Our Current Situation in Detroit
Amy and I and the Burton family would be honored if you would read through this and contact us this week. God is really doing some amazing things around here!
Last May we made a seemingly crazy decision to move against the massive flow of people out of Detroit, and to move here to help prepare the region for revival.
Since then we’ve developed some amazing and important relationships, started Revival Church, ministered in churches and raised up a solid team of revivalists.
The reason for the mass exodus out of the Detroit area is the tragic level of unemployment. I’ve heard it said that there’s ONE JOB for every 90 people looking for a job!
We knew we were taking a huge faith step, and with little guaranteed monthly finances we’d have to live on the miraculous giving of our friends and partners.
Those of you that know me understand very well that I embrace a lifestyle of thankfulness, joy and faith. The following situation is not a complaint or an expression of frustration, but a simple and very real analysis of our current situation.
- Since I had to start working outside the church, my actual time involved in ministry has been reduced to near zero (the goal is to be invested 40-60 hours a week, and I’m currently ministering less than 5)
- Church plant coaches say that a key and initial goal is to raise enough money so the planter doesn’t have to divide his time and energy by working outside of the church. (The time necessary to be involved in prayer, study, pastoring, networking, developing, creating teams, marketing, etc. is quite extreme… it’s way more than a full time job in itself.)
- Due to the high time requirements and demands of church and ministry leadership, Steve Gray of World Revival Church in Kansas City recently said, “…every pastor, if they are working a job outside the church,their goal should be, as fast as possible,to get rid of that job."
- My energy and focus has been divided significantly due to the need to get a job (again, thankful, but wisdom demands an evaluation of this)
- I currently work until around 6pm every day, and then work for my own design business most evenings from 6pm to bedtime and also on Saturdays.
- I’ve been preparing my sermon for Sunday’s Revival Church service the hour before I leave for service every Sunday, which just can’t continue.
- The preparation of revival requires a massive time commitment, and I don’t want my part of the mission to remain on hold for much longer. The work to be done is huge, and I must give myself to it fully.
We are boldly asking for you to financially partner with our ministry. We need to raise at least $3000 a month to replace my job, and another $1000 or so to replace my design business.
You can give via credit card at www.johnburtonministries.com/donate. If you setup recurring monthly donations, that would be a huge blessing. If you’d prefer to make a special donation, that would bless us as well!
THANK YOU SO MUCH. We’d love to hear from you and share more about this huge mission in Detroit!
We love you!
John, Amy, Skylar, Parker, Jet and Ella
Healings in a Party Atmosphere at Revival Church
That last two weeks at Revival Church have been amazingly free and alive. Laughter has been breaking out, and last night we had at least three instantaneous healings.
God is AMAZING!
There was such life and freedom throughout the night… I was buzzing as I was preaching on the pleasure of God.
That teaching can be heard at www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/teaching, and the full notes (I only made it through the introduction last night) will be included below.
I. Our Vision
a. We started this church with one big idea.
i. To know God, in the depths of his personality, is incredible!
ii. Our job is to make it easy for people to thoroughly enjoy God.
iii. He is so worth it!
iv. John Piper- we value most what we delight in most.
1. God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him.
2. We spent our money on a trip to Disney World.
3. It was incredible and worth every penny.
a. The $4 hot dogs, $3 Mickey ice cream bars, the long lines, the hot weather- all worth it!
b. We were there 8 days and we were up at 7am on 7 of them to enjoy as much pleasure as possible!
c. All of this pleasure doesn’t even come close to the pleasure that knowing God brings!
d. Psalms 16:11 (NKJV) 11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
e. The idea here is to live our lives in the presence of God!
4. If we truly understand what we have in knowing God, the church, not Disney World, will be the happiest place on earth!
b. This idea is in direct contradiction to religion.
i. To have a relationship with God is to enjoy him, to trust him, to love him and to be satisfied in him alone.
ii. However, religion is man’s attempt to use God to get what he wants.
1. That’s very different.
2. C.S. Lewis- Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
c. As we continually and aggressively grow in God, we will discover the greatest, deepest and most overwhelming satisfaction comes as we are simply with him.
II. He Is Passionate About Us
i. John 3:16 (NKJV) 16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
ii. Rev 4:11 (KJV) 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
iii. If you saw the Passion of the Christ, you have an idea how passionate Jesus is for you, for the one who drove the nails.
III. Five Steps To Enjoying God
1. We can’t enjoy life if we aren’t free!
2. Our sins and our separation from God make it impossible to enjoy God.
a. That’s why Jesus came!
b. Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, F29 To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
3. Best decision I’ve ever made!
4. Not because of some hope of going to heaven, but because of how amazing life on earth really is!
5. Isaiah 12:3 (NKJV) 3 Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation.
a. It’s wonderful to be free!
b. When our savior was on his way to the earth, the angels declared- rejoice!
c. Luke 2:10 (NKJV) 10 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
ii. Surrendering our thoughts and opinions
1. After salvation, the act of surrender must be continual for us to flow in the life of God.
2. 2 Cor 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
3. The word ‘arguments’ could be translated ‘reasonings’.
a. Every thought that rises up in our minds that speaks against the truth of the Word of God must be brought into captivity.
b. Another translation of that word is ‘imaginations’.
c. No matter how logical something may seem, if it contradicts the Word, it’s merely an imagination.
d. As a third-century man was anticipating death, he penned these last words to a friend: "It's a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians–and I am one of them."
e. We surrender not only our lives, but also our frustrations, our fears, our doubts, our arguments against the truth of the Word.
f. This brings us to the next point- we must trust God entirely in order to enjoy him.
i. We can accept Jesus into our lives, but if we don’t trust him with everything, we can’t truly enjoy him.
1. We will be leery of him and that causes us to remain at a safe distance from him.
2. This is why he told us from the very beginning to die to our selves.
3. Matt 16:24-25 (NKJV) 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
a. What a dilemma!
b. So many Christians live their entire lives trying to find life- if only they would lose their life, carry their cross- then their lives would be amazing!
4. Romans 8:5-6 (NKJV) 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
a. If we have set our minds of discovering human answers to life’s challenges, we won’t give room for God to bring a supernatural answer!
b. Heb 11:1 (NKJV)1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
i. There is a very important truth here- if we truly live by faith, then our enjoyment is based upon what is unseen vs. what is seen!
ii. Circumstances cannot steal our joy!
iii. The reality of what our faith is based on is more tangible than the unpaid bills, the sickness in our body or the struggles in our lives.
iv. In the midst of it all, we rejoice because we know God’s taken care of us.
v. Jer 29:11-13 (NIV)11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
vi. So- how do we know what to have faith in?
c. Romans 10:17 (NKJV)17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
d. This bring the third critical element needed to thoroughly enjoy God- The Word!
c. Growth in the Word
i. It’s easy to enjoy God when we believe the Word is true!
ii. It’s alive!
1. Phillip Brooks- The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope he sees worlds beyond; but if he looks at his telescope, he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it and so they see only the dead letter.
2. So we find ourselves in a trial and our initial response is to complain and lose our joy.
3. But then! We open the 100% true Word of God!!
a. Hark, what do we have here?!
b. 2 Cor 4:16-18 (NKJV) 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
c. Behold! Now our misery can turn to joy as we believe the Word of God is true!
d. Psalms 119:103-104 (NKJV) 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.
e. C.S. Lewis- I would recommend you either believe God up to the hilt, or else not to believe at all. Believe this book of God, every letter of it, or else reject it. There is no logical standing place between the two. Be satisfied with nothing less than a faith that swims in the deeps of divine revelation; a faith that paddles about the edge of the water is poor faith at best. It is little better than a dry-land faith, and is not good for much.
iii. In addition to making it easy to enjoy God by feeding our faith, the Word reveals the incredible depth of God!
1. What could be better?
2. Rev 19:11-16 (NKJV) 11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
iv. The way we see God, the way we make decisions, the way we perceive challenges will change as we stand on the Word.
v. Challenges can become thrilling instead of heavy.
vi. Burden is light.
vii. We can easily enjoy God as we devour his written word to us!
i. Deeply immersed in meditation during a church service, Italian poet Dante Alighieri failed to kneel at the appropriate moment. His enemies hurried to the bishop and demanded that Dante be punished for his sacrilege. Dante defended himself by saying, "If those who accuse me had had their eyes and minds on God, as I had, they too would have failed to notice events around them, and they most certainly would not have noticed what I was doing."
1. To get lost exalting God is amazing!
2. The greatest part of the Christian life for me is prayer and worship!
3. I am fanatically addicted to it!
4. 1 Chron 16:11 (NKJV) 11 Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
5. For many, prayer is the means to the end.
a. It should not be that way!
b. Being with God is the end!
c. Col 4:2 (NKJV) 2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
ii. It seems strange that God calls us to exalt him.
iii. He knows that we will experience life and freedom if we do!
iv. In order to enjoy God, not only must we trust him, but we must interact with him always.
v. It is a common temptation of Satan to make us give up the reading of the Word and prayer when our enjoyment is gone; as if it were of no use to read the Scriptures when we do not enjoy them, and as if it were no use to pray when we have no spirit of prayer. The truth is that in order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, and the way to obtain a spirit of prayer is to continue praying. The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray.
vi. Alfred Lloyd Tennyson- More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.
vii. When asked how much time he spent in prayer, George Muller's reply was, "Hours every day. But I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk and when I lie down and when I arise. And the answers are always coming."
e. Right relationships
i. In regard to relationships- Make sure there is a fire breather in the mix!
ii. Spend time with people who are can’t stop talking about God!
1. In order to enjoy God always, we must hang with people that share our passion!
2. Acts 2:42 (NKJV) 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
3. This is why it’s so important to come together each week at church- to fellowship, to worship, to grow together!
a. 3 times a week- Sunday, Wed, small groups.
b. Heb 10:24-25 (NKJV) 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
4. It’s a critical element of life on earth- finding joy and life in relationships with others.
5. People crave intimate relationships!
iii. Testimony of kid in mall
a. So, to enjoy God we simply pursue him!
iii. The Word
God is doing something wonderful in Detroit!
I’m so blessed to be a part of a family of revivalists—people who love each other a lot, and who are moving deeper into the fire of revival together.
At Revival Church, we’re passionately calling zealous, hungry people together who are ready to lock in and have a blast praying, serving and developing a foundation that will withhold the pressures of a massive move of God.
You are invited to join us! We would absolutely love that!
The plan is simple—we gather, we pray, vision is cast and we grow together, at the same pace toward strength and maturity.
We’ll also be attending another fiery church TOMORROW morning at 10am. Salt River Christian Church in Chesterfield. I love the converging of churches and ministry… the city church is a huge part of our vision! See you there, and then at Revival Church Sunday evening at 6pm!
Salt River Christian Church
50955 Seaden Drive
Chesterfield, MI 48047
They are located 1 mile east of I – 94, 1 building south of 23 mile on Seaden Drive.
Revival might come.
We all know that it should come, but there is a lot that must come together if we hope to have a foundation strong enough to sustain it.
If we understand that revival isn’t defined by a powerful church service, or by life getting suddenly better, but rather that it’s a calibration—judgment—as God brings order to chaos.
This calibration to biblical normalcy will give a massive opportunity for offense and complaining to erupt as God, in love, begins to touch what’s sacred to us but a hindrance to him.
The church is God’s governmental structure to initiate, facilitate and give structure to the wild fire that revival will bring.
Simply, we must be together, connected to apostolic leadership, deeply organized and ready to advance. The church must be on the same page, must be ready to deal with the people that are going to be flooding to the altars, and simply must be unoffendable, teachable and full of the Holy Spirit.
This teaching addresses all of these issues. You can listen by going to www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/teaching.
Here’s the notes so you can follow along:
Order in the Church- Preparation for Revival
I. Order and government is critical
a. 1 Corinthians 14:12 (ESV) 12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.
b. Titus 1:5 (ESV) 5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—
i. People who handle the spiritual duties of the church
ii. 1 Tim 4:14 “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you”
iii. 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (ESV) 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
iv. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ must not settle for anything short of godly leadership. Where can we find such people? Jesus said: "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest" (Matt 9:37-38).
II. Demands of revival
a. In the midst of revival we will have every opportunity to succumb to the pressure.
i. To understand this, we must have a clear picture of what revival is.
ii. It’s not simply an outpouring, but rather it’s a recalibration.
1. The challenge, the pressure, the rebukes, the refining will be constant.
iii. Those who are mostly looking for the refreshing (99% of the people) will very possibly find themselves bruised, discouraged and disenchanted.
1. Wow, revival can actually bring people to a worse place!
b. Moses went through this.
i. He was the deliverer, the OT savior of the Hebrews.
ii. He laid down his life, he risked everything to liberate people, to bring revival.
iii. But, there wasn’t the order necessary to handle it.
iv. In fact, Moses, the heroic leader, got so depressed that he wanted to die.
III. Numbers 11
a. Moses engaged in communication with God such as no man had ever before experienced.
i. He talked with God face to face.
ii. All 27 chapters of Leviticus and the first 9 chapters of Numbers record God’s words to Israel through Moses while the people were encamped at Sinai.
iii. The statement, “The Lord said to Moses” (or similar) appears nearly 60 times in these chapters.
iv. The day then came for Israel to move on, to leave Sinai and travel on towards the Promised Land.
v. The cloud that hovered over the Tabernacle suddenly began to move, and Moses and all Israel knew it was time to break camp and follow the Lord.
vi. Moses was optimistic when they broke camp and was highly motivated after his personal communication with God over the past 12 months.
vii. Numbers 10:35 says, “Rise up, O LORD! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you.”
viii. Moses was pumped!
b. But, it lasted all but three days.
i. The complaining began.
ii. Even though they were better off now then they were when they left Egypt, they complained.
iii. Numbers 11:1 (ESV) 1 And the people complained in the hearing of the LORD about their misfortunes, and when the LORD heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.
1. In the OT and the NT when there is a move of God, there are also casualties among those who respond wrongly.
2. Acts 5:4-6 (ESV) …Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
3. Take note, if we are crying out for the fire of God, we must understand just what we are asking for.
a. It’s both a refining fire and a consuming fire.
4. Numbers 11:2-3 (ESV) 2 Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD, and the fire died down. 3 So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them.
a. People died, yet the complaining continued.
5. Numbers 11:4-6 (ESV) 4 Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”
6. Numbers 11:10 (ESV) 10 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their clans, everyone at the door of his tent. And the anger of the LORD blazed hotly, and Moses was displeased.
a. Weeping and despair when life isn’t going as planned is not the right response.
b. Later in this story we see that God gave them what they wanted—more meat than they could eat, and a plague landed on them as they ate.
c. Numbers 11:33-34 (ESV) 33 While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck down the people with a very great plague. 34 Therefore the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had the craving.
d. They buried the people who had the craving!
c. The pressure of the people got to Moses.
i. He actually asked God to kill him.
ii. The revival was in process, the miracles were happening literally every day.
iii. But, the immaturity of the people resulted in a negative response to God’s move.
iv. These negative responses, the complaining will result in many people being impacted negatively right in the midst of revival if we don’t prepare for it.
v. These responses will land right in the lap of the leaders of revival.
vi. God has a plan to deal with this issue.
d. Numbers 11:16-17 (ESV) 16 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. 17 And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone.
i. He will take some of the Spirit on Moses and put it on them.
ii. They shall bear the burden of the people.
iii. Mike Bickle- “I don’t do anything!”
iv. This is both an OT and a NT plan of action.
v. Acts 6:1-4 (ESV) 1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
a. So, we are in the gathering phase at Revival Church.
i. Many must be in position and ready to handle the needs of the people.
ii. My primary role is to hear from God, apostolically advance and raise up leaders… to pray and be in the Word.
iii. The rest will be handled by those who respond to the call.
iv. Most megachurch leaders don’t know what the day-to-day operations look like in any of the church’s ministries. He delegates authority.
v. This is where we are at now.