Marshall Schaitel, Aylsham
I saw an old steam locomotive, just sitting and running very smoothly, but it is very loud and there is smoke coming out of it. There is a smell and an energy about it, the ground is shaking around it. It’s not like the new electric trains that are silent and when you’re near them you can hardly tell whether they are running or not. There is something very powerful about this train.
In the York train museum is the train that set the land speed record, and when you stand beside it it is enormous! The thought of it moving at about 120 mph is frightening – to think what power that huge machine produced. It was not sleek like the speed-trains of today, it was a massive piece of metal, and the way it works is through the build-up of steam that comes from stoking the fire and throwing massive amounts of coal in – just getting everything to the point where if it didn’t move it would explode.
I sense God would say tonight: ‘Stoke the fire inside each of you’….that the pressure is building inside of you to the point where if you don’t demonstrate the power of the kingdom of God you will explode. But God doesn’t want that! He wants there to be speed and action and strength, so that you are able to couple many carriages behind you that will carry many good things – healing to the nations, words of strength and wisdom. He wants you to be able to add on truck after truck after truck, trainload after trainload after trainload, so that people will stop and look. They will see the smoke and hear the sound of the whistle blowing – and if you’ve ever seen the amount of steam that comes off one of these trains it is amazing! – and feel the energy as they stand near it, the whole ground shaking. There is something in the Kingdom of God that He is releasing – He’s not just throwing another log on the fire – this is a stoking, a turning of the valves, and His hand is on the throttle, the brakes are coming off and it is now time for you to run with a strength and perseverance, with a power, with an anointing, an expectation and an authority that will cause people to stop, turn and listen and to draw near.
It says (in Acts) about the early church that people were afraid to join them…and yet their numbers grew daily. An authority is being released that will breed fear in the kingdom of darkness, but will cause people in darkness to come into the light.
Keith Bonner, Aylsham
This isn’t 4 new elders being bolted onto the existing eldership, but a new team. While I was out walking (with the dog!) there were tiny buds starting to come out on the trees, and trees had little tiny green leaves starting to emerge. And as you looked at the trees there wasn’t one old leaf on the tree, every single one was new and green. This is exactly what the eldership is like – all of the leaves are young & green, it doesn’t matter whether you have been an elder of this church for 20 years or a couple of minutes, we all start in exactly the same place, and the anointing of God on elders is equal – God is pouring out his spirit on each one. On Simon there is a special anointing for leadership coming in power.
Rob Clarke, Lowestoft
Acts 11:19-23 – Church in Antioch preached not just to Jews, but to Greeks also – the Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Barnabas visited and when he arrived he saw evidence of the grace of God – there is great evidence of the grace of God here, the Lord’s hand is clearly with you because your hearts are for him, and you will see many turn to the Lord and be saved and added, many lives transformed, and those coming into the church (and those already there) flourishing in the good things that God has got for you all to do, as together with Him you build church.
Mike Betts, Lowestoft
Climbing plants – they get to a certain point at the end of the growing season, then the leaves fall off, the winter comes – and they have got where they’ve got, and they harden and mature in terms of their look. You can tell that it’s not fresh growth because it has been there a while – it’s healthy, there’s life in it, it looks mature….it’s grown to where it’s grown! Then spring comes and you notice that fresh growth comes at the ends of where it’s got to – it doesn’t come from the base particularly, the green bits are pushing on from where it’s got to. Sometimes in scripture it talks about God pruning and cutting a bush right back to nothing, but I didn’t feel that was what God was saying to you, that it’s a new start. Fresh green growth is going to appear from where you’ve already got to, and if you want to know where the new life is, look to where you’ve got, and God will start doing stuff there. I think some of this is to do with stuff you are already doing in the community, and I think that it is particularly to do with salvation, numbers of people coming to know the Lord, a fresh wave of ingathering, and that that will come, the new life will come, from where you’ve got to. I think it’s also to do with the church spreading into new areas – Aylsham has always had this word over it about being like a climbing vine spreading out over Norfolk – and I don’t thnk you’ve reached the extremities yet of that picture, this is not a prophecy that has ceased….it still has steam in it! You must look to where you’ve got already, where you’ve established already, and there will be new greenery coming at the extremities. A new spring season is coming from where the growth has already matured and established.
Ian Dallain, North Walsham
I came along tonight not really thinking about worshipping Jesus, I came for you guys – good mates being brought into eldership. As we started the first song it was quite striking – ‘Of course, all this is about Jesus!’ And I believe God spoke to me about you – new elders, the whole eldership team, elder-and-wife couples, and the church as a whole – through this.
People will be attracted to you. You guys, you’re great, and people will want to be around you because of that. (Godly Christian couples) You are hugely attractive and people will want to be with you for your company, your love, the help that you can give. The church is attractive to people because of the help, the healing, the sense of family, the fun it can offer.
But: John the Baptist was sent by God to testify to the light. John 1 tells us, he himself was not the light, he came only as a witness to the light. You are not the light. You elders, you eldership couples, Aylsham Community Church, you are not the light. Jesus is the light. You are to point people to Jesus.
I believe this is partly instruction – you need to keep this in mind, particularly when you’re successful – you aren’t the answer, Jesus is.
But mainly I believe this is an encouraging prophetic word that God would speak over you: this is what you will look like. People will come to you for all sorts of reasons, they will come along to all sorts of activities you put on, but through these you will keep on bringing them to Jesus.