Every few years it seems that a group of committed Christians becomes convinced that they have figured out exactly when Jesus is going to return. In 1988, it was the blockbuster book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. Then, a lot of Christians got worked up about Y2K and the Blood Moons. And today, there are some who are pointing to the pandemic and riots as indications that the end is near. The study of the end times is called “eschatology” which literally means “study of the Read more [...]
If you ask someone what the Great Commission is, they’ll likely answer, “Go and make disciples of all the nations...” Except that’s not quite what Matthew 28:19-20 says. The Greek behind this phrase is literally, “disciple all the nations.” Now this may not seem like a big difference, but it is significant. “Make disciples of all the nations” implies that we are to disciple individuals out of every people group, while “disciple all the nations” implies that we are to disciple Read more [...]
“Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” Many of us have been taught to pray the Lord’s Prayer since we were children, but how many of us know what it really means? What exactly is the Kingdom of God? What does it mean for the Kingdom to come, and what is our role in expanding the Kingdom? These are questions I explore in depth in my book Cracking the End Time Code. The Davidic Kingdom The very first mention of a Kingdom occurs in 2 Samuel 7:16, where the Lord promises David: “Your Read more [...]
In the last hundred years or so, the Lord has been restoring the Holy Spirit to His rightful role in the Church. The Body of Christ has been rediscovering the importance of miracles, healing, and the prophetic in demonstrating the gospel. As the Body is maturing in the gifts of the Spirit, the days of superstars and the anointed person like Kathryn Kuhlman and Oral Roberts is giving way to a movement of equipping the saints and activating the entire Body of Christ. Perhaps the earliest major proponent Read more [...]
House Church A large segment of radical Spirit-filled believers have an aversion to the modern expression of church. The house church movement has been around for decades, but for many, this sentiment was crystallized by the writing of Frank Viola, and especially Pagan Christianity, which he wrote with George Barna. The overarching idea of the house church movement is that the New Testament church was a “house church” (Acts 2:46) and so, we should be as well. Having been a Read more [...]
A church plant is a Kingdom startup, and like all startups, it runs on momentum. To succeed, you must keep moving, and moving in the right direction. There are things you can do as a leader to generate and sustain momentum, and there are also things that, if left unchecked, will sap your momentum. Here are 4 key do’s and don’ts for maintaining momentum in your church plant. If you would like to read more about planting and building a Spirit-filled church, check out my book The Encounter Based Read more [...]
Church planting is incredibly exciting, but also incredibly daunting. You don’t know what you don’t know. And even people with a lot of experience can’t know everything. That’s why I want to share a few key perspectives with you. I’ve spent most of my adult life as a leader within three different church plants. Even though I had graduated from seminary, I quickly realized that most of what I had learned there was not directly applicable to planting a church. Too often, seminary Read more [...]
While there are numerous books and teachings on hearing the voice of God, focusing on the Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom, and Prophecy, little is ever said of the Gift of Discernment. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon to hear someone says “Where is our discernment?” There are two popular ways of viewing discernment, but I don’t think either one really paints the right picture. While it has become less common, there are still “discernment ministries” whose main purpose is unrelenting Read more [...]
Just as there is an art to hearing God’s voice for other people, so too is there an art to receiving prophetic words addressed to you. Most people know that a prophecy must be consistent with Scripture in order to be valid. But there is also a psychological process to receiving a prophecy. Over time, I have noticed several common mistakes that people make when receiving a prophecy. I have made several of these mistakes myself. In my book School of the Spirit, I go into more detail on how to receive Read more [...]
Some influential Christians have said that prophetic people need to be 100% accurate, or they should be considered a “false prophet.” This “all or nothing” attitude comes from an interpretation of certain verses in the Old Testament, in which the Israelites were instructed to stone a prophet who prophesied in the Name of the Lord things that failed to come to pass. Under the Old Covenant, God only spoke through a few anointed leaders and prophets, so falsely claiming to speak the word of Read more [...]
When I was in college under the campus ministry, all answers came back to, “God is the answer.” If you felt lonely and depressed, God was the answer. If you were lonely and needed more friends, God was the answer. If you thought a girl was cute and wished you had a girlfriend, God was the answer. The notion was that God was the answer to all of your needs. It sounds like it must be true because it’s really spiritual, right? The only problem is that before the fall God only saw Read more [...]
The basic task of pastoring people is helping them to grow. A major component of this then is counseling. And both counseling and pastoring are tied closely to your view of sanctification, and your view of the human person. There are several major schools of thought within the church today that provide an approach to helping people to grow:
“Christian Counseling.” Christian counseling has matured a tremendous amount in the past few decades, but when it started, Christian Counseling tended to Read more [...]
While charismatic activity has always been present within the Roman Catholic Church, the current form of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal stems from 1967, when a group of students at Duquesne University received baptism in the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. They were inspired by David Wilkerson’s The Cross and the Switchblade and John Sherrill’s They Speak with Other Tongues. The renewal spread and inspired groups that practiced gifts of the Spirit including tongues, prophecy, Read more [...]
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a term that was used by Peter Wagner to describe current trends in church movements, particularly with regard to a "five-fold" ministry and church polity. These NAR movements are supposed to be led through relationships instead of structures, and generally follow the Ephesians 4:10 pattern.
This concept first emerged as part of the Latter Rain movement which started in Saskatchewan in 1948. The Latter Rainers had the original revelation of the "five-fold" as Read more [...]
While there are lots of lists of big churches, there really isn't a list that gives a good picture of the landscape inside the Spirit-filled world. Understanding this landscape can help you as leader to navigate your world better and ultimately make better choices. Great leaders follow other great leaders, and to lead a large church it definitely takes significant insight and gifting.
Influence is not a simple factor of size. There are many large churches that do not have much influence outside Read more [...]
Are you thinking about planting a church? As someone who has been a leader in three church plants, I want to make it a lot easier for you, I've seen what works and what doesn't work, and I want it to work for you. Planting a church is one of the most exciting adventures you can embark on, but it's also challenging and risky. Having the right tools can significantly accelerate you. That's why I'm going to be doing a series of articles just to help people like you. I want you to succeed.
1. Read more [...]
The prophetic movement began in 1948 with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. A group of Pentecostal Bible students from the Sharon Orphanage and Schools began fasting after some of their leaders had driven to Vancouver to see William Branham in person. Branham's gift was so amazing that they began to seek God to see similar results. Several weeks into the fast, there was an powerful outpouring of personal prophecy, and several other things. These events became the Read more [...]
A codependent relationship is one where the love flow is when the bond is based on one person providing assistance and the other person receiving assistance. In the world, this pairing is usually found between someone who is has low self-esteem and tolerates selfish behavior from the other person. In Christian settings, however, a benevolent kind of codependency can also emerge based on someone’s desire to help another person in obedience to the commands of Jesus.
I believe that this kind Read more [...]
If you are any good at pastoring, you will quickly have more people to help than you have time to help them with. This can easily lead to burnout, where you are swamped pouring effort into your flock and seeing very little return.
So the question becomes who do you help, and when? The simple Biblical answer is that you help each according to his faith. But what does that mean? In translation to the pastoral context, you help those who are hungry. I do not help those who will not help themselves. Read more [...]
When you are a little baby and you cry, your mom might say to you, “Oh, are you sad?”, or when you laugh she might say, “Oh, you’re so happy!” This is part of a healthy upbringing. Your parents and others who love you are giving you words for your emotions, helping you to process and ultimately to master them. They help you to develop an emotional vocabulary. While it starts as a child, really understanding what is going on in your heart and what do about it is a skill learned Read more [...]
What do you think of when you think of a "pastor"? The leader of a church? A preacher? Someone with a friendly personality? A pastor may be all of those things, but fundamentally, Biblically speaking, the essence of a pastor is something else: a shepherd. This shepherd keeps watch, over a flock, and if you are part of that flock, the shepherd keeps watch over your soul.
Being a pastor, therefore is not about the ability to teach or build big things, or draw a crowd, it's about the ability to care Read more [...]
I'd like to present the story of what God is doing in history with a slightly different angle than you may have heard before.
Phase 1 - The Return.
Jesus did not simply go to heaven when he died. He could have just been up there just sitting with God the Father but he did more -- He returned to earth in a resurrected body. It was in this resurrected body that he gave the disciples the great commission, saying that "all authority" had been given to him and they were "disciple all the Read more [...]
After years of study, I feel that I am finally starting to get a hold of an idea that has eluded me. I did a long paper in Seminary so that I could clearly understand eschatology. Separately, I've been trying to understand how Charismatic preaching and Bible interpretation works. This leads ultimately to an examination of our Charismatic practice to find the "way forward."
There are a lot of groups offering us a false "way forward" in the church right now. The whole "Emergent" movement is capturing Read more [...]
Mike Bickle has had a tremendous impact on the church in his generation. One that far outstrips what most of us could hope for. God called him at a very young age to be the pastor to the prophets of Kansas City. These Kansas City Prophets went on to shock the worldwide church with the divine word and power of God. Now that's not to say that things were all right. There were definitely issues, but it is to say that God used this team to do something very significant in the life of the church. Then Read more [...]
For the past three nights, I've had dreams that I not only remembered, but were highly symbolic and seemed to have meaning. In addition, when I awoke from the first dream I felt that I had had a God dream. I told my wife and I began to give the intepretation. It was strange because I rarely dream anymore and I have never interpreted a dream before. But this seemed to just flow off of my tongue, and speak to our situation.
In fact, I believe this may have been triggered by a visit to a Bridge Read more [...]
Prophecy and Your Walk with God
Many Christians are uncertain or inexperienced with personal prophecy, but I have found that prophecy can fast track your walk with God if you utilize it properly. If I speak a word over you, I want you to have a healthy, positive experience, so here are some guidelines to help.
The Purpose of Prophecy
Prophecy is someone listening to God so that they can speak his heart over you. All prophecy, like all ministry, however, must pass through a human vessel in order to Read more [...]