Ministry Today | Serving and empowering church leaders
Everything changes when we understand that we are sons and daughters of God.
"Wow, what are these?" a baby must wonder the first time he touches his toes. Eventually, he realizes that those toes belong to him. He's in wide-eyed awe, learning more about himself each day. As he continues to grow into adulthood, the wonder of those first moments of self-discovery fades, but he never ceases to learn more and more about the unique person God made him to be.
Similarly, the body of Christ is constantly growing and learning about its own identity. Through much sacrifice and discomfort, it has gained unprecedented influence in the world today.
The church started out teetering with a small band of timid disciples. These 12 men were initially double-minded about coming out of hiding after Jesus' death. Yet they emerged, the gospel was proclaimed, and the church was securely birthed. read more
More than once I’ve led a team of evangelists in a series of crusades in Madras/Chennai, India. The last time I was there, the magnitude of the people’s needs was totally overwhelming. Every kind of sickness and disease imaginable was represented in the vast crowd that thronged to hear the Word of God.
It was amazing to see the response of these precious souls receiving the greatest miracle of all: the born-again experience. However, as I watched, a gnawing question rose up within my spirit. I recognized it as coming from the Lord, and it shook me to the very core of my being.
“When will I be presented to the multitudes today as I was presented yesterday? Have I changed in 2,000 years? Is it not still My desire to heal the sick and set the captives free?” read more
There has been much confusion regarding the difference between apostolic and prophetic function.
Regarding these two functions, when we examine the Scriptures we find only a slight difference regarding ability in executive leadership roles, the main difference being the actual ministerial expression of leadership ability.
Many view prophetic ministers as folks who merely float from one place to the next as itinerant ministers who give “words of the Lord” to individuals and organizations, but have little or no ability to lead large, effective organizations. This definition is not sufficient in light of biblical teaching and models. Ministers who function like this may very well be “exhorters” who have a prophetic edge rather than functioning in the office of New Testament prophet.
When using the Old Testament as our guide, we find that many of the men called prophets were serving in roles that most today would consider apostolic. Men like the patriarch Abraham, Moses, and Samuel would certainly be called apostolic leaders if they were functioning in the same capacity in this day and age. Why they were called prophets and not apostles is the main subject of this brief essay. read more
God gave every believer the power to heal as Jesus did. But releasing such miracles through you is all about recognizing authority.
Learning to hear God’s voice and follow His lead is joyful and exciting, yet I must admit it also keeps me on edge. I was at Grace Center, a great church outside Nashville, Tenn., when a woman came to me for prayer. She was afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis head to toe. As I moved to pray for her, I felt a check in my heart that I was not to pray. In this case, something was different. I could tell Jesus was going to heal her, yet it felt as if I would interfere with the work of God if I prayed or laid hands on her. I wasn’t even allowed to make decrees of healing over her or pronounce her well, as Jesus did with, “Go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter” (Mark 7:29).
This woman’s healing was to be a school of the Spirit for me. I asked her to close her eyes so the other ministry going on around the room wouldn’t distract her. She did as I requested. Then I sensed a heat on the back of my neck, obvious but subtle. It felt like hot oil slowly flowing downward, so I told her the anointing was flowing down her neck. She said she felt it. When it reached the base, I told her the neck should be healed by now. She moved it about in ways that would have caused pain before, only to find that it was, in fact, healed. read more
As I waited upon God going into 2013, I received these words from the Lord. Some came in the form of impressions, others came as visions and some came as scriptures that God was breathing on for this season. Prophetic words are an invitation from the Lord. I sense these following 13 prophetic insights are to be decrees that we aggressively pursue for 2013. They are invitations for us to lay hold of.
1. Stagnant waters will be stirred in a fresh way. I saw pools of Bethesda stirring again and a fresh healing stir being released. God wants His people to lay hold of the divine healing anointing in a fresh way this year. I saw deep-seated, lingering disorders being healed, even down to the chromosome level. I saw stubborn areas within the soul and flesh being healed that people have battled with for years. In John 5:2-5, 9 Christ performs a healing on the Sabbath. Jesus never did anything by chance or accident. He was very purposeful in His intention. God is calling His people to access His healing and power from a place of rest. The Sabbath is more than just a day of rest. It’s a spiritual position of rest. In Christ we enter into the Sabbath. We receive because of the finished work Christ has done on the cross. Rather than begging God for what He has already done, we are simply to step in and receive the finished work. A new level and substance of faith is coming into the heart to receive the finished work. God is highlighting the spirit of faith and understanding the finished work of Christ. Living from the Sabbath position will be crucial in obtaining all God has for us. read more
Joshua Fowler is a firm believer that there once again will be a Great Awakening in the United States and around the globe. The apostle and senior minister of Legacy Life Church in Orlando, Fla., is helping to spark the revival movement in December with a special event called God Day—Awakening a City to Awaken Nations.
Slated for December 12, God Day’s purpose is to give the city of Orlando back to the heavenly Father and to expand that agenda outward toward other cities, states and nations. Expected to draw thousands, the event will include 12 hours of prayer, praise and proclamation.
It also will include a congress of five-fold leaders, a solemn assembly of fasting, prayer, interceding and a rally of a mighty army with one vision, one mind and one goal—to evangelize and to bring in the greatest harvest of souls the city has ever known.
More than 100 churches as well as businesses and community organizations have joined together in promoting the event. read more
Where was God when Superstorm Sandy pounded the Eastern Seaboard, killing at least 50 and causing historic destruction? And where was God in 2011 when the tsunami and earthquake claimed more than 200,000 lives in Japan?
In the wake of such incredible loss and disaster, we struggle to understand how a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing can also be considered good and loving. Pastor and teacher Erwin Lutzer tackles this tough subject head-on in his book, Where Was God?
“The question of natural disasters is very important,” said Lutzer in a phone interview last year. “The Bible even records stories of natural disasters.” During our discussion, Lutzer answered a number of questions that are detailed in his book. read more
After 10 unprecedented years as the best-selling non-fiction hardback in history, Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? is being re-tooled and re-released by Zondervan.
“There is an entire generation who was too young to read The Purpose Driven Life 10 years ago but are now asking the critical question of , ‘What on earth am I here for?’” said Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. “This anniversary edition represents a new approach for a new generation incorporating a new understanding of barriers that keep people from finding their purpose, based on thousands of readers’ letters I have received.” read more
Feeling discouraged after a sermon? You’re not alone.
Discouragement. It’s one of the greatest hounds of hell that assaults us pastors who are trying to share powerful, dynamic messages from God’s Word with our people every Sunday morning. There’s a reason for the pastors’ adage of “no resignations allowed on Mondays”; post-preaching discouragement can be brutal as we review every nuance of the sermons we’ve so painstakingly crafted and delivered. read more
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