Posts Tagged ‘online’

Response to FOX News article: Church as we know it is over. Here’s what’s next.

Yes, church as we know it is over, but not anywhere near the way the FOX News author suggests.

Church leaders and pastors have spent time every week encouraging, inviting and pleading with people to come to a specific place at a specific time on Sundays. This approach has created church staffing models, systems and ministry strategies focused on improving attendance.

But that way of doing church is dead.

And just like Joshua needed to hear God say, “Moses my servant is dead” (Joshua 1:2), so he could move into the next level of leadership, I think the Church needs to accept the fate of physical church as we know it, so we can move into the next phase of digital church. ~Dave Adamson, FOX News, https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/churches-as-we-know-it-are-over-here-is-how-to-engage-the-faithful

The Coming Church Paperback 2018 157x319And the church takes another hit, this time not from the anti-church society that’s filled with disgruntled Christians who didn’t have their expectations met in the last church they attended, and not from the organic, house church proponents, but from a pastor featured by FOX News. His take on the emerging, morphing church in the twenty-first century isn’t unique, but it is gaining steam, especially among those who are pretty much done with church as it has been known for centuries.

There’s a problem though. What is being proposed simply cannot be defined biblically as the church. Technology, video and alternate methods of worshiping, listening to teachings and even connecting with other Christians are all benefits for Believers. Every night I fall asleep to worship music I’m streaming online. I am thankful for the never ending live stream of the prayer room at the International House of Prayer. Limitless sermons are available to all of us. In fact, nobody has an excuse in this digital age for lacking in spiritual depth, knowledge and intimacy with Jesus. The opportunities for spiritual growth are endless. This is good, but this is not church.

An omni-channel approach to church would allow people to fully connect and engage with a church without the need to step inside a physical environment every week. They could attend one Sunday, listen to the message on podcast the following week, watch a live online stream the Sunday after, and catch the message on-demand in an church app the week after that. ~Dave Adamson

That sounds freeing, but it’s not the church. It is not the Ekklesia.

THE EKKLESIA

In fact, Dave misunderstands the purpose of the church gathering quite remarkably. It’s not simply to connect, worship and learn. If that were the case, the online options would absolutely be better in many ways than connecting physically in a local church. It’s easy to find the best of the best worship experience, the deepest and most impacting teaching and the experience we specifically desire somewhere online. Those experiences will most always out perform what the local church can offer. Except for at least one, important thing—the governmental gathering. The Ekklesia.

The church isn’t primarily there to satisfy our desires for worship, teaching and connections. It’s been ordained by God as a governmental force in the region. Ekklesia is actually a secular term referring to the gathering together of the people in the region by governmental authorities for the purpose of relaying information and calling people to action.

So, for the Ekklesia to function, there must be local leadership, a regular gathering under that leadership and a responsiveness to what God is calling people unto.

Add to that the key purpose of the church, corporate intercession, and you realize it’s not possible to have church or to be the church in any legitimate way online.

In my Charisma Magazine article titled Ancient and Emerging: 5 Major Changes Coming to the Church, I write:

We will gather together most days of the week. The 24/7 church will again emerge as the church drives culture instead of reacting to culture. Cares of life will lose their power as we simplify our lives and put corporate prayer and mission ahead of most everything else.

This may be the most challenging change for Christians. Today, Sundays are the days to set aside for corporate worship while we give precedence to our ‘normal lives.' In The Coming Church, the very reason we live will be to pray on fire together every day, receive apostolic assignments and then move out into our lives as kingdom ambassadors. It wouldn't be surprising if a tithe of our time is what became the standard. Two to three hours a day, whether it's in the morning, afternoon or evening, or even in the late night hours, will be given by every believer to praying on site together with others, ministering and giving ourselves to intercession-fueled kingdom ministry. Of course, much of what we have been giving ourselves to will have to be eliminated so we have the time necessary to devote.

I want to encourage you to consider picking up a copy of my book The Coming Church. This 300 page book is a powerful revelation of what I believe is coming to the church, and the changes for every one of us will be dramatic.

In fact, I’ll make the digital version of this book available FREE for anyone who reads this article. Visit www.burton.tv/freechurchbook and you can download it immediately.

In my article titled Five Unusual Marks of the Coming Church, I write:

The church will drive culture instead of being driven by culture. The 24/7 church is coming and it will violate the prevailing culture of busyness and distraction.

Gone will be the days of formatting our churches to fit within the schedules and expectations of society. The seeker movement will fade away and the urgent call to the wall will overpower even the most demanding of personal and social pressures.

Acts 17:6 (ESV) 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,

ESV Study Bible: These hostile opponents spoke better than they knew, for the spread of the gospel throughout the Roman Empire was the beginning of a movement that would change the course of history forever.

The coming church will be marked by its boldness and culture will be threatened for the good.

WHAT ABOUT CHURCH ONLINE?

To Dave Adamson’s credit, he did state:

This approach allows the church to connect with people physically for 1 hour on Sunday, and stay connected for the other 167 hours of the week, digitally.

While one hour per week in church is woefully short of what is coming in the 24/7 church, he does emphasize staying connected. Utilizing technology to stay strategically and actively locked in to what is happening in the local church is a smart move. While I disagree with surrendering to the whims of today’s noncommittal generation and encouraging empty pews, I believe using online media and social connectors is a great move. I remember spending hours in the prayer room every day at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City while also watching the live web stream from home and watching teachings by Mike Bickle and others. IHOPKC is doing media right as it enhances their 24/7 mission instead of replacing it.

However, we need to look a little deeper at the idea of online church.

In my article titled: You are Not the Church: The Scattering Movement, I deal with this concept of church online. There are some very clear issues that can’t be ignored.

  1. DEVOID OF APOSTOLIC LEADERSHIP—There is most probably (there are exceptions) no clearly defined apostolic leadership involved. We have to know who we’re called to serve with. We have to all hear, together, in our local congregation, how we are to respond in mission advance. What’s God calling our leaders to focus on? How are we to participate? What are the goals? What steps must we take to prepare ourselves to see this come to pass?
  2. LACK OF STRATEGIC CORPORATE INTERCESSION—While not impossible, it’s very hard to involve ourselves in the number one purpose of the church this way—corporate intercession. We just have to be together to pray with unity and consistency if we are to have the sufficient strength to see significant impact.
  3. NO ACCOUNTABILITY—Accountability and discipline are nearly non-existent outside of the context of the local church. Most who flock from the church and into alternative spiritual activities do so to avoid conflict, accountability and correction from leadership. We have to understand that this is a critical part of the refining process. We must be receptive and humble and ready to be challenged—even if the leaders God established for us are exceptionally flawed and out of touch with our needs.
  4. PROMOTES MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH—It can quite easily reinforce a wrong understanding of the purpose of the church. I would say this is the most serious issue. The prevailing thought these days is that the church is there for us. Whatever needs we have, we can get many of them met in the church. So, we attend if we are ministered to. Or, we may determine that we can get what we’re looking for without regular church attendance. So, the church becomes unnecessary to us. Friend, this concept is a defilement of the church. I can’t say it any less striking than that. We are called to gather together with other believers primarily to intercede for the nations. We are there to give, to leave offerings, to serve, to minister, to pray, to grow. The church isn’t primarily there for us, we are to be there for the mission of the church. We may say that we don’t need the church but have we considered that the church needs us?

The purpose of the church simply cannot be fulfilled through technology. Video, social media, websites like this one and other mediums absolutely can be powerful supplements to what we are experiencing in our weekly gathering, but they simply aren’t designed to handle the demands of the Ekklesia, the governmental, prayer-fueled, local church.

New series starting tonight! 20 Elements of Revival at the School of Revival

20-Elements-of-Revival-PaperbackJoin us locally or online TONIGHT at 7pm for the beginning of our brand new series 20 ELEMENTS OF REVIVAL!

Discover how to live in a state of white hot, continual revival—and how to see it spread into a city wide inferno!

Join us locally in Detroit for prayer, worship, teaching and then a time of discussion:

theFurnace is located at 26091 Sherwood, Warren, MI 48091

If you aren’t near, you can watch online beginning at 7pm at www.thefurnace.tv/live.

DOWNLOAD NOTES

You can download tonight’s notes to follow along as you watch HERE.

20 ELEMENTS OF REVIVAL

The contention of this book is simple: The extreme manifest presence of God is the biblical norm for New Testament believers. We label it many ways: revival, an outpouring, renewal, and certainly different moves of God have distinct flavors to them. However, regardless of the descriptive term we attach to it, we simply are not experiencing it. As we investigate a simple and powerful formula for revival, we will find ourselves deeply provoked and advancing with extreme momentum toward the goal of a city-wide outpouring of the Holy Spirit!

20 Elements of Revival- I just finished reading 20 Elements of Revival. Everyone should read this book! I wish I had the cash for a case of this book. Seriously! I keep thinking of more people who NEED a copy of it! It’s very, very, very rare for me to feel this way about a book other than the Bible. -Kathi

Just finished reading the two books you gave me…and I am buzzing in the Holy Spirit! My wife and I had an hour conversation about the depth of their implications. You have nailed it my friend. I have met few people who have put all this together….and I am in awe and grateful. I want all our leadership team to especially read 20 Elements of Revival. -Tim

theLab University Online is now LIVE! Apply today…

imagetheLab University Online is LIVE! Apply from anywhere around the world TODAY!

Two months ahead of schedule, theLab University Online is now ready to accept new students!

You can apply TODAY for ONLY $50 here: www.thelabuniversity.com/online.

Once you are accepted into the program, the remaining tuition is ONLY $150!


All Memberships Include:

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An Active Community

You will be continually connected to instructors and other students online.

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Books & Resources

Our instructors have written several books and other materials. Many of these resources and our growing archives are provided as a part of your tuition.

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Expert Instructors

You will connect with leaders who are regularly available to our students and continually invested in the prayer movement.

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An Invitation to Travel

Hit the road and meet up with theLab Carriers of Fire team and enjoy a deeply discounted conference rate. (optional)

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A Mobile Ready Environment

Watch training videos, read articles and books and access materials while you are at home or on the go.

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A Certificate of Graduation

Successful completion of the initial twelve-week session results in a certificate of graduation.

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An Unbelievably Low Tuition

Our goal is to impact a generation of emerging forerunners and carriers of fire. The costs are low so everybody can be equipped.

Apply TODAY for ONLY $50 here: www.thelabuniversity.com/online.


Apply for our NEW twelve week online university!

Your enrollment will begin immediately upon payment. 

Lead Instructor:

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theLab Director & Founder of Revival Church in Detroit • John Burton is available to minister in your church or at your conference or event. John has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. John has authored eight books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.

Additionally, he planted two churches, has initiated two city prayer movements and is currently directing a prayer and revival focused ministry school in Detroit. John also has a web and graphic design business and is continually developing new and exciting ventures. He and his beautiful wife Amy have five children and currently live in the Detroit region.

John’s mandate is to call the church in the nations to repentance from casual Christianity and to burn in a manner worthy of the King of Kings.  He is equipping people to confront the enemies of God (established religion, Jezebel, etc.) that hinder an extreme, sold out level of true worship.


theLab University Online Classes:

 Online

  • The Coming Church
  • Becoming Unoffendable
  • Six Enemies of Fulfilled Destiny
  • Carriers of Fire
  • A Spirit of Insignificance
  • Prophetic Messengers
  • Covens in the Church
  • Pharaoh in the Church
  • Revelation Driven Prayer
  • The Terror of Hell
  • Carry Like Mary
  • Four Fires

 Online

theLab University is a unique school of fire that is designed to equip people from high school on up as intercessors, forerunners, prophetic messengers and students of the Word. The subject matter is alive and intense, designed to challenge and impart the knowledge of God.

You will experience a fiery prophetic community of people who are vigilantly preparing themselves for ministry and an end-time lifestyle.

We value a vibrant social culture where you will be able to continually interact with instructors and students via chat, live video, forums, conference calls and optional live, on site events.

theLab University is a perfect option for individuals, small groups, high school students, families and others interested in growing deep.

After completing your twelve week session, you will retain access to the members only site so you can stay connected, review past teachings and more!

Cost: $50 application fee + $150 tuition


A typical weekly schedule

 OnlineWATCH
Each week will be devoted to a single primary teaching that you will watch or listen to.

 OnlineSTUDY
After watching or listening to the teaching, you will be given an assignment to study and homework to complete.

 OnlineCONNECT
Connecting online with instructors and other students will give you a chance to ask questions and share your journey. Additionally, prayer and other corporate events will take place regularly.

 OnlineADVANCE
Practical assignments such as prayer walking, developing sermons and planning mission projects will help you strengthen as an emerging leader!


Apply TODAY for ONLY $50 here: www.thelabuniversity.com/online.

Become a Revival Church member: Local OR online

Become a member of Revival Church today—either locally OR online!

Revival-Church-Membership

I very regularly hear from people who want to connect more closely with the ministry of Revival Church—both locally, and also quite a bit in other states and nations.

Now it’s EASY!

You can APPLY TODAY to become a member of a white hot, passionate and strategic revival movement!

God is the fuel behind Facebook’s success

Why is Facebook so successful? Could it be because of God himself?

Now, before you come out of your religious skin, or if the thought of God having any role in the success of something online makes you laugh, read just a little further.

It’s been said that we are living in an ever increasing social culture. Of course, we have social networks like Facebook, social media like YouTube and social shopping through Groupon.

Yep, this culture is social—but, I would propose that we haven’t transitioned into a social people, but rather something huge has happened in this generation that has facilitated the opportunity to visit a common craving that people have had since the very beginning—love.

Facebook is exploding because of people’s desire to be loved. People want to belong, to fit in, to matter—even if they matter to total strangers. Strangers, that is, except in what has become a very real and meaningful world online.

God is love. It was his idea. Love is so prevalent in the mission of God that it actually defines who he is. He isn’t in support of love. He isn’t simply loving. He is love.

And, every person who has ever been born has the same passionate desire—to find that all powerful force. People want to be loved.

We know in Scripture that it’s not good for man to be alone. All of creation was breathed into existence with that reality in mind. God is all about social networking… but his plan goes well beyond a human connection between strangers. There’s much more than sometimes interesting (sometimes ridiculous!) status updates.

The desire is real. The need for acceptance is strong. The hunger for kindness and a caring friend is extreme. And, if we simply believe, simply take a step toward the Lover of our souls, we won’t have to settle for the lesser things.

The sexual revolution was fueled by the mantra, “If it feels good, do it.” Today we can click on whatever or whoever we can find online that provides a momentary fix or a low level connection—a connection with something or someone who just doesn’t have what it takes to satisfy.

Yes, I believe Facebook’s growth is due to the love that God intended for all of us to experience. However, the only way to fall head over heals in very real, experiential and life-changing love is if we meet the one who by his very nature IS love.

That man is Jesus. I’d recommend ‘friending’ him.

God is the fuel behind Facebook’s success

Why is Facebook so successful? Could it be because of God himself?

Now, before you come out of your religious skin, or if the thought of God having any role in the success of something online makes you laugh, read just a little further.

It’s been said that we are living in an ever increasing social culture. Of course, we have social networks like Facebook, social media like YouTube and social shopping through Groupon.

Yep, this culture is social—but, I would propose that we haven’t transitioned into a social people, but rather something huge has happened in this generation that has facilitated the opportunity to visit a common craving that people have had since the very beginning—love.

Facebook is exploding because of people’s desire to be loved. People want to belong, to fit in, to matter—even if they matter to total strangers. Strangers, that is, except in what has become a very real and meaningful world online.

God is love. It was his idea. Love is so prevalent in the mission of God that it actually defines who he is. He isn’t in support of love. He isn’t simply loving. He is love.

And, every person who has ever been born has the same passionate desire—to find that all powerful force. People want to be loved.

We know in Scripture that it’s not good for man to be alone. All of creation was breathed into existence with that reality in mind. God is all about social networking… but his plan goes well beyond a human connection between strangers. There’s much more than sometimes interesting (sometimes ridiculous!) status updates.

The desire is real. The need for acceptance is strong. The hunger for kindness and a caring friend is extreme. And, if we simply believe, simply take a step toward the Lover of our souls, we won’t have to settle for the lesser things.

The sexual revolution was fueled by the mantra, “If it feels good, do it.” Today we can click on whatever or whoever we can find online that provides a momentary fix or a low level connection—a connection with something or someone who just doesn’t have what it takes to satisfy.

Yes, I believe Facebook’s growth is due to the love that God intended for all of us to experience. However, the only way to fall head over heals in very real, experiential and life-changing love is if we meet the one who by his very nature IS love.

That man is Jesus.

You are NOT the church : The scattering movement : What about church online?

THE SCATTERING MOVEMENT

To say that I’m concerned would be a gross understatement.

There is a scattering movement in the nation that’s causing deep harm to the mission of the church.

This scattering of believers is so widespread that we are seeing theologies and philosophies emerging that support the idea that it’s actually healthy to disband and withdraw.

It becoming common to hear people say things like, “The church isn’t a building,” or, “I am the church, so I don’t have to go ‘to church’.”

The idea is that people have become so wounded or dissatisfied with their experience in the church that they have decided that it’s not only better but actually biblically acceptable to minimize participation in an organized church setting.

This mindset is threatening the corporate mission to a terrifying degree.

YOU ARE NOT THE CHURCH

If we understand the meaning of the word ‘church’ we could never presume that we alone are the church. That idea is contrary to the origin of the word (ekklesia, meaning “assembly”). In fact, that word has secular origins. It literally means an assembly of people who have been called together by an authority in the city or region. Wow! That sheds a lot of light on what the church is.

The church is an assembly of people organized under defined governmental leadership. It’s a regular gathering of people who are deeply agreed and in pursuit of mission advance under God’s apostles, prophets and other governmental leaders.

Further, the pure definition of the word reveals that it isn’t used as easily in the context of the global company of believers as it is in the regional and local gathering of believers.

The definition reveals that it’s a well defined local group vs. a loosely defined larger group of people (who mostly don’t know each other at all). We can’t be a part of the church if we aren’t gathered together with other parts of the church. Church is corporate.

Additionally, the church is a group of people who assemble, fellowship, pray and respond together to apostolic teaching. That can’t happen in a more nebulous global context.

The church has inherent in it’s core call the expectation of assembly and a corporate response so as to ensure the local mission is fulfilled. Again, a fulfilled mission can’t be realized without this type of intentional and faithful participation at a local level where communication and commonality are clearly defined.

WHAT ABOUT HAVING CHURCH ONLINE?

I agree that there is much to enjoy and gain from this amazing technological world. We can watch church services online (I was watching one myself just tonight), listen to worship, meet Christians in forums and on Facebook, pray for one another and involve ourselves in Kingdom business in very unique ways.

However, if this is the limit of one’s involvement, there are some key issues to be considered:

  1. DEVOID OF APOSTOLIC LEADERSHIP—There is most probably (there are exceptions) no clearly defined apostolic leadership involved. We have to know who we’re called to serve with. We have to all hear, together, in our local congregation, how we are to respond in mission advance. What’s God calling our leaders to focus on? How are we to participate? What are the goals? What steps must we take to prepare ourselves to see this come to pass?
  2. LACK OF STRATEGIC CORPORATE INTERCESSION—While not impossible, it’s very hard to involve ourselves in the number one purpose of the church this way—corporate intercession. We just have to be together to pray with unity and consistency if we are to have the sufficient strength to see significant impact.
  3. NO ACCOUNTABILITY—Accountability and discipline are nearly non-existent outside of the context of the local church. Most who flock from the church and into alternative spiritual activities do so to avoid conflict, accountability and correction from leadership. We have to understand that this is a critical part of the refining process. We must be receptive and humble and ready to be challenged—even if the leaders God established for us are exceptionally flawed and out of touch with our needs.
  4. PROMOTES MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH—It can quite easily reinforce a wrong understanding of the purpose of the church. I would say this is the most serious issue. The prevailing thought these days is that the church is there for us. Whatever needs we have, we can get many of them met in the church. So, we attend if we are ministered to. Or, we may determine that we can get what we’re looking for without regular church attendance. So, the church becomes unnecessary to us. Friend, this concept is a defilement of the church. I can’t say it any less striking than that. We are called to gather together with other believers primarily to intercede for the nations. We are there to give, to leave offerings, to serve, to minister, to pray, to grow. The church isn’t primarily there for us, we are to be there for the mission of the church. We may say that we don’t need the church but have we considered that the church needs us?

I believe the scattering movement is one of the enemy’s most urgent assaults in these end-times. He knows the power of unified togetherness. He used that very strategy when attempting to build a tower to Heaven. God himself said that Satan’s successful plan of unity would actually succeed if scattering didn’t happen!

Now, when the church must be together continually as we advance against the kingdom of darkness, Satan has every intention of pulling people out of that mission. The scattering and loose commitment to God’s method of prayer-driven Kingdom advance is resulting in an weak and impotent army.

In a day when less than two services a month equates to ‘normal’ church attendance, I believe we must see the 24/7 church advance in strength, unity, commitment and power. Instead of two services a month, I believe we’ll see it become normal to be in church 20+ times a month as we pray together, receive apostolic instruction, move out in ministry and take the fire of the Holy Spirit to the world—together.

 

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