Ground Zero Churches: The Church America Needs Right Now.

high_resolution_widescreen_wallpaper_1-copy

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 at 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 are moving 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.

wide view copy

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.

part 2 copy

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.

lights over america

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.

living proof world convention houston copy

 

 

Part two: Kirsten Powers, Isaiah the Prophet, and the Glory of God.

kirsten-powers-headshot-3a-300

Here is the burning question:  Can the mega church save America?  I am not asking if you think they are successful.  I am asking… do you believe that the rising tide of anti-God, pro-perversion forces that are propelling the nation to oblivion can be reversed by mega churches.

I am positive that even the most famous of seeker pastors would not dare say that their approach is going to result in an American moral awakening…the one and only thing we need now.

Those who blindly hold to the seeker model may be our version of the “Warmists.”   Global warming is such a tenuous theory that they had to rebrand it “climate change.”  In spite of the coldest winter in Chicago’s history they cling to their religion and stick to their guns.   Even playing the ultimate mental goobly gook by saying, “these occasional cold spells are caused by warming.”

Our version of global warming goes like this:  We are facing a spiritual ice age but the problem is actually heat…heat that was caused by hot Bible preaching, revivalism, fervent prayer and repentance.  The solution to the coldness of America is to remove even more heat from the church?query_letter

So what is the answer for the American church?  For some, it is simply “at all cost, keep the lie alive.”  To consider the urgency of revival can lead to the most dangerous of all questions: what is the point of any church program that has zero chance of waking America up?

This is why the conversion of Kirsten Powers matters.   The seeker manifesto orders us to expect conversions that are gradual, comfortable and noninvasive.  Read in her own words how her experience is the polar opposite:

“then one night on a trip to Taiwan I woke up in what I felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality Jesus came to me he said here I am it felt so real I didn’t know what to make of it I called my boyfriend but before I had time to tell him about it he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. I honestly while I was upset I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses but I couldn’t shake it when I returned to New York a few days later I will cost I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying more important it was unwelcome it felt like an invasion I started to fear I was going crazy”

One of the most recognizable and outspoken voices of secular thought violently reverses courses, claiming a supernatural vision of Christ ala Saul of Tarsus?  We better sit up and take heed! Here is what I believe this miracle says to us:

big boy pants

1. Our strategy for reaching America must come from the Holy Spirit and not man made marketing.  No matter how unreachable she seems, God has a strategy He wants to execute through us but only by the Holy Spirit.  Jesus gave this role to the Holy Spirit and any plan we invent on our own will not only fail it is disobedience.

2. No active ingredient of the Gospel should be left out in our preaching.  Yes sir, your message was full of inspiration and dazzling anecdotes.  And, I must say, the fancy footwork that left out hell, repentance, the Blood, the Cross, and the Resurrection was indeed impressive but wholly ineffective for deliverance from sin.

3. Conversion is not comfortable but in many cases it is fearful and overwhelming.  When Kirsten got back to New York she felt God everywhere and wondered if she was losing her mind.  People sobbing at the front of a Church, pastors getting calls at 3 AM from distraught souls will become a common byproduct of true awakening.

And this is just the beginning.  The most indispensable fact of Kirsten’s conversion is a message to pastors about the Glory of God.  That is what I will tell you about tomorrow.

Kirsten Powers, Isaiah the Prophet, and the Glory of God

kirsten

Kirsten Powers, Isaiah the prophet, and the Glory of God

Have you heard about what happened to Kirsten Powers?  I will tell you all about that, but first I must tell talk about something very disturbing.

It may not seem very important, but recently a highly regarded expert made 14 predictions for the American Church in 2014.   If what he says is true it is the worst news for the church in American history.  Here’s why:

It says essence; Americans do not want to hear the Gospel.  Many churches will close their doors and combine with other churches.  Massive layoffs of church staff are coming.  Cities will clamp down on any new church building to protect their tax base. Only mega churches will grow.

None of that is good news, but saying that only mega-churches will grow is really bad news. This is because it is implies:

1. The church is not supernatural.   To survive she is compelled to apply marketing concepts that are from corporate America.  Programs must be based on what the public wants and rebranding Christ to answer the secular objections to His teachings.

 2. That he is giving a ringing endorsement for the seeker sensitive model. The dirty little secret that few want to admit is that seeker churches do not win unbelievers so much as they attract complacent believers.

For a lukewarm believer who wants less accountability but still feels a twinge of guilt about church attendance, the mega church is the perfect hiding place.  They can lose themselves in the crowd, be assured the service will end on time and the chicken soup for the soul sermons can salve the pain of their double life.

3. Since the seeker model does not win souls, growth can only come from stealing sheep from other churches.  This is the worst news.  Let me use Wal-Mart as an example of why this is so destructive.  When Wal-Mart came to your town, it did not increase the number of people who needed sweat socks and beef jerky.  It merely herded the buyers into one location.  Many other stores who could not compete with the price and convenience shut down.  This is a brilliant concept in the business world but disaster in the Christian community.

Like Wal-Mart, the mega church does not increase the number of buyers.  It only rearranges where the already converted worship.  Churches that cannot compete shut down.   Making matters worse, these lukewarm Christians suffer spiritual malnutrition and get even weaker.  The army of God suffers a perilous drop in quantity and quality without even knowing it.

Mega churches can be the best party going on the deck of the Titanic.  As America sinks, the ballroom is filled with people partying as if there is no disaster.  It is possible for a celebrity pastor to beam with confidence even as America, on his watch, suffers the most cataclysmic moral decline in history.

Our actual numbers are dropping.  Our influence in America is declining.  But this addiction to false success blinds us to these realities.  The Christian birth rate in America is virtually zero.  We are not replacing the Saints who are dying off.  Every day we lose influence because there are less of us in number to counteract evil legislation.

But is this expert right?  Is this how the story of the American church ends?  With our numbers dwindling except for a few pockets where the soldiers are getting weaker?  Doomed to fade into irrelevance?   Apparently not.

Kirsten Powers is the outspoken atheist that we all know from television.  She despised Evangelical Christians.  She epitomizes the unreachable American intellectual.  Listen in her own words to why she is now fervently following Christ.

“then one night on a trip to Taiwan I woke up in what I felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality Jesus came to me he said here I am it felt so real I didn’t know what to make of it I called my boyfriend but before I had time to tell him about it he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. I honestly while I was upset I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses that but I couldn’t shake it when I returned to New York a few days later I will cost I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying more important it was unwelcome it felt like an invasion I started to fear I was going crazy”

Part two tomorrow

Ground Zero Churches: The Church America Needs Right Now.

high_resolution_widescreen_wallpaper_1 copy

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.

Los Angeles city skyline in the evening, Los Agneles, California.

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.”

lights over america

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.

Fairfield card front copy (2)

Here is why the 49ers lost: let it be a lesson to every preacher in the world.

Here is why the 49ers lost: let it be a lesson to every preacher in the world.

angryharbaugh1

 

Mario, have you run out of things to write about?  Are you seriously going to give us a message from the San Francisco Forty Niners?   Yes, because there are so many ladies out there who still have not gotten enough football and they are grieving that the season is over…not!

Seriously, I saw something very plain and simple in the closing moments of the most watched event in the history of the world.   The 49ers made a glaring and classic error when victory was assured.

First let me make the case from history.  Every general will tell you that the most overrated tactic of war is the element of surprise.  It is nearly impossible to truly surprise any army and more often than not the tactic of surprise backfires badly.

Even in the Old Testament God rarely led Israel to use to this tactic; Gideon being the notable exception.

It was in the 1960s that the Green Bay Packers faced the precise situation that the 49ers faced Sunday.  They were behind by less than a touchdown and it was fourth and goal from the 3 yard line.  There would not be enough time for the other team to score if the Packers scored a touchdown.

Everyone in that stadium knew which play that Vince Lombardi would call.  Every player on the field knew exactly what the Packers were going to do.  The Packers had perfected the dive play.  Bart Starr would hand the ball to Paul Hornung and the line would power an opening for him.

Let me rehearse something for you. Lombardi knew that his opponent knew exactly what play he was going to call.  It was the play that got him here and he were not about to abandon it.  Lombardi was making a statement: “we are not here to try and fool you; we are here to beat you.”

The Forty Niners had gotten to the Super Bowl, in large part because of the mobility of Colin Kaepernick, the power of Frank Gore’s running and the force of their offensive line.  I am not taking away anything from the Niner’s defense because it is also devastating.

Nevertheless, as I said before, they faced the same exact situation as the Green Bay Packers. They had first and goal from the eight yard line.  They had four plays to try and gain eight yards!

Jim knew that big brother John knew what the 49ers were going to do.  Everyone knew it!  That is when the brain burp hit the coaching staff.  “Let’s surprise them and pass the ball.”

There are million things wrong with that idea but one of the biggest is that you weaken your team’s confidence.  The unintended message is, “we can’t beat them with what got us here so let’s fool them.”

When they did it the first time, I was in stunned disbelief!  But then they did it again!

Now they faced fourth down and goal with only a few yards to go.  If the Forty Niners scored they would be champions!  Most of the known world knows what happened next; they passed the ball once more and lost.

Recently the anti-Christians forces have stolen the conversation to frame Christians as mindless, angry fanatics.  This poisoned narrative has shaken Pastors to wonder if they need to alter course and present a less potent Gospel.

Right now, all over the world there are preachers getting ready to either quit or radically change the way they do ministry.   They have suffered a setback and are wondering if the times have changed so radically that the old ways will simply not work anymore.

They are forgetting what made them successful.  They are foolishly tinkering with the place of the Holy Spirit in their services.

Instead of standing their ground and holding on to their convictions, they are frantically searching for a way to SURPRISE the modern world with the Gospel.

Get this: We are not going to surprise the Devil.  We are not going to surprise society.  Now is the time for you to see through the lie, stand your ground and remember, remember what got you here. Wait out this storm, it will pass and you will see the fruit of your faithfulness.

You must also remember what got the Church of Jesus Christ here.  She has weathered the greatest storms, despots, tyrants, persecution and rejection. Why?  Because before there ever was a Vince Lombardi telling his team “we will win with what got us here,” …Jesus said, “ON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT!”

Ground Zero Churches: The Church America Needs Right Now.

high_resolution_widescreen_wallpaper_1 copy

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 are moving 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.

Ground Zero Churches: The Church America Needs Right Now.

high_resolution_widescreen_wallpaper_1 copy

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 are moving 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.