328 0006.
- CAP Money Course: This short course will provide you with the tools you need to successfully navigate your way though your finances, putting money in its rightful place. The principles will work to organise your finances irrespective of the size of your income or financial know-how. If you would like to find out more then click here.

You can find out more about our CAP centre at Causeway Coast Vineyard by calling the CAP team on 028 7032 6161.

Habits that Fuel the Heart: Fasting

Introduction to Fasting
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:16-18 (NIV)

Historically being close to God meant disengagement from culture. Spirituality meant avoiding and abstaining. However, Jesus presented an alternative way, an engaged spirituality. A connection with heaven that makes a difference in our everyday lives and to those around us.

One of the ways this connection happens and grows is through the habit of fasting. Simply stated biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose. The point is not simply to stop eating but to transfer our hunger, to begin to hunger more for God.

When we read Matthew’s words, it is clear that Jesus expected his followers to fast. It was not an optional extra for those engaging in the Kingdom. It was a habit for believers that released life in their everyday. 

Why Fast?
There are many reasons why we might fast. We may do it to:

- receive breakthrough (Ezra 8:21)
- reveal God's direction (Daniel 9:2-3, 21-22)       
- reverse tragedy (2 Samuel 12:16,22 & Joel 2:12,14)
- release freedom (Isaiah 58)
- remind ourselves that He alone is our daily bread (2 Chronicles 20:3)

Types of Fast
People can fast in different ways just in the same way that people can pray in different ways.

Normal Fast: Abstaining from all food, solid or liquid but not from water. In Matthew 4, we see Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. We read that "he was hungry" and that satan tempted him to eat, suggesting he abstained from food but not water.
Partial Fast: This is sometimes referred to as the 'Daniel fast'. It was his custom to restrict his eating/diet but there was not a total abstention of food (Daniel 1:12,15). 
Absolute Fast: This is linked to a particular crisis situation or for mourning where no food or drink is taken. There are examples of absolute fasts lasting for forty days, but they must have supernaturally sustained due to the length of time. It was normal for a period of 3 days as anything more could have been physically damaging (Esther 4:16, Acts 9:9).

Other Practical Tips on Fasting

- Choosing the type of fast: Be wise in this decision. Your health may play a factor. Remember a partial fast is still of great value, especially where circumstances make it impossible or inconvenient to undertake a normal fast. It can be more suitable for elderly persons or those with a weak constitution who can not manage a normal fast. It can be used as a stepping stone to the normal fast. You should never fast if you have a eating disorder. 
- The length of fast: The issue is not how long you fast, its what you long for when you fast. In this decision, talk with God (and maybe others) about what is the right length of time.
Preparing to fast: This is a key in helping maintain the habit. What you eat and drink before a long fast is important. Eat lightly and reduce your intake of cooked foods and meats. Resist the urge to have that "last big feast" before your fast. If you are a regular tea or coffee drinker, it is advised you cut down on the lead up. This could help with the potential headaches. 
- Breaking a fast: You may be tempted to eat a rich and large meal after going so long without food. This is not recommended. Solid food must be reintroduced slowly otherwise it could be uncomfortable for your body or even cause damage. After a 40-day fast, you should make a careful transition for at least three days before returning to eating meats or fats or normal foods. Raw foods and liquids can be helpful.

Final Thoughts
There is nothing wrong with fasting for breakthrough or for specific answers to prayer, but at its core, fasting it is to be done not so that we can gain, but to lead us into greater alignment with God's heart. It is our undivided worship and wholehearted response to Him. In forgetting the possibility of personal gain, in making a habit of fasting, we bring an offering just for Him and our hearts change.

Recommended Resources:
- Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, click here
- Article by our friends at 24-7 prayer, click here
- Articles by Jentezen Franklin, click here

Extended App Deadline - Under 5s (Kids) Pastor

Job Summary

Since its beginning Causeway Coast Vineyard has been passionate about ensuring that the succeeding generation is the generation that succeeds.

With that in mind we are seeking to employ an Under 5’s Children’s Pastor; a part-time pastor who is responsible for a ministry that reaches a wide range of children - age’s birth through five - leading them into a God-centred life. The Pastor will also help us promote and develop the whole of our kid’sministry through regular and effective communication of values, vision and stories.