Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. – Jer 29:7

Archive for the ‘Our approach’ Category

Your sacrifice as leader

I was speaking to an elder about my opinion that it SEEMS to me that the good time we have in Gods Presence on Friday nights at the Revival Meetings is directly linked to the hard time I have during the week.

I laughed, he laughed and then he pointed out that (on the Day of Atonement) the priest sacrifices a bull for his own sins and a goat for the congregation.

Lev 16:14-15 Moreover, he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the [a]mercy seat on the east side; also in front of the [b]mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. 15 “Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people.

In fact he pointed out that the leader sacrifices THREE bulls for himself and just one goat for the people.

That really struck me. Its certainly what I am experiencing. We spend 7 hours together in our Revival Meeting, but I spend far more time than that in prayer and declaration during the week.

Im passing that on to you. If you lead a Revival Meeting your sacrifice (of prayer, declarations of scripture, faith, loosing and binding) during the week will be far greater than the sacrifice of the group at the meeting.

In our group we are blessed that people are seeing their own role and their own destiny in this and they are making their own sacrifices during the week.

It shouldn’t be all about the leader… BUT… throughout the bible God always appointed a leader (Adam, Peter, Abram, Paul, John, King David). But if many people step up and share the burden then the breakthrough will come far quicker.

In time the people in this group will take what is (going to happen) to their communities and it is important that this understanding of multiplication is built into our DNA… our culture.

You build things into the culture/DNA by verbally repeating it, regularly, but not annoyingly. You also build it in by letting people see you do it.

For example if you honour other people for their input, they will also honour other people when it comes time for them to take the good news to their community.

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Scriptures and context

I’ve been exploring these concepts for many years but the people in the group haven’t been. So how do you bring them up to speed in a few hours a week?

Initially I was handing out printed paper but that seemed wasteful and it won’t scale up when many more people come. More people means more printing and paper gets grubby when used, so we would have to print new ones every two weeks again.

Three weeks ago I felt led by the Holy Spirit to collect the key scriptures together and laminate the double sided pages. This worked well. I encouraged people to take them home to pray them during the week. 3 of them disappeared that night.

Then two weeks ago I felt led by the Holy Spirit to print out A1 size paper and put the key verses on the walls so that we can read them as we are praying for one another. This has worked EXTREMELY well. One person said “it makes a vast difference” as he gazed at the scriptiures… presumably it was sinking in. And it scales up… no matter how many people are in the room the same 4 A1 pages of scripture is sufficient.

Those A1 pages will some day be video projector images of things or places to pray for and suggested scriptures to declare.

Amen!

How we do it, key basic prep steps

Im sure you will do it your way. Im being led by the Holy Spirit and this is what I have learned so far.

Remember the guiding principle of the parable of the talents is… use what you have and He will give you more. In this case the “resource” is His children. So look after His children and He will send more of them to you for looking after.

image

In the pic above you can see a few key ingredients of the meetings.

Speakers in the background… we tend to pray with worship music going at the same time. If someone else is praying you can worship while you wait. The music is hand picked by the Holy Spirit through me. I use the same music each week so that we can get to know the same music, otherwise we all come from different traditions and have very little music in common. Its about two hours of music so boredom doesnt set it. I only have audio, no video otherwise people dont pray, they watch the video!

Pens and paper for people to keep notes. This is important for some personality types.

My own notepad where I write down what prophetic words, or wisdom or advice people give. People are usually hurt and frequently they have a history of being ignored. To show you value their input, write down the advice they give. If God blesses you with a (real) prophet, be sure to honour him and to value the words of God. DO NOT let His words fall to the ground.

Publically thank everyone for their contribution. Thank the owner ofvthe house, the person who gave lifts, the people who shared, the people who brought cooldrinks, the person who kept the fire alive.

I give handouts when introducing things. Some personality type need to know the structure! Or handouts when Im teaching. But I dont want to waste paper each week. So I have laminated 10 pieces of paper, double sided, with the key points on it.

Cooldrink. I cant believe how much 6 ppl can drink in 6 hours. Last night we went through 7L. Have places for them to put down their drinks and pens and paper and food.

A warm room. Its winter here now. What everyone asked, as I picked them up, was… is there going to be a fire? I told them the fire is already lit, the room will be warm by the time we get back. Remember… if you look after His kids, He will send more!

Lifts. For obvious reasons the most spiritually hungry people are often the poorest and often those who have suffered in their lives. They know they need Jesus, but poverty is ruling over them and so they need lifts. You are chief cook and bottle washer and encourager and referee and taxi.

Trust. You must engender trust in the group, by you being trustworthy. Your honesty, vulnerability etc. allows others to feel safe. Even introverts are speaking out on their first night with us – and then saying that they cant believe that they are sharing.

Pray during the week. This cannot be underestimated. The room should be spiritually “warmed up” and kept warm during the week… as far as possible. Dont exhaust yoursrlf. Just do what you can. Dont start from spiritual temperature zero at the start of each meeting.

Journey. Keep making people think not of destinations or having arrived, but rather of journeys, we are all respectful / tolerant of each others different journeys and where people are on their journey.

Be led by the Holy Spirit. This is the key to the puzzle pieces (above) fitting correctly. He helps you hear when to back off, or encourage, or stop something. Without the leading of the Holy Spirit during the week you wont be prepared for Friday. Without the leading of the Holy Spirit on Friday you wont be able to lead.

Without the leading of the Holy Spirit, your group will drift off course gradually and not be a Revival Meeting. Instead it will be a home group or cell group or home church or something else. Without the Holy Spirit leading each person, you will have to use structure and rules and “apostolic authorty” (nonsense, control and gibberish) in order to maintain control and keep momentum and identity.  Remember: where the Spirit is there is liberty/freedom. Dont take peoples freedom away, but do tell them you expect everyone to be mature and srlf disciplined.

With your own submission to the Holy Spirit, and with you promoting self discipline and everyone knowing that the bible says everyone should bring something, and with your prayer DURING THE WEEK you will have a radically different experience. Unique. Thats what people are calling it.

Keep repeating the core values… the things that make us who we are. Many pastors keep telling the church that “we are a praying church”. Over time that is accepted as their identity… and the people pray! Well… in this instance right from the word go, remind people that the group is not a clique, its going to grow, its going to welcome people, its inclusive, everyone is welcome, it will split and create more groups later.

This last point… it must split and create more groups must be a foundational aspect of identity, otherwise what you have built is a home group, and they wont bring revival to more and more places.

Dont grow quickly, form an understanding of who we are and what we are doing – bringing revival – between the core members. But dont let the core becone a clique.

Illustrate the point you are making by quoting from scripture. Jesus Christ said “apart from me you can do nothing. So make sure you lead people to Him, to scripture about Him, all of the time.

Food. Jesus Christ often ate with people. We eat together each week. At first I paid for it. Then my housemate chipped in. Then one of the group offered to make food one friday. Then another offered. The initial generosity shown by you will gradually soften hearts and they will be generous too.

Any and all theology MUST be “releasing the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross”-centric. Without this you dont have a Revival Meeting, you have something else.

Your group should be exploring what it means to be a son of God who releases the Kingdom of God…by proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Exploring is what takes up all the hours! And its fun. Its highly relational. Its why we go from 7pm until 1 or 2am… until we feel too tired to keep going any more. The joy comes in seeing peopkes lives change.

As the group continues, constantly proclaiming the Kingdom of God, the real presence of Gods Kingdom will manifest more and more. Be thinking about how to handle growth, which comes as word gets around thst the Kingdom of God is breaking through.

Dont invite people who will want to leave early. Dont invite people who want to bring their kids. This meeting is not kid friendly. Its loud, active and it runs into the early hours of the morning.

Dont allow new comers to suggest that you creste a list of attendees and all telephone numbers. Let relationships form naturally. Dont invade peoples privacy. Dont let that type of person collect the infornation of everyone indirectly by suggesting they want to arrange other meetings or weekends away or whatever. Such a person is usually trying to get a list of attendees for ulterior motives. Be as wise as a serpent, while still being as innocent as a dove!

Serpents try to break up groups of Christians. Do not be naiive about the enemy’s plan. Pray during the week. Protect the people He has given you.

Do not let new comers introduce new goals for the group. You should know what the Holy Spirit is going to do through the Revival Meeting… to proclaim the Kingdom of God so that the Kingdom of God literally manifests in and around your lounge, house and beyond.

How do I know its His will? He taught us to pray…

The prayer as it occurs in Matthew 6:9–13

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.

Yes, its His will that the Kingdom of God comes to Earth. Thats what Revival Meetings are all about… proclaiming that and seeing it happen.

Form an open crowd where there are people

We have a location location suggestion: Sea Point on the green grass. I like this suggestion, because I want to make these events move from place to place and be more and more frequent.

In particular I want it to be in public so that other people can see it and join in. That is called having an “open crowd”.

Mal knows how to make open crowds and Ive been harassing him to write down what he knows so I an others can run with it.

Changing hearts and multiplying is a part of the key, the rest of the key is moving this city under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. So that is what we will do. We will declare and have faith that Jesus Christ HAS DONE what the OT and NT says in scripture that He did – which is destroy the works of the devil and reconcile the whole world back to God. We will also connect with passers-by and welcome them and let them know they are loved.

(more…)

How Jesus Christ did it

This post is the result of YEARS of thinking and praying through how and why Jesus Christ walked in His ministry.

Jesus Christ’s ministry began after He received the Holy Spirit. This clearly has to be a significant part of our faith, that the Holy Spirit will fill us and be present with us and affect not only our own lives, but the lives of others around us.

Jesus Christ walked found a group of people right away and taught them. Having these initial 12 people means He always had an open crowd with Him most of the time. That means that He was able to draw all those big crowds, because people instinctively know they can join an open crowd. This will be a crucial first step – to find a group of people who are willing to work together to reach and heal our city through prayer and being inclusive.

Jesus Christ prayed daily. He had a lifestyle of prayer. He bathed the whole movement, and the people and even future believers in prayer.  Jesus first prayed for Himself (verses 1-5), then for His disciples (verses 6-19), and finally for all other believers (verses 20-26). Jesus prayed not only for His disciples but also for all others who would believe in Him (John 17:6-26). We can get to the event an hour beforehand and connect with God, creating an “atmosphere of faith” so that when the people come they will find it easy to connect to God for themselves.

Jesus Christ had a positive message and He gave people a positive identity. If someone you look up to tell you that YOU are the light of the world, wouldn’t you listen and begin to take note, maybe even feel good about yourself? We can do this too… we can see the best in people, we can take time to find out what they are good at and encourage them to be the best they can be.

Jesus Christ paid attention to the individual, as well as to the crowd. But from the stories in the NT it seems to me He mainly focussed on the individual. One at a time. He stopped and talked to them, listening to what their problem or need was. He passed through a town which had prepared a feast and had come out to welcome Him, but he said to the hated tax collector:  “Come down Zaccheus I must stay in your house!” and that tax collectors house was in the town He had just ignored. We can do that too. We can stop and listen. We can include people. We can take a moment to hug and hold hands and pray for their needs.

You will know them by their love for one another

This is not a prayer movement like any other.

We are going to create open crowds everywhere. We are going to attract people from all walks of life. They will be included into our community and as they see the grace of God in their lives and in the lives of others around them, they may step out and do the same thing in their part of the city.

This is for everyone, everywhere. We won’t let people pass by, we will invite them into this open crowd. We will share what we have with them. Instead of being alone, they will be included. Instead of not knowing anyone, we will introduce ourselves.

No one is too drunk, no one is too much of a sinner – we are all fallen short of the glory of God… but through Jesus Christ we are completely made new. Jesus Christ died for all of us. He is the free gift that we long to give away.

They will come for the same reasons that they came to Jesus Christ – because lives are being restored, because of the warmth that the people have for one another, or because through our words we communicate hope and a positive identity with them.

The call to do this

For many years I have blogged about my experiences in prayer. I’ve blogged in great detail about how I learned and which scriptures worked better than others. It’s all there in my Faith Hope Love blog.

Then about 2.5 years ago I felt to return to South Africa from overseas and I knew I would be starting a prayer center. A place where God’s Presence would be manifest, where people could come and receive. But as the 2.5 years went by I didn’t get clarity about what this would look like.

Until 3 days ago. In a dream I was talking to someone and in the dream I suddenly realised where the prayer center would be and I woke up knowing that it would be in a unused parking lot.

Of course it doesn’t mean just one parking lot, it’s every open space where people gather. That is where we will pray. Just like Jesus did, He walked amongst the people, He created open crowds and people joined in.

It’s outside, amongst the people God loves, sheltering them from the spiritual heat.

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