THE FORGOTTEN POWER

No matter how thin you slice baloney, it’s still baloney.  And, almost everything pastors are told about church growth is baloney. Most of it leads to frustration and disillusionment. Think about it.  Most pastors have taken those trendy courses on church growth. If that is true, then why are so few churches growing?

Here’s the big lie: Fix your organization, your brand, and your staff, if you want your church to grow.  And, hasn’t this worked in many cases?  In many cases? No.  But has it worked in some cases?   Yes, but only because even a blind dog finds a bone once in a while.

How then can we explain the overnight success of some church-plants? If what you mean is more like a franchise then, yeah, that’ll work—because they pour millions into establishing a franchise copy of an existing mega church.   Hello?  Is anyone offering you millions of dollars and vast expertise to help you build your church?

Given enough marketing money, I could get a thousand people to come watch yogurt mature. But is it a crowd you want, or is it a Holy Spirit-built army of Christ-following converts?  To paraphrase Paul, “If I master all the tricks in the how-to-fill-a-church seminar, but do not have a congregation who deeply loves Jesus, I am just another mega-church. If I have a room full of a thousand spoiled spectators, it profits me nothing.”

Some of our good friends shake their heads at the advertising we use for our tent crusades. Our cards say, “Come and experience the love and power of Jesus Christ.” Our friends almost feel sorry for our lack of salesmanship and seem embarrassed that we are being so obvious about our intentions. What they don’t see is what kind of crowd we want. We want people who are hungry for a miracle.  We are not trying to hide anything, and people are weary of being tricked. But more importantly, our cards are soaked in prayer. The crowds come for the right reason—because they have been drawn by the Holy Spirit.

I have many things to say about how churches can grow, but I am going to focus on my favorite factor in growth—one that is greatly underrated: THE EXCITEMENT OF THE PASTOR. Here are the reasons an excited leader is both powerful and crucial.

 

1. Excitement is infectious. A sincerely excited leader has an amazing impact on people. The electricity of a leader who is genuinely excited will draw the crowds without any gimmicks or hype.

Here is an example: Transit authorities in the Northeast have spent a lot of money on advertising, begging people to use their services, and they still can’t get commuters to use public transportation. Meanwhile, millions pour into Disneyland to ride trains that don’t go anywhere. The difference is excitement.

Fresh vision chases away depression. Even eloquence is at the mercy of excitement.  We don’t need more teaching seminars. I fear we’ve been taught to death. We need to pour gasoline on our sermons, and light them on fire.

2. Excitement finds a way. The changes in culture are dizzying. The challenge to build great works for God today is daunting. However, if you leave the challenge in the hands of genuinely excited vessels of God, they will find a way. They have the relentless will to conquer by the simple use of prayer and obedience.

3. Excitement doesn’t care about things that don’t matter. The excited leader is not just living their dream, they are a walking miracle. Imagine Lazarus the day after he was raised from the dead. You couldn’t offend him. You couldn’t scare him and you couldn’t make him feel insecure.

Beloved brother and sister in the ministry, we are not far from being a Lazarus! The truly excited pastor doesn’t care about criticism—doesn’t need the approval of men—doesn’t dread a lack of funds. Paul wrote, “Yea, in all these things we are more than conquerors…”

If an excited pastor is a boon to a church, then there is nothing more devastating than a discouraged and broken hearted shepherd. The last thing that leader ever needs to do is go to a church growth seminar. Any pastor who is wounded and broken from the thankless task of ministering to a fickle generation takes a terrible risk by going to a church growth seminar. Even if they get some growth from the shallow advice being given, it will gravely disappoint them because a wounded heart won’t feel any joy in success.  And, if they don’t see any growth, it could be devastating since it reinforces hopelessness and can lead to despair.

Have you ever broken a pastor’s heart? If so, the damage went far beyond what you realize.

Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give an account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” Unprofitable to say the least!

If I could blend the fresh fire that is in the heart of a first year Bible college student with the wisdom of a pastor who has been forged in the crucible of battle, I would have a weapon that is guaranteed to shake the very timbers of hell!  Get your excitement back—by the power of the Holy Spirit—and church growth will happen!

Mario’s new book will awaken you to your assignment in God’s greatest work in the Earth. It’s $15 each or $12 for ten or more. Get a signed copy plus free shipping by clicking here.  https://mariomurillo.org/product/vessels-of-fire-glory/ 

 

SEPARATE TO ME

A massive number of Christians are experiencing a strange miracle.  And we are discovering that this was predicted—in detail.

The Holy Spirit is separating them. He has selected them for special grace and power to accomplish mighty acts at the edge of history. They will be uniquely equipped to face the sophisticated evil of our time. But it all begins by making peace with the Holy Spirit and restoring His rightful place in our hearts and in the church.

Take a close look at the book of Acts and you will see the disarming down-to-earth way they related to the Holy Spirit. While they revered Him deeply, they had a sense of His nearness and His involvement in their day to day operation. They behaved as if He was close by and they could almost see Him. Most of all, they anticipated His instructions.

 Acts 13:2 “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.”

Millions are now hearing the same call: “SEPARATE TO ME!” The Holy Spirit told David Wilkerson about this coming separation, and how pockets of prophetic people would huddle together across our nation.

He said, “God-hungry people are saying among themselves, “This is not it. There is something more. The bigness and the sensationalism of it all has left us empty and dry. We want more. More than entertainment. More than big, showy buildings. More than a shallow celebrity gospel. We want deeper values. We want to see Jesus. We want spotless robes of righteousness. We want to go back to doing things in total dependence on God.”

Many of these people were chased out of churches that were once fiery, Spirit-filled churches that had taken on a new ‘seeker-friendly’ format. They saw their church now focused on church growth, down-playing the presence of the Holy Spirit, and only designed to attract outsiders. They felt punished for wanting a move of God.

They are fed up with the world system—especially when they see it operating in the church.  They can’t stomach the glitzy entertainment centers anymore. They believe we have no time to play games.  They are frustrated that church is catering to the lukewarm members.

They are done with egocentric preachers with grandiose, expensive and carnal visions that having nothing to do with soul winning or revival.  They accuse these preachers of being distracted—even derailed from their first love.   Disciples are abandoning “attraction” churches, and something revolutionary is happening inside them.  God is starting a fresh movement.

David Wilkerson explained more of what he saw coming: “God is revealing to all praying people that a glorious new work of the Spirit is about to break forth. God is going to shake everything that can be shaken. He will tear down the old political, backslidden, ecclesiastical system. He will disown the formal, super-church structure. He will chase out of His presence all who are engaging in self-promoting ministries.”

The praying people he mentions will force changes.  They are a new breed for a new need. They are frustrated, hungry, and their numbers are growing fast.  They are coalescing around certain truths: fasting, repentance, and holy surrender to Christ.

Smith Wigglesworth saw this separation coming way back in 1927.  He predicted the same group of people that  David Wilkerson described: “All the people which are pressing into and getting ready for this glorious attained place where they shall not be found naked, where they shall be blameless, where they shall be immovable, where they shall be purified by the power of the Word of God, have within them a consciousness of the very presence of God within, changing their very nature and preparing them for a greater thing, and causing them to be ready for translation.”

Both men believed that this gathering unto the Holy Spirit would begin after a great falling away.

Wigglesworth said, “We have to see that these days have to come, before the Lord can come. There has to be a falling away. There are in the world two classes of believers. There are believers which are disobedient, or I ought to say there are children which are saved by the power of God which are disobedient children. And there are children which are just the same saved by the power of God, who all the time are longing to be more obedient.”

I know that the moment predicted by these two men is upon us. Every day, I receive another account of frustrated saints who have been suddenly driven to hours of prayer. Many are fasting. A vast number are about to find each other in a true outbreak of holy fire. Millions of believers across America feel they are being separated to the Holy Spirit for some amazing, yet unknown, reason. David Wilkerson talked about a “work” within us. Smith Wigglesworth talked about “pressing in.” The image is clear…the Holy Spirit is stirring souls across the nation. They are done with the overuse of big screens, skinny jeans, and fog machines.

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal! But mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds!

These frustrated saints are being pulled away from fleshly things, even as a spirit of prayer is overtaking them. They are surrendering to a special work of the Holy Spirit. A fresh work of the Holy Spirit has begun, and the impact will soon be widespread in all the earth!

IS GOD SEPARATING YOU UNTO HIM FOR A SPECIAL WORK? READ THE BOOK THAT CAN POINT THE WAY AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DEEP WORK GOD IS DOING IN YOU.

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This letter from Scott Hinkle really nails it.

An open letter to Contemporary American Evangelists- (myself included)

By Scott Hinkle

 

The office of evangelist is an equally important part of the Ephesians 4:11 & 12 listing of 5-fold ministry gifts. There most certainly is a legitimate role of an evangelist to the church in stirring, equipping for evangelism, etc.
Yet it must be clearly understood, the great distinctive to the gift /office of evangelist is that they are called to be the voice to the lost declaring the gospel & calling them to Christ.
The other Ep.4:11 offices are church oriented being both inward and infrastructure focused.
The evangelist should be focused upon the outside world at large where the unsaved and unchurched live.
If that be true, why then is there amongst some evangelists a seemingly inordinate amount of energy spent in complaining about a perceived lack of recognition by other church leaders? As if other church leaders determine the call of God.
Would the effort and energy be better invested prayerfully and even creatively looking for ways to invade the darkness outside the four walls of church buildings instead of concentrating and at times whining about what is perceived as a lack of acknowledgement from peers? Or does the contemporary version of American evangelist seek validation by being invited to preach primarily in Christian gatherings or to be put another way— fish in bathtubs?
The great evangelists of history – both old and new- risked venturing into deep waters and at times unsafe stormy seas to be fishers of men.
Would not those be great models to follow after if our hearts truly were consumed with a passion to make Christ known to the least and fully lost men, women and children of our times? This necessitates leaving the safe harbor of “church-dom” and to quote the great missionary evangelist T.L. Osborn going “out where the sinners are.”
This letter does not come from a critical spirit but from a soul crying out on behalf of a broken culture and dying world. The darkness of our era is desperate for the light of Christ.
Now, more than ever, there must be another great awakening.
This is a call to not only raise the bar higher for evangelists but to extend a challenge to drastically expand the horizons of our perspective, vision and practice.
Grace to all sharing Good News.
A co-laborer and fellow servant,
Scott Hinkle

 

P.S From Mario Murillo:  I have known Scott and Nancy Hinkle for over 40 years. They have not asked me to do this and they had no idea I would…but, this is excellent ground for your seed. To give to this worthy ministry click on the link below. God Bless you!

https://www.scotthinkle.org/index.html#give

 

YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF A PREDICTION

They put their hands over their ears to try to drown out the noise. A growing number of believers are feeling like a volcano about to erupt. They feel total disgust toward fleshly religion. They despise the impotent actions of ‘Christianity Incorporated.’  A burgeoning conviction is intensifying in them that modern pulpiteering is inadequate for these perilous times..  They know there has got to be something deeper—something that is real.  They are sick of the church in exile always apologizing, but most of all they feel an indescribable pull taking them to a secret place in God.

If that describes you, let me congratulate you.  Let me explain your condition.  You are under the influence of a bulldozer called prophecy. You are the victim of a prediction.

Your condition runs against the grain of the horrendous days we are living in. My letters and emails tell me horror stories of fear and retreat.  Dreams are being postponed or cancelled outright.  Expansion is now guilty, until proven innocent. Young people are acting like they are old and afraid. Once bold leadership-lions are retreating and looking for safe landing spots.

But there is a remnant that feels just the opposite. They sense that as hard and as dark as these times are, God is up to something big, and it is something He has had in mind for a long time. They believe they are in preparation for an inexpressible event.   I am not talking about all those other prophecies that so many are claiming to have.  This is totally different.

You probably agree that too many so-called “prophetic words” today are actually pathetic counterfeits. You reject the shenanigans of those flashy self-serving false prophets. You see through the mind-games they use to prey on the gullible.  However, you have not given up. You know there is true prophecy because it has a grip on you that won’t let go.  Here is what you need to know about prophecy.

Prophecy swallows policy. Every generation is guided by two forces: Policy and Prophecy. Policy consists of the laws and edicts of man. Prophecy always swallows policy. Christmas is a vivid example.  No doubt Caesar Augustus felt sovereign over the earth when he ordered the world to be registered.  His policy seemed to force Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.  But policy was simply serving prophecy, namely:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.  (Micah 5:2).

True prophecy is a bulldozer that overrules the plans of both man and Satan.  Prophecy is the WORD which comes from the mouth of God and will prevail when all the dust settles and the smoke clears.  Each of the mad ravings of society will bow down before the purposes of God.

The bulldozer of prophecy is not moved by the mad railings of potentates and tyrants.  It is impervious to weather, economic downturns, and persecution.  The treads of prophecy roll over the plans of men, the intentions of armies, and the highest threats of mankind. Prophecy is the fire that cannot be snuffed out.  Isaiah 40:8 declares “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

Forget about everything else. Here are the questions that matter:  What has God said He would do in our time?  What has He promised?  What has He commanded?  Your passion to learn His intention for you and for this, your time, is of supreme importance.

Prophecy waits in secret—for a core that is willing to pay the price to know the secret of the Lord.

“Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)

“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. (Psalm 25:14)

The prophetic bulldozer creates an inner tenacity where, suddenly, the facts of daily life don’t count.  Quietness pervades your soul because you know beyond knowing that something unstoppable has begun to grow out of your closeness to Christ.

Those who are God’s secret weapons may not even know it yet.   They have no idea of the tactical wisdom and the miracle power that will enfold them at the very moment they need it.  All they know is that they are being pulled into the tabernacle of God, into the Most Holy Place.

You can feel it… a deep calling unto deep.  You have been ruined for the mediocre and deep in your heart you want to know Him…to be with Him…and stay separated unto Him for a plan that is as yet unseen.

Prophecy is even now unleashing its power.  When the enemy is least prepared, in an hour not yet seen, God’s Spirit will strike.

God is going to do something that no one can possibly fathom.  He is going to pour out a river of Life.  Some will be in the middle of it, others will miss it entirely.  None of the current events we are witnessing will foretell the might and glory that will be expressed by the Holy Spirit.

Take heart!  God has honored you by letting you live in troubled times.  The greatest vessels of God have appeared in times of calamity and confusion. Today’s trouble is your opportunity to be your best, to be more than you ever imagined you could be.  All of this is because of a bulldozer called prophecy!

 

 

DIVINE FRUSTRATION

In times of acute spiritual warfare, God often allows those He has chosen for a special work to feel a kind of frustration. Maybe you can see that something radical needs to happen. Maybe you see things others don’t.  You survey the church scene and see that what Satan has sold so many believers is merely fool’s gold.  You’re convinced that this feeble generation is not taking up weapons that are ‘mighty to the tearing down of strongholds.’ Instead, they pursue money, cheap grace, and safe spaces.

You can see how teaching that is shallow and flattering is the perfect greenhouse for dulling reality. It kills urgency.  Taking a stand has become a distant fantasy to many.  But, what about you?

You see how the faith of so many has grown flabby.  You can’t bear to see how many Christians don’t even know what ‘the weapons of our warfare’ are.  They don’t know our authority.  They have no marching orders.  They don’t know what to say to this generation.  Most of all, you feel a deep urgency, but you are shocked that the people of God are oblivious as to what is coming next in the plan of God.  They are clueless about the threats to our nation and our freedom.

Peter recognized when government crossed the line.  Acts 4:19 “But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to Him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.””

Peter also understood what to do when government tries to ban the Gospel, (the high priest replied,) 28 “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this Name? And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” 29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”” (Acts 5: 28-29)

Those who hate America are coming after our freedom.  They will force feed our children the Antichrist agenda. That is, unless we wake up to our purpose and our destiny.  

Although I am calling you out for special power in this hour, we must be alert, not alarmed.  Don’t let the threatening clouds grip you with fear. Let them light a fire in your soul!

You see and feel all of this for a reason: God is frustrating you divinely.  It is one of His greatest gifts. Why? Because it delivers you from the mediocre by implanting in you an insatiable restlessnessa restlessness than can only be quelled through prayer and obedience. Is God selecting you to give you weapon-grade faith and boldness?

You simply can’t stay where you are.  Something must break!  My advice to you is…do these things:

1.Be filled or refilled with the Holy Spirit.  You must have fire, or you must have fresh fire. The courage to face the onslaught of hatred that will be thrown at you can never be met by human power.  To say what you need to say and to obey when you need to obey, cannot come from human motivation.  You must have the same Spirit that has fueled world-changing saints throughout history. God never meant for anyone to preach or to lead without the power that the infilling of the Holy Spirit brings. Pray in the Spirit. Pray in tongues. Be bathed in prayer.

2. Make room for signs and wonders. Our culture will not be reached by mere words.  They must see proof of the power of God.  God means for you to provide that proof.

Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 2:4 “…my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

The authority you need won’t come cheaply or instantly.  (Read my blog on the price of God’s miracle working power https://wp.me/p1vrzp-53e)

3. Get ready to do something for God that will boggle your mind. God is selecting people and working in them to impart unmatched power for attacking evil.  Habakkuk 1:5 “Look among the nations and watch—be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.”

He is creating people who can turn the tide of wickedness.  He doesn’t care about your age or your education.  He searches for someone who is travailing over the evil and will die unless God fills them with power and purpose.  Someone who wants to be in the fight and who wants to be in the thick of it.  Isaiah 6:8 says, “Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

4. Prepare to pray in a way you have never imagined. God is pulling you out of the damaged religious crowd into special intimacy with Himself.  You are not going to pray like you have in the past.  E. M. Bounds wrote, “To say prayers in a decent, delicate way, is not heavy work. But to pray really, to pray till hell feels the ponderous stroke, to pray till the iron gates of difficulty are opened, till the mountains of obstacles are removed, till the mists are exhaled and the clouds are lifted, and the sunshine of a cloudless day brightens—this is hard work, but it is God’s work, and man’s best labor.”

What do all of these things I am asking you to do have in common?  Every one of them involves a leap out of dead religion.  They are a courageous declaration of war on the godless ideologies that are destroying our nation.  They are an irrevocable decision to be in the middle of God’s greatest acts in history!