The danger of a ‘wait and see’ approach toward revival

FIRST—Tonight at Revival Church we’re gathering together with people hungry for a move of God in Detroit. If you aren’t pursuing revival corporately tonight, by all means come on out and contend with us!

ALSO—Be sure to REGISTER for the upcoming Michele Perry event at Revival Church! www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/events 


I sometimes wonder if we truly understand the severity of the crisis we are experiencing image in the church.

Rick Joyner reports that today only 5% of people who make a decision for Christ actually end up in church.

Billy Graham’s on stats reveal that only 2% of people who make a decision for Christ at his crusades end up in church.

We are in the midst of a crisis that every day is resulting in people who were incorrectly secure in their position in Christ dying and entering into Hell. Does this mean that everybody that doesn’t ‘go to church’ is out of relationship with Christ? No, but it is at least an indicator of a possible problem.

The church is a corporate entity. We love, serve, worship, pray and contend together on a very regular basis. In Acts we see that they were in the temple daily and in prayer and other activities corporately. To remove oneself from that fundamental New Testament structure is at least an indicator of several potential issues.

I’m teaching part two of “The Spirit of Pilate in the Church” tonight at Revival Church. We are seeing a serious problem of affirmation of the people who have rejoiced at the arrival of Jesus in their lives (Palm Sunday) but who have refused the cross as the answer (Good Friday). When there was hope of personal gain (Hosanna) the people gathered, but when there was risk of personal loss (the cross) the people scattered.

The big show, the rejoicing and worship of the Palm Sunday crowd must be interpreted carefully. Churches are growing through the affirmation of the Palm Sunday believer, when, in fact, those people may not have embraced the cross of Christ.

THE PROBLEM

Churches that are birthed and developed from the Palm Sunday style crowd are making a tragic mistake. The emphasis is on what the church can offer the people. On Palm Sunday that’s what happened. They were yelling, “Hosanna!” which means, “save us” or “deliver now.”

With so many people craving their needs and desires to be met it’s quite easy to attempt to satisfy those demands. What results, however, is a culture of diminished focus on the cross, and a body of believers who aren’t schooled in the call to pour out, to minister and to give and serve with no demand for anything in return.

Simply, it results in a lazy church.

DETROIT

When I started traveling to Detroit to minister, and God was exploding in power in the services, I began to experience a strong and urgent concern constantly with me.

There are a lot of hungry, desperate people here in Detroit. The opportunity for revival is huge in this region.

However, the concern that has only intensified within me is this: Many are taking a wait and see approach. They are hungry, but they simply move from Sunday to Sunday and special event to special event hoping that God pours out that day.

On the surface that sounds great. People are hungry and want God to move. However, if we’re not careful we’ll easily embrace the Palm Sunday strategy.

We can’t simply express our desire for “Hosanna”, for saving, for deliverance and then kick back and wait for it to arrive.

In Acts 1, the disciples had a similar mindset. They asked Jesus when he was going to establish his Kingdom. They wanted Jesus to kick back into action an do the work. Jesus then said something that changed the face of history. He told them that he was leaving, and they must now do the work themselves! They were to initiate revival, to expand the Kingdom. They had a lot of serious work to do!

They transitioned from disciples to apostles (sent ones) on that day.

This is what the entire church of Detroit (and the nation, and the world) must do! It’s our responsibility to initiate and facilitate revival, the establishment of the Kingdom. It’s our job to heal and deliver. We also have a lot of serious work to do!

We CANNOT take a ‘wait and see’ approach!

If you are in the church in the Detroit region, ask yourself, “What am I doing strategically and intentionally every day and every week to initiate revival and to advance the Kingdom?”

We need everybody zealously contending individually and corporately. The churches should be packed Sunday morning, Sunday evening and many nights through the week!

The church needs every believer in position as the 24/7 church is being restored.

Let’s not just ‘hope’ and wait… but, let’s aggressively release revival in this city. Let’s do the work necessary.

As Bill Johnson says, “Nothing in the Kingdom comes outside of declaration.”


If you don’t have a service TONIGHT to attend, don’t miss the chance to contend in the presence of God with us at Revival Church!  www.detroitrevivalchurch.com

Is the House of Prayer movement running out of steam?

FIRST—This afternoon (Sunday, November 22) at 4pm is the Revival Church Thanksgiving Dinner!  Come on out and make some new, hungry (for turkey AND revival!) friends!  Then, we’ll kick into strategic pursuit of revival at 6pm. www.detroitrevivalchurch.com.

Is the House of Prayer movement running out of steam?  That question is sure to elicit a wide range of emotions and reactions, from radical disagreement to a yawn of indifference.

Here’s my thought:  The House of Prayer movement is a strategic and divine plan of  God.  However, the House of Prayer movement in its current form is to bring TerrorofHell recalibration to the church—it in itself is not meant to be an enduring structure.

Now, allow me to bring some clarification.  The church is to be a house of prayer for all nations.  Those of you who follow my ministry know my heart on this topic well. 

I feel it is utter insanity that prayer is nearly non-existent in churches today.  I mean, lets talk about this.  Churches that don’t have prayer as the primary ministry and activity is like encouraging people to stand in a shower with no water.  It’s so obviously nonsensical.

Prayer is the clear, tangible connecter between man and God.  It’s the conduit of relationship that Jesus made possible for us on the cross.

Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV) 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

The clear idea here is that it’s possible to align ourselves with God, work for him, be dramatically involved in his business, while also not knowing him, not ‘saved’.

So, the problem is that we have churches full of devoted people, people who are working, serving and ministering, who don’t intimately know God. This is a more serious issue that we can imagine.

In my book The Terror of Hell I wrote about a dream that shook me to my core.  As I prayed for interpretation of that dream, God wrecked my theology and comfort level.  He said, “John, many people in the church will be shocked one day to find themselves in Hell.”

I believe the House of Prayer movement is a necessary shock to the church system.  It must bring recalibration to a prayer-starved church.

It’s re-emphasizing the call to return to our first love.  Check out this striking scripture:

Luke 10:25-28 (NKJV) 25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" 27 So he answered and said, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and ‘your neighbor as yourself.' " 28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live."

This should be our primary salvation scripture.  This should be our primary salvation strategy.  The question was clear: What shall I do to inherit eternal life?  Love God!  Deeply!  With every part of our being! 

If we do this, and let that love reach others around us, we will be saved.

So, with prayer being the vehicle of relationship and intimacy with God, we must be severely alarmed when that vehicle is out of service.

The Global Prayer Movement and the House of Prayer Movement are not one in the same, though, of course, they are uniquely connected.  The Global Prayer Movement is ramping up and gaining momentum.  Right now, it seems that the House of Prayer is its primary driver. 

However, this cannot remain.  The church, with its governmental authority and biblical mandate inherent in it, must receive the baton of intimate, prophetic prayer from the House of Prayer movement.

I don’t believe Houses of Prayer, in their current form, can survive indefinitely.  They must transition into or merge with churches.

For example, we see the International House of Prayer in Kansas City functioning as a keenly focused prayer ministry.  People there pray hours a day as their primary life activity.  However, it also functions as a church.  They meet that need for people. They have no need to send people to a ‘real church’ because IHOP is a church. 

Additionally, this year, they moved from an 80%/20% model of prayer/ministry to a 50/50 model.  Their prayer is enabling and infusing church ministry.

I know this is a provocative and even offensive question, but if we at least consider it I believe we’ll be well on our way toward reformation in the church:  Is it possible that IHOP and prayer-fueled ministries like it have a radically higher percentage of people who are truly saved than a typical church?

I’m not saying they have better theology or that they are somehow elite.  I’m decreasing this issue to the lowest foundational level.  They pray.  The are intentionally applying the Luke 10 salvation strategy.  They are focusing on the call to intimately know God.

This strategy and primary focus must return to every typical church on every street corner.  That’s what the House of Prayer movement is doing.  Rick Joyner says that if house of prayer leaders do their job well, they will work themselves out of that job.  The true, biblical structure is the church, which is a house of prayer for all nations.

If houses of prayer succeed in their mission, there will no longer be a need for houses of prayer as we now know them.

Thoughts?

Interesting prophetic insight : Detroit, Michigan : Time Magazine

The week of a key ministry event with Chuck Pierce, Barbara Yoder and other prophetic leaders in Ann Arbor, I received a strong prophetic word regarding DetroitTime Magazine just reported on an element that I mentioned in the prophecy.

Here’s the word I received:

“Now, now, now! The church must arise and strategically contend for reformation and restoration in Detroit and throughout Michigan.”  The Lord revealed that there is a “race of rooms” in this region.  There are strategic and brilliant secular people gathering in a board room, strategically thinking, brain storming, discussing and making plans for the new economic structure in Detroit.  I saw them in suits and ties sitting around a large board room table.  I also saw another room.  It had no table, but the walls were covered in LCD screens and white boards.  There were several people on their knees groaning and crying out for breakthrough, for revelation from Heaven.  This was a war room. 

The race of rooms is between these two gatherings.  Which new wine skin, new strategically developed foundation will be implemented?

Church Pierce mentioned something similar as he was sharing.  He mentioned that those represented by the board room will ‘win’, will establish for a time.  But, the church will initiate reformation shortly thereafter.image

I just read the latest Time Magazine article on Detroit.  Check out some of it and notice the similarities to the prophecy I received:

What do you get when you mix 60 Millennials, a dozen of Detroit's brightest thinkers and lots of coffee?

The potential to solve some of the city's policy problems.

This past weekend, I attended a conference that sparked some incredible discussions about Detroit, the region's significant challenges and what they both need to do to create lasting change.

The regional workshop is part of a year-long initiative, in which Roosevelt Institute members from across the Midwest will focus on creating actual public policy proposals for Detroit and the surrounding cities.

About 60 MSU students came together in suits, ties and dresses to talk about Detroit.

Detroit was a “magnificent middle-class society. Detroit has been devastated. People did this. It was not an act of God.”

Read more: http://detroit.blogs.time.com/

Rick Joyner and Larry Jackson will be here this weekend to help give direction to the church, to intercession and strategic advance in Detroit.

Many people are converging here.  One of my intercessors saw four large (the size of a 747) eagles, each one looking different, but they each had a serious, determined look in their eyes.  The flew from the four corners of the nation and converged in Detroit.  These are prophetic/apostolic people that God is gathering to bring the sledgehammer to the demonic strongholds in Detroit.  Reformation and revival is coming.

The times we are in are more important than any of us realize. 

So goes Detroit, so goes the nation.  This call is for every person to contend, pray and declare the Word of the Lord over this region.

Bishop Larry Jackson at IHOPE : City Strategy Events : Prayer Tonight at Revival Church

FIRST- you can listen to a message I preached yesterday to some engineers at General Motors here in Detroit.  Head on over to www.praytherevolution.com/media and the teaching is on the player on the left.

Last night I had the privilege of connecting with Bishop Larry Jackson last night as he addressed leaders in the city of Detroit.  This man is right on, and he carries a clear strategy for transformation in Detroit.

He will be ministering at the International House of Prayer East Detroit THIS FRIDAY at 7pm.  This is an exciting and important event for anybody who is interested in legitimate, reportable revival in Detroit.

Larry Jackson

Bishop Larry Jackson is the founding pastor of Bethel Outreach International Church in Charlotte, NC. Bishop Jackson is a nationally known Promise Keepers speaker and has also ministered across the nation and internationally as a keynote speaker.

Bishop Jackson had a pivotal role in establishing Unified 2000, a ministry designed to break down the denominational and racial barriers that divide the body of Christ.

Bishop Jackson is the author of several books including Guilt Free Living, practical instruction on how to be free from the spirit of lust in every area of life.

Bishop Jackson and his wife, Joanndra, currently reside in Charlotte, NC, with their daughters.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • TONIGHT: Soaking prayer at Revival Church.  There is a whirlwind in my inner man right now as God is calling us to greater depths of intimacy and revelation.  Prayer is the foundation of Revival Church.  Join us in the Asbury Room at Revival Church TONIGHT (and every Wednesday night) at 7pm. 
  • UPCOMING CITY STRATEGY EVENT: On October 24th, 2009 Rev. Dr. Alistair Petrie will be hosting a one day City Transformation Summit. This event is free, but its impact on your life will be invaluable. Alistair will share testimonies of transformations that he has witnessed with his own eyes, and will give practical teaching on how we can prepare for and welcome transformation in our own cities, and nation. Please set the afternoon of October 24th aside and plan to come. The Summit begins at 1:00pm and will likely conclude by 4:00pm. The event will be held at Revival Nation Church: 218 North Christina St., Sarnia, Ontario.
  • UPCOMING CITY STRATEGY EVENT: Worship Explosion with Shana Wilson, Julie Meyer and Ray Hughes along with Barbara Yoder and Shekinah Christian Church.  October 31st at 6pm.  4600 Scio Church Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103
  • UPCOMING CITY STRATEGY EVENT: Kim Clement will be ministering at Ignited Ministries in Taylor, Michigan November 6-8.  If you are connected with us at Revival Church, I’d recommend attending this event Friday and Saturday and then bring the fire to our Sunday evening event.
  • UPCOMING CITY STRATEGY EVENT: RICK JOYNER will be returning this Fall November 20-21st, 2009.  He will be sharing and releasing a nationwide strategy to take back our nation in the seven mountains or cultural gateways – Family, Church, Education, Government, Business, Media/Communications, and Arts/Entertainment! OTHER GUEST SPEAKERS:  Gordon Pennington is scheduled and will be addressing the subject of the influence and power of technology and media in this age of digital communications.  It will be explained what the followers of Jesus Christ can do to be more effective in spreading the Gospel!

City strategy : Multiple church commitment

It's time to stop presuming people will only commit to one local church or ministry.

I regularly consider how we are going to see the massive reformation in the church come to pass.  The way we see church today will become a distant memory as the entire structure changes.

We’ll need to take intentional steps toward a city church structure, which means the face of the local church is going to morph considerably.

Some preliminary steps:

  • Multiple church commitment: We will begin to see people primarily commit to one church and also commit (truly commit, no hopping allowed!) at a lesser, yet still significant level at other churches.  When this happens, every church won’t have to be focused broadly on everything, but they will focus intently on the few areas they are called and gifted to facilitate.  When the body is expected to connect at only one church, they in turn have no other option but to expect that church to have a broad focusThe current system works against itself.  When the reformation comes, a family will connect in one church where they will serve and sit under apostolic leadership that’s running with strength in a streamlined ministry, and on other days and nights of the week they may serve at another church’s youth ministry, Bible study or small group. 

    An important element here is that instead of limiting themselves to senior leadership at the local level, the various leaders of the churches in the city take on the role of associate leaders of the city church.  So instead of thinking of it like people frequenting multiple local churches, they are actually strategically connecting in multiple departments of a single city church.  One night they are in the teaching department growing in discipleship and on another night in the prayer department serving in intercession. These departments are actual churches and ministries spread out all over the city.

    The five-fold ministry does not have to function in every single church or ministry. It's not realistic for that to happen. One church might be led by someone in a teaching office while another is led by a prophet. Pastors will give leadership to small groups and other ministries. Evangelists will train and lead out in strategic soul winning events. Apostles will govern and serve all of the city's leaders by casting vision, gathering the Ekklesia in the region and instructing at a high level.

    Local church pastors will have to surrender their solitary leadership position in people's lives and begin to emphasize the city church more than their own local church. Senior pastors will then lead the way multiple times a month into other events, conferences, prayer meetings, church services and small groups in the region. People under their leadership will truly experience refreshing and renewed passion as they are no longer limited to what a single local church can provide.

  • Prayer as a primary ministry: We must start where the first church started in Acts 2- in the prayer room.  It’s shocking how absent prayer is in the church, and it’s terrifying how few Christians are intimately connected with Jesus in the place of prayer.  I propose we cancel most everything we’re doing in the church and hit our face night and day and pray, and soak, and intercede and declare as a corporate body.
  • Connecting with apostolic and prophetic leaders: We need to pray in, invite in and partner with apostolic and prophetic leaders who God is preparing right now.  Who is God going to use regionally to help give leadership to a move of God? It probably won't be your local church pastor, but your pastor and everyone in your church should support whoever it is.