I wanted you all to know that after carefully seeking the Lord, Carol and I feel that the time has come to hand over vital aspects of our ministry to our spiritual sons and daughters who have faithfully, lovingly and diligently served our vision and ministry for a great many years. We waited until we were together for our Catch The Fire World Leaders Retreat in Collingwood, Ontario, this past week, to formally make these announcements to our global leaders and pastors, which we did amidst the cheers and applause of us all.
Therefore, with great joy we share with you all, that Carol and I have handed over the leadership of Catch The Fire World to Duncan and Kate Smith. Last month at our Catch The Fire World board of directors meeting, upon motion duly made, Duncan Smith was made the President of the Catch The Fire World board. Duncan and Kate served us so well in Toronto as Executive Director and also Youth Network Leaders, planting our Central Campus 10 years ago. In 2008 they left Toronto, after eight years, to plant our first Catch The Fire Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. It is now a thriving resource church there in North Carolina's State Capital. Together we birthed Catch The Fire World, in 2009, which is our global ministry and church planting movement. Carol and I joyfully anointed them with oil and laid hands on them, in the presence of all the global leaders at the Leaders Retreat this past week.
Secondly, as you know, almost 10 years ago, we turned the senior leadership of our Toronto church over to Steve and Sandra Long, once I had turned 65 years of age. We still hold the title of Founding Pastors of our church, Catch The Fire Toronto. Steve and Sandra have been serving our ministry for over 21 years now, and are very active in planting new congregations in Toronto and in Canada, as well as nurturing and serving our Campuses and people. Last month, I asked the Board of Directors of Catch The Fire Toronto to install Steve Long into the position of President of the Board. So by a unanimous decision, Steve Long is now the new President of Catch The Fire Toronto, as well as Senior Leader of the church.
Thirdly, the following day, at the same Leaders Retreat, Duncan Smith, announced that he and Kate, Steve and Sandra, Carol and I were inviting Stuart and Chloe Glassborow to join us on the Global Senior Leadership Team of Catch The Fire World. Stuart and Chloe are the amazing Senior Leaders and church planters of Catch The Fire London in the UK. They lead a nationally recognized resource church there, now 6 years old, and it is a great joy now to have them helping to lead our growing church planting movement of Catch The Fire World.
A few of you have asked me “How does it feel to step down?” Actually, it feels really good to be putting our global ministry and churches in the hands of incredible leaders who have faithfully served our vision with integrity, passion, humility and faithfulness. I do not know of finer men and women to hand off to, than them. They have been and continue to be faithful sons and daughters to Carol and I. So how do I feel? Very blessed indeed, and very excited for what the future holds for all of us in Catch The Fire. For me, it feels like a step up, not down, making room at the top, so that fresh energy and vision and anointing can have expression and be released in our movement.
Know also, that Carol and I are not going anywhere. I will remain on both Boards that I mentioned as a Vice-President, and have retained the position of President of the Catch The Fire Canada board for now. Also, I continue to be the President of Partners in Harvest and lead it along with Dan Slade who is the International Director of this broader network of churches, of which all Catch The Fire Churches are members.
So I am feeling very blessed, excited and yet very content. Our ministries that God birthed out of the Toronto Revival are now in very capable and trustworthy hands. Duncan & Kate leading Catch The Fire World; Steve & Sandra leading Catch The Fire Toronto, (our flagship church); and Dan & Gwen Slade leading Partners in Harvest. Carol and I are looking forward to coaching them, encouraging them and cheering them on, while at the same time having a bit more time for family and friends. I am soon to turn 75 years old - I see that as an achievement, especially as we both enjoy reasonably good health. Yet I am looking forward to the next 10 years with great anticipation and excitement. I believe that a wave of Revival such as the world has never seen is about to break upon us. Unprecedented harvest is even now coming in throughout the nations of the world, even amidst all the world’s turmoil. For all of us, our best years are just before us. Catch The Fire now has 25 churches in our Global Network and we are believing God for 100 by the end of the year 2020.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you that have supported us prayerfully, relationally and financially, as we have co-laboured together for the Lord throughout 35 years of very active ministry. It has been joy unspeakable and full of glory, and the half has never yet been told; and the best has yet to come!
With all of our hearts we bless each and every one of you, in the mighty name of Jesus our wonderful Savior, Leader, Lord and Champion, who is most anxious for His Bride.
All our love
John and Carol Arnott