Satan did a number on us. First he used a counterfeit church growth model to deceive the gullible and discourage the faithful. When righteous pastors looked the staggering growth of Seeker Churches, they felt overwhelmed and even wounded. They wonder, “What am I doing wrong, am I a fool to hold on to my integrity?”
Growth seminars preyed on weak Pastors. David Wilkerson said, “Ministers from small churches are being told, in so many words, ‘Attend this mega-church pastor’s seminar, and you will find the keys to success. You‘ll eventually have a church as big as his.’ Yet this only causes pastors to become more discouraged. They end up convinced; I am not doing anything significant for God. He just isn’t using me.”
After this came the reelection of Barrack Obama. The anti-God forces saw how directly Obama challenged and even maligned the church. They saw blood in the water and moved to run us off the map.
The Seeker Church now knows that making nice with secular America did not stop violence, perversion and atheism. All of these things accelerated on their watch. After our complete makeover of the Gospel, society hated us even more.
We have been trashed, bashed and left for dead. Now it is time for the Body of Christ to push back on all of the lies, threats and ominous predictions about our demise. America is ripe for the church to make a massive comeback. You heard me, a massive comeback.
I know that all the experts say the Church has lost America and she will never get it back. These lies have made the rounds in centuries past. Usually, they pronounce death on the church right before a major revival. The last time I saw it was when the “God is dead” movement swept America in the 1960’s only to be swallowed up by the Jesus Movement.
To see this we will need a new Church model one that looks nothing like what we see today. We need Ground Zero Churches.
Christian leader take heed. I am pleading with you to consider a dynamic option for your church. I want you to consider becoming a Ground Zero Church: a strong and healthy church that grows without stress, compromise, endless striving, or vicious competition.
Let’s define a Ground Zero Church. It is the epicenter of God’s dealing for a region. They are a body of believers that have made the supreme covenant with God. Here are the features of a Ground Zero Church:
1. They believe that God can do it here. I wonder what would happen if we got a jumbo a jet loaded with fired up Bible College students going on a missionary trip. We take off out of Kennedy to go to Africa. Instead, order the pilot to make very wide circles over the Atlantic for hours finally landing somewhere in New Jersey. As soon as we get off, we are hustled into vans and dropped in Harlem.
I am convinced that they will raise the dead, save thousands and deliver many of demons and signs and wonders will abound just because they think they are overseas.
Many delude themselves into thinking it is because the poor are simple in faith and Americans are too sophisticated. The Bible paints a much different picture. In Acts, God blasted Saul of Tarsus the zealot intellectual God off his horse. He became the chief architect of the New Testament Church. It was in the house of Cornelius, a man of means and influence that the Holy Spirit first fell upon Gentiles.
2. They allow the Holy Spirit transform their church into a zone of irresistible glory: Paul described the overpowering effect a church gathering could have on the outside world: 1 Corinthians 14:24 “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.”
When Matthew Henry commented on these verses he said “God can, when he pleases, strike awe upon the worst of men, by the tokens of his presence in the assemblies of the faithful, and force them to acknowledge that God is with them of a truth.”
There are many examples of places that oozed God and dropped hardened sinners to their knees.
-A reporter from London came to Wales to investigate the Welsh revival. The presence he felt when he entered Wales shocked him. He exclaimed, “This is a nation haunted by God!”
-During the Great Awakening, hardened sailors on clipper ships reported being seized with conviction of sin when they entered certain zones off the American coast.
3. They pull the trigger that God has hidden in their culture. Throughout history, obedient missionaries who listened to God and observed the way that God had prepared a culture through history detonated revivals. This gave them a supernatural relevance.
-700 B.C. plague kills one third of Athens. Epimenides, a teacher who believed there was one God orders the city leaders to sacrifice prize rams the plague stops. They build an altar to the unknown God. Paul pulls the trigger 744 years later, in Acts 17:23 “I even noticed that you have an altar to the unknown God, He whom you ignorantly worship, I openly proclaim!”
-Koreans had a name for God that did not come from any pagan religion. White missionaries refused to call God by that name thinking it was compromise. Finally, in prayer a man of God realized that this name was the result of a dealing of God in Korean history. The moment that He called God by this name revival exploded.
-The Lihue Indians wore knots of rope around their wrists. Once, a missionary from England realized that this was a symbol for their slavery to sin. He preached that Christ cut these rope bands on the cross. Pandemonium strikes as tens of thousands of the Lihue start sobbing and beg to have their bands cut off.
We cannot fear what our culture is like right now. The Holy Spirit already has a message and a plan that is uniquely designed for this present darkness.