Posts Tagged ‘experience’
Fresh church model: intimate setting, passionate worship, quick teachings…
Get ready for a new experience at Revival Church TOMORROW at 7pm!
FIRST: Don’t forget we’ll be in Dearborn at the Justice House of Prayer leading in intercession from 8-11pm TONIGHT!
As we prepare our environment for our new media ministry, you will have an opportunity to participate in the development Saturday night!
The service will be intermixed with bursts of worship and intercession, quick exhortations and short teachings—and from beginning to end we will be experiencing the fire of the Holy Spirit!
Our intention is to make the bulk of the service available to our future media audience, and with that in mind we will keep it to about one hour in length.
We will begin at 7pm and end by around 8-8:15pm, at which point the cameras (when we have them!) will be turned off.
You will be free to leave, or to stay with us for an extra hour or so of worship, soaking, personal ministry and occasional extended teachings.
DON’T BE LATE!
With such a short window at the beginning of the night, you won’t want to miss any of it!
In fact, if you can, show up for prayer in the war room at 6pm!
The room is set up ‘in the round’ and you are encouraged to sit on the floor or in a chair close together with other firebrands!
This will make for an amazing experience both locally and when viewed online!
These more intimate services will have an amazing prophetic flow to them. Prophetic decrees, intercession, worship, dancing, flags and other expressions of the Holy Spirit will be constant from beginning to end!
Instead of worshiping first, then sitting for the teaching, we will be shaking it up.
Teachings will be 10-15 minutes long, and may include either one or two segments. The goal is to keep a powerful flow going!
We can’t wait to see you tomorrow night!
John and Amy
Exciting news: Revival Church moving into next phase of the vision
A new globally focused experience awaits you at Revival Church THIS SATURDAY EVENING!
With the new book The Coming Church now available, the time is right for Revival Church to shift gears into its next season.
I continually hear about people’s frustration with “church as usual” and the hunger for a more fiery, passionate atmosphere is increasing around the world.
Over and over I hear from people from other cities and nations who say, “John, I’m craving an experience of fire like you have in Detroit!”
That experience is about to go up about ten levels.
TWO FOLD STRATEGY
A brand new flow.
The culture at Revival Church, theLab University and the Detroit Prayer Furnace has always been driven by passionate prayer and encounter with Jesus.
That will remain as our service structure changes fairly radically beginning this Saturday. Church as usual it is not!
After a short (5-10 minute) welcome we will launch into our service. The environment will be intense and engaging as we gather together and being with worship and intercession. It will be interactive and full of fire!
Once or twice we will have rapid fire prayer, and also, once or twice, we will have short 10-15 minute messages.
The entire hour will be intermixed with worship, prayer, decrees, teaching and more.
After the hour is up, the rest of the night will be worship and intercession with occasional exhortations!
Our goal is not to build up a large local body, but rather to impact Detroit and the nations with an anointing that breaks yokes and messages that rock nations. We are continually receiving feedback from other nations about our ministry, and we want to minister to them in a more effective way. Media will help us do that.
The reason for the hour time-frame is so we can create a fast paced, edgy, prophetic and professional broadcast that will be available around the world.
The cameras will role beginning after the welcome until the end of the first phase, one hour later.
The rest of the night the cameras will be off as we continue in intercession and worship.
Understand, our goal is not to have a low quality video of a church service. It’s to create an intimate, personal, vulnerable view into the culture of fire at Revival Church that so many are craving.
Our belief is that potentially millions will be impacted and set free from our “studio of intercession” in Detroit.
The cameras and equipment are not here yet, so this week and the weeks to come will be perfect opportunities to get comfortable with the new format and to work out the kinks.
Come expectant and bring as many people as you can find. We are believing for 40+ hungry, prophetic voices to emerge in our local context—voices that will be heard around the world!
Everything else that you know and love about Revival Church remains the same.
- 6pm War Room intercession (some of that will be videoed and archived)
- Children’s ministry
- Life with John and Amy (this Sunday at our house!)
- Prayer watches
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are pricing equipment now. The cost for studio quality equipment (cameras, boards, computers, etc.) that will allow us to stream live, with full effects, will be significant.
Additionally, we need studio lighting and décor to make our building TV ready.
We will also be producing studio shows (in addition to live services) and hitting the streets to capture prayer throughout Detroit and on the road as we travel.
Contact me directly at [email protected] if you would like to make a financial contribution (tax deductible). We must raise funds for all of the equipment needed, so anything you can do would be great!
See you Saturday for the launch!
Manitou Springs Event: Revolution Experience—Three Nights of Fire
Manitou Springs Event: Revolution Experience—Three Nights of Fire
Registration is FREE but REQUIRED for this powerful three night experience in the mountains of Colorado!
Register TODAY at www.rhop.com/revolutionexperience!
I will be bringing a team of intercessors and revivalists from Revival Church in Detroit and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City to pray and contend for a spirit of awakening in the Pikes Peak region.
Worship, intercession, powerful teaching, impartation and personal prophetic ministry are on the agenda for REVOLUTION EXPERIENCE at Revolution House of Prayer.
Wednesday, February 6th through Friday, February 8th at 7pm nightly we will experience an explosive atmosphere of Holy Spirit joy and freedom!
Spread the word and register early!
RHOP is located at 12 Old Man’s Trail, Manitou Springs, Colorado 80829.
What is a revival culture really like? (inconvenient, hard work!)
A revival culture is quite different than most realize.
In my upcoming book The Coming Church I detail some of the mind blowing, unsettling yet explosive changes that are coming to the structure of the church.
The reformation that’s coming will be resisted by most—even by most who would say they are hungry for revival.
The surrender and work and trouble that’s required will cause those who are addicted to comfort and personal endeavors to stop well short of the mark.
20 Elements of Revival (Order HERE!)
I wanted to make it easy for people to understand what the vision at Revival Church is.
I want to answer the questions:
- What should I expect from the Revival Church experience?
- What should I not expect?
- What is the goal?
- What's expected of me?
- What are the core realities I should run with?
The entire vision is best viewed by reading 20 Elements of Revival. If it's in there, it's in our vision. But, it helps to narrow it down as well.
Here's what I came up with…it's still a work in progress, but I thought I'd let you take a look:
Revival Church Mission Statement
Revival Church exists to gather forerunners who are united in the mandate to initiate reformation in the church and revival in the region. As carriers of the fire of God, we are single-minded in our mission to rally a generation that will embrace the cross of Christ, pursue radical holiness, engage in fervent prayer, live a life of repentance and experience both the freedom and the fear of the Lord.
Revival Church Mission Strategy
Adapted from John Burton’s book 20 Elements of Revival, we rally around these revival strategies:
- Consecration: As a company of reformers we are alert and intentional in our mission. The call for all is to gather together continually, free of distraction, with surrendered hearts, in unwavering agreement and with an unusual investment of time, energy and passion.
- Fiery Prayer: The biblical church is a house of continual prayer, and we commit to upholding that standard. Every Christian has the sober responsibility and wondrous opportunity to pray in such a way that the fire of God burns night and day in our lives, our church, our region and the nations.
- Fear & Trembling: The fear of the Lord will always be before us. Brokenness and repentance is a continual reality in the resulting atmosphere that will facilitate a historic end-time revival.
- Culture shock: When truth is preached, religious spirits react and the hungry marvel. Comfort zones are threatened and personal endeavors are disrupted. In the fear of the Lord, we will prophetically decree shocking and liberating realities of the Kingdom of God.
- Wonders: A supernatural baptism of fire will hit all who have given themselves to Jesus without measure. Death to self, humility and a bold, burning spirit of prayer will open the door to a life of wonders!
The purpose of this is to help people understand what it really takes to see revival come. Of course, the above isn’t comprehensive, and it’s not meant to be. But, it does help people understand the foundations.
Let’s lock in and endure to the end together—it will be well worth it when the fire falls!
The spirit of abortion…in the church?
The spirit of the age is overwhelming the church in ways we may not have considered.
As is necessary when addressing an ultra-sensitive issue, I will make some qualifications on the front end:
God is without question, and I will declare without apology, passionately interested in blessing his children. It is fully appropriate to give a measure of attention to the wondrous process of discovery of God’s abundant life, overwhelming benefits and blessings.
That being said, I now must move on to offering some analysis on a hidden crises.
THE SPIRIT OF ABORTION…IN THE CHURCH?
As a prophetic messenger, a primary driving force of my daily life is to reveal and help destroy any barriers to Kingdom advance and the revelation of the cross and resurrection of Christ. In fact, we all must have our eyes wide open to this disturbing movement that is overtaking the church and stand in unity against its advance.
Now, of course, the thought of the spirit of abortion in the church is potentially offensive and certainly provocative. It’s a bold statement to say the least.
It’s important at this point to understand our discussion isn’t about all of those other Christians or all of those other churches that just don’t get it. We must look inward. Yes, we have to boldly and humbly ask ourselves the question, “God, are the same spirits that drive the abortion movement also driving me?”
Check out this quote which highlights the issue quite well. Notice how this person affirms killing a threat to other “good” endeavors:
Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. Abortion is profamily, prolife, moral, and good. For many millions of women, abortion has meant getting on with their lives and continuing to meet their responsibilities to themselves, their families, and society. PATRICIA W. LUNNEBORG, Abortion: A Positive Decision
Is it possible that we in the church are also more focused on getting on with our lives at the expense of God, the church, our mission, the Word and other people?
It’s shocking to me how Little League, school, family vacations and rest and relaxation are not looked at as threats to our personal freedoms, but a call to the prayer room is.
With that in mind, here’s another qualifying statement: The demonic abortion strategy is multi-faceted. It includes spirits of murder, violence, hatred and many others. While we as Christians may not be driven by those spirits, there is one spirit that has a foundational, comprehensive assignment. This spirit is what has infiltrated the church, and it’s, in my opinion, a key reason why we haven’t had the authority to eradicate it from its assignment of murdering babies.
This spirit has one key focus, one goal as it ministers to the minds and hearts of people:
People are focused primarily on their personal experience.
You could also call it selfish ambition.
Check out this passage of scripture:
James 3:13-16 (ESV) 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Selfish ambition is demonic. Jealousy, which results when we focus on our own personal experience, is also vile, earthly and demonic.
When a woman is carrying an unwanted baby, her focus immediately shifts to her own personal experience. Her ambition. Her dreams.
The call to lay down her life for another, to make a great sacrifice, to change her priorities, to embrace a life of struggle and inconvenience for another person all fall on deaf ears. After all, it’s her body and she can do what she wants with it, right?
One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living. AYN RAND, The Ayn Rand Lexicon
The unwilling mother has rights! It’s her life. It’s her time. It’s her dreams. It’s her decision, and in the case of abortion, she makes the decision for self instead of for another. Her personal experience was instrumental in her decision.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV) 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
So, how does this affect the church? This issue is impacting the church and Christians in very deep, disturbing ways. It’s not a minor issue that’s affecting a few. It’s a major problem that’s a primary driver in the very fabric of Western Christianity.
We have to understand that so much of preaching today has been fashioned to appease people looking for a positive personal experience. This must end.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (ESV) 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Do you know how difficult it is to find churches that preach the cross? Cost? Death? Surrender? The personal experience must be positive and without much cost if we hope to fill the pews. The same thing happened at the cross. The place Jesus died was empty except for those killing him and those closest to him. Where were the crowds who were looking for a message to satisfy their itching ears? They left when the message included death. When you preach the cross the masses will run and you will be left with those who are the closest to you and those who are out to kill you.
“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.” ~Leonard Ravenhill
“The early church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity.” ~Leonard Ravenhill
“I believe that there are too many accommodating preachers, and too many practitioners in the church who are not believers. Jesus Christ did not say, ‘Go into all the world and tell the world that it is quite right.' The gospel is something completely different. In fact, it is directly opposed to the world.” ~C. S. Lewis
What should send us to our knees is that it’s the very gospel of Jesus that is being rejected for the sake of the pursuit of personal blessing and benefit! There are preachers in churches with crosses on their steeples who refuse to call people to the cross at the altars! A minimized cross results in Christians that are only artificially vibrant as they pursue blessing, but dead and dying inside—and this has eternal implications!
It’s time for us to respond positively to what many have called negative messages; these piercing, demanding, shocking negative messages of death at the cross were born through God himself and delivered to us in the form of the Jesus.
“I doubt that more than two percent of professing Christians in the United States are truly born again.” ~Leonard Ravenhill
Just like the woman who wants to remove the threat of a baby for the sake of her own personal experience, we in the church are all too often looking for relief and blessing instead of carrying a heavy cross for the sake of others! The refusal to sacrifice time, money, energy and our very lives on a daily basis results in a prayerless, self-centered, quasi-Christian that’s driven by the question, “What’s in it for me?”
Have you noticed that the biggest offerings tend to come when the emphasis is on what we can expect in return? The biggest conferences tend to be those that highlight personal breakthrough. The most appreciated sermons are those that reveal the blessings we can expect as Christians. I often wonder what would happen if we held a conference titled, “Come and die.”
We live in a day when we unwittingly embrace a deadly, self-centered spirit of religion.
Religion is: Man’s attempt to use God to get what he wants.
When we don’t get what we want out of God our the church, we have an opportunity to accuse, to get angry, to place demands and to flee. When Jesus was here, the spirit of religion killed him because they didn’t get out of Jesus what they wanted.
The crowds were crying out, “Hosanna!” during the Triumphal Entry, which literally means, “Save us now!”
Jesus had of course decided to do just that—but not in a way they wanted.
In the next passage Jesus goes into the temple to overturn the moneychangers tables. Why? Because they were using the church for personal gain! The spirit of religion was in the temple! We are to enter the church with the expectation of leaving with LESS than we entered with, not more! We aren’t to use the church, but we are to bring an offering and to be a living sacrifice for the sake of others!
Then, that spirit of religion ended up killing Jesus. Jesus didn’t give them what they wanted in the way they wanted it. So, that spirit of abortion, of murder, took care of business.
Theocentric simply means we exist for God rather than He for us. Egocentric praying is our attempt at managing and directing God to accomplish our will instead of His. If “covetousness is idolatry” then attempting to harness the power of God to the priorities of self-centeredness is SIN! ~Harold Vaughn
The emphasis today seems to be on God alleviating our struggles instead of joining in on the great end-time struggle!
“If a Christian is not having tribulation in the world, there’s something wrong!” ~Leonard Ravenhill
Again, God loves to bless his children, but we must discuss the approach:
I absolutely love to give my kids presents. I come alive! My son Jet’s birthday was yesterday and I had so much fun watching his face beam as we opened presents, and as Chuck-E-Cheese led out in singing happy birthday. I also couldn’t wait to get him home, after he thought all of the presents had already been given, and see his face as he opened the shed to ride his bike…only to see his brand new bike sitting there! What a moment! Later that night we were laying on the hammock under the stars together, and he very casually and thoughtfully said, “Yep, this was about the best birthday ever…the best Chuck-E-Cheese birthday ever.”
Now, compare that to other days when I take the kids for a routine shopping trip to Walmart. From the moment they hit the door their sad, frustrated faces reveal what’s coming next. “Dad, please, can I have…”
No. No. NO! Over and over again. The tears come. The sadness increases. Their carnal nature is showing in radiant brilliance! Their consideration is not for mom and dad, our focus on saving money or anything else. It’s on self! You see, I often bring my kids with me when I go out just because I want to be with them, and to their credit, my wonderful children often want to be with me too! We love being together. But, something happens when the focus turns to self. What’s in it for me?
When threats to your dreams or your time or your personal endeavors come, how do you react? When preaching cuts instead of satisfies, how do you respond? The answer to these questions can go a long way in revealing what spirit you are driven by.
When the threats came to Jesus, he didn’t resist—he died. He surrendered for the sake of the world.
However, when the threat of a new King being born was discovered by Herod, he was troubled. The threat to his own personal experience, his reign as king, resulted in the spirit of abortion entering him.
Matthew 2:13 (ESV) 13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
Matthew 2:16 (ESV) 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.
We see this pattern repeating itself throughout history. Massive resistance comes when a threat to personal experience arrives. It emerged, for example, when the African-Americans threatened a segment of society’s idea of racial purity. That resulted in the Ku Klux Klan and the horrific murders of many innocent people.
We saw it during the holocaust as Hitler was threatened by the Jews and other groups. Again, millions of innocent people died for the sake of one demented person’s overzealous aim to ensure his personal life experience was protected.
Today, terrorism is on the rise and murder is the strategy of choice for many who refuse to allow their life experiences to be threatened by other cultures.
This demonic spirit is incredibly crafty. The call of Christianity is to die for others and the call of this demonic spirit is for others to die for us.
Of course, the act of murder isn’t the strategy of choice for those who are threatened in the church—or is it?
Matthew 5:21-22 (ESV) 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Jesus equates anger to murder. In the church the manifestation of anger usually results in gossip, which is a deeply destructive spirit. Gossip results in dark hearts manifesting outwardly against those who threaten them. The same accusation that the abortionists hurl are used by the uncrucified, angry Christians—”You are threatening my freedom and my rights!”
No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother. MARGARET SANGER, Woman and the New Race
When we become Christians we gain freedom but we lose our freedoms.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (ESV) 16 There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
It’s also possible to take on the offense of others. We have to be very careful! If we allow others who have had their own personal experiences threatened to lure us into a inappropriately merciful, sympathetic position, we are at great risk of taking on their offense and embracing anger against the threatening person. We saw Absalom do this as he took on the offense of others who didn’t get what they wanted out of King David.
Again, we are to expect a sharp sword, a high bar, a challenging life and a call to die to everything, including our own opinions, for the sake of others.
The spirit of abortion fights for personal rights no matter what the cost to others is. It resists the preaching of the cross with a vengeance. The cross threatens our very life!
Repentance must hit our churches. We have to return to the cross and refuse to buy into the demand for messages that tickle our ears. It’s time to once again be OK with deep inspection of the Lord into our hearts.
It’s this type of life that is a manifestation of deep, selfless love. This love will result in a great authority against the mission of murder against the millions of precious babies.
If we embrace the same self-centered spirit that drives the abortionists while at the same time crying out against them, we will be powerless. But, if die to self we will have the authority to defeat the spirit of abortion, murder and death that has overrun our nation.
Men tell us in these days that sin is what you think it is. Well, it is not. Sin is what God thinks it is. You may think according to your own conscience. God thinks according to His. –John G. Lake
People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated. –D.A. Carson
It is perilously easy to have amazing sympathy with God's truth and remain in sin.– Oswald Chambers
A fearful vision of what the church will soon look like
The change that’s coming to the church is absolutely unnerving and fearful
First: The following article may provoke the burning inside of you to rage. Join us for theLab Internship and help establish a model of fire that will reform the identity of the church. $100 discount now available. www.revivallab.com
I had an encounter that left me shaken and shocked.
What I saw was clearly a picture of the church…clearly in my spirit, that is, because my intellect was confounded. It didn’t make sense.
Before I share the vision, and some very interesting confirmation and insight, lets look at the current model of the church:
THE CURRENT CHURCH
There’s no way I’m going to attempt to present a comprehensive picture of the church with all of its varying streams and complexities. The point I’m focusing on is the simple, common experience that the current structure and function of the church presents.
- Teaching driven: In most churches, the Sunday service revolves around the message, the teaching.
- Sunday only: The average attendance for a church goer in America is less than two services a month. Most of those services occur on Sundays.
- Predictable & scheduled: Each service and ministry of the church is mapped out and scheduled, and while there is often some flex, you can usually have a pretty good picture in your mind of what to expect during each event. Several songs of worship, a few announcements, receiving the offering and a 30-40 minute message is what most have come to expect.
- Mostly natural: While some churches do experience a measure of supernatural activity, the overwhelming experience is logical, natural and humanly comprehendible.
- Locally focused: Most churches have a vision that is limited to themselves. Their local church is where most of their energy is focused.
- Seeker focused: Even churches that aren’t identified as “seeker sensitive” tend to be intent on attracting visitors and they gear their ministry to do so.
- Personal gain highlighted: God blesses and that message when presented in appropriate context is a necessary one. But, most churches highlight personal benefit while keeping the bar of personal surrender and commitment quite low.
In my encounter, the vision I saw was shocking and quite mysterious. I have had many visions of the church, of reformation, but this one was markedly different. It sure didn’t look like a vision of a church, but it immediately felt like one.
I was standing in an apocalyptic looking environment. It was dark and weighty. In front of me was an absolutely massive crater. God immediately revealed to me that I was looking at the soon coming church.
Really? It sure didn’t look like a church. My initial analysis was that what was coming wouldn’t be defined by what is logically communicable. The building and steeple and Sunday experience was gone, and what replaced it was frightening.
My spirit was provoked and raging, but I knew that those who were more logical than spiritual in their life experience would most probably resist what is just over the horizon.
1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Note, this doesn’t mean the unsaved, it means those who are naturally minded. That’s a lot of Christians. Here’s what Paul says next:
1 Cor 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready…
The crater that I was looking at looked alive. It was moving and churning. There was glowing red lava coursing throughout.
The closer I got to the edge of the crater, the church, the greater the fear of the Lord was, the more ominous the vision was. I couldn’t casually participate as the shaking and trembling rocked my whole being as I approached this invasion of Heaven into Earth.
Then the vision ended.
I shared this vision in a class at theLab Internship and one of the interns about came out of her skin.
She just watched a National Geographic special on craters on the Earth!
She shared some dramatic revelation about the coming crater based on what God was revealing through my vision and the program she watched.
- The asteroid that caused the crater was huge. When it impacted the ground, the top of it was still 30,000 feet up—that’s where jets fly!
- When it hit, a pillar of fire instantly exploded and reached from the surface of the Earth up into the heavens.
- Balls of fire shot out from the pillar and scorched regions far away from the point of impact.
- A cloud of smoke then rose and actually surrounded the entire planet. The entire Earth was covered by the residual impact of the asteroid.
- Celestial elements, parts of the asteroid that don’t exist on this planet, were implanted into the ground. Heaven was brought to Earth.
- Earthquakes rocked the Earth all around.
- Molten rock filled the crater.
THE COMING CHURCH
We won’t be able to define ‘going to church’ the way we do now.
God is coming to reform, to crush structures of old for what is to be introduced very soon.
The force from Heaven, the celestial asteroid, is going to impact the church, and most pastors and people will resist with everything that’s within them. Man-made support systems will be removed. People’s financial and relational structures will be threatened by this strange, new spiritual invasion.
The human wisdom and natural common sense that has been involved in the development of the current church structure will not be usable in the new. Those who walk by sight are in danger.
We will have to rely on a new set of senses as we, in faith unlike any we’ve ever allowed ourselves to embrace, begin to walk blindly into a fearful new church reality.
- Encounter driven: We will gather together with the primary goal of having an overwhelming encounter with an invisible God. The burning of God will engulf us day after day. A 2 Chronicle church will be the normal reality.
- The 24/7 church: The thought of only gathering in the crater, in the lava of God’s shocking presence, on occasion, a few times a month, will be laughable. Our entire lives will be empowered by this tent of meeting and our energies will be spent gathering the desperate masses into the fire to experience an otherworldly spiritual encounter together. Most days of the week we will easily make room to be in the church, on our faces, trembling under the weight of God.
- 2 Chronicles 7:1 As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house.3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
- Unpredictable: Finally we will begin to know a God who is limitless in expression. Every moment with him, in our corporate gatherings, will be unlike any other. The fierce burning will never stop, the myriad of emotions we experience as God hovers over us will surprise and overwhelm us continually. A gathering of burning ones will result in fire balls of worship that lead to sharp swords of prophetic teaching that shake the people to their core. Wave after wave of fiery shock and awe will never disappoint. Services will be open ended and will overlap each other as room is made for an uncontrollable Holy Spirit to orchestrate the events in his wisdom.
- Supernatural: We will take the leap from mostly translating God into our natural language and understanding to allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us out of the natural realm and into a supernatural culture that can only be understood via our spirits. The lost will finally have hope as we stop trying to give them logical reasons to ‘get saved’ and we start introducing them to a supernatural God that they have been craving to meet.
- Regionally focused: The level of impact that the rock from Heaven will bring will not be confined to a local church. Pastors and leaders will stop focusing mostly on developing their own local ministry and will instead shelve much of what they did in the old church model and focus on serving the regional mission. The local will give way to the regional as leaders ‘lead’ the people into encounter, into regional mission and into the greater vision of revival and reformation. The spirit of Pharaoh that focuses on personal goals and keeping people locally focused will give way to the spirit of reformation and Kingdom advance that was manifested through Moses and Joshua.
- God focused: Instead of attempting to ‘grow the church’ by focusing on visitors and seekers, the leaders will be fully devoted to a 2 Chronicles 7 strategy of compelling God to show up in extreme, weighty power. The pillar of fire that connects Heaven to Earth is the new goal. In fact, an empty church is a better goal than a full church if we understand that passage of scripture correctly! Many people will leave the church as a more serious devotion to Holy Spirit activity is given, but the supernatural invasion of fire will result in fire, smoke and earthquakes that will rock cities and nations.
- Personal surrender highlighted: Instead of compelling people to ‘join our church’ through the promise of personal gain, we’ll highlight the cross. The cost. The Rich Young Rulers will leave while the end-time remnant will gain confidence in leaders seriousness for revival and will flood in and serve with military level commitment. You will know leaders have turned the corner toward the new model of church when they actually raise the bar so unapologetically that those with money and influence are allowed to go. How many RICH RULERS are in our churches because leaders have compromised the call, just so they don’t lose their money?
The new church will look nothing like we see now. We must learn how to live in the Spirit if we hope to embrace this uninvited yet deeply needed invasion from Heaven. Everything is at risk. Will you embrace or resist this reformation?
Seeking early adopters : Breaking away from the marginal Christian experience
The call at Revival Church : Three burning focuses will help rip the Christian church out of a marginal, stale state into a tremble that never ends.
The strategy of God in this nation requires people who refuse to live according to a skewed Christian experience that has suffocated the church into a near flat line.
As a leader with a humanly impossible mission to call together people who will form their entire lives around the prayer room and the activity of the Holy Spirit, I find myself waiting and looking as I sound the alarm for the willing ones to move into position.
A radical response will result in a nuclear explosion of shock and awe that the nations of the Earth will witness—and then tremble.
My current city of Detroit must wake up. The church must destroy the habit of a casual response to a terrifyingly urgent call to repent, to respond immediately and to follow the feverish pace of the Holy Spirit toward revival.
During a prayer & whiteboard session on Monday, God refined the burning focus of the Detroit mission. We are intent on calling people together to participate in the mission at Revival Church… and the call is unapologetically and necessarily extreme:
The focus every day at Revival Church is to develop a culture of revival. The presence of God simply must press against us at every turn. It’s hard to believe that church services actually are allowed to continue without it! How can we teach and worship without the fire of God burning in our midst?
This culture is impartation and refreshing driven—meaning, God desires to impact, heal, deliver and pull destinies out of every one of us. Additionally, this focus results in communities of fiery love. People who are intentionally committed to one another… people who become family…who go deep in relationship and Holy Spirit fueled love.
Also, a key focus of this ministry is taking the fire of revival to the cities of the Earth. (If you are ready to book me, go to www.johnburton.net/booking) Teams of revivalists will be moving out with me as I minister in churches, at conferences and other events. We desire to train and coach others into a vibrant culture of wild revival.
The second strategy of our ministry is all about reformation. Revolution.
Understand, the Sunday style of ministry must end. The 24/7 church must emerge. Now.
People who are used to living their lives throughout the week and attending church for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning must brace for an abrupt shock to their systems. A Kingdom perspective is being imparted into the forerunners who will be leading the church into it’s new reality.
Today, the church tends to be focused on feeding people… tomorrow the focus is for the people to feed God. To minister to him. To pray.
Today, the church gathers together, on average, 2-4 times a month. Tomorrow, people will be together several days a week.
Today, people tend to seek out teaching. Tomorrow, they will receive equipping and instruction with an expectation of response…ministry…action.
There are a lot of changes coming, and the call is now for the early adopters to respond and change their lives unlike few are willing to. At Revival Church, we are setting up shop to appeal to these early adopters.
The entire church and Christian experience must be driven by the voice, activity and revelation of God himself. It must become normal for every Believer to be a person of extreme, zealous and fiery prayer as their primary activity in life. The church must embrace this primary mandate. Revival Church certainly does.
As prayer becomes the primary reason we gather together in the church, and the number one activity of our lives, we’ll hear God’s instructions clearly and continually.
Revival Church is called to be a prophetic revival center for the region. We must hear God. We must have people in our midst who are zealously on their face in night and day prayer. This is non-negotiable.
I’ll say it very clearly. If Detroit is to experience Kingdom normalcy… a revival culture… drastic and momentous change must come now.
Are you hungry enough for such a drastic interruption in your life? Are you willing? OK, let’s go. It’s time.
THE REVIVAL CHURCH CALL
So, what’s the minimum call for this new-form mission at Revival Church?
- Be early for prayer every Sunday at 5pm
- Make it extremely rare to miss a Sunday evening service.
- Nurture a life of radical prayer, study in the Word and pursuit of God’s presence.
- Participate in theLab, our weekly 8:30pm Monday radio show at www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/thelab.
- Participate in all, or as many as possible, of our weekly prayer meetings at IHOPE. We pray at noon every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. www.ihopedetroit.org
- Be extravagant tithers and givers
- Be an extreme communicator—participate in theLab, email us about what God’s revealing to you regarding the mission, be in contact with leadership and share your heart as often each week as you can.
- In order to understand the Revival Church vision, read John’s books, starting with 20 Elements of Revival (www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/resources)
The 24/7 church is emerging, and we’ll soon find ourselves in corporate ministry together at least 20 hours a week on the low end… and this transitional call of less than 8-10 hours a week will help ease our way into that new structure.
I’d love to hear from you! Are you ready to join the wild Revival Church family of revivalists? Contact me directly at [email protected].