(The following is a prophetic word given at Vinelife Church. This is one of several declarations that have shaped the identity and vision of the Vinelife community. We pray this message serves to encourage us personally and communally.) 

The Government Will Be Upon His Shoulders

Walt Roberson – Senior Pastor (1999 – 2014)

The Lord gave me a Scripture as I became the Senior Pastor of Vinelife.  I had observed different leadership styles over many years of ministry and found myself experiencing a great concern about how decisions were made.  Having been in U.S. Air Force Hospital Administration and subsequently in business, I was steeped in “top-down” leadership with strong leaders making organizational decisions.  Obtaining a M.A. in Management and Supervision further enforced the idea that a good organization was led by a leader who was knowledgeable, decisive, and bold.  He (she) made the decisions and the organization followed (sometimes off the cliff!).  My spirit was provoked by this model and I cried out to the Lord asking how He wanted His people to be led.  He gave me the following:

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

It spoke very clearly to me that His leadership could be experienced in His church if we would recognize His desire and decisions.  Could it be that He could lead His church?  Would He in fact release a faith to us to trust Him to guide us and that what He wanted would be accomplished through His authority and power?  I believed if we asked Him to lead us, He would.  I thought it to be a bold faith exercise for us at Vinelife to take Him at His word.

Having seen so many churches experience turmoil and contention, I was especially interested in the promise that if we would let Him lead us that we would experience an increase of peace.  I wanted that!  I wanted to see Him bring so much peace to His people that Vinelife would become a safe place for honor, freedom and healing.  Thy Kingdom Come on earth (at Vinelife) as it is in Heaven!”