Are solemn assemblies the answer to revival?
First, I MUST encourage you again to listen to one of the most important messages you may hear this year. It’s spreading around the internet… listen and share it with everybody you can. Listen here: https://burton.tv/2012/10/01/listen-now-a-sudden-outbreak-of-the-spirit-of-revival-in-detroit-last-night/
Charisma Magazine just posted a great article on the effectiveness of large corporate prayer gatherings and solemn assemblies. You can read that article here.
As I shared in my previous post, there have been many prophecies about stadiums in Detroit being filled with intercessors and revivalists. I agree with that prophecy.
I agree with Jennifer Leclaire, the author of the article on prayer rallies in Charisma Magazine, that large corporate prayer gatherings and solemn assemblies absolutely do work and are wildly necessary.
She said, “I believe every prayer lifted to heaven in the name of Jesus makes a difference. I believe every intercessor’s Spirit-inspired utterance is making up a hedge of protection around this nation. I believe if the prayer stopped, the skeptics would start asking us to pray again.”
I couldn’t agree more.
We need the stadiums full, but, there is a much more challenging and costly strategy that revival is tightly hinged on.
The church must become a house of prayer again, and the corporate body must live a life of such extreme sacrifice that the prayer house is filled most every day of the week.
Yes, the price is our time and the costly surrender of our American lifestyle and the eradication of the cares of life.
Again, let me make it clear:
The average American Christian who works a 9 to 5 job, who has kids in sports and school programs, will need to shift most everything in their daily schedule and gather together under key apostolic and prophetic leadership to pray and respond to instruction most every night of the week.
The stadium level prayer events must happen, but, they won’t have lasting impact if we don’t also live a disciplined life of white hot, deep corporate prayer most every day.
We often talk about Easter Christians who only attend church on Easter and Christmas.
I want to offer a comparison. Today we have event Christians who trust in the conferences and stadium events to carry them and to advance the Kingdom on the Earth. That strategy alone won’t work.
We must pray together continually.
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-47 ESV)
I’ve said this countless times, and I’ve written about it in my book 20 Elements of Revival: The 24/7 church will arise again and Christians will gather together every day to pray and contend for Kingdom advance.
I don’t know if it will take a national calamity or if it will come as the church suddenly awakens, but the 24/7 church is coming—and it will require a passionate, disciplined, undistracted people.
Ephesians 6:16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance…
As we are driven by faith, pray ALWAYS in the Spirit…persevere and stay alert, we will establish a biblically normal church: A house of prayer that’s filled continually with zealous, surrendered Christians who feel the weight of the hour and intercede with passion for the nations.
We can’t meet in a stadium once a year and hope for revival. It’s time to gather together with the fear of the Lord provoking us into intimacy with God and bold Kingdom action.
THE CITY CHURCH
When this biblical model has matured, we’ll see it function on a city level very powerfully.
The apostolic/prophetic leadership of the city will call regular corporate prayer events and the entire city church will show up. Stadiums will be filled regularly.
Then, between events, the local expressions of the city church will be together day after day in prayer and response to local apostolic instruction.
I want to encourage you to order 20 Elements of Revival as I go into detail on the structure of a revival ready city church.
You can order it for print or Kindle at www.johnburton.net/resources.
3: marked by originality and verve <audacious experiments>
Every definition of the word audacious fits perfectly in the definition of the mission of the church. It certainly does for the church I am so honored to lead, Revival Church in the Detroit area.
In a season where most of the church in the Western world has been marginalized, the time is now for daring, bold, and yes, reckless leaders to pierce a stagnant, stale and religious culture with the sharp sword of the Spirit of the Lord. Now is the time for burning men and women to shock the nations.
I will never apologize for the white hot passion we have for the presence and plans of our wonderfully fearful God. In fact, we are still quite far from the level of trembling and zeal that will soon be here. The fire must get perpetually and exponentially hotter.
We refuse to get excited about any goals that don’t require ridiculous faith and that don’t cause the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of religion to shudder. Those kingdoms are coming down.
The plan of action includes the pursuit of extreme Holy Spirit activity. Signs, wonders, miracles and experiential manifestations of the glory of God are key. We are going after God with abandon!
So many people believe that we are waiting for God to bring revival…and that we have to jump through hoops to cause him to do it. What a frustrating life to live! Jesus let us know that he was done. He said, “It is finished.” He sent the apostles to do the work that Jesus used to do when he was on the Earth. He said he’d send the Promise, the Holy Spirit, to enable them. So they waited for the Holy Spirit…but we don’t have to! He has been empowering us for 2000 years! Now we literally carry God and we have every resource right now to release revival into the world! We aren’t waiting for God, he’s waiting for us!
It’s time to gather together, to receive ridiculous vision, stir up crazy faith and plan the impossible! We can bring revival to Detroit now!
TEN AUDACIOUS GOALS
- It’s all about the numbers. At Revival Church we are fearlessly going after those that yearn for God, and we are out to build the largest and most impactful ministry in Detroit—and every other pastor in this region should have the same audacious plans! If the Detroit Lions can hold Sunday services and unapologetically draw in 70,000 people to Ford Field, you have to be kidding if you think Christian leaders should have a problem with determining to have a greater impact. I see stadiums filled week after week with fervent lovers of Jesus in Detroit. (I can’t wait for TheCall on 11/11/11, but it’s an indictment against the church that months of cheerleading and mobilization must take place prior to the event just so the church would show up for one service at Ford Field—and the tickets are free!)
- Acts 2:47 (NKJV) 47 … And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
- The culture will never drive us. It’s time for the church to repent for succumbing to the busyness and distractions of American culture. We are calling people to a fully immersive life of Kingdom activity. Instead of cancelling services out of respect for the distracted we are calling a company of forerunners to blaze a trail of Acts chapter 2 style devotion and urgency. Someone asked Pastor Steve Gray, the leader of the Smithton Outpouring, “How is it that you can be at church six nights a week?” Steve replied, “How is it that you can watch TV six nights a week?”
- Ephesians 5:14-17 (ESV) 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
- We are planning on hosting and serving one of the worlds greatest revivals in history. The times are urgent, and the harvest is waiting. We acknowledge that many other amazing churches are building according to the critical plans God has given them. But, the vision we have cannot be found anywhere in Detroit, so we are provoked to build. There is a Nehemiah cry that is resounding at Revival Church. The project is massive and the time is short. We both praying and working simultaneously so the masses have a place to go on any weekend or weekday to experience the revival they so crave.
- Nehemiah 4:1-2 (NKJV) 1 But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish–stones that are burned?"
- We are to be a threat to the status quo. The religious structures are coming down. We embrace the principles of the story of Gideon. Religious altars are coming down and an army of fearless warriors is being raised up to take a city. We have no option to blend into the prevailing church landscape. It’s time to war!
- Acts 17:6 (ESV) 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,
- The 24/7 church will be the norm. If the Tigers and Red Wings can dominate the night here in Detroit, and if thousands converge together in unity to celebrate them, we won’t stop until the same level of devotion is found in the church.
- Acts 2:46-47 (NKJV) 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
- We are believing for millions of dollars to come into Revival Church. We are boldly praying and asking for the resources to complete our mission. A religious spirit will attempt to shoot down such a focus, but if a person can believe for his household bills to be paid then you better believe we are expecting God’s mission to be financially covered. The provision will match the vision.
- Philippians 4:19 (ESV) 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
- The church isn’t a building, but it meets in one. We’re planning on a property to hold thousands of people, dorms, a school of ministry and much more. Read more here: https://burton.tv/2010/08/20/you-are-not-the-church-the-scattering-movement-what-about-church-online/
- We’re going to annihilate the sheep stealing myth. At Revival Church we have open hands. We don’t own the sheep at Revival Church and we have no patience for any controlling doctrine that teaches otherwise. While we do encourage people to a high level of honor and commitment, we also honor them and understand that God may lead them to participate in other churches and ministries. We have an open recruitment policy here as well. Any pastor can come into Revival Church and attempt to recruit anybody on my staff or team without any guilt or fear. You can read more here: https://burton.tv/2011/09/06/church-competition-and-the-sheep-stealingtransfer-growth-myth/
- Revival is coming to Detroit. With all of the phenomenal and hungry revivalists in Detroit, and with the prayer movement and other strategies expanding all over the region, the time is now to experience revival. However, we also believe that revival will probably be hosted in one primary location. We are preparing for that location to be Revival Church. But, we’re also pretty smart and we realize that the chances are high that it will land in another church. The call will be to travel, to lead the people out, to go where the fire is. So, in that case, we will be highly invested there in addition to developing the supporting ministry of Revival Church.
- Exodus 13:21 (ESV) 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
- We have names and faces. We fully embrace the heart of the nameless, faceless movement. Extreme humility is mandatory. However, that movement has in some places adopted a strange false-unity ideology. Leaders are being renounced in favor of equality in function. This just isn’t biblical. We expect to have so many humble, surrendered people who embrace the cross of Christ that they will be promoted by God to have influence over millions of desperate people. We can’t hide. We can’t blend in. We can’t espouse false humility. There are prophetic messengers arising and the world will know who they are and they will fall in love with Jesus who they carry.
- 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV) 1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
Are you ready to be a part of what many believe will be a world impacting center of ministry in Detroit?
I had no idea what I was getting into when God moved us from Kansas City to Detroit. Sure, I knew it was about revival. I also understood that the coming outpouring would impact this region and even well beyond. But, I was nowhere near being able to comprehend what would actually come to pass.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (ESV) 9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
The Spirit searches the deep things of God, and then reveals and imparts those things to those he loves. Man, that absolutely wrecks me!
I am convinced that the coming revival in Detroit will bring the shock and awe of the mysteries of God that mankind has never imagined.
IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME
I do my best to avoid cheesy movie quotes in prophecy. However, I just couldn’t deny that God was talking to me.
God had been highlighting a vision of a massive movement and center of prophetic and revival focused ministry. I saw a regional center of reformation, revival and equipping very much like The Ramp in Hamilton, Alabama being established in Detroit. Keep in mind that I didn’t know much about The Ramp, which is led by Karen Wheaton, as God was speaking that name into my spirit. I wasn’t out to copy another ministry that was enjoying success. There was something else to this. God was calling me to plant a large center of revival that would draw thousands of people into God’s holy fire.
During prayer before a service at Revival Church approximately a year ago the Lord spoke that famous movie quote to me, “John, if you build it, they will come.”
It was a very heavy and exciting word. Well, things got very interesting as the service got started that night. Someone wandered in late and stood up in the service to get my attention. He looked at me and said, “John, God wants you to know that if you build it, they will come.”
The trembling commenced. He had no idea what happened in the prayer room, and he had no clue that I had a mandate to launch a new ministry. God had my attention.
I started connecting more with The Ramp online just to catch a glimpse of their flavor and focuses, as well as checking out the practical nuts and bolts of launching and running a ministry like that.
The vision we have here in Detroit is certainly unique as we focus on the groans of intercession, preparing for revival on a city and then international level and raising up carriers of fire who will take the burnings of God to the nations.
However, there are many overlapping circles of vision that are undeniable, and the driving force (the Holy Spirit) is the same. God is looking for reformers who will rock the nations.
At one of the events at The Ramp, Dutch Sheets said:
“You crave His presence, but you loathe the average church service. You are part of the reforming generation.”
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
- The Culture: If you read my book 20 Elements of Revival, you will have a good idea of what we’re going after. The culture in this emerging ministry is one of extreme fire, burnings and groanings of intercession, going after manifestations of healing and deliverance and the development of leaders who will impart this to the nations of the Earth.
- The School: Of course, theLab is blowing everybody’s mind right now! This school of burning was dramatically prophesied over us by Jeff Jansen just before launch. He said I’d be writing books and we’d be launching schools (plural!) of the Spirit. We’d be taking people into the place of encounter and into heavenly experiences. It’s been prophesied that we’d take caravans of revival into the cities of the Earth. This is a huge part of this mission, and I envision a large campus with hundreds of students being equipped and released.
- The Events: An attention grabbing series of prophetic words has us focused on praying in a huge property. People that we meet keep prophesying that they see theLab and huge events in stadiums. One person said it will take a stadium to hold the events and the school at theLab. You’d be stunned if you knew how many times I’ve heard this. We desire to bring in people like Dutch Sheets, Bill Johnson, Rick Pino, Catherine Mullins, Brian Simmons, Cindy Jacobs, Heidi Baker and others who share our heart for revival. I’m praying for a 2000+ seat auditorium plus a campus with classrooms for schools of worship, prayer, etc. that will house our daily activities—and then favor with stadiums when we hold regular (monthly?) events.
- The Nations: theLab will be sending teams to cities to establish schools and hold revival focused events.
HOW YOU CAN JUMP IN
- Gather your family, friends and everybody you can on Sunday nights at Revival Church. As a regional center, we are thrilled when other pastors and people join with us when their church isn’t holding a service. At Revival Church you will gain the traction necessary to see the vision and see how you can lock in with this revival movement.
- Pray with us every Friday night from 10pm-midnight as we travel the Detroit region. This is the anchor of the ministry and you will immediately catch a powerful glimpse of our passion.
- Give financially. We are literally looking for extreme miracles of millions of dollars to get this ministry center developed. Additionally, there’s big plans to develop the school further, to launch into other cities and to continue writing materials. You can give online at www.detroitrevivalchurch.com/donate, or if you want to discuss a broader financial partnership, just contact me at [email protected].
So, get ready! The harvest is coming. That means hundreds of thousands or more people are coming to Detroit! Are we ready to receive them?
We at Revival Church and theLab are doing our part!
Love you all!