The Best Kind of Church

What is the best kind of church for this dark hour?  What kind of church transcends outward success and has true impact? What kind of church does not kill its pastor or crank out lukewarm believers?

Right now God is recruiting men and women to lead a new kind of congregation. He is asking for volunteers to build churches that can save America. He is offering you a glorious opportunity to build a storm proof, battle tested family of believers.   An army who will not just survive, they will thrive.

I am writing to the sincere, brokenhearted pastor and to the people who love that pastor. I want this to be a word that brings life, hope and direction. You will not hear this in any seminar on church growth. It is a radical departure from what you have been told.  But there is no doubt this will work.

1. Let go. Let go of the stress of human church growth models. Let go of the nasty people—both the pharisitic who criticizes all you do and the parasitic who sucks the life out leadership.  Let go of the pressure to please anyone but God.  Let go of the fear of finances. Let go of the fear of failure. Now what are you left with? You are in a complete state of joyous dependency on God. 

2. Seek Jesus. I am absolutely telling you to break away and seek God. Don’t seek guidance. Don’t seek provision. Don’t seek growth. Just seek Jesus until He is more real than anything you fear.

David Wilkerson said this after Christ set him free from man made ministry: “Now, my greatest joy is waiting upon Him for direction. I have made time to be alone with Him, and have prepared my soul to abide in His quiet presence. He is letting me sense what the Spirit is saying to this generation. The more He empties me, the more He fills me with a desire to depend only on Him for everything. I see now that all along the Lord was waiting for me to lay down all my plans, all my ambitions, and be given over to Him as a bond slave. The sweat is now gone – the pressure is off. He is recreating all my values.”

3.Tell the people they are destroyers of the works of the devil. Does that sound oversimplified or strange? The fact is, this is the most lethal announcement Satan will ever hear in your church .

1 John 3: 8 tell us that Jesus was purpose driven: “for this purpose was the Son of God revealed that He might destroy the works of the devil.”  However, the purpose that drove Him was totally unlike what modern preachers love to talk about.  Jesus is a destroyer of the works of the devil.  Why is that important to note?

It shows the people the purpose that should drive them.  They are an extension of the purpose of Christ and not some freelance boring substitute. So much is said about being purpose driven. Here is the purpose!

If the people redefine themselves as destroyers of the works of the devil it will instantly transform your meetings. Gone is the harmless fellowship or self-help seminars. From this point on, church services are demonstrations of the power of God and training sessions for your people to go out and destroy the works of the devil.

Your people will cease to attend church to do time, or learn to tread water. They will expect miracles. That part is the key to reaching modern America.  If church becomes a center for Holy Spirit led signs and wonders. If the moving of the Spirit is free and balanced then outsiders will see undeniable proof of the power of Christ. That becomes the attraction.

Today we have been ushered into one of two extremes in church models. One is totally entertainment business model that runs like a machine. The other, sadly, is a model of reaction where declining attendance and religious defiance drives preachers to preach angry sermons and put increasing bondage on their dwindling numbers.

Church should attract but for the right reason. When the reason is right it, brings people who are hungry for truth, who need a miracle, who yearn for deliverance from addiction, perversion and all the damage of our sick and stupid culture.

Best of all they not only come—they stay. You don’t have to cater to their whims because they have met Christ and have been ruined by His glory.

4.Give the Holy Spirit actual and not symbolic control to make revival sustainable. Once you start growing and the crowds come, you will need wisdom from beyond this world to make it sustainable. Don’t violate the power that brought you this miracle by falling back into human wisdom and old habits. Determine to make your dependency on the Holy Spirit real not symbolic or mystical. The more you do this the clearer His guidance will become.

How can you not try this? If the possibility exists for a congregation that is excited, unselfish, supernatural and uniquely forged to save America why wouldn’t you be open? I pray you will!

Does Jesus know you?

I asked, “what do You want me to say to the tent crowd tonight?” As I prayed I knew something was coming that was totally unexpected. The Holy Spirit commanded me to ask the audience a question. He told me to ask them, “does Jesus know you?” I didn’t immediately understand until I went to the Bible and read these words:

Matthew 7: 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!”

I was praying for the crowd that would fill the tent. Night after night, God’s power has fallen in Marysville. He granted stunning miracles. He saved lost souls in numbers that amazed. But tonight I felt the urgency of God to confront the greatest danger in the church.

The burning question of this hour is not do you know Jesus. The burning question is does Jesus know you? 

I have never seen so many people in such grave spiritual danger as today. People are infesting churches who say all the right things and seem to believe the right things. They even do mighty works in the name of Jesus but Christ does not know them.

They never began a right relationship with Christ. No wonder they have not been with Him. No wonder they do not commune with Him. He does not thrill them. They are not pressing in to minister to the Lord. They are distant from Christ and don’t even know it. They follow a caricature of Christ. The artificial Jesus they follow does not require surrender.

Did the real Jesus actually say that these souls would be lost? Will there be a more miserable soul on that day than the ones that did everything but the one thing that mattered?  Can there be any greater agony that to falter at the finish line because you never saw the hideous motive behind your religious activity?

Jonas Salk developed the first truly successful polio vaccine. The achievement required a delicate balance. It had to have dead polio cells that would trick the body into developing antibodies that would stop the actual polio virus if it ever attacked the body. That is a miracle in science but the same process is a disaster in the church.

Much of the preaching today kills the active ingredient of the Gospel. It is a vaccine that creates the worst immunity in history. In this case the soul, not the body is fooled. It is fooled into thinking it has experienced Jesus. It falsely consoles its victim into thinking they have been redeemed.

The disaster comes when God tries to actually save them. When the true Gospel is presented they are immune. They are not convicted. They think they already know God.

But how can they continue this charade? The only way it can go on is to teach a false version of love that lets you sin all you want. God is lowered from being a holy consuming fire to a codependent enabler.

There can be artificial Christians who practice signs and wonders because that is another aspect of the entitlement. Since sin is not longer a deterrent they freely and audaciously seek the miraculous. What they don’t realize is that their power is not flowing from God but from Satan who now has the right to fool them and demonstrate false signs through them.

2 Corinthians 11: 13 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”

Does Jesus know you? Does your power flow from an intimacy with the Lord. Do you find yourself checking your heart? Have you bothered to check to see if you are in danger of this horrendous end time condition?

In Psalm 139:23 and 24 the psalmist is not asking to know God, he is looking for something deeper, he wants God to know him.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

I know of no more widespread danger than this one. Does Jesus know you?