Pastors must allow God to awaken them to the call to regional revival.
I regularly hear from people who are done with church, are frustrated with church leadership and are ready to abandon the weekly gathering, if they haven’t done so already.
I agree that there are significant issues. However, I relentlessly support God’s ordained leaders and encourage as many as I can to stay connected in life-giving churches. Now is not the time to abandon ship, even if we agree that reformation is necessary. This reform must come from within. The new wine skin is coming, and we need everybody in position and ready to serve the revival that results.
Since it’s critical for everybody to remain locked in to their assignments in this “all hands on deck” season, we need today’s leadership to shift toward the apostolic and become more regionally minded than locally minded.
SIX WAYS PASTORS ARE HINDERING REVIVAL
ONE: They don’t pray.
So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:2-4 (NIV)
The daily schedule for pastors should be mostly devoted to fervent intercession and study of Scripture. Sadly, most pastors don’t even lead corporate prayer meetings much less hide away in their prayer closet.
There is no way they can discern the spirit of revival if they aren’t given to a life of intensity in prayer. It’s extremely easy for me to discern whether the spirit of prayer and the spirit of revival is in a church. I travel all over the nation and I explode with life when I walk into some sanctuaries that have been bathed in prayer. You can feel the tangible presence of God. You are impacted by the weighty atmosphere that could only be the result of a praying pastor.
Praying pastors can’t help but to weave Holy Spirit fueled intercession throughout the Sunday service. Tongues of fire rest on top of the congregation, groans erupt from the saints and people are laid out all over the room. Not only does a praying pastor refuse to shut down such an atmosphere, he initiates it. God’s presence becomes a key driver of their ministry, and the goal changes from church growth or visitor attraction and assimilation in their local church to a raging fire in their region. If the pillar of fire emerges in a local church across town, the revival-minded, intercession-driven pastor will cancel everything at his home base to lead the people into the presence of God in the region.
TWO: They don’t embrace the prophetic.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 (ESV)
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:1 (ESV)
Too often pastors are leading their local churches logically, using church growth methods instead of facilitating a prophetic culture. It’s one thing to point your ship in the direction you want it to go. It’s something altogether different to put up your sails, allowing the wind to take you where it wants to go.
We must hear God’s voice continually in our churches and the pastor is the one to encourage the growth of prophetic ministry. God will connect pastors with prophets (and other offices) so God’s specific mandates can be heard and heeded. Additionally, every person in the congregation must be equipped and released to prophesy. If a vibrant prayer culture has been developed in the church, you won’t be able to keep people from releasing oracles from Heaven! God will be continually communicating to everybody!
THREE: They don’t release people to follow the fire.
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. Exodus 13:21 (ESV)
It grieves my heart and I’m certain the heart of the Lord when pastors refuse to release people under their care to follow the fire. The call of the church is to equip disciples and then to release them! We as leaders should have open hands, not tight fists. If a move of God launches in another church in the city, the pastor absolutely must encourage people to run to the outpouring! Better yet, he should be leading the way!
God will move geographically, and the fire most likely won’t ignite in your church, even if you are contending for it. If the outpouring is elsewhere, if you hold any value for revival, you will drive every day to that pillar of fire with a convoy of your congregation following behind!
FOUR: Their focus is on building their own ministry instead of the regional church.
…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
It’s time to stop expending energy mostly on building local ministries to the detriment of the regional church. It’s good and right to develop what God has given us to steward, and it’s right to have vision, even locally. However, the end goal must not be local church growth. It has got to be a regional outpouring. God will heal the land, the region, not the local gathering.
It’s time we start hearing pastors crying out for a move of God in their city versus in their local church. If the prophetic ministry is sharp and active, you will hear words that focus on God’s plans for the city much more than you will his plans for the local church.
FIVE: Their focus is on attracting seekers instead of training and releasing disciples.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV)
Numerical church growth in our American church culture has overtaken more important goals. It’s true that everything healthy grows, but sometimes the growth is deep instead of wide. The strategy of local churches must shift from growing in number to training remnants in prayer, ministry, revival and leadership. Then, the goal is actually to shrink in number instead of growing in number as these disciples are released as apostolic men and women of God.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the local church can’t still grow. It can, but it’s not a metric to be measured. It’s simply the overflow of an effective ministry that is regionally focused, prayer-driven and discipleship-minded.
SIX: They overestimate their role and leadership ability.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)
Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. Exodus 18:21 (ESV)
This one might sting.
Most pastors don’t have the God given ability to lead a regional revival. They have been called to nurture a small group.
God will raise up a leader or leaders who have the gifting to apostolically give leadership to a massive movement, and it’s important that everybody else in the city assumes their positions in support of the revival.
During an outpouring in Detroit several years ago, I was honored to be asked to lead the prayer emphasis. I wasn’t called to host the revival in my church, so I led the charge as many in my church drove 45 minutes every night to the outpouring. The fact that I wasn’t asked to lead, or that my church wasn’t the focus, or that any of the offerings weren’t coming to me, didn’t bother me in the least. How could it? I was in an outpouring!
In the city church, when a regional outpouring hits, God will utilize the willing pastors in the city in various roles. Humility will be required. Jealously will have to be killed. If that doesn’t happen, the revival is sure to die out as fast as it ignited.
We are all hungering for a powerful move of the Holy Spirit. What we do when reports of revival come will determine whether it continues or not.
11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. Mark 16:11 (ESV)
What will we do when we hear about a move of God in our region? Will we reject it, resist it, doubt it—or will we run and see and serve with passion?
I need to begin by explaining my personal views on revival. I must do this so you understand what my perspective is when I deal with false reports of revival and how to respond to true moves of God in a region.
I understand this is nothing more than an opinion, but I don’t personally believe the United States has experienced legitimate revival since Asuza. We have experienced various very powerful moves and visitations of God in places like Brownsville and Smithton, and some might argue that the impact is greater than I am understanding. I have been powerfully transformed by such moves of God and I in no way am attempting to diminish what happened there. The reason for the distinction is to bring clarity to just what we are contending for. I believe a move of God must shift history and change the spiritual landscape and culture of the region it is in in order for it to be called revival. Simply, revival radically changes entire cities and nations.
There are over 19,000 cities in our nation and none of them are experiencing the biblical normalcy of revival. God has done all that is necessary for us to be living in revival as a nation every day of our lives. Revival isn’t a special kiss from heaven as much as it is God’s church stepping up and living according to the grace and power of the Holy Spirit that has been available for over 2000 years. I’ve often said that we should be trembling in the shock and awe of the presence of God day and night. Churches should be full of people who are praying and groaning in the Spirit day after day. Salvations, healings, signs and wonders should be normal not unusual.
I believe the following passage describes clearly what is biblically normal—and what a sleeping, naturally minded church would consider unusual:
14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs. Mark 16:14-20 (ESV)
The eleven were overtaken by unbelief and hardness of heart. Sound familiar? They were driven by the same attitude that drives many today when reports of a move of God in a region are given. Just as they didn’t believe those who had experienced the resurrection power of Jesus, today’s church is quick to scrutinize, dismiss and reject such reports with a very suspicious spirit. More on this in a bit. Let’s continue looking at a movement of revival.
Jesus appeared to the disciples, rebuked them and gave them an all consuming mandate—Go all over the world, preach the gospel to everyone, cast out demons, speak in tongues and heal the sick. The promise of protection was given to them if they obediently responded to the orders of their Commander. Harm will not come to them.
This is revival! The American church needs a rebuke! We need a visitation of Jesus and we must say yes to every command of God to carry and release life and healing to the nations!
THE TRUE HEART OF A BEREAN
11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. Luke 24:11-12 (ESV)
Belief and expectancy will result in running as a result of any news that God has moved with great passion. Doubt will always result in resistance, staying away and embracing suspicion.
I often hear about the concept of being a Berean from some who may be considered heresy hunters. Those who are deeply suspicious of any report of a fresh move of God often attempt to disguise their unbelief and mocking spirit with a religious cloak. They say, I’m just being a Berean.
People driven by a false Berean attitude hear a report of a possible revival or outpouring and their immediate response is to discredit it. They pull out scriptures that supposedly renounce any new move of God and declare the participants to be misguided at best, heretics at worst. Others may take a less direct approach by holding back, waiting to see if it passes muster.
That, my friend, is not being a Berean.
I agree that we must be based on the Word of God more intentionally than ever in history. There is too much foolishness out there today in the name of revival. The answer is a people who are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and firmly grounded as students in the Bible.
However, I don’t agree that our immediate response to a potential fresh outpouring of the Spirit of God should be suspicion! This attitude can affect even the most godly of people. It’s all too easy to immediately doubt that such a move could be anything more than overreaching hope, hype or sensationalism.
I propose we all have the heart of a true Berean.
Before the stop at Berea, Paul preached about a powerful fresh move of God at Thessalonica. I believe heresy hunters are actually more like the Thessalonians than the Bereans:
2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” Acts 17:2-7 (ESV)
There was an urgent and immediate rejection of the report of resurrection power. Let’s contrast this with the pure hearts of the Bereans:
10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. Acts 17:10-13 (ESV)
This is a powerful passage of scripture!
The Bereans were more noble than those in Thessalonica. This is an important point! Why were they more noble? When they heard the report of a powerful, transforming, new move of God that would change everything in their lives, they received the word with all eagerness!
Their response was not scrutiny, unbelief, jealousy or resistance. They were excited to hear the news! They were so impacted by the potential of such a report that they immediately dove into the Word with the hope of confirming—not disproving—the life altering revelation!
But then, in verse 13, we see the unrelenting Thessalonians actually traveling to Berea to gather people to them in opposition to what God was doing there.
I hope you are truly ready for revival. This is what it looks like. The resistors will show up in force.
The question that needs to be answered is, which camp will you be in? Are you a scrutinizing Thessalonian or an eager Berean?
WHAT ABOUT FALSE REPORTS?
As I have already stated, I don’t believe we have seen an actual revival in over 100 years. I also am very careful not to label something revival or an outpouring if it is not. I want to be a true Berean, searching the Word and honestly determining whether something is an outpouring—or if it’s something different.
The reason this is important is because our response to it will be shaped by what is happening, or is reported to be happening.
If there is a very real fire in an apartment building, it makes all the sense in the world to put all of our resources, time and energy into an immediate and urgent response. Lives are hanging in the balance! But, if there is a false report about a fire, people and equipment are diverted away from availability into crisis response—where there is no crisis. Legitimate emergencies will then be under resourced due to the false report.
When I moved my family to the Detroit, Michigan area seven years ago I did so for only one reason—to prepare for revival. Detroit was poised for a move of God and my assignment was to serve with everything within me.
Shortly after arriving, my spirit began to be somewhat disturbed as I heard truly amazing, godly people announce that “revival is here” or that it is near or that it can’t be stopped.
I began to wonder just what definition of revival people were using. I knew before I ever decided to move to Detroit that revival was not near, but we had everything we needed as a region to get to work and give ourselves to the long, costly process of building a city fire. Unfortunately, the premature reports of revival were compromising the efforts. If revival was here or near why would we need to gather the laborers? Now we can relax and wait. Premature reports can kill a move of God that requires extreme participation from the city church.
The false report was that revival was there. The true report was that revival was possible.
Now, I agree that we might be able to say at times that the spirit of revival has arrived, or that there is a greater grace to believe for revival. We might be able to announce a local move of God or even an outpouring in a church. But, revival is a very special word. It must be reserved for something so gloriously cataclysmic in the spirit and in the natural that even muttering it causes a holy hush.
While in Detroit we experienced some absolutely stunning moves of God that are completely undeniable. We saw a visible mist of God’s presence three separate times. After a prophecy about a very unusual manifestation of God’s glory landing on a young lady, people were rushing to see gold dust coming up out of her scalp—just a week later! Another young man had anointing oil manifest on his hands during most every service for an extended season. People’s lives were being changed dramatically. Yet, there is no way I would even begin to presume we were in revival—but the spirit of revival was definitely there (meaning, God was moving in a way on a small scale that would be representative of full blown revival).
While some great friends are laying down their lives and contending for revival to this day in Detroit, the nation has not yet heard of the Great Detroit Revival. It hasn’t come yet. The masses have not come to Jesus. Healings are not skyrocketing. Churches are not full. The culture has not changed to one that is marked by the fire and Spirit of God.
Please understand an extremely important point: When a report of revival is sounded, we must dive in and serve—not because we immediately agree that true revival has landed, but because there are people who are hungry for revival gathering together—even though they may be premature in the announcement. If I hear about a move of God in my region, it’s critical that I, as a member of the city church, offer myself as a log on that fire, ready to be consumed for the sake of a greater outpouring. We can’t determine whether we will support it or not on the front end. Give it time and God will make it clear whether it’s going to continue or not. I gave six years of my life to the call for revival in Detroit. I never felt revival was near in the whole time I was there, even when God was moving powerfully as he did on multiple occasions. But, for a time I did feel we could see it come within a few years if we gave ourselves rightly to it. I ultimately realized that my season was done and others would have the honor of contending further.
The opportunity definitely does remain for Detroit and any other region in our nation to experience revival. This is good news! Detroit is one out of 19,000 cities who have yet to see it come. So is Branson, Missouri.
I am quite undone by the recent meetings led by Marrio Murillo in Branson, Missouri. Of course, I’ve been wrecked by the power of God, the intense messages and the incredible number of healings and salvations. Last night’s meeting was probably the most powerful I’ve been to in many years. It was indescribable.
But, that’s not why I’m undone. After moving to Detroit for the sole reason of seeing revival come to that region I was honored to be a part of meetings led by Brian Simmons that were similar to what I’m experiencing in Branson. If a Christian could experience Déjà vu, this would be it.
Every night for a month my team in Detroit and I cancelled our own agendas, most church services and other activities and gave leadership to the prayer emphasis at the meetings. I knew in my spirit that these services were designed by God to be catalysts to a revival that would impact the entire Detroit region—and the nation. I can’t even begin to explain the hunger and passion that I was experiencing. God was moving and revival was a legitimate possibility—if only the church would reorder their lives, show up and contend with everything they had.
In the midst of those meetings a haunting prophetic word was given: If the church of Detroit doesn’t respond to the costly call of revival, God will move on to Chicago.
Unfortunately unbelief and a Thessalonian spirit brought the outpouring to an end after just a month. Suspicion and resistance manifested and the eagerness to serve with passion was lacking.
Six years later, in the first meeting I attended in Branson, Mario Murillo mentioned that he felt one of a few cities on the clock for revival now is Chicago. He had my attention. He also mentioned that God would move on from any region that doesn’t compel him to stay. The similarities between the two events and the two words was stunning.
The question is clear no matter what city on the earth you live in: will the church of the city respond with great passion and pay the great cost to see revival come? If it’s a false report, how will we respond? Will we jump in and contend with people who may be overstating the experience yet are zealous beyond measure for the Holy Spirit to pour out? You do realize that gathering together with a handful of like-minded people and praying without stopping can result in legitimate revival no matter what true or false reports are flying, right?
We must gather together as the regional church. I’ll include the last instructions that we as a nation have received for revival—the instructions that led to the last true revival in the United States, Asuza:
Gather those who are willing to make a total surrender. Pray and wait. Believe God’s promises. Hold daily meetings. ~Evan Roberts
No matter the report, we should be doing this in our city. Stadiums should be filled with people who are crying out and contending day and night for revival.
And, keep in mind, when revival does come it will impact a city, not a single church. That’s the primary distinction between an outpouring and revival. This means that the church of the city must be unified and in position to serve the regional move of God. A supernatural, holy event in a church is a good thing, but not until the city church gathers and the entire region is rocked by the glory of God can we presume to call it revival.
We must not be like the Thessalonians. We need true Bereans who will eagerly receive the news of a fresh move of the Spirit of God and respond in force.
City shaking revival lies in the balance.
Revival is coming to the Detroit region through focused apostolic teams of burning ones.
In Acts 2, the revival that launched the church was released through an apostolic team of burning ones. People who had come out of an encounter with God that included fire dropping from Heaven onto each of them.
In Detroit, there are many of these types of teams throughout the region. God has worked on establishing them, and they will soon be surprised as fire consumes them, and prophetic boldness explodes out of them as they impart the fire of revival into to Detroit.
I am going to include an article by Bill Click that I received today that’s quite powerful. He talks about the difference between church planting teams and apostolic teams.
When we launched Revolution Church in Manitou Springs, Colorado we knew we weren’t simply planting a church. We were called very clearly to serve revival and Kingdom advance on a city level.
Ed Silvoso said: Pastors, you are called to a vision for the entire city and its workers.
Floyd McClung said: Apostolic teams are focused. They are not satisfied with just over-seeing the affairs of a local church!
We knew this was true in Manitou Springs. The goal was taking dominion, pushing back the darkness and calibrating with God’s plans regionally.
I am confident that one day we will the entire city of Manitou Springs become a missions base! From border to border we’ll see people engaging in Kingdom activity in homes, businesses, churches, etc. For example, there is a railway that takes people from Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak. That will become a Kingdom property as we daily take intercessors up to the top of America’s mountain to pray. There’s also a commercial cave system in Manitou Springs. We will see the caves full of worshipers and others who are going deep in God. I see a continual fire burning there, and it will be extremely easy for people to find healing and life. A true open heaven will hover over that city.
Of course, I see similar realities coming to pass in Detroit and in other cities around the world.
Here’s the article by Bill Click:
NEW APOSTOLIC PURPOSE
THERE ARE CHURCH PLANTING TEAMS, THEN THERE ARE APOSTOLIC TEAMS
The purpose of Christ’s coming, crucifixion and resurrection was so mankind could be restored to God’s original purpose (Gen.2:7). The Father originally designed man for fellowship with Him and growth in stewardship of His resources (Gen.3:8; Dt.8:18). We see in Genesis, that when God “breathed” into Adam, what was originally received became polluted because he willfully disobeyed the Word of God (Gen.3:6). At that time, the enemy, Eve, and Adam received distinct judgment for their acts. And since, all mankind has been born in sin and dies (1Cor.15:22; Heb.9:27). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Father’s only way to restore man. This, only through the reconciliation of the cross (Jn.14:6; Col.1:20). A restored people will be those who function in the original intention of the Lord for His church (Eph.3:9-12). And that original intention as seen in Acts featured apostolic teams and ministries who were also fully prophetic in their function and authority (Acts 13:1-4; 14:14).
There is a difference between an apostolic team and what we have commonly come to know as a church planting team. First and foremost, an apostolic team will function in God’s original intention to restore people in fullness to the Father through Christ, while a church planting team will be rooted in establishing a group and/or place for worshipping God, fellowship, and spiritual growth. An apostolic team will be anchored in divine revelation in its identity, function and direction (Acts 13:2; 13:1; 13:4). A church planting team may experience divine revelation, but may be oriented more toward demographics, research, experience, and methods.
An apostolic team will be put together by the Holy Spirit. A church planting team may be assembled from those who are willing and available to work toward such an effort. An apostolic team will function together in a way that complements and builds up each other and multiplies the divine authority to dismantle strongholds and bring people into the Kingdom of God (2Cor.10:1-8). A church planting team may not be focused on giftedness, spiritual authority, or relational cohesion, but rather on the task that demographics, research and methodology lead them to conclude is to be done.
An apostolic team will be directed by the Spirit of the Lord in its geographical or spherical assignment. They may not only find themselves moving into new locales or realms, but also non traditional or parachurch endeavors; those which minister to the “sphere” by using their ministry and spiritual gifts “measure” in more evangelistic ways (Acts 16:6-10; 2Cor.10:8-18). A church planting team might aim at specific social strata also, but will be careful to promote and build its persona as a “church” in the eyes of those it encounters. And it may be intentionally aimed at population centers, places of recent growth, or even the locale of those who are putting together their efforts for the work itself.
“SENT” & “SET” WITH SPHERE’S AS CALLED, PREPARED & COMMISSIONED
Apostolic teams and ministries which have received Christ’s strategy and been made ready will be “sent” and “set” with a specific “measure” to display and establish the Lord’s reconciliation, life, authority, and influence to that “sphere” (Ro.10:15; 1Cor.12:28; 2Cor.10:13). Although influencing social strata and possibly even visibly impacting the affairs of nations, this authority is neither social in origin nor politically intended. Instead, this reign is Spiritual, living in the hearts of individuals and groups submitted to the Lord, having been received and released through the Supernatural Grace of Christ. Because it results from a revelation of “the mystery,” the presence of the Kingdom of God is loosed in the lives of people (Eph.3:3-5; Ro.14:17; Lk.17:20-21).
Apostolic teams are used by God to fully establish Christ’s witness and presence within these “spheres,” restoring them to the degree people can receive what the Lord is offering. This is done as they continually preach and teach the Gospel of the Kingdom, willingly releasing the specific anointing they have been equipped with (Mt.10:8). Apostles do this by simply loosing the Spirit’s flow of the Word of God to unite people with Christ and each other (Ro.8:14; 10:16). Demolishing the demonic strongholds which have kept people bound, Apostles then orchestrate the body’s function, and bring “order” within that dimension (Lk.10:18-20; 2Cor.10:3-5; Tit.1:4ff). They plant their DNA of Christ deep within the soil of their “set” influence, in order to begin a process of rooting, growth, maturity and eventually, reproduction (1Cor.12:28; Mk.4:31-32).
Our tendency today is to intentionally draw people and their resources into activities which build our identity through celebratory gatherings of specific themes. But a true apostolic team’s strategy does not only set itself as the focal point of purpose and activity, but will instead spread divine refreshing, renewal, restoration and reformation beyond “the four-walls.” And over time, this “seed” will permeate every nook and cranny of the specific “sphere” (Ac.13:49, 14-52). The hallmark of truly commissioned apostolic teams will be the permeation of an influence, an audience, or geography with the uniqueness of the Lord through them. This will be how Apostles and their teams know they have persevered in any unique and distinctive apostolic strategy they receive and release.
In the New Testament we see this described by Jesus. In the Parable of the Mustard Seed, the man “threw” the seed into the garden of his sphere and it became a tree which created a habitation for the “birds of the air” (Lk.13:18-19 NASB). Historically, the early church interpreted the “birds of the air” to be those outside Christ. So we can see from this picture how an apostolic team is used to expand the presence of the Kingdom of God. When the anointing residing within a truly commissioned Apostle is >thrown= into the Christ-intended “sphere” of influence, it is planted deeply enough to be covered by the soil. It then begins to germinate in order to take root and break through above the surface: sprouting, blooming, and blossoming into maturity, harvest, and reproduction.
There is much need for reproducing apostolic authority, team work and ministries. But Apostles must “first” seed the garden they’ve been “sent” to and “set” over before they can ever begin to train and release others to do the same (1Cor.12:28; Ro.10:15). As they sow the Word of Christ’s foundation, they open the way for those given to them not only to be gathered, but also identified and processed into their divinely designed purpose and effectiveness as well (Jn.17:9-26). Such purpose and effectiveness always stays with restoring God’s original purpose, fellowship with Him, and growth in stewardship of His resources (Dt.8:18; 3Jn.2). It is as that foundational Word is released that the seed finds the good ground which produces and remains productive (Jn.15:16).
APOSTLESHIP IS NOT THE RESULT OF CONSENSUS
Apostles and their teams do not ask permission to operate in their function of restoring God’s original purpose. They are neither dependant upon a willing audience, nor at first make the condition of their ministry that of being received. Instead, they arrive at the ground of divine placement and begin to propel the seed forward by God’s direction and with the energy of His Right Hand, Jesus Christ (Psa.89:13; 98:1; 110:1-7). And through that powerful release the seed goes deep and the soil covers and nourishes it until it comes forth and produces, providing rest and habitation for those without a place to spiritually nestle and mature (Jn.12:24-26; Php.3:12-16; Heb.5:11-14).
Christ became our nourishment (Jn.6:31-51). He is the “firstborn among many brethren,” meaning that His restoring work transforms us that we become like Him (Ro.8:29). We also, then, are to become nourishment to others. As a result of the apostolic team’s obedience, those ministered to receive the call to be transformed in Spirit, from a lump of meal into nourishing bread (Lk.13:20-21). In time, the bread is ready to be served. Having become readied for use in transforming others, the team is then given a specific “measure” (“3 pecks”) to relationally leaven others throughout the Apostle’s “sphere.” The leavening of others is the result. The loaf which emerges is the life giving presence of the Kingdom not only extended, but increased and even multiplied (2Cor.9:10; Heb.6:14).
Today, we see pressures of all types when it comes to all aspects of our lives with God (Jn.16:33) When yielded to, these can cause us to conclude that any growth from planting or reproduction in ministry must take place for our survival and security instead of for the eternal purposes of God in Christ (Eph.3:9-12). God’s growth in us and reproduction through us are the supernatural results of knowing the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, church is not called to make bread in order to survive. It’s that having become true bread, the result is the making of the same (Lk.6:43). The ongoing presence of those with true leaven activates the process in which lives can be changed and God-ordained potentials can be realized. This is the role of the Apostle and the apostolic team.
Those starving do not even know what they are hungry for until they smell the aroma of what God has for them (2Cor.2:14-16). By the Lord’s grace through the Apostle and apostolic team, those who were once starving become food to those who have yet to taste that which satisfies (Psa.91:16; Pro.13:25; Jn.6:35). And because those who are serving bread are not doing it for payment or reward, there’s no “catch” (2Cor.2:17; Isa.45:11-14). As a result of the Apostle’s obedience to “throw,” there is not just “seed” for the birds who gather, but a tree for them to gather and nestle in as well. And as the church becomes activated as a Divine Bakery, bread for those who flock to the garden is found all over the ground: in relationships, gifts, accompaniments, equipping–all provided by the Spirit through the Apostle’s obedience to the strategy given by Christ.
Simply put, truly commissioned Apostles can’t help but reproduce after themselves as they live life. They produce ones who become living epistles (2Cor.3:3). We see this happening again and again in Acts. But as intentional as it is done by the Lord, it can often seem to occur inadvertently and unintentionally by those participating (Acts 16:12-15). Pentecost, the arrest of Peter and John, the fate of Ananias and Sapphira, even the choosing and deployment of the Seven: none of these were intentional to apostolic extension. But all these resulted in multiplications of people, expanded geographical outreach, and explosions of the presence of the Kingdom of God in the hearts of mankind (Ac.2:41-47; 4:23-35; 5:12-16; 6:6-8).
Today just as in the book of Acts, Apostles are charged to take the high ground of being who Christ has called them by receiving and releasing the revelations He gives. At times, there are many Apostles within a territory and often there are even many strategies in the process of being received and birthed within the same Apostle as well. There should be multiple strategies being received, released, and unfolded within the same territory or “sphere” today. Ultimately, the purpose for the eventual reach of every strategy of advance is the whole earth (Mt.28:18-20; Ac.1:8).
Apostles focus specifically, however, andB even if they do notB are limited to those “recipes” on the “cutting board” of God’s “now” in order to be effective and remain protected (Ac.16:6-10; Heb.11:1). Faithfulness to the purposes of Christ’s strategy is a condition for continuing in authority and fruitfulness. This can be seen in the commissions recorded by Matthew and Luke (Mt.28:16-20; Ac.1:4-8). It is by continued faithfulness to what Christ reveals that Apostles and their teams become and remain effective. Sometimes their impact is highly visible, other times not so much, and at times not outwardly verifiable at all, but leaven accomplishes its purpose (Lk.13:20-21; Isa.55:8-13). Through Christ there will be reproducers who reproduce reproducers that continue reproducing (Mt.28:19; Ac.1:8).
Apostle Bill Click & Prophet Nancy Click are Ordained with: Christian International Apostolic Network, Dr. Bill Hamon, Bishop
RIVER OF POWER MINISTRIES is a continually developing matrix of foundational callings and anointings positioning themselves under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ as released through Apostle Bill Click. To inquire further about a covering or aligning relationship with "RPM" write postal mail to address above or Email us at [email protected]
Save $100 off the next session of theLab Internship AND you may qualify for an additional 50% off!
We are gathering and equipping a company of burning men and women of God at theLab. Detroit and the cities of the Earth are awaiting an army of people who are consumed with the pursuit of God’s presence, revival, healing and freedom!
Save $100 if you register by AUGUST 15TH!
If you are a student (ages 18-25) or a minister (volunteer, part-time or full-time) you qualify for an additional 50% off! That brings the total cost below $200!
And, if you can gather a group of five people, you will receive an additional 25% off! The potential savings in that situation would bring the cost down to $150! BUT you have to get the process started right away!
The internship I led in Kansas City cost $900, so jump on board with us in our next pre-launch session that runs from September 3rd through November 19th and save BIG!
Contact us for more info. The sooner you can apply the better (the application and approval process takes some time). Visit www.revivallab.com/internship for info and to apply TODAY!
It was an incredible time at theLab class yesterday. So much freedom! There is so so much breakthrough and clarity happening in my life right now! I am looking forward to even more very soon. God really knew what he was doing when He put me here on this journey with such an incredible group of people!!~Victoria
“The internship has completely changed my life. I have been marked, set free…” Valerie
“I’ve been waiting 36 years to see and experience the awesome power of the fire of God through theLab.” Shelly
“God has brought a shift in every area of my life since starting the internship. It is a can’t miss, mind blowing God encounter that will change your life.” Joshua
The cities of the Earth are waiting for the church to encounter God.
There’s an exceedingly urgent prophetic call for churches to become encounter and intimacy focused again. Head on over to media.johnburton.net and watch tonight’s service and download the notes so you can follow along.
This teaching reveals a serious call to reorder our lives, lock arms with other intercession-driven Believers and discover the mandate for intimacy, encounter and taking dominion.
As we do this, entire cities and regions will experience the supernatural wonder of God.
I also discuss the radically serious mandate for 1000 intercessors to gather every Friday night from 10-midnight at theLab. The times are so desperate, and we simply must call every pastor, leader, intercessor and revivalist in Detroit together for deep prayer in the Holy Spirit each week. This intimacy and agreement will result in an explosion in Detroit that’s so needed.
For info on where our next prayer experiment will be, text FOLLOW REVIVALLAB to 40404 or visit www.revivallab.com.
Sunday’s at Revival Church are geared more toward facilitating a holy staff meeting than a typical church service—we must set a pattern of arriving full, alert and ready to pour out and then to receive key instructions. As a revival command center, we must all assume a military mindset and be exceedingly discerning and ready for advance.
The reason we planted this church was to gather together likeminded people who are contending together for a weighty move of God in Detroit. As we meet and encounter God together in a prophetic atmosphere, we’ll all receive divine mandates and strategies.
THE MOST IMPORTANT HOUR OF THE WEEK
We would like to see as many people as possible rushing through the doors at 5pm every Sunday evening. From 5-6pm we have the opportunity to initiate and facilitate a deeply prophetic atmosphere. As we all pray with passion an hour prior to the service, we’ll be ready for God’s plans for the rest of the night.
A FULL TIME MANDATE
Come full. This is such a key directive for all of us. We have to change the trend in the church world where we burn out through the week and try get refilled on Sundays. This pattern of living is extremely self-defeating and it threatens the mission of Kingdom advance.
Every day be in the place of extreme prayer and intercession. Dive deep into scripture. Listen to sermons from anointed men and women of God online. Be so full and deeply burning in the passion of the Holy Spirit that we experience a spontaneous explosion when we connect on Sundays.
Revival Church is not a ‘Sunday only’ ministry. We’ll never even begin to fulfill our mission by connecting for a few hours one day a week. Be encouraged to connect at several different points every week so we can compare notes, grow together and stay on the same page. We’ve made it easy by having several of our connect points online, so people can participate from their homes.
- Mondays- Join our weekly Prophetic Revival radio broadcast. At 8pm EST every Monday head on over to www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/radio.
- Wednesdays- Head on over to Revival Church for prayer at 7pm.
- Fridays- Connect at the International House of Prayer East Detroit at 7pm for prayer, worship and teaching.
- Revival Teams- Join with others each week for discussion, prayer, strategy and other mission critical activities.
There’s a lot of vision for the future that are connected to our ability to build a strong foundation now. As we grow and develop with fire, love and passion, we’ll watch some important ministry launch in the months and years ahead. Some examples:
- Revelation Driven House of Prayer- We will be functioning as a 24/7 prophetic prayer center for the region and the nations. As we gain prophetic intelligence from people from around the world, we’ll intercede, proclaim and release the life of Jesus into those situations. This will result in serious shifts in cities and atmospheres around the world.
- Revival Teams- As we take this fire into churches, conferences and events in cities around the world, we’ll want a team of people who know how to walk in the Spirit, pray with passion and impart the fire of God.
- Revelation Driven Ministry Project- We’re launching this now, but for it to thrive we’ll have to give it a lot of attention. The call is for everybody to connect at least twice a week with us. Once by submitting dreams, visions and prophecies to www.propheticpulse.com and a second time by participating in the weekly Monday 8pm EST radio show where we’ll discuss those prophecies.
There’s more, but that will give you an idea of the scope of the mission. As we all contend together, with smiles on our faces and fire in our eyes, we’ll be right in the middle of a consuming end-time move of the Living God!
And, in case you haven’t seen it, check out our welcome magazine here!
See you TOMORROW for a night of fire!