Retired? Still young at heart but much older in other places!
A heartfelt thanks to the Coign Church from Malcolm & Pam Kayes
Thank you all so much for a wonderful morning on Sunday 16th July when I preached my last sermon as leader of The Coign Church - the meeting was alive and buzzing with praise to God, thankfulness, and emotion. It was followed by the amazing afternoon BBQ when hundreds celebrated my ‘retirement’ by eating lots of great food and enjoying fellowship and friendship. It was so moving and such a blessing to see The Coign family eating, drinking, chatting, and playing together. Pam and I are so grateful to those who worked so hard to make it such a special day, and to the many who travelled to be with us – family and friends from ‘up north’, the Netherlands, and some more local.
I am not sure exactly what ‘retirement’ will mean for me but I will certainly be able to wake up and not have to go to work, and I will now be able to do that several times a day! I think it will also deepen my prayer life beyond praying for God to provide a convenient Car Parking space, I will now also be asking God to help me remember where I parked the car.
I will continue to serve churches in the UK and overseas as part of the Commission leadership team, and I look forward to spending more time with Pam and on the golf course (got that statement in the right order for once!).
It has been over 26 years since I became Coign Church leader and it has been a joy and delight to lead and serve this great church for all those years. Pam and I consider ourselves privileged and blessed to have been able to work alongside two outstanding Chairmen of Trustees, namely Mike Deavin and previously Richard Wright. The other Trustees have also been very considerate and supportive during this time, and we are grateful for the wonderful care and concern the Trustees, Leaders, Staff & Church members have all shown to both of us and our family over many years.
I must also make mention of the 13 exemplary Elders who have served with me at different times during these 26 years. The Coign Church, including me, can thank God for these men, and their wives, who have carried the weight of spiritual authority and pastoral responsibility with such integrity and dignity, and who have served the Lord and His people with much joy. Thanks also to the twenty plus Staff members who have served The Coign Church and suffered under my leadership and feedback! We have also been blessed and built up in faith and mission through the input, example, and teaching of apostolic leaders such as Terry Virgo, Dave Holden, Steve Tibbert, and Guy Miller.
By God’s grace we have all together navigated both the peaceful and stormy seas of church life and leadership, and done so without any major divisions or disasters that can so easily befall many local churches through sin and selfishness, and we have enjoyed many laughs on the way.
Finally, (and this is a preacher’s ‘finally’) I must acknowledge that a good local church is built through the faithfulness and hard work of many committed, Christ-centred people – Living Stones – who are dependable and lively, and with whom Jesus can build His church. These are the saints who are willing to lead and to serve, and we have enjoyed fellowship with hundreds of such folk at The Coign Church for many years. God has been good to us. We have celebrated the lives of many faith heroes who are now enjoying their heavenly reward, and we have witnessed many members who have served quietly and faithfully, without fuss or complaint – such folk make the Coign Church a great church. Together we have sent scores of members out to serve overseas. We have been so blessed by people who have led ministries, small groups, Youth work, Children’s Groups, and Treasure Tots for decades, and so inspired by others who regularly risked their spiritual gifts to build up the church. Thank you so, so much.
Without boasting beyond our measure, and fully realising the Grace of God at work amongst us, we have certainly become an Antioch Apostolic Resource Church, influencing both the town and many other churches and ministries by generously sending out people, ministry, and financial resources to many contexts both in UK and overseas. Well done!
Finally, finally (honest) - I thank God for my family who have always been a massive source of joy and satisfaction, and very special thanks to Pam who is an outstanding woman, a beautiful wife, and a loving, diligent mum and grandma. Her own perseverance and faith, demonstrated through several life-threatening illnesses, has been an inspiration to me.
Mighty God and Heavenly Father, you have been good to me, and I want to praise You for your love and grace in giving me the opportunity, and the strength and health, to be part of the family and mission of The Coign Church. I hope and pray that The Coign Church continues to grow in influence and impact both locally and nationally.
KEEP PRESSING ON!