O, Ontario! (Steve)
So good to see below how we are all having an effect on other nations through enabling people from our church family to travel and use their gifts. Two of our treasured elder & wife duos, the Sudworths and the Doans, recently travelled to Canada and spent this time of mutual ministry and refreshment Steve describes below. Read on to see how we are contributing to God’s kingdom in Canada!
November 24, 2010
Ontario Ministry Trip
I’m writing this from Toronto airport getting ready to board my flight home.Traveling to other churches to partner with them in seeing the King exalted and His Kingdom advance into the nations is a huge privilege but it’s not what grips our heart the most. Our greatest delight and joy is leading Church in the City along with the team of elders and deacons, seeing our city transformed little by little and enjoying life with each of you. Chicago is home. It is where God has called us and where we give ourselves wholeheartedly.
I visited 3 churches over the past 6 days. Hue, Vanessa, Debs and I started last Friday in Mississauga (a city about 40min west of Toronto), spending time with James and Leigh Colgan who lead LifeHouse Church. One thing that God highlighted at each of the churches was the value and importance of building relationships above church meetings. It’s so easy to slip into a “meetings mindset” where we assume that is the only time God ministers to His people. No! Every time we gather –whether as church on Sundays, a connect group during the week or over a meal with friends and family – God wants to move and minister to His people.
Sunday at LifeHouse was awesome! Their leaders ministered to the 4 of us during the prayer time before church and so we went into the Sunday meeting refreshed, full of faith and expecting God to do much. It was certainly a powerful time. Hue,Vanessa and Debs ministered powerfully in the prophetic, calling a number of people out from the congregation and speaking powerful and accurate words of life and liberty over them. I had come prepared to teach something but during the worship felt God lead me along another path. It was a stretching but I followed the leading the Spirit and after my message a young woman responded to the invitation to receive Jesus for the first time.
Debs, Hue and Vanessa flew back to Chicago Sunday evening whilst I went to Waterloo (about an hour further west). Fred and Catherine Serez lead the Father’sHouse. That’s the church Nate & Jamie took a team from CITC to for the youth event LiveAlive. I met with their core team Sunday night. What a great group of people! I ministered on Going After the Promises of God.
On Monday I flew to Ottawa to spend 2 days with Kirk and Jan Slow who lead Liberty Church, which is a year old. We met Tuesday night with their core team and God moved powerfully that evening, challenging the church from the word and then confirming His word with signs following (one woman was healed of allergies).What’s so awesome about Liberty Church is the small group that have gathered are predominantly over 60 but man-o-man, are they on fire! As we prayed for the sick they were radically involved, praying in the Spirit, trusting God for miracles…it was awesome to see.
Each church has invited us back in 2011 so I’m planning to take 2 teams; the first team in the Spring and the other late August for the youth event LiveAlive. Please let me know if God stirs your heart to come along. Thanks for releasing us this past weekend. I heard church was outstanding and Chris, Mark and Nate did an incredible job leading and facilitating ministry. The joy of working in team is that we can be more effective in more places through more people.