Powerful strategies to eliminate templated, programmed church services
An Azusa Street report:
…disgraceful intermingling of the races…they cry and make howling noises all day and into the night. They run, jump, shake all over, shout to the top of their voice, spin around in circles, fall out on the sawdust blanketed floor jerking, kicking and rolling all over it. Some of them pass out and do not move for hours as though they were dead. These people appear to be mad, mentally deranged or under a spell. They claim to be filled with the spirit. They have a one eyed, illiterate, Negro as their preacher who stays on his knees much of the time with his head hidden between the wooden milk crates. He doesn't talk very much but at times he can be heard shouting, “Repent,” and he's supposed to be running the thing… They repeatedly sing the same song, “The Comforter Has Come.”
It’s becoming less common for Christians to jump out of bed on Sunday mornings, excited about heading to church. Of course, many do still love their church experience. The worship environment is powerful, the vision is alive and the part they play causes them to feel the fire of the Holy Spirit coursing through them. However, sadly, if we were honest, we’d have to admit that many church services are much less powerful, less anointed and less impacting than we’d like. In fact, a church that looks anything like what was described in the above Azusa Street report can hardly be found.
There is a way to fix that. The end result is an atmosphere that’s placed in the Holy Spirit’s control. I’ll tell you this, it’s impossible to be bored when God moves. Impossible. It can’t happen. It’s possible to be provoked, irritated, offended or troubled, but not bored or disconnected. What this means is that, in many churches, God isn’t moving in real power. It may be hard to admit that, but we must if we want to prepare for revival and an outpouring that will make us say, “I can never do church the way I used to again.”
An Azusa Street report:
All who are in touch with God realize as soon as they enter the meetings that the Holy Ghost is the leader.
SEVEN SURE-FIRE STRATEGIES TO END BORING, PREDICTIABLE CHURCH SERVICES
1. Lead in lengthy sessions of corporate praying and singing in tongues.
True Christian leaders will confidently, passionately and continually lead people in fervent and supernatural prayer. Lack of a powerful prayer emphasis on Sunday mornings is an indicator of a lack of a powerful prayer discipline throughout the week. When we are burning in intercession throughout the week, there is an explosion that simply must come on Sunday mornings and any other time the saints meet together.
Nurturing an atmosphere where everybody is praying in tongues and singing in the Spirit simply cannot disappoint. How easy would it be, in the midst of worship, to spend fifteen or twenty minutes pacing around the room, laying out at the altar or finding a place to pray in tongues with a zealous spirit? I recommend integrating this into every church service, understanding that the wind of the Holy Spirit may blow the program for the rest of the day well of course.
In fact, it would be valuable to bring the worship team down off the platform on occasion during this part of the service so they can be free to let the groans and cries of their heart out. Often, worship team members find a comfort spot behind their instrument or microphone. You’d be sadly surprised at how many people who have been entrusted to lead us into the Holy of Holies don’t operate from a burning, overwhelming spirit of prayer.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. Acts 19:6 (ESV)
An Azusa Street report:
Singing was sporadic and in a cappella or occasionally there would be singing in tongues. There were periods of extended silence. Attenders were occasionally slain in the Spirit.
2. Embrace a vibrant prophetic culture. Invite people to submit prophetic words during the service.
In order to stay right on track with the order of service and to ensure the focus of the day isn’t threatened, definitely do not promote a prophetic culture! Unfortunately, too many pastors have embraced that advice by eliminating or rejecting prophetic ministry on Sundays.
I’ve always believed one of the best ways to promote an absolutely electric church service is by allowing God to speak. When people are trained in the prophetic and are also given an outlet to reveal what God is desiring to communicate through them, the supernatural energy in the room spikes. I often wonder how many sermons have been delivered and how many church services have been conducted in such a way that God’s plan for the day was entirely missed.
As we effectively equip people in prophetic ministry, and facilitate an environment that affirms and promotes prophetic expression, God will blow through the saints and the atmosphere will shake under the weight of God’s Rhema word.
1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:1 (ESV)
An Azusa Street report:
…devotees of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories and work themselves into a state of mad excitement in their peculiar zeal. Colored people and a sprinkling of whites compose the congregation, and night is made hideous in the neighborhood by the howlings of the worshippers, who spend hours swaying forth and back in a nerve racking attitude of prayer and supplication.
3. Have open mic intercession. Invite people to pray 10-15 second prayers, to make decrees and to stir the atmosphere.
Praying in tongues corporately will naturally lead to some incredibly potent revelation stirring within the people. I believe it’s extremely valuable to invite people, in that Holy Spirit infused moment, to release that in the form of short prayers and decrees.
Simply open the microphone and watch the line grow as hungry, passionate saints of God prepare to lead the people in intercession, one after the other. Imagine twenty or thirty people or more shocking the atmosphere with Holy Spirit driven decrees! Not only is it powerful corporately, but it also empowers people individually to take ownership of what God is doing within. As they all respond to the impact of the Holy Spirit, they become stronger and the service will definitely be marked with fire.
15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. Psalm 34:15 (ESV)
An Azusa Street report:
There was spontaneous preaching and altar calls for salvation, sanctification and baptism of the Holy Spirit.
4. Invite people to make biblical declarations.
At another point during the service, open the microphone again. Invite people to release biblical declarations. The Word of God is alive, and when that sharp sword pierces the atmosphere as people read it and then call everyone to come into agreement with it, it will result in supernatural shockwaves.
5 Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore. Psalm 93:5 (ESV)
An Azusa Street report:
…in most services preaching consisted of Seymour opening a Bible and worshippers coming forward to preach or testify as they were led by the Holy Spirit.
5. Promote prophetic art, flagging, dance and other expressions during the service.
It’s disappointing that prophetic expression such as art, dance and flagging are almost extinct in the church today. I suggest we allow the dancers to dance! There’s serious prophetic power when anointed people flag, paint, dance and contend in the Spirit.
Put up the easels and allow the artists to draw or paint. Provide whiteboards for people to write down prophetic words anytime during the service. Celebrate the dance and encourage the flaggers. God has given them important gifts and it’s a mistake to shut them out.
I know many pastors would argue that they can be undisciplined. They might steal attention as they exhibit their gifting during the service. My question would be, what have you done to guide and equip them? Have you invested in them by training in protocols and equipping in prophetic ministry? If not, you can’t blame them if they don’t know exactly how to respond when their God-given desire to function in ministry is stirring within.
20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing. Exodus 15:20 (ESV)
6. Have prayer for deliverance, healing and freedom.
When’s the last time you saw someone vomit at the altar? Yeah, I know, that’s a funny question. I personally don’t prefer to clean up the mess! (I love that some pro-deliverance churches have “bucket brigades!”) The point is valid, however. When is the last time deliverance has happened on a Sunday morning?
The weight of God’s glory should be so intense that demons easily manifest and deliverance commences right there at the altar. I’ve had demons react in some intense ways in services I’ve been in. It’s actually a thrilling adventure, not something to be shut down for the sake of keeping nice, quiet and sanitized order. When we know who we are and the authority we walk in, deliverance is something we should all get excited about.
As we contend for deliverance, healing and freedom on Sunday mornings, the order of service will often have to be violated. I’d personally rather see people free than hear the prepared sermon or get out of the service on time.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; Mark 16:17 (ESV)
An Azusa Street report:
Among first-hand accounts were reports of the blind having their sight restored, diseases cured instantly.
7. Expect manifestations of the Holy Spirit and don't shut them down when comfort levels are threatened.
How is it we can worship God, preach about God and gather together because of God but shut God out when he starts to interact in a supernatural way? Manifestations of the Holy Spirit should be expected. If God’s not moving, something is wrong!
I remember a meeting many years ago where God was moving in extremely intense power. People were absolutely rocked. God was touching people for at least two hours before the preaching even began. When the preacher was bringing the message, one lady was laughing and crying, under the power of the Holy Spirit. Some in attendance kept looking her way as God ministered to her. The preacher became agitated and said something like, “Can you not hear me? Should I have the sound crew turn my mic up? Pay attention. Do you really want me to shut down God’s ministry to that lady just because you can’t stay focused?”
That was a powerful moment indeed. One I’ve remembered for over two decades.
17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Acts 2:17 (ESV)
An Azusa Street report:
Soon the crowds became very large and were full of people speaking in tongues, shouting, singing and moaning. Many people would continually shout throughout the meetings. Finally, the front porch collapsed, forcing the group to begin looking for a new meeting place. They shouted three days and three nights. It was Easter season. The people came from everywhere. By the next morning there was no way of getting near the house. As people came in they would fall under God's power; and the whole city was stirred. They shouted until the foundation of the house gave way, but no one was hurt.
The attendees were often described as “Holy Rollers“, “Holy Jumpers”, “Tangled Tonguers” and “Holy Ghosters”. Reports were published throughout the U.S. and the world of the strange happenings in Los Angeles.
CHURCH SHOULD NEVER BE BORING
While I’m not at all proposing that church should entertain us, I am saying that it’s just not possible to be bored in an environment where the Holy Spirit is moving, touching, engaging, healing, delivering, wrecking and encountering the people.
I’d challenge every pastor to initiate all seven of these strategies. The result will be a church on fire that draws in a hungry, passionate remnant that is ready to release the oracles of God…and shake the nations.
An Azusa Street report:
Christians from many traditions were critical, saying the movement was hyper-emotional, misused Scripture and lost focus on Christ by overemphasizing the Holy Spirit. Within a short time ministers were warning their congregations to stay away from the Azusa Street Mission.
Proud, well-dressed preachers came to “investigate”. Soon their high looks were replaced with wonder, then conviction comes, and very often you will find them in a short time wallowing on the dirty floor, asking God to forgive them and make them as little children.
Prayer in the Cave usually fills up almost immediately—but we still have spots available!
People in the Ozark region are not familiar with our ministry Carriers of Fire International yet, and certainly have never heard of the prayer adventure called Prayer in the Cave.
This is literally a can’t miss experience!
When we were in Colorado we would take teams into cave systems and experience powerful seasons of prayer. Miracles have happened as have deliverances and stunning freedom. In fact, one story from the cave was depicted in a secular, off-Broadway production that toured the nation. God’s wonders were decreed to liberal audiences from coast to coast. Additionally the story was included in a book titled Healed! by Andy Sanders.
If you haven’t registered yet, there are a handful of spots left. I’m actually surprised it didn’t fill up on the first day. In Colorado the demand was quite high as reports of what God was doing began to spread. We do have people from other states on their way including one person who is using her air miles to fly in from Michigan!
You can register at www.carriersoffire.org/cave.
The adventure begins TONIGHT at Marvel Cave in Branson, Missouri at 6:15pm sharp!
Prepare to get ROCKED this Friday at 7pm. Pastor Samuel Tatikonda will be at Revival Church.
FIRST: Tonight (Sunday) at 7pm at Revival Church we will continue in worship & equipping. There has been an unusual glory of God that has been manifesting on Sundays lately…and it arrived last night as well. Something supernatural is happening!
The easiest way for you to understand just what you are getting yourself into this FRIDAY is to watch some powerful videos of Pastor Samuel Tatikonda ministering in India.
I’ll include a video of a service that I would love to be a part of! (In fact, I have an open invitation to minister there…come on God!)
Then, I’ll share a video of Pastor Samuel delivering a young man from a demon.
BRING THE KIDS
Bring the whole family and anybody who needs a jolt of fire! We will all be together in a wild atmosphere of prayer and ministry!
theLab prayed from 10pm-midnight in a concourse at Ford Field—and the fire of deliverance raged!
The spirit of prayer landed on me the moment theLab gathered together at TheCall and what followed was indescribable.
The burning I and so many were experiencing was raging all around. There were deliverances and people laid out all over the floor.
I’ll say this, whenever the burning men and women of theLab gather together to pray, the atmosphere simply ignites in something way beyond passion and emotion. God visits in tangible yet invisible power.
LETS DO IT AGAIN AT 10AM!
In just 45 minutes from now we’ll be in the same place on the concourse behind the Lions Pro Shop at Gate A. Join us at 10am if you can for another round of burning!
MATT SORGER AND CATHERINE MULLINS AT REVIVAL CHURCH SUNDAY!
Come early for one of the most powerful prayer meetings you’ve ever experienced! We’ll start at 5pm at Revival Church in roaring, groaning, burning and prophetic prayer. The service will launch with that same fire of intercession at 6pm as Catherine Mullins leads us in revival worship.
Matt Sorger will then take over and we will experience an atmosphere of signs, wonders and miracles!
See you Sunday at Revival Church!
The nations will be converging in Detroit because of phenomenal and unusual healings.
I shared a prophetic word with a mighty woman of God recently and she instantly came alive as it was a direct confirmation of a word she received. What is that word?
People from the nations of the earth will begin hearing about an extreme level of healings taking place in the midst of a historic outpouring in Detroit. Many of those people will find themselves on an airplane flying to Detroit and will be shocked to find themselves suddenly healed the moment they step foot on the ground at the Detroit airport.
There is a tragic theological misunderstanding running rampant in the church today. It is presumed that we are in a holding pattern of sorts waiting for God to show up and bring revival,work miracles and transform the Detroit region. The thought is if we pray enough, repent enough, work enough, etc. then God will finally be able to move, finally be able to heal.
This mindset can keep the church on the wrong side of the starting line of this great and important journey of revival. We are waiting for the starting gun from heaven to sound as we wait motionless for the beginning of the race. The problem with that? The gun sounded 2000 years ago.
This is extremely good news! Frustration can set in when we find ourselves waiting and waiting and working and wondering when God is going to actually move. But this revelation should propel us into wildly expectant, supernatural and miraculous Kingdom activities. We can and should experience mass healings, deliverances, citywide blessing, revival, exuberant joy and freedom in our lives and in Detroit right now!
When Jesus told us as he was hanging on the cross that it is finished, he knew what he was talking about. It's important that we don't minimize the cross by presuming that we must do something extra in order to qualify for Kingdom blessing.
Sunday evening at Revival Church I’ll be teaching on a Culture of Healing.
We aren’t waiting around hoping that something happens. The command of Jesus is to heal the sick. We’re not waiting for him to do it, he’s finished. It’s our turn to change the world, and we are responding with a vengeance against disease and sickness.
The greatest enemy to a culture of healing is a culture of confusion regarding God’s desire to heal. If we believe God is not willing to heal, that confusion will keep us inactive. I find it interesting that so many believe God doesn’t desire to heal, yet Jesus himself commanded us to do it!
Dr. T. J. McCrossan – “When unbelief kept Christ from healing the sick on earth, it will surely do so today.”
Mark 16:17-18 (ESV) 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.”
Matthew 10:7 (ESV) 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.
We are to preach and heal and cast out demons and raise the dead! We have no option!
For me, if I’m outside of a culture of healing, I’m outside of obedience.
So, come hungry and expectant. Bring your desperate friends and family. Bring them into a culture of healing tomorrow at Revival Church.
And, don’t forget, personal prophetic ministry follows EVERY Sunday service at Revival Church! If you need some personal impartation, this is for you!
www.detroitrevivalchurch.com : We meet at THE TABERNACLE: 14205 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088
Here’s a snapshot of the vision and the call for revival in Detroit—join with us as we burn!
FIRST: There’s two new designs at www.labreportbrand.com! Head on over there and grab a shirt and declare the healing power of Jesus everywhere you go!
The call for revival in Detroit is both sobering and exciting. We’re calling the Church of Detroit to converge together with us and other revival minded people in pursuit of what could be the greatest outpouring in history. Yes, it’s that big.
First I’ll share what’s coming, and then I’ll relay the big vision that Revival Church and theLab has a mandate to fulfill. You are invited to jump in with us as we build a regional revival center in Detroit!
Most of what is coming is well beyond the scope of our understanding or even our expectancy. However, we know some of what’s on the horizon:
- Thousands of people will be traveling to Detroit from around the world. The reports of God’s unusual and weighty arrival in Detroit is going to capture the attention of the world. Desperate people will fly here, and many of them will instantly be healed as they step off the plane.
- Healing will be continual and very easy. One of the primary draws to this region will be the flood of miraculous healings. People won’t even need to go to the altar or even pray for healing at times. It will surprise them as they are in the presence of God.
- The presence of God will be so extreme that people will literally fall down when they walk through the church doors. People will have to crawl deeper into the sanctuary due to the fearful Kabod of God that engulfs them as they arrive.
- Mass deliverance will result in hundreds or thousands of people instantly and simultaneously set free from fear, depression, homosexuality, lust, anger and other demon driven issues.
- Prayer will be the greatest desire and primary activity of every person touched by God. The prayer rooms will be full and overflowing night and day.
- This furnace will result in cries of repentance as the harvest flocks in to the arms of a loving Father.
- Local churches will yield to the greater regional Church. The days of burning out trying to build local ministries will come to an end as pastors and leaders instead burn hot leading their people into the regional furnace as it ignites all over the city.
A REGIONAL CENTER OF REVIVAL
We know there are many new friends and fellow warriors that will be joining with us in the coming days, weeks and months. Prayerfully consider how you might participate with us.
- Revival Church and theLab are developing as a regional center of revival. We are calling the city church to converge with us in various venues each week as we develop a deeply prophetic command center of revival for the region.
- We are believing for a large ministry campus that will facilitate this vision. As we keep our finger on the pulse of revival in Detroit, it’s imperative that we keep the ministry manned continually. The masses are coming both for training and for freedom, and when they get here it’s important that they can converge somewhere any day of the week. This campus will serve that purpose. I have heard three stories recently of people receiving FREE properties for their church. I’m boldly asking people with the appropriate resources to consider making a significant donation to Revival Church.
- 1000 Intercessors. This mandate is clear. We are calling EVERY pastor, leader, intercessor and hungry person to gather literally every single Friday night from 10pm-midnight as we pray in a different church each week in the region. It’s time to awaken and gather together and pray as a city church.
- theLab Internship is gathering and equipping a team of unique specialists in the Spirit. People who carry and release the burning fire of God into people, churches, cities and regions. The next session starts September 3rd and we’re praying that God provokes people to take a leap into a life of scorching heat in the furnace of revival.
- The 24/7 church. As stated above, our ministry campus will be open continually. Prayer will arise in one area, training in another and worship in another. We are going after a culture of radical devotion to the pursuit of revival.
- A regional pursuit. We desire to run this race with many pastors, leaders and others in the region. Our various services and events take place at times that are mostly free. We’re looking for pastors to lead their people on Sunday morning and then join with us on Sunday evening at Revival Church, Friday night at theLab and other events.
There’s much more, but that gives you an idea. We’re inviting people to make Revival Church either their first or second home (if they have another church home) as we function as a regional revival center. A radical devotion to stay connected and to grow fast will do much to initiate the revival in this region very quickly.
If you haven’t read my latest post on the coming change to the church, be sure you do. You can do so here: https://burton.tv/2011/07/21/a-fearful-vision-of-what-the-church-will-soon-look-like/
If you are craving encounter with the fire of God and to discover how to release the burning to the nations, theLab Internship is for YOU!
If you are interested in attending theLab Internship INFO MEETING, you MUST RSVP by THIS WEDNESDAY!
Go to www.revivallab.com/internship and fill out the form.
Join with a team of burning men & women on a journey into the fire of God’s presence.
We believe there is a significant yet hidden company of Believers that God is gathering together to be trained, healed and infused with fire. These mighty people will carry and release the burning of the Holy Spirit into the revival-ready Detroit region…and beyond to the cities of the Earth.
RSVP for a fun and info-filled potluck dinner and meeting at www.revivallab.com/internship.
The meeting will be held on Saturday, March 26th at 6pm at Revival Church in St. Clair Shores.
The internship will be fueled by deep and prophetic prayer both in a small group setting and as we move out together to intercede in churches throughout the region.
YOU MUST RSVP for the info meting by this Wednesday by visiting www.revivallab.com/internship and filling out the form.
Debriefing and intercession
Debriefing and Intercession
theLab Intercession Event
Primary teaching session
CLASSES (ONE CLASS PER WEEK)
THE MINISTRY OF THE FORERUNNER
There is a rising remnant of prophetic messengers who are consumed by fire and propelled by a burning zeal for advancing God's Kingdom. Discover more about this critical end-time ministry.
The most critical fuel the church needs to go empower every key ministry is the same fuel we need to launch us in our personal lives. That fuel is the burning desire that results from an intimate encounter with the Lover of our souls.
Offended hearts are imprisoned hearts. This teaching has set many people free, and you will learn how to grow in God without the hindrance of offense slowing you down.
REVELATION DRIVEN PRAYER
There is a dramatic and wildly dynamic life of revelation that is available to all of us. Learn how to hear God clearly, encounter his heart and advance with a precision focus of prayer and intercession.
You are a carrier of the mighty presence of God. As you pick up the Ark of God's presence and move ahead through rivers and around imposing walled cities, you will lead the people through their own seemingly impossible situations.
First, you will discover the wonder of freedom from personal struggles, fears and obstacles. Then, you'll learn how to set the captives free!
20 ELEMENTS OF REVIVAL
There are over 19,000 cities in the nation, and none of them are experiencing the biblical normalcy of revival. You will investigate how to initiate a step-by-step process of transformation and revival in your city.
A SPIRIT OF INSIGNIFICANCE
Many in the church are convinced they do not play a significant role in God's great plan. That strategy of the enemy will be dealt with directly as we learn how God sees each of us-as mighty people of valor.
ENCOUNTERING AND RELEASING THE FIRE
There is a baptism of Fire for every Believer in Jesus Christ. Experience this Fire personally and learn how to release as burning men and women of God.
COVENS AND PHARAOH IN THE CHURCH
There is a way to interact with authorities in our lives that will result in a great escape into the wilderness of encounter. Learn how you can move out in abundant life and extreme freedom while running well with the leaders God has put into your life.