Posts Tagged ‘regional’

Nine reasons we may have to choose: Grow a large church or contend for revival

We may need to choose: Grow a large church or contend for revival in a region.

The-Coming-Church-Paperback(LyingDown01)God's world changers always favor being idealistic ahead of being realistic. They are dreamers, visionaries and supernatural theorists instead of analysts driven by logical data. They refuse to work within natural limits for the sake of quicker, more visible success. They would rather fail a thousand times contending for the impossible than succeed once at something that's humanly possible. These leaders won’t compromise the call to revival by seeking to fill the seats with the lukewarm. They are calling forth the burning ones. Their dream is to shock cities with a remnant army.

And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” Judges 7:4 (ESV)

300 was better than 33,000.

This truth is the focus of this article.

The Big Meeting

For as long as I can remember I have loved the large group atmosphere with innumerable zealous people worshiping God and going deep together. There’s something about the catalytic power and synergy in an atmosphere like that—if the majority are raging radicals for Jesus. A gathering like this most always takes place in the form of conferences or conventions. For example, for me, there’s nothing like the Onething conference that the International House of Prayer in Kansas City hosts at the end of each year. That Missouri city becomes the focal point for people who embrace the call to a life of prophetic intercession in the end times. People from all over the world converge there which results in the large group atmosphere I and so many others value.

Over my 25 years of ministry I have enjoyed many large conferences like this but have also discovered that such gatherings rarely exist within the construct of the local church. Understand, I’m not saying the local church can’t attract a lot of people, become mega in size and become influential in the community. Many do just that. We’ve just ventured through an era where seeker sensitive churches became some of the largest churches in the nation. What I am arguing is that it’s extremely rare to find a church that’s raging on fire by establishing a prayer-fueled, revival focused, region shocking, Upper Room level culture.

In fact, I wonder just how common it is to grow a church to more than one or two hundred people with such an approach. I believe it is possible yet extremely rare. With some exceptions, small revival tribes of 30-70 people are a much more predictable expectation—until revival actually breaks out.

120 in the upper room can quickly become thousands in the church of the city.

NINE REASONS GROWING A LARGE CHURCH AND CONTENDING FOR REVIVAL MAY BE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE PURSUITS

1. Muzzled Speech

It’s all too tempting for today’s church growth focused leaders to trade in their prophetic mantle for that of a salesman. Instead of cutting, bold, unapologetic truth being delivered with a prophetic edge, lesser, neutered messages are given in the hopes that there won’t be any kickback. Fear of offending the tithers overwhelms fear of offending the Spirit.

The prevailing question becomes, “What will the people respond to?” I’ll major on that. Then, “What will people resist?” I’ll avoid those topics at all costs—even the cost of revival.

The demands of revival include, at the most foundational level, God’s leaders refusing to be careful as they pierce with a sharp blade the sphere of influence they have been entrusted with. If leaders consistently communicate revival truths, only the remnant will remain. The masses that promised a mega-church experience would leave the pastor with but a handful to run with. Very few are willing to pay that price. The alternative is much more attractive—muzzled speech that the majority will enjoy.

This, friend, is not the call of today’s leader—not at this critical time in history. We must see troublers of Israel emerge once again.

When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals. Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 1 Kings 18:17-19 (ESV)

Elijah refused to be silenced. He wasn’t attempting to gain favor or approval. He had a message and he refused to be muzzled. The same was true of Micaiah:

And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” 1 Kings 22:8 (ESV)

And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I will speak.” 1 Kings 22:13-14 (ESV)

Micaiah was sent to prison because he refused to cower when ordered to only speak what is favorable. I wonder how leaders will preach against the sins of the day when it becomes illegal to do so if the fear of losing people is such a struggle. It’s shocking to me when people reveal they haven’t heard troubling, shaking preaching on holiness, sin and repentance in decades! We must have the prophetic mantle return to the pulpits again!

Consider the following:

“My aim is to agitate and disturb people. I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast.” ~Miguel De Unamuno

“If Jesus preached the same message minister's preach today, He would have never been crucified.” ~Leonard Ravenhill

Revival leaders will bring trouble, and people will leave when they feel the blade of the sword touch their flesh.

Today, we have leaders who refuse to speak on the troubles of the day, on politics and on other critical issues out of fear that they will divide the crowd and send some running with all of their resources in their pockets. The same is true with many itinerate ministers, evangelists and others who make a living from the Gospel. The more careful their speech, the more diplomatic they can be, the more appealing their focus, the greater the numbers and the more respected they become. Unfortunately, such an approach is an enemy to revival. Few will respond to those who trouble Israel.

The coming Church will be marked by those who will preach truth without moderation. I want to directly address fellow pastors and leaders with both brokenness and boldness—open your mouths! When people tell me that I have guts to say what I do in teachings, on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, I am shocked! Really? They can’t be serious! I barely reveal even a small percentage of what is burning within me. The messages are minor and obvious, yet somehow in our passive, ultra-sensitive culture they come across as sharp and risky. We have to open our mouths and deliver the troubling truth! No more messages designed to grow churches. No more sermons that result in us looking good, smart and polished. If we are out to save face, we may do just that—as we ultimately lose our soul in Hell. The raw, irritating, offensive messages of the Word of God must explode out of us with the full understanding that many of those under our care will revolt! That is true love-based preaching! We can’t even call people to prayer today due to the fear that they will leave our churches! My God! How can we presume revival is near? ~The Coming Church

One day God spoke clearly to me: John, when you pray for a remnant, don’t be surprised when the remnant shows up.

Personally, I’d much rather have a church of 30 devoted, burning, remnant revivalists than a church of several hundred people who will leave when the fire gets hot and the message cuts their flesh.

2. Visitor magnets

The primary purpose of the church is to be a gathering of Believers under apostolic authority with prayer and equipping being the dominant activities for all. Focusing on attracting visitors can quickly compromise that core church mission. The Bible tells us the church is to be a house of prayer for all nations. It is not to be used as an evangelistic tool, but rather evangelism should be a result of what happens in the gatherings.

In my book The Coming Church I highlighted several ways today’s church is going to drastically change. One is the move away from seeker style ministries. The church gathering is for Believers who are praying:

Even churches that aren’t identified as seeker sensitive tend to be intent on attracting visitors and they gear their ministry to do so. Instead of attempting to grow the church by focusing on visitors and seekers, the leaders will be fully devoted to a 2nd 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 disgruntled people will leave the church as a more serious devotion to Holy Spirit activity is given, but the supernatural invasion will result in fire, smoke and earthquakes that will rock cities and nations. ~The Coming Church

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. And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. 2 Chronicles 7:1-2 (ESV)

I made a significant transition in my own ministry many years ago regarding my focus on visitors and church growth. In the early days, I’d get frustrated when they didn’t show up and overly excited when they did. It was common for my wife and me to take visitors out for lunch or coffee to encourage them that there was definitely a place for them and their giftings in our church. While we did grow, our vision was compromised due to attracting people who were more excited about their own ministry than the mission of revival. Over time we had people who could lead worship, serve in children’s ministry, wave flags, dance and serve as ushers. The problem? The church is called first and foremost to be a house of prayer. We had a lot of activity, a solid group of people and an underlying resistance to going deep in intercession. Our visitors turned leaders were not invested in prayer.

I believe one of the most damaging things a pastor of a church can do is release people into ministries and roles if the they aren’t on fire, living in the Spirit and praying without ceasing.

We wouldn’t allow anybody to step into any role until they completed an intense three month internship that revealed our DNA, our focus and the cost of running with us. This approach resulted in a small army of burning ones locking arms together in the pursuit of revival.

Our transition from empowering visitors to warning and preparing visitors was key to our progress. We went from encouraging them that they would definitely fit in to being forthright with them. We let them know that they have stepped into an extremely challenging ministry. It would be hard, not easy, for them to connect. Everybody prays on fire as their primary function, we all rally around the vision of city transformation and we embrace radical holiness and a consecrated lifestyle. We stopped pursuing people, taking them out for lunch or attempting to sell our experience to them. The expectation was for the visitors to show up in the fire with us and to watch powerful relationships develop in that fox hole.

We made the decision to trade in being a large church with people who were merely intrigued by the vision with being a smaller church with people who are wrecked by the vision.

“…these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56:7 (ESV)

3. Naturally Relevant

The coming Church will be marked by bold, Holy Spirit filled prayer warriors who burn night and day. They will be an explosive people who carry and release the fire of God into the cities of the Earth. There will be a regular tremble and a continual burn on them as they live in the supernatural realm in historic fashion. ~The Coming Church

Most people are much more familiar with their natural, predictable, tangible world than they are the invisible, supernatural reality of God. With that in mind, outside of actual revival, church meetings that allow supernatural manifestations and embrace a spontaneous, bizarre environment will be avoided by most.

When is the last time a Sunday morning service has erupted in a couple hours of groans of intercession as people go face down on the carpet? A friend of mine who is an extremely mature and seasoned Christian worked for a major prophetic ministry. During our services, she would regularly manifest with groans and violent shaking and other reactions to the Spirit of God. She kind of looked like a super intense, supernaturally possessed karate kid! That was not naturally relevant behavior! Most people would not visit a church again if that was a regular occurrence. The remnant would, though.

From my book The Coming Church:

I met with a House of Prayer network leader the other day who said that people leave churches when leaders shift time, energy and attention from them to God. I’ve watched that happen myself, and it rips me up! In our church in Colorado we shifted from potlucks to prayer meetings, and there was a mass exodus. We lost people and money. I had to get a part-time job. It was disruptive. It was heartbreaking that people ran from the call to pray. Where are the ones who aren’t looking first for human friends, personal affirmation or a sense of belonging but who are seeking after every available minute to minister to God in prayer? The prayer rooms must be full—and the main prayer room in the American Church is the Sunday morning sanctuary!

And don’t you even think of using the excuse that you need to create a non-threatening environment for the new believer! Every person, young or old, immature or seasoned must be in the prayer room—and it must be their primary focus! What if the Upper Room were toned down in the hopes of drawing a bigger crowd and interested seekers? We must absolutely refuse to tone down the activity of the Holy Spirit out of respect of those less hungry! God is a consuming fire, and he is about to consume what is unholy and compromised. Who are we to presume we know better how to facilitate a service? Is inviting the Holy Spirit to step aside as we give preference to human wisdom the way to go?

I’ve heard it said that the main Sunday service should be a toned-down meeting so as not to freak out visitors and seekers. Apparently the meeting where the Holy Spirit has liberty to move in freedom should be reserved for a night when there’s little risk of the unconverted showing up. This is humanistic religion at its best! Did those in the Upper Room tone down the Holy Spirit so as not to confuse and trouble the seekers in the city? Absolutely not! In fact, the power was so extreme and so unusual that the people were provoked to wonder and proclaim, “they must be drunk!” What was happening was off of their grid. When man moves, it’s naturally familiar. When God moves, it’s supernaturally shocking.

4. Prayer as a program

I commit to serve all, but I refuse to strategically align with someone who doesn’t embrace fervent prayer as a lifestyle, holiness as a principle and dying daily as a goal. ~The Coming Church

I’ve led life impacting prayer events in over 170 different churches, and while there was a lot to leave me in awe of God’s power, I was also left with disappointment. Sadly it was easy to see which pastors allowed room for a program of prayer in their church and which had established a culture of prayer. I was initially shocked when I’d see pastors show up, often alone with none of their staff or the people in the church, to pray in the Spirit for two hours on a Friday night. We were bringing anywhere from 30 to 250 people to their church, to pray with them and their people for the fire of God to engulf their church, and very often it was just us. I didn’t understand.

Time and again I’d see pastors engage for 20-30 minutes and then get distracted, bored or restless. While the sanctuary was exploding in raging tongues of fire, over and over again pastors would be uncomfortable. Often they’d open their Bibles and read or they’d go to their office or talk to people in the foyer. Frankly, I don’t see how these leaders are even qualified to pastor. It’s unthinkable to me that anyone would presume they can lead a supernatural church without living a supernatural life of prayer. The reality is they aren’t leading a supernatural church. They are leading one that will attract the spiritually numb and naturally invested.

Ministers who do not spend two hours a day in prayer are not worth a dime a dozen – degrees or no degrees. ~Leonard Ravenhill

Occasionally a pastor would show up, on fire, with all of his staff and a significant number of the people in his church. Oh, I lived for nights like that! I knew that prayer was appropriately primary in that church and that it was more than a program. They had nurtured a culture where prayer saturates every part of their ministry.

When every person in the church is called into the furnace of intercession as a lifestyle, you are going to be left with only those who are truly passionate about Jesus and ready to contend for revival with you.

Listen closely: the lukewarm, casual Church must be shaken! Yes, the true Church is one that is burning hot, in love with her Bridegroom. I risk off ending a lot of people when I deal with this issue of fervency and costly discipleship as it’s an assault against their theologies and lifestyles. It is NOT OK to be casually committed, loosely connected and given to the apathy that is destroying the Church. I’m calling awakeners to rise up! We must pray and burn non-stop! You can do this! There is no better way to live—and there is no other option!

I know this is why some don’t connect well in houses of prayer, or even in my own church—the call to burn hot is beyond what most are comfortable with. The call over the edge is unsettling for those who don’t even want to come near the edge. Listen—your eternity is at risk! Be fervent and radical in your love of God and commitment to his mission! The coming Church will be a burning hot crater of searing fire. It will be pure and it will be rejected by most in today’s culture. ~The Coming Church

I believe it would be more biblically normal to have everybody praying, decreeing the Word of God and crying out in intercession for two hours on a Sunday morning than to continue putting on the predictable, tepid, schedule driven services we have today. I often challenge pastors by asking them what would happen if every church in the city cancelled every program, every group, every service for six months and did nothing but hit our faces and prayed instead. Instead of worship and teaching on a Sunday morning, we’d instruct everybody to find a place and cry out to God. Instead of children’s ministry, the kids would be with their parents in intercession. Instead of small groups and youth ministry events we’d pray.

The pastors almost always answer by saying they believe revival would break out suddenly. I agree, yet I have not met one leader who had employed this strategy. Why? It threatens the goal of local church growth. People with money might leave. The less hungry will walk. This grieves my spirit.

If prayer is a program you will have the opportunity to pray with a handful of others during the week. If prayer is the culture, nobody in the church will be able to avoid the call to fervent intercession because it occurs at every meeting they attend. It becomes seared into their very identity.

When the call to the Upper Room was sounded, they didn’t tone down the prayer in the hopes that more than 120 would show up. They allowed hundreds to walk.

We must repent for forsaking the house of prayer. The primary ministry of every church must be prayer. This commitment to intercession is to be modeled and led by senior leadership. The primary purpose of the Church is not teaching, visitor assimilation or fellowship. It is undeniably night and day prayer for the nations. Lengthy prayer should be taught and modeled as the dominant activity of every believer. ~20 Points of Reformation, found in The Coming Church

5. Programs everywhere

It makes logical sense that we should have ministries available to attract the broadest group of people we can. This means programs, ministries and groups all over the schedule in order to draw every type of person is necessary.

On the contrary, churches that are pursuing revival are calling people into one primary meeting—the prayer meeting with apostolic leadership giving direction.

I’ve heard some wisdom over the years that I actually agree with to a point. It’s been said that if someone senses there’s a program or ministry that needs to be started in a church, the leader should thank them for their analysis and encourage them to be the ones to start it. After all, they are the ones with the vision for it. I can’t disagree that this is an effective method to diffuse accusation of lack in a ministry, but I do disagree that it’s an appropriate strategy across the board.

Over the years I’ve used this method and watched people start ministries and crash and burn due to a number of reasons, not the least being that they didn’t embrace the vision of revival. They simply wanted to lead something or be a part of something they affirm.

The better strategy I’ve employed in recent years is to simply say no. What they think is lacking is by design. What they think we need to add should not be added. Redirect people to the fire. Call them to refocus and to be calibrated with the unified vision of the church.

In latter years, instead of filling the calendar with programs, or even a variety of scattered prayer meetings, we would maneuver everybody to our primary meetings. In fact, we had 24/7 prayer for an extended period of time and had every slot filled. Over time we decided the corporate vision demanded corporate meetings. We had to be together. Scattering, even in prayer, was doing damage to our mission. I’d rather have 3 larger prayer meetings than a hundred smaller ones.

It also became less important to have youth and children’s ministries, small groups or various programs and much more important to gather people together for corporate intercession and apostolic instruction.

Yes, this will result in a smaller church, but people won’t be scattered. Am I saying there can never be supplemental ministries or events? No, but you have to be careful.

Mike Bickle initiated small groups at the International House of Prayer several years ago. From what I understand, they were “successful” but at a cost of their primary, corporate mission. People loved gathering together in homes each week, but these small group meetings negatively impacted the prayer room. Instead of everybody contending in prayer as the main thing, there was now another option to connect, and the prayer room suffered.

Mike then eliminated the small groups for many years and only recently reinstalled them again, with a new strategy that ensures those secondary programs supported and funneled into the prayer room.

Those focused on church growth want people in programs. Can those programs be good? Sure. However, the moment you start contending for revival don’t expect the strength, commitment or passion from the laborers to be there.

The pursuit of revival is a very narrow one. Revival churches aren’t called to meet every need. They are called to pray in the laborers, the remnant, to pray on fire and shake the city.

6. A quenched atmosphere

I want the prophetic spirit upon me or I want to die. ~A.W. Tozer

We live in a day when churches promote comfort and self-satisfaction. Coffee, personal ministry, blessing, programs and other lesser things are overshadowing the call to the cross. The alarm of the hour is not a welcome sound. Casual spirits are driving the culture. The problem? The message of the cross is not a casual message. The bottom line is this: A casual spirit will always reject a prophetic warning if it threatens their comfort. A prophetic spirit will always threaten something. ~The Coming Church

Above I mentioned how powerful it would be to shut down everything in the church for a season except for prayer. I asked this question on Facebook:

If your church cancelled everything for a year…cancelled children’s ministry, teaching, programs, pot lucks, small groups… and replaced those activities with prayer meetings, would you stay in your church?
One response rocked me. It encouraged me that the remnant is out there:
That’s when I’ll return to the church.

When we walk into the church we must be blown over by the unusual, overwhelming, otherworldly shocks of the Spirit of God. Simply, we need a powerfully prophetic atmosphere that causes everybody to respond by either running out the door or collapsing to their knees.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 (ESV)

A truly prophetic atmosphere will result in a never-ending charge in the room. People will be expressing themselves in many ways including cries of intercession, banners and flags flying, prophetic art, trances, encounters, repentance, dreams and visions and more. The goal isn’t the manifestation but rather avoiding restriction of Holy Spirit activity.

A prophetic atmosphere will repel the more naturally wired people, unless their hunger for God is greater than their resistance to him.

Revival churches absolutely must be driven prophetically in every service. We must hear the oracles from Heaven as we strategically advance day to day.

There is a rapidly increasing movement of people who are shutting their ears to any prophetic words that have any measure of alarm to them. The warnings are not wanted as they threaten the current structures of comfort and ease. These people are at risk of a catastrophe that will mercilessly hit them and those who have been influenced by their messages of peace and safety. There are true voices that must emerge and declare the word of the Lord in its pure form.

If we EVER temper a message in the pulpit, online or one-on one in the hopes of maintaining an audience, we’ve become a 2 Tim 4:3-4 false teacher.

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, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 ~The Coming Church

Revival always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast over the Church today! ~Billy Sunday

7. Teaching vs. apostolic instruction

Another shift we will see has to do with teaching. Teaching will be minimized while instruction is emphasized. Teaching is mostly for personal edification while instruction is mostly for corporate assignments. Today, most churches focus on teaching principles of Scripture, providing truths that will help believers navigate through their lives and on offering nuggets of biblical information. While there will still be important Bible teaching, apostolic instruction will emerge as a necessary new ministry.

The responsibility of prophetic leaders is to relay the messages of God and to instruct the people accordingly. Though teaching materials are in abundance, what is lacking is apostolic leaders, military commanders, who give instruction, assignments, to a ready army. Teaching is personal growth based while instruction is a call to corporate action for the sake of mission fulfillment.

It’s a corporate call to action vs. a simple biblical study. It’s mission focused vs. personal growth focused (though I can’t imagine a better way to grow personally than by being invested in a corporate mission!). Personal growth will be largely our responsibility between services so we can be ready to respond to the corporate instruction where we will receive our assignments. ~The Coming Church

When I was a youth pastor at a large church in the Dallas area, part of my job was to change out the marquee every week. The pastor’s sermon title for the upcoming Sunday was to be displayed for the many cars passing by on the busy road. It got to the point where I usually didn’t have to remove the two words of the previous week’s message: How to…

How to be an amazing parent, how to grow in God, how to prosper financially, how to walk in healing, etc.

Those topics are fine, but they represent teaching versus instruction. Teaching is showing someone how to fish. Instruction is telling them to go fishing.

Teachings are nuggets of truth that will help the people navigate their lives. However, I’m pretty certain if that large church of over 1200 people shifted to apostolic teaching unto revival, they would probably shrink to less than 100 people.

My instruction when leading churches in Michigan and Colorado was for everybody to arrive at every service full, not empty. I challenged them that it was their responsibility to grow aggressively, intentionally, through the week so they would be maturing, on fire and ready to move out into mission. When we gathered together, I had the freedom to share key dreams and visions, to prophetically reveal how we must pray and act in the current season, share warnings and national words to prepare people for what is coming.

for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:13-14 (ESV)

Those who refuse to mature and who really don’t care much about revival or national or regional prophetic revelation won’t want to connect in such a church. Growing a church this way is extremely difficult, but gathering a remnant is more powerful.

It was extremely common for people to arrive for prayer before the service and hear clear, specific revelation that I or other leaders received the night before. That would change the entire service as I’d preach from that place of prophetic activation and we’d pray and contend the rest of the night in our new direction.

That service would always be irrelevant to those who are simply showing up to gain some biblical insight (and especially those who didn’t arrive early for prayer). They would be disconnected. However, the revival minded would come alive and would be alert and ready to respond with great conviction.

8. Karaoke Worship

When in Colorado leading Revolution Church, I instructed our media team not to display the words to the worship songs on the screens for a season. I was grieved at how dependent on the screens people were as they simply sang along karaoke style to what was being sung on the platform. It was time for them to launch into a prophetic realm of worship and prayer!

In fact, we eliminated a worship team altogether in Detroit for a couple of years and filled the atmosphere with spontaneous, prophetic decrees, prayer and groans of worship. Music would sometimes play in the background, but we weren’t simply singing along from our soul. Our spirits were crying out!

Revival churches must facilitate an explosive, supernatural atmosphere, understanding that the high majority of people will not join such a thing.

As we become supernaturally changed in a place of extreme intercession, worship will change significantly. It will be supernaturally driven. There is a new sound coming to worship, and it’s not simply a new style. There is a supernatural, otherworldly groan of intercessory worship that will explode out of the entire body as a new breed of trembling worship leaders lead the way into the shock and awe of the glory of God. We will no longer simply sit in a pew or stand with a raised hand while a familiar worship song is sung. The prophetic, groaning sounds of Holy Spirit-facilitated worship will make it normal to shake and fall to our faces as we cry, “Holy!” The natural, logical sing-a-longs will be no more.

We will have a hard time standing as man’s karaoke gives way to God’s Shekinah and Kabod glory that takes up residence in his Church. Worship teams will practice less and pray in the Spirit with tears in their eyes more.

Today, along with most other expressions of church life, worship is at least slightly and sometimes extremely marginalized for the sake of the less adventurous attendee. Since most people tend to be adverse to more supernatural forms of worship, and many would leave if the atmosphere became too uncomfortable, the majority has been winning.

I’ve said it countless times, and have written before that I refuse to tone down the activity of the Holy Spirit out of respect of those less hungry. How is it that the naturally-minded majority has supplanted the supernatural remnant in the Church? How is it that burning, raging, intercessory worship that’s driven by the groans of the Spirit himself are not appreciated enough to risk losing people from our churches? For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8 ~The Coming Church

9. The threat of regional focus

It was extremely important to me as a leader that everybody in the church was investing in the region. This means I wanted them to connect in other churches and ministries, to be ambassadors of revival and to become regionally unified. Growing a local church, to the contrary, focuses on having everybody in that church overly invested at that level, in the local setting. There’s no room for regional ministry.

In fact, even Spirit-filled, revival focused churches can easily become resisters when the pursuit of revival in a region threatens their own pursuits.

Pastors and leaders must have a clear vision not only for revival in the region, or only their personal part to play, but for the church of the city. How should everybody in the local army be investing in the regional mission? It’s important to not only encourage but also to lead people into regular regional events that are unto revival.

If we are trying to grow a large church, this becomes difficult because most people won’t share the passion for revival in the city. They want to come, grow personally and connect relationally to a spiritual family. But, when they are called into regional mission, they just won’t have the passion or energy for it.

The coming Church will be a regional Church, expressed on a city level. The local expressions will be important, but only as they are connected regionally. The regional Church will be important, but only as it is connected with God’s Kingdom government.

The coming Church will be a praying Church that understands its authority and responsibility in the region.

This is how the coming Church will function governmentally. As we focus on the region and the greater mission, we will be in step with God’s passion for the nations. Grace and favor will follow. Unusual interventions by God will become common. This is such an important point, especially with the state of today’s Church in mind. We no longer can sweat, bleed and burn out by trying to build our own local ministries. The vision absolutely must be a regional one as we give ourselves to true city unity, intercession for revival and Kingdom advance. This doesn’t mean all local churches will close (though many will), but it does mean that they will no longer be at the pinnacle of the priority list. Local church leaders will mostly give their attention to corporate advance regionally with the Church of the city instead of to local issues. ~The Coming Church

Final thoughts

I’m sure I’ll receive emails from people who report that their church is large and contending for revival. I celebrate that! I’ve been to a few like that.

I would then have a few thoughts:

  1. Do they really understand the intensity of the new wineskin church that I reveal in The Coming Church?
  2. Is everybody in the church truly raging on fire in prayer and contending at an intense level toward revival or is there simply a great atmosphere and a focus on revival?
  3. This would be a remarkable exception and I absolutely want to visit! There are some brilliant, anointed leaders out there who can pull it off!

As I said, most churches that are truly revival churches will be quite small. 120 just might be a good goal! The majority will be less than 70 in number of soldiers in their local army.

Pastor, are you okay with such a shift in strategy? Trust me, 70 scalding hot warriors who can move mountains in faith filled prayer will do more for your city than two thousand moderates ever could.

ORDER THE COMING CHURCH TODAY!

Seven ways the local church can be a catalyst for revival

Are you among the remnant people who will embrace the firestorm from Heaven that will bring revolution to the church?

We need a reformation in the church of the Western culture—and fast. I’m not talking about a tweak or adjustment, but rather a costly, troubling, invasive, offensive and radical change to what we know as the church. A firestorm from Heaven is coming, and only those who are ignited in that fire will embrace the coming shift. Religious traditionalists and those who are resistant to the deeper call will sadly reject this transition. This is why we must prepare the people under our care now! The Holy Spirit wants his church to be ready!

This great end-time verse has universal application:

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; Revelation 19:7 (ESV)

Sunday go to meeting church was great for previous generations, but it’s gotten us as far as can go. A revolution must come. That revolution will come from within the local church, however, not in spite of it.

I can’t imagine not attending a local church with a faithful, passionate pastor leading the way. I am an unapologetic, determined supporter of the church in its current form, and I am excited about seeing reform emerge from my view in the pew on the inside. Sadly, too many are disconnecting from their local church, presuming an advance into culture without its restraints is somehow more spiritual. They are hurting, not helping, the cause of revival.

I was talking with my pastor and good friend today about this issue. He affirmed the importance of being a champion of the local church, and I fully agree. More than ever I want to go above and beyond in my communication to ensure everybody understands my heart regarding the local church. Talk of reformation can easily give fuel to the anti-church crowd, and we must avoid that at all costs. Without the local church, we will have little hope of seeing the revival that we so desire last more than a year or two—if it even sparks at all.

Often, my quick, 140 character, social media quips may give the impression that I’m anti-church. Please forgive me if I have done this! That grieves me deeply! That couldn’t be more opposite of my actual belief system and heart! I am contending for powerful local church explosion and the strength and honor of pastors here in Branson, Missouri and in every city around the world! The anti-local church/anti-pastor crowd is doing great damage to the Kingdom and I can’t afford to be counted among them.

So, to clearly communicate my position so there is no misunderstanding whatsoever:

I fully embrace and support the local church, and I endeavor to honor pastors and leaders unreservedly. From that place, with a healthy and pure heart, I also embrace reform.

As we prepare for the coming revolution, we all must be connected in a local church that’s led by anointed, Spirit-driven leaders. That’s non-negotiable. The coming reformation requires we are zealously submitted and devoted as the shift draws near.

That being said, I need to write a raw, unrehearsed message about the growing threat that the current local church wine skin can be to revival. Instead of being a strategic support to city-wide revival, it’s at risk of hindering the cause. As we proceed toward a reformed model and a new wine skin that can hold the new move of the Holy Spirit, the resulting shock will be a catalyst for an immeasurable move of God that has yet to be imagined.

What I’m going to share will certainly require a full blown reformation in the church if we are going to see revival come. Church as we know it must come to an end. God isn’t planning on enhancing the church systems that are already in place—he’s planning on eradicating many of them for the sake of something so otherworldly that few will even recognize it as the church—and many will resist with religious fervor.

The cost will be great and most will reject it, yet God is raising up a hidden remnant that will be a clear and present danger to the religious systems that refuse to bend.

From my book The Coming Church:

We soon 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. Our call isn’t to stand strong until the shift comes, it’s to prophetically sound the alarm and awaken those at risk! God is coming!

20-Elements-of-Revival-PaperbackFrom my book 20 Elements of Revival:

There are over 19,000 cities in America, and not one of them is experiencing revival. Some have pockets of Holy Spirit activity, and certainly there are true moves of God dotted all across the land—but there are no cities that are fully engulfed in revival. No cities have been taken—yet.

In order for us to experience revival in the church, we have to understand that it’s going to occur at the city level, not the local level. Why? The church is Scripture is identified by the city, not by the street corner. For example, we have the church at Ephesus, the church at Corinth, etc.

Instead of hundreds of churches in a city, John identified a total of seven church in all of Asia at the time. They were designated by cities. Certainly there were many local expressions within the city, but they weren’t entities unto themselves. They were a part of a greater whole.

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come… Revelation 1:4 (ESV)

This is why reports of revival that are limited to a single local church must be viewed as a single piece of a much greater movement. Unfortunately, local church moves of God, as wonderful as they are, rarely impact the city, much less the world, and ultimately they die out.

The local church cannot be an end in itself. The local expression isn’t to be the primary experience for Christians. It’s one gear inside of a massive machine. It’s one leg of a table. It’s one organ in the body.

For most Christians, the Sunday service is the epitome of their church experience. It’s the greatest experience of the week. This must change! The church culture they are participating in must evolve from local only to local/regional. The coming fire of God will most likely ignite outside of their local, Sunday experience, and they will need to be right in the middle of it when it happens. This means they must be connected regionally and not only locally.

If fact, when I was giving leadership to Revival Church, I communicated regularly in our services that the spark of revival would most likely not occur in our church. Statistically, it wasn’t probable. Others in the city were contending for fire to fall in their churches too. Why would we presume our church, instead of any of the other hundreds in the city, to be the landing point God would choose for the region? A regional outpouring would gather people together from many churches. That means they’d move out of their local church and into another location with their pastor and others in their congregation to join with the rest of the city church.

When the fire fell in Brownsville, the other churches of the city should have cancelled most of their services so they could have joined others around the fire. The same is true for Lakeland, Florida and Toronto and other places where God moved in a single location.

While we were contending for revival to erupt, we were doing so with the city in mind, not our local expression. The goal wasn’t a move of God in our church. That would be too limiting and even self-serving. I was going after an entire city. The God of the city was on the move, not the God of Revival Church alone.

I explained that, when that spark of revival lit in another church or ministry somewhere in the city, we’d have no option but to excitedly lock arms with that church and serve the work of fanning the flames. At that time, the instruction would be to cancel as many of our services as necessary to join with the movement in the city. If we and other churches didn’t do that, the flame would die out.

To give you a better understanding of why the local church is in such a critical place of either being a hindrance or catalyst to revival, I need to spend a little time explaining what the reformation may look like.

THE COMING CHURCH

What is coming to the Church is not an enhancement or an adjustment. The destruction (or we could use the word deconstruction) will be so comprehensive and total that it will not only remove current structures, but also the faulty foundations (anything other than the foundation of Christ) they were built on. The coming Church will look nothing like the Church we now know.

Disgruntled people are leaving churches by the thousands, frustrated with their experience. These people must not leave the church. They must surrender their desires and lay down their lives for the church! If today’s disappointed Christian can’t withstand this current low level, marginally supernatural structure, what will they do when the fireball from Heaven crushes them fully? What will their response be when they are called into the humbling ministry of nameless, faceless night and day prayer? How will they react to an atmosphere of groans and cries of deep repentance and Holy Spirit intercession that cuts to the heart? What will happen when they are called to lay down their lives for the very system they despise?

In my book The Coming Church, I detail several key changes that are coming to the local church in the reformation. Here’s one:

Local churches will be regionally focused. The level of impact that the rock from Heaven will bring will not be confined to local churches. Pastors and leaders will stop focusing mainly 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. (Read more about this in my book Pharaoh in the Church.)

In the coming Church, we will be entirely focused on God showing up and visitors being troubled, not the other way around. The only way we can impact the people of the world is if we jealously guard the ark, God’s presence. The coming Church will result in a ferocious invasion of God’s presence into the Church, and this will result in a mass exodus of the naturally minded and lukewarm.

The remaining remnant will automatically have a regional, city focus. They will zealously submit to local church leadership while simultaneously advancing with others under apostolic and prophetic leadership on a city level. There won’t be any conflict or competition. The local will serve the regional and the goal of revival will be common among all.

On the other side of the reformation I believe we will see clear, anointed, governmental and biblical leadership on a city level. Pastors will be submitted to apostles in the city, not only those in their denominational headquarters. The church will run with great precision as everybody is on the same page, often in the same place and functioning according to their specific role in a clearly communicated grand design.

AN EXAMPLE OF HOW THE CITY CHURCH MIGHT FUNCTION

SUNDAY MORNINGS

As an example, people will be in their local churches on Sunday mornings, as their local pastor leads in fervent prayer and worship and trains for battle after receiving key instructions from city apostles. These wouldn’t be seeker focused events, but rather furnaces of Holy Spirit activity that would result in a tremble in the people!

SUNDAY EVENINGS

Sunday evenings the local church pastors and those in their congregations would join with the other Christians in the region in a large venue such as a convention center or possibly the largest church building in the city where the apostles of the city cast vision, instruct and keep everybody on the same page.

MONDAYS

Mondays would be devoted to several hours of prayer in the larger venue as the apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists publicly lead people into intercession for the region.

TUESDAYS

Tuesdays could be devoted to teaching specific to what God was revealing the previous two nights. Teachers in different parts of the city would gather people together for a few hours of small group instruction.

WEDNESDAYS

Fellowship and personal ministry would fit great mid-week. People could gather together in small groups and simply have fun, pray for one another and encourage each other in the battle. This would most easily function under the leadership of the individual local churches.

THURSDAYS

Outreach and various ministries could be the focus of Thursdays. Some teams would hit the streets to witness while others would minister deliverance while still others could hold events for children and youth.

FRIDAYS

Prophetic training and impartation would be an important part of the week. God will reveal key regional strategies to prophets and apostles, and as they communicate that and train people in the prophetic, the city church will grow stronger, more powerful, precise and activated.

FRIDAY NIGHTS

All night prayer, from 10pm until 6am, would be attended by all, either in the large venue or spread out in homes and local churches throughout the city.

SATURDAYS

Rest!

Of course, days and actual focuses are interchangeable, but you get the idea.

With this model, pastors of local churches don’t have to fulfill every need for the people under their leadership as they release and lead them into other venues for growth and training. They literally only have to lead one or two events per week. The rest of the time they are getting filled, serving in other capacities and supporting the greater regional vision.

Similarly, teachers will have a constant outlet to teach, and they will do so under the leadership of the apostolic leaders of the city. They will train people according to what is timely in the city. The same is true for the regions prophets and evangelists.

This also means most Christians will be involved in regional ministry, in several different venues, under different unified leaders, six days a week. The church will be strong, alert and at the ready.

Additionally, apostles and leaders in the region will have the flexibility to call special meetings, solemn assemblies and other events with the confidence in knowing every Christian in the region will respond.

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; 16 gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. 17 Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep and say, “Spare your people, O LORD, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” Joel 2:15-17 (ESV)

Wow! Everybody had to respond to the regional call to pray. Even those who were nursing infants or getting married had to cancel their plans and gather together for the sake of their nation. No excuses allowed!

We need instant, regional response again today.

SEVEN WAYS THE LOCAL CHURCH CAN BE A CATALYST FOR REVIVAL

ONE: MINIMIZE BUSYNESS

There are a lot of tired pastors and people in churches today because of overstuffed, inflexible schedules. It’s common to fill church schedules with all sorts of programs and ministries, special events and other activities. It’s true that a lot of wonderful ministry occurs at the local church level, and it’s easy to expend a lot of time and energy on those activities.

The problem comes when a call for the church of the city (which is how the church is defined biblically) needs the participation of Christians in the region to support a greater cause.

I propose, with few exceptions, local church schedules should be flexible enough to cancel in a moment’s notice so the people can be released to attend to regional church focuses.

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. Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV)

TWO: UNDERSTANDING REGIONAL PRIORITY

I was part of a large, city-wide event that was to be held at the Palace of Auburn HIlls in the Detroit area. Unfortunately, the event had to be cancelled because pastors wouldn’t release the people under their care from their Wednesday night church responsibilities to attend.

Not only should the pastor have released his people, he should have led the charge!

How unfortunate that a lesser, local church weekly service kept people away from the more important regional event.

When regional prayer events, revival meetings or other key, strategic meetings are called, it’s critical that the local focus yields.

We must see a time come when every pastor and every Christian in the city shows up at the city events. Solemn assemblies are nearly non-existent today due to misplaced ministry priorities.

 Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. Joel 1:14 (ESV)

THREE: REJECTING A FOCUS ON SURVIVAL AND LOCAL CHURCH GROWTH

Instead of focusing on the success of the regional church and the advance toward revival at that level, local churches are often focused mostly on growing or surviving themselves.

If we were honest, we’d admit primary reasons we as pastors and leaders might not want people under our care involved in other ministries and churches is because they might leave and take their money with them. I believe this insecurity is a serious violation of the trust God has given us as leaders. We must have open hands and encourage people to move in and out of our local churches easily so they can fulfill their vision, and the city vision, instead of our own.

FOUR: RELEASING RESOURCES

Regional events and ministries often need the people who are part of the various local churches in the city to serve. People, finances, time and energy are often guarded by local churches which leaves regional assignments under-resourced. They often fail.

Several years ago, I knew it was critical to cancel my own church plans for a month so people could be free to serve at a regional revival event about 40 minutes away. It would have been inappropriate for me to keep them focused on our own local church ministries when the fire was lit elsewhere. The regional event needed intercessors to support that move of God, so I eagerly released those precious resources, amazing prayer warriors, along with any finances they wanted to give there, to undergird that regional event.

And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. Acts 19:22 (ESV)

FIVE: REFUSE TO GIVE IN TO JEALOUSLY, OVERPROTECTIVENESS AND RESISTANCE

As I stated above, the revival in your region most probably will ignite in a church other than your own. We must avoid the temptation to be jealous if that happens. We also can’t be so nervous about other people, visiting evangelists or other leaders that we resist or avoid what is happening through their ministry.

I’ve been involved in true moves of God that died out simply because leaders were taking a wait and see approach to it. They were nervous about what was happening there—for no reason. They held back and pressured people in their church to stay put. I’ve shared about my experience in Detroit before. God was moving. Pastors were resisting. I’m still grieved about that. Jealousy will kill a move of God, and it will bring judgment speedily.

8 And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 And Saul eyed David from that day on. 1 Samuel 18:8-9 (ESV)

The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul.. 1 Samuel 18:10 (ESV)

SIX: SUPPORT GREATER GROWTH

If people are limited to connecting at a local church level, their growth can’t help but to be stunted. Today, few are ready for revival because local churches are, by design, only focusing on a limited set of tools they are equipping their people with.

I can’t imagine, as a leader, only sitting under one pastor and being limited in my growth to their awesome yet limited strengths. While we are called to radically support and serve a local pastor and body, we can’t stop there. I believe it’s important to connect in various churches and ministries in a region on a regular basis. Not only can we grow much faster, we can connect local churches together and experience greater strength on that regional level as well.

SEVEN: UNDERSTAND LEVELS OF AUTHORITY

Senior pastors of a local church are not the senior authority in the region. It will take quite a reformation for us to step into city-church government, but we can start now by acknowledging that leaders on a regional level must have the support and participation of the more localized leaders.

Apostles are the gatekeepers of a city, and it’s critical to know who they are if we are to advance toward revival.

Peter Wagner says:

…recognizing and affirming apostles of the city might well be the most vital missing link for seeing our cities truly transformed.

Several years ago I worked as a supervisor at a T-Mobile call center in Colorado Springs. There were over 1500 employees, and it required at least 50 supervisors to manage that many people. I was the local leader, if you will, of my group of 25 employees. It was quite obvious that I was not the senior leader of T-Mobile. I had certain liberties to lead according to my style and local vision for developing my team, however, there were both limits to that freedom and serious expectations. I reported to one of a handful of managers, who in turn reported to the Associate Directors. That small team reported to the Director of the call center. That wasn’t the end of the org chart, but you get the idea.

My job was important, and I had limited authority, and a lot of responsibility. However, I could only function in that authority as I submitted to the greater authorities. The Director of the call center was, in effect, the gatekeeper of the call center. It was an important position.

The authority structure wasn’t there to stroke egos or to build individual departments of the call center. It was there to most successfully impact the world with cell phones!

The same is true for the church, but the mission is much more serious and important.

Today, pastors are often only submitted to denominational leaders that aren’t even based in their city. They leapfrog city authorities, and, in turn, ignore the call for them to lead the people into regional assignments.

I agree that such a reformation that I touched on in this article will be extreme. It won’t happen overnight, or even in a handful of years.

What can happen immediately, however, is that we embrace the shift and come into agreement to serve the city church and to advance toward revival at that level.

A local church move of God will be wonderful, but it won’t last. We must see a foundation built regionally that will support a massive move of God.

Maybe your region will be the first of 19,000 that will see the church of that city set ablaze in revival!

Regional Prayer Movements: A seismic shift in strategy is the only hope for our churches, regions and nation.

Church planting, conferences, events and church growth efforts must yield to a greater strategy of Kingdom advance.

More churches must be planted, effective conferences and events must take place and biblical church growth should be a focus. This cannot be debated. My attempt in this article, however, is to highlight what the predominate strategy must be—an emphasis that has to become non-negotiable for every pastor, leader and every Christian in a region. The focus must be prayer. Not only prayer, but regional prayer. This means that local emphasis must give way to regional emphasis.

Instead of people asking, “Where do you go to church,” I believe we need to start hearing, “Where do you go to pray?”

When the primary call of every Christians shifts from attending a local church to gathering continually for Spirit-fueled prayer in the region, this is the question people will begin to ask.

REGIONAL PRAYER MOVEMENTS

And day by day, attending the temple together… Acts 2:46 (ESV)

They were present at all the times of public worship, and joined together in prayers and praises to God… ~Adam Clarke's Commentary

Unless everything we are giving energy to in our church and ministry growth strategies begins to yield to the call to pray, our hopes of experiencing any measure of revival or effective Kingdom advance are futile.

I travel quite a bit, and I find it nearly impossible to find a regional, ongoing movement of prayer in cities I visit. Of course, I can find churches and occasionally I can find houses of prayer, but a fervent, strategic, regional strategy of prayer is extremely hard to come by. In fact, other than my experience with the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, I have not found a regional prayer focus that is the predominate experience, ahead of Sunday services, programs and events.

People who are well trained by the American system of leisure, busyness and independence find it laughable that someone would suggest gathering together every day for corporate, Spirit-fueled prayer. The religious system hasn’t helped either. The Sunday service model of ministry has unwittingly communicated to a busy culture that attending a worship and teaching service a couple of hours a week is the expected maximum level of participation.

I firmly believe this has resulted in a generation of church goers who don’t know God, people who have a form of godliness but deny its power.

4 …lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2 Timothy 3:4-5 (ESV)

People who love God have a yearning to pray. This is beyond debate. Instead of avoiding those who don’t desire to be with the one they say they love, as is the instruction in the above verse, we are actually building our churches with them! Before you get too defensive, I do understand that growing in prayer is a bit of a process. But, it certainly is not to be resisted as it is by so many professing Christians today.

Our primary focus should no longer be faithfully attending a church once or twice a week, but rather gathering together with Christians in the region for Holy Spirit driven intercession.

In order for this to happen, Pastors are going to have to be okay with a diminished attention to their own programs and as they lead the people under their care to the regional prayer events.

We don’t need another church plant, another church growth seminar or another amazing program—unless they are founded on regional, continual, fervent and Holy Spirit saturated prayer. One hundred percent of those who attend our churches should be on their faces day after day “in the temple” devoting themselves to prayer. This isn’t a call only for the mature or those specially called. Every Believer should be baptized with fire in corporate prayer in their city. A new church culture is necessary. We can no longer validate people’s devotion to Jesus if the most basic, defining call is ignored—the call to pray without ceasing.

In my city of Branson, Missouri I am currently working on a regional prayer strategy. I contacted churches inviting pastors and others to gather together every Friday from 10pm-midnight for regional prayer. I’m excited at the response so far, but my heart broke when one particular church replied to my email invitation. They simply informed me that they already have a prayer meeting and that I am welcome to join them any time. Now, I’m thrilled that they actually have a prayer meeting! That is rare in today’s church. What broke my heart is that they dismissed the call to regional collaboration in prayer in favor of their own local focus.

Will pastors in your city give preference to regional focus ahead of their own local focus? Most probably won’t, but you should lock arms and move ahead with those who will.

REGIONAL IMPACT

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. Acts 16:25-26 (ESV)

Your city doesn’t need another great church program. They need to experience the power of prayer!

When we pray, the prisoners will be listening—and the earth will quake as it sets the captives free!

The enemy is working wonders and imprisoning millions of people—most of the people in the very city you live in—and we must bring impact through fiery prayer. I’m not talking about naturally minded petitions. We need a movement of fire that erupts through the groans of the saints! Every Christian must flow powerfully in prayer that is too deep for words!

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 (ESV)

This type of prayer is not reserved for a few. It is absolutely mandatory that we emphasize the critical need for every Christian under our care as leaders to pray at this depth! Prayer that is devoid of Holy Spirit fuel like this leads more often to frustration than breakthrough.

As we gather together continually with the other Christians in a region to pray on fire with groans that cannot be uttered, the anointing of the Spirit of God will overcome the church. Messages will explode out of yielded vessels that will carry a supernatural anointing that can only come through this type of prayer. Regions will be rocked!

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:18-20 (ESV)

Did you notice the command in verse 18? We are required to pray in the Spirit at all times! How strange is it that prayer meetings are empty and churches are devoid of the spirit of prayer today. Prayer is not an extra-curricular activity! It is not optional. I believe a lifestyle of fervent prayer in the Spirit is an evidence of our relationship with Jesus!

REGIONAL VOICES

When we pray in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a regional church, bold messages pierce cities and nations! Check out what happened after the Holy Spirit was poured out in Acts chapter two. After explaining the move of the Spirit of God, and boldly, prophetically declaring the Word of the Lord, Peter didn’t hold back:

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:36-38 (ESV)

Peter didn’t hold back in his accurate accusation against the religious in attendance. He declared the divinity of Jesus and he rebuked them for crucifying God! They cried out for an answer and Peter simply called them to repent, be baptized and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

We must see regional voices emerge out of a movement of prayer in a city. When the Holy Spirit flows through people, and the water level of his activity in a region increases, messengers of God will begin to boldly call out religious systems, apathy, theological error and other hindrances to the advance of the Gospel.

Trust me, as this happens, many pastors and leaders will strike out against such a bold, confrontational message. Apathetic people will reject an advance like this. People with a local focus instead of investing in the regional church will give preference to lesser activities.

I believe it’s time to see every pastor, every leader and every Spirit-fueled Christian in a city gather together every week (or every day!) for hours of Holy Spirit driven prayer.

We have to transition our understanding of church from local to regional. In Acts 2 the people met as a region every day in the temple for prayer AND they met day by day in homes.

In today’s busy culture such a devotion is soundly rejected. People would rather sleep or play than pray. The emphasis is given to a couple of hours on a Sunday morning.

Maybe Sunday morning should shift to nothing more than a prayer meeting. Then, the pretenders would stay home and the true church would show up and pray, in the Spirit, and set in motion an earthquake that prisoners in our city are waiting to experience.

Disturbed: An open letter to the church of the Detroit region

It's time we stop looking for God to resolve issues, to revive economies, to fix society… and just start looking for God.

imageLiving here only 3 1/2 years, I’m the new kid on the block in the Detroit region, but it’s not my first time around the block.

In my 22+ years of ministry I’ve experienced some great moves of God. Unfortunately, I’ve also had front row seats to an often sleeping church.

The only reason I uprooted my family, sold our house and moved to Detroit, with no promise of an income or position of any kind, no guarantee that anybody would welcome us with open arms, was for the sake of revival. Full blown regional transformation.

I have no reason to be here. I had no connections in Detroit. I have only visited a couple of times in my life prior to my six destiny filled ministry trips here in 2008. We were not even thinking of moving here—until God spoke. We are here on assignment—a mission for revival.

ENOUGH!

Enough is enough.

I am disturbed in my spirit beyond description. If I were to state it most honestly, I would have to describe it as sickening. I don’t want to use a dramatic word to grab your attention, but I can’t deny the sick and disturbing grief that I’ve been sensing in the spirit in this region lately. Something is going on.

Before I continue with that thought, it’s very important that you tap into the depths of my heart. First, there is a good measure of very important and effective work for the Kingdom occurring. I am humbled by having the privilege of knowing some of the most faithful men and women of God here in Detroit. There is a small remnant of revival minded people that includes pastors, intercessors and servants of the Most High God. You all have blessed me and I honor you! I know God sees you and is moving on behalf of you. You have done more than I could ever hope to do. It’s been amazing running with you!

In spite of some potent relationships with these anointed men and women of God, I can’t shake the disturbance.

Since I’ve been in Detroit I’ve heard a lot about revival. It seems the whole region is crying out for it. However, this is where the root of the disturbance in my spirit exists.

Most every time revival is mentioned, the intent of that desire is to experience some sort of breakthrough, blessing or restitution.

I believe the disturbance in my spirit is linked with the rapidly increasing jealousy of God. He is jealous, and he refuses to be replaced by material satisfaction.

Let me make this very clear:

It’s time we STOP crying out for God to revive the economy, for resolved issues, for racial tensions to subside, for a fixed city… and START crying out for God and God alone!

God is jealous and he won’t allow Detroit to be satisfied by money, security or anything else until we are satisfied in Him and no one or nothing else!

DO NOT expect revival until we return to our first love. It WILL NOT COME! In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the situation in this region got dramatically worse. The choice is ours, however.

I STRONGLY recommend you read my recent article The Spirit of Abortion…in the Church? The spirit of selfish ambition that drives mothers to kill their babies is the same spirit that convinces Christians to abort their costly missions if they don’t get out of it what they want. If they don’t believe their participation will result in personal breakthrough, a greater personal experience, they abort mission and it has deadly impact on the cause of revival.

CONDITIONAL REVIVAL

It’s absolutely shocking to me that so much emphasis is placed on the pursuit of breakthrough yet the call to breakthrough into a pursuit of God falls on deaf ears.

Will we only gather and pray if we have a hope of personal blessing? So far, generally speaking, the answer in Detroit is yes. Where are all of the hungry people in Detroit? The stadiums should be filled with zealous, praying people every night of the week! Have the cares of life and entertainment so bewitched us that we have become convinced that being with God is not worth it?

I propose starting a movement of encounter which only has one goal—to be fully satisfied in enjoying and responding to the Lover of our souls. Nothing else matters. If we all have to live in a cardboard box on the streets of Detroit to encounter God, so be it! Our goal is not financial! It’s not selfish! It’s to be with God! That is all!

Have you noticed that the majority of conferences emphasize the personal blessing we’ll receive if we attend? Church offering sermonettes all too often focus solely on the breakthrough we’ll get if we give. What if we show up to bless others? What if we gave with no expectation of return?

Listen church! It’s time to die! Instead of reading a book about “how to become a better you,” I believe God wants us to discover how to become a “deader you!” Revival at all costs! We die so that we can live and be fully satisfied in God alone!

CHURCH COMPETITION

I must again state my humbled admiration of a segment of extremely unified, love driven pastors and leaders in this region. You amaze me.

That being said, the fear driven competition between so many churches in Detroit is an embarrassment to this city. And we think revival is near? Not until repentance is deep and unity is strong.

I believe its time that we are willing to lose our people, lose our salaries, lose our reputations, lose it all for the sake of blessing other churches and ministries in Detroit.

It’s time to celebrate every new church and ministry that launches in this region! Encourage them! Support them! Even if they start on the same block as your church! Even if all of your people leave your church to join theirs!

I firmly propose an open hands policy in Detroit. This is our policy at Revival Church. Any leader, any person, can come to Revival Church and openly, without fear or guilt, recruit any person in our church, including any of my staff or leaders, to leave Revival Church and join their church. Our hands are wide open. You can’t steal my sheep if I don’t own my sheep. We don’t own people, we are there to serve and bless them and encourage them into their destinies, even if that’s in another place.

We must stop building our own kingdoms. Brian Ming wrote a chilling worship song that included these words: God forgive us for building kingdoms of man on doctrines of demons in your name.

I included that in my book Pharaoh in the Church, and I sent that book to 200 pastors in the Detroit region a couple of years ago. It is a bold call to self-less unity. I was saddened that I only received a few responses.

RACIAL RECONCILIATION

As someone who has led my amazing team into over 60 churches in the Detroit region, both urban and suburban, over the last year and a half to pray and unite with pastors, both black and white, I do feel I have a right to say what I’m about to say:

When I pray with people of any color I feel absolutely no racial issue in the church of Detroit. Many, many have agreed with my perspective as Spirit-filled people of all colors have smiled ear to ear in the joy of the Lord as we have prayed in power together.

If you do battle with the race issue, you don’t have a racial problem, you have a humility problem. You have a prayer problem.

When I was one of the leaders of a remarkable prayer movement in Colorado Springs several years back, we prayed in fire with pastors and hungry people every Friday night—in over 100 churches. Pray! Magazine interviewed me and asked, “How do you handle the issue of competition between pastors as you are gathering them together in this movement?” I simply answered, “It’s not possible to hate someone you are fervently praying for. If I’m praying for another pastor to have more success than me, a bigger church than me, more money than me, more influence than me, I simply can’t at the same time be divided against him.”

I don’t care if revival breaks out downtown Detroit, down in Toledo, over in Windsor or in a wealthy suburb. If we really understood what revival was, we’d shut down our lives and run hard and fast anywhere it broke out!

I have no patience with the absolutely ridiculous racial distractions in the church that are keeping us from serving and praying in fire together. Yes, I’m the new kid on the block with a different perspective. I humbly pray you check out the view from my perspective. It’s much happier here.

A CASUAL APPROACH

This issue is directed to Christians in general—where are you?

Are you so sleepy that you aren’t active and vibrant enough in the spirit to hear the alarms? Wake up! Wake up!

Never again treat the call to battle casually. Never again participate in your local church casually. It’s time to awaken and advance with an alert and ready spirit! If you don’t know how to connect, ask! Ask again! Show up! Be a warrior! Serve!

Pastors aren’t there to entertain you! They are their to gather you, to equip you, to assign you and to ensure you fulfill your mission.

Show up early. Stay late. Be at every prayer meeting. Cancel date night. Cancel Little League. Bring the kids into the streets of Detroit. Evangelize. Pray. Serve. Work!

The 24/7 church is coming…yes, we will be in church every day of the week in the not too distant future. The question is, will it take a terrifying calamity to convince us to gather together in God’s presence, or will it result from a simple desire to be with God continually?

I’ve been to some regional revival events in Detroit, and the venue is often nearly empty! Are you serious? Muslims can show up in mass, on time, without any excuse or conflicting activity standing in the way…to pray…at inconvenient times…yet, Christians, who serve the Living God, can’t show up to contend for revival? Pastors, it’s time to lead your people out of your own church and into other churches for the sake of an outpouring! Be the example that Detroit needs!

WHAT NEXT?

It has been prophesied that if the church of Detroit doesn’t come into agreement with revival, God will bypass this city and give Chicago the next chance.

I’m beginning to believe that that may just happen.

So, what’s my response? To give up? No. Quite the opposite.

My family just bought a house here. We planted roots. We are starting a second church. We are helping three others launch home churches out of Revival Church this year. We are planting 50 churches in this region over the next few years.

And, we are ready to lock arms with anybody who is sold out, zealous, available and committed to extreme unity, hard work and a lot of time invested in this city that is very much worth it.

INSANE faith : Can you believe with us for this? Revival Church property vision

Will you join with us in rare, insane faith for a regional center of revival in Detroit?

imageThis is an idea of what I see when I think about the multiple thousands of people who are going to converge in Detroit very soon. They will land in the airport from the nations of the Earth and will be looking for a night and day revival center where they can find healing, fire and life!

In fact, this property is probably much too small, which is why there have been so many prophetic words about stadiums being filled with people as revival breaks out!

The leader of the ministry I established in Colorado emailed me the following today:

Prepare for the explosion. I would pray and look for a big place, big favor and not a big price tag. But look big, pray big, confirmation is coming, ask for it from the Lord. Big big big—press—He's given you guys the faith for it, now is the time.~Miles Anderson

We are praying very specifically for a property like this, and the money to refurbish it, so we can:

  • Host the nations in nightly outpouring meetings
  • House continual prophetic intercession for revival, Detroit and the nations
  • Have classrooms and meeting places for theLab Internship.
  • Hold regional conferences with national ministers that God is highlighting in this hour
  • Establish REVIVAL WORSHIP where “The Tone of the Groan” Romans 8:26 worship movement is stewarded
  • greenfirecoffee: Yep, a full blown coffee shop where people can come and enjoy God and each other night and day!
  • Television studio: We are called to release this fire to the nations, and we see a raw, fiery TV program driven by revival worship, groans and prophetic teaching.
  • Much, much more including an earth shaking children’s ministry, dorms and outreaches.

We are inviting the region including pastors, ministry leaders, intercessors and others to rally around the vision of a regional center of revival. We are boldly asking you to lock arms with us in the city church.

If you have the resources to finance this project, or a part of it, please contact me. If you have other insights, I’d love to connect! john@johnburton.net

Check it out:

Revival-Church-Vision-Building

Updates, projects and big vision at John Burton Ministries

Here’s a partial picture of some of the projects and plans that you can join us in!

The-Coming-Church-Paperback(LyingDown01)In the last 20 years of this ministry God has dropped some crazy huge vision into me, and I’ll be the first to admit that I have near zero ability to pull it off. That’s not false humility, that’s actually probably an understatement!

But, that reality doesn’t reveal a liability—it opens the door of unlimited opportunity as we yield to the Enabler.

God uprooted us from Kansas City and dropped us into Detroit to serve and give leadership to a massive, prophetic reformation in the church and outpouring in the region. We’re gathering pastors, leaders and hungry people to pray every week and contend together in the fire.

If you would like to participate in these projects, I would be so grateful. We are seeking an increase in financial support so we can more fully focus on what God has given us. We are also looking for local people to run the race with us in corporate prayer and mission advance at theLab, Revival Church and our other adventures.

Here’s the big, big ideas:

BOOKS

The Coming Church: I’m currently writing this book on extreme reform that is coming to the church. The shift will arrive with force and it will only be discernable in fullness via the Spirit. You can read the article where I reveal the shocking vision I had of the coming church here: https://burton.tv/2011/07/21/a-fearful-vision-of-what-the-church-will-soon-look-like/

Drop That Sheep: This may be the next book I focus on as I am wrecked and troubled at the level of competition between churches. We as pastors don’t own sheep, we love them, equip them and release them into their destinies.

Unoffendable: This extremely popular teaching will be made into a book as well. It is fully possible to live a life totally free of offense so we can draw our strength from God alone and be free to love and bless those who hurt and use us.

Ten Threats to Revival: This will most likely be a short booklet yet it’s a key message to those who are hungry for the burnings of God on a city level. You can read the article that is leading to this book here: https://burton.tv/2011/03/20/ten-threats-to-revival/ 

A Spirit of Insignificance: This is another very popular and liberating teaching that has launched a lot of people into their destinies via the revelation of the burning One that they ‘carry like Mary'.

MINISTRY IN DETROIT

Revival Church Banner 12x12v1Revival Church: We are growing powerfully! We are becoming more established as a regional center of revival and are intent on equipping people to carry God to this city. Our worship team is leaving a powerful mark in the region as they are one of the ‘go to’ teams for people like Catherine Mullins, Aaron Crider and others when they are in town.

theLab Internship: God’s grace is all over this ministry! I’m in awe! What started as a small noon prayer meeting has launched into a testimony machine where people have come alive in the furnace of God’s presence. We have four internships scheduled for 2012 so start praying about how you can participate!

Seeking a new property: We are very actively praying for a miracle to occur so we can house theLab and Revival Church seven days a week. We are maximizing what’s available to us in the building that we lease and share with another church, but the amount of activity that we have simply demands a full-time headquarters.

theLab-LogoProphetic Ministry to the city: I moved here from Kansas City with a mandate and a message for this amazing city of Detroit. My heart is to serve and give apostolic and prophetic leadership to the revival movement here. This is truly the driving force of my life in this current season and we are seeking extreme fire-fueled unity in the churches of this region.

Button-41000 Intercessors: This is a critical piece of the puzzle. We pray in a different church every Friday night from 10pm-midnight, and I’m urgently calling every pastor in the region to gather with us each week. We also need burning intercessors and revivalists to step into position and pray on site with us each Friday. Can you imagine 1000 people converging at a different church every seven days in Detroit? I can.

The new sound in Detroit: God dropped a bomb on me. I clearly see a worldwide worship movement being birthed in Detroit, but it’s quite different than what many would presume. This is a Romans 8:26-27 worship movement. A deep groaning worship movement that shatters atmospheres.

MINISTRY NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY

Carrying fire: I feel a season of shift is upon me, and I’m starting to focus more on traveling to churches, conferences and city events to release the fire of God. The vision is to travel often with the team that I’m raising up at theLab and to hold workshops, schools of fire and other events, and also to travel individually nationally and internationally to teach on the topics of my books.

Schools of fire: We’ve already heard from people in other cities who are craving an internship and school of fire like theLab to be launched in their region. We will see teams of people from Detroit spending a week or a month in another city somewhere in the world to setup this unique ministry.

Television: There has been a good amount of prophecy on this topic. I see a wild, prophetic, explosive and edgy television program that has deep, groaning worship, quick snips of prophetic teaching, fervent prayer and other elements.

PERSONAL ADVENTURES

BurtonSites: My web design business is doing great, and I’ll be eventually looking to bring someone on to take over the design so I can oversee it and focus on ministry more fully.

burtonsitesbanner

Burton family finances: We believe in full disclosure so you can understand clearly the needs we have. Currently our personal finances primarily come from a part-time Revival Church salary and my web and graphic design. Some smaller amounts come in from Amy’s 8 hour a week job at a crisis pregnancy center, sales of my books and honorariums when I travel and speak.

We have our monthly bills covered (barely!) and we are debt free as a family. However, there are two issues we would love some support in:

  1. I need to rework the hours spent on web and graphic design so I can be more free to write the books, develop the church and ministry and travel. As income comes in to replace my design income, I’ll be able to bring on an employee to handle my workload.
  2. We need two new(er) vehicles. We have some pretty creative angles holding our two mini-vans together! One has nearly 180,000 miles on it and has served us well for nearly 10 years. The turn signals, air bags and horn don’t work, it leaks oil, the air conditioning is broken and the sliding door barely closes! No complaints, as I’d rather drive a rust bucket than have a car payment, but, cars only last so long. I’m getting ready to focus on traveling in ministry and I’ll need a solid car pretty soon.

How you can help

The two easiest ways to help would be to either give a donation (recurring monthly donations are great too!) at www.johnburton.net/donate. Or, hire me. Head over to www.burtonsites.com and order a site or check out www.johnburtondesign.com and let me know how I can help with logos, graphics and print design.

Additionally, if you have the resources to donate a newer, reliable car that can hold six people, that would be awesome!

We love you all! God is doing big, big things and we have big, big, faith!!

Blessings to you!

Wildly expectant : We need your help to get into a new property

We are looking to pull the trigger on leasing a different property for Revival Church and theLab—your participation will help determine what type of property we choose.

IN THIS MESSAGE:

  • Finding a new property (this week?)
  • The (huge!) vision
  • Amy’s story of giving to a better storehouse (So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.)

We have our eyes on several properties now, and have offers to share them with another church (like we do now).

I’m feeling a very, very powerful swirl of the Holy Spirit today…huge expectancy. So, I thought I’d get you all praying with me. Something unusual is going on!

If you feel God is calling you to give a financial gift toward a new property, now is the time to do that. We’ll be making a decision on where we go soon based where God is leading and on the finances we have to use (possibly this week—we have to be in a new place no later than May.). We are committed to staying out of debt, so we’ll only move on something that we can afford.

As of Sunday, the church only had $130 in the bank, but then the Lord moved nicely and the offering was our largest ever—$2300. So, I think God is really touching some hearts in this area now.

We pay $800 a month to share the current property, and won’t go much beyond that when we move to a new place—unless we receive a significant donation that makes it clear that it would be wise to get something a bit more.

THE VISION

We are called to fulfill a very important mission here in Detroit. Our ministry has a mandate to be a prophetic regional center of revival.

What does this mean? A few things:

  1. We have regional focus. We envision a team of pastors from all throughout the region locking arms and focusing primarily on strategic regional events.
  2. We are raising up a team of prophetic messengers and revivalists. theLab internship is helping fulfill the call to create a company of people who will station themselves in the mission command center for Detroit. They receive prophetic data and instructions and communicate it to the pastors and leaders of the region.
  3. Continual apostolic intercession is a foundational ministry for us. Not only do we want to intercede, but the call is to hear God’s plans clearly, and then respond immediately and appropriately. We’re gathering 1000 intercessors, pastors, leaders and burning men and women of God to pray very aggressively and intentionally on site together each week.
  4. theLab team is being trained and equipped to carry the call to gather leaders and to host large scale prophetic prayer events. theLab events are purposed to bring in key, anointed national and international leaders to deposit fire into the desperate Detroit region.

Now, to pull all of this off, we need a large campus. A 2000+ seat auditorium plus prayer rooms, class rooms and other facilities will be necessary. At this point, we’re willing to either take that giant leap, or we will take a much smaller incremental step by simply finding a place to meet on Sundays. We’re open to the exact plan of God for us.

We don’t want to go for the campus if we are supposed to share a property, and we don’t want to share if we are supposed to find the campus at this time.

You can donate at www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/donate.

THE BETTER STOREHOUSE

On Sunday, God dropped a timely message into my spirit, just before we received the tithes and offerings. I was reminded of a situation in our household, and then shared a scripture that I’ll pass along to you. Detroit is shell-shocked financially right now, and I’m concerned that people are attempting to entrust their own storehouses (a reaction of fear) instead of God’s risk-free system of giving toward the storehouse of the church (a reaction of faith).

Here’s our story:

First, Amy went to pay the bills, and discovered that we were $630 short. She was very frustrated, and couldn’t figure out why that was. She had to take some money out of our savings (our storehouse) and move it into our checking account so we could pay the bills.

Then, later that day, Skylar found a check for $630 that Amy thought had already been deposited. Well, there was the missing money. So, Amy was about to deposit it into our savings to replace what she had to move over. God then said, “All of your bills have been paid, right?” Hmmm. Yes, it was true. We were not in lack, and we did have an excess of $630. So, Amy decided to give $50 out of her thankfulness.

God then said again, “All of your bills have been paid, right?”

Right there, Amy was faced with her financial nervousness contrasting with God’s clear ability to take care of us—and was convinced of the importance to put our money in the right storehouse. She wrote a check for $500 and gave it to The Fireplace (a revival movement here in Detroit) and put aside another $130 to be used to treat some pastors to dinner.

The money was given to a much better storehouse.

Luke 12:15 And he said to them,”Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully,17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?'18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.'20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Let me know if you have any thoughts at all.

Blessings!!

Very Special Event! Michele Perry of Iris Ministries Sudan

The Thinning of the Veil : October 29-31, 2010

THE THINNING OF THE VEIL conference with Michele Perry, founder of Iris Ministries Sudan, will impact your life in dramatic fashion!

Michele Perry Card Front-588x400

Michele shared with me that she is experiencing the supernatural realm with significant ease, and wants to see the church step into that same life of encounter.

Halloween is commonly known to be the time when those involved in witchcraft and the occult can move into the spirit realm most easily. The veil is thinnest that night of the year.

Of course, everything the enemy does is a reproduction or a skewed version of the pure are real. God loves it when we go deeper into his presence, when we walk in the Spirit and when it becomes normal to know and hear him continually.

Michele will be teaching and coaching you into this amazing reality!

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

The main sessions, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, are FREE, but you must register at www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/events.

The three Saturday workshop sessions require both registration and a small fee.


THE THINNING OF THE VEIL CONFERENCE REGISTRATION- OCTOBER 29-31, 2010


Friday (FREE, registration required, no child care)

  • 7pm

Saturday (Special workshops, payment and registration required, no child care)

  • 10am-noon: Connecting with the supernatural/hearing the voice of God
  • Noon: Lunch (on your own)
  • 2pm-3pm: Driven by revelation (John Burton)
  • 3pm-4pm: Changing a regional atmosphere/carrying God's presence

Saturday (FREE, registration required, no child care)

  • 7pm

Sunday (FREE, registration required, nursery only, no additional childcare)

  • 6pm

If you have questions, please contact us at www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/contact.

We can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!

Amy Burton
Senior Leader
Revival Church

John Burton
Visionary Leader
Revival Church

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