3: marked by originality and verve <audacious experiments>
Every definition of the word audacious fits perfectly in the definition of the mission of the church. It certainly does for the church I am so honored to lead, Revival Church in the Detroit area.
In a season where most of the church in the Western world has been marginalized, the time is now for daring, bold, and yes, reckless leaders to pierce a stagnant, stale and religious culture with the sharp sword of the Spirit of the Lord. Now is the time for burning men and women to shock the nations.
I will never apologize for the white hot passion we have for the presence and plans of our wonderfully fearful God. In fact, we are still quite far from the level of trembling and zeal that will soon be here. The fire must get perpetually and exponentially hotter.
We refuse to get excited about any goals that don’t require ridiculous faith and that don’t cause the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of religion to shudder. Those kingdoms are coming down.
The plan of action includes the pursuit of extreme Holy Spirit activity. Signs, wonders, miracles and experiential manifestations of the glory of God are key. We are going after God with abandon!
So many people believe that we are waiting for God to bring revival…and that we have to jump through hoops to cause him to do it. What a frustrating life to live! Jesus let us know that he was done. He said, “It is finished.” He sent the apostles to do the work that Jesus used to do when he was on the Earth. He said he’d send the Promise, the Holy Spirit, to enable them. So they waited for the Holy Spirit…but we don’t have to! He has been empowering us for 2000 years! Now we literally carry God and we have every resource right now to release revival into the world! We aren’t waiting for God, he’s waiting for us!
It’s time to gather together, to receive ridiculous vision, stir up crazy faith and plan the impossible! We can bring revival to Detroit now!
TEN AUDACIOUS GOALS
- It’s all about the numbers. At Revival Church we are fearlessly going after those that yearn for God, and we are out to build the largest and most impactful ministry in Detroit—and every other pastor in this region should have the same audacious plans! If the Detroit Lions can hold Sunday services and unapologetically draw in 70,000 people to Ford Field, you have to be kidding if you think Christian leaders should have a problem with determining to have a greater impact. I see stadiums filled week after week with fervent lovers of Jesus in Detroit. (I can’t wait for TheCall on 11/11/11, but it’s an indictment against the church that months of cheerleading and mobilization must take place prior to the event just so the church would show up for one service at Ford Field—and the tickets are free!)
- Acts 2:47 (NKJV) 47 … And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
- The culture will never drive us. It’s time for the church to repent for succumbing to the busyness and distractions of American culture. We are calling people to a fully immersive life of Kingdom activity. Instead of cancelling services out of respect for the distracted we are calling a company of forerunners to blaze a trail of Acts chapter 2 style devotion and urgency. Someone asked Pastor Steve Gray, the leader of the Smithton Outpouring, “How is it that you can be at church six nights a week?” Steve replied, “How is it that you can watch TV six nights a week?”
- Ephesians 5:14-17 (ESV) 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
- We are planning on hosting and serving one of the worlds greatest revivals in history. The times are urgent, and the harvest is waiting. We acknowledge that many other amazing churches are building according to the critical plans God has given them. But, the vision we have cannot be found anywhere in Detroit, so we are provoked to build. There is a Nehemiah cry that is resounding at Revival Church. The project is massive and the time is short. We both praying and working simultaneously so the masses have a place to go on any weekend or weekday to experience the revival they so crave.
- Nehemiah 4:1-2 (NKJV) 1 But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish–stones that are burned?"
- We are to be a threat to the status quo. The religious structures are coming down. We embrace the principles of the story of Gideon. Religious altars are coming down and an army of fearless warriors is being raised up to take a city. We have no option to blend into the prevailing church landscape. It’s time to war!
- 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,
- The 24/7 church will be the norm. If the Tigers and Red Wings can dominate the night here in Detroit, and if thousands converge together in unity to celebrate them, we won’t stop until the same level of devotion is found in the church.
- Acts 2:46-47 (NKJV) 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
- We are believing for millions of dollars to come into Revival Church. We are boldly praying and asking for the resources to complete our mission. A religious spirit will attempt to shoot down such a focus, but if a person can believe for his household bills to be paid then you better believe we are expecting God’s mission to be financially covered. The provision will match the vision.
- Philippians 4:19 (ESV) 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
- The church isn’t a building, but it meets in one. We’re planning on a property to hold thousands of people, dorms, a school of ministry and much more. Read more here: https://burton.tv/2010/08/20/you-are-not-the-church-the-scattering-movement-what-about-church-online/
- We’re going to annihilate the sheep stealing myth. At Revival Church we have open hands. We don’t own the sheep at Revival Church and we have no patience for any controlling doctrine that teaches otherwise. While we do encourage people to a high level of honor and commitment, we also honor them and understand that God may lead them to participate in other churches and ministries. We have an open recruitment policy here as well. Any pastor can come into Revival Church and attempt to recruit anybody on my staff or team without any guilt or fear. You can read more here: https://burton.tv/2011/09/06/church-competition-and-the-sheep-stealingtransfer-growth-myth/
- Revival is coming to Detroit. With all of the phenomenal and hungry revivalists in Detroit, and with the prayer movement and other strategies expanding all over the region, the time is now to experience revival. However, we also believe that revival will probably be hosted in one primary location. We are preparing for that location to be Revival Church. But, we’re also pretty smart and we realize that the chances are high that it will land in another church. The call will be to travel, to lead the people out, to go where the fire is. So, in that case, we will be highly invested there in addition to developing the supporting ministry of Revival Church.
- Exodus 13:21 (ESV) 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
- We have names and faces. We fully embrace the heart of the nameless, faceless movement. Extreme humility is mandatory. However, that movement has in some places adopted a strange false-unity ideology. Leaders are being renounced in favor of equality in function. This just isn’t biblical. We expect to have so many humble, surrendered people who embrace the cross of Christ that they will be promoted by God to have influence over millions of desperate people. We can’t hide. We can’t blend in. We can’t espouse false humility. There are prophetic messengers arising and the world will know who they are and they will fall in love with Jesus who they carry.
- 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV) 1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.