A MESSAGE TO THE SHEPHERDS: STRENGTHEN THE THINGS THAT REMAIN

“I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God” (Rev.3:1-2).

I am a messenger of the Lord. My wife and I have been divinely commissioned to draw forth in prayer provision of the wisdom of God for the body of Christ in this hour. We minister in churches and in cities and nations He sends us to.

The Spirit of God has shown me that something is very amiss in many of our churches across the land. There is a disturbing trend that is locking up a certain supply of the Spirit of God to the saints.

LACK OF A FULL SUPPLY FROM EQUIPPING MINISTERS

Many churches now only have a Sunday service while some others still maintain a mid-week meeting of some kind. Long extended meetings where exposure is given to the other fivefold ministry gifts are for the most part a thing of the past. Even to have consecutive day meetings is becoming rare. This is causing a lack among the sheep.

Think about it. If the sheep get the pastor/teacher a majority of the time then they are missing the full equipping they need  for edification of the body of Christ to do the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:11). Without the apostle, prophet, and evangelist the saints will not fully mature. Most churches are top-heavy with pastors, teachers, and administrators and very low on apostolic, prophetic, and evangelistic ministry.

This lack is manifested in a dullness, a heaviness, a boredom, and a general apathy in the body of Christ. I love the local church, but I am bold to tell you that we need a great stirring in many of our churches in this hour.

Pastors will tell you that people are too busy, that it’s a different day, and that we cannot have extended meetings and that we need to limit our special speakers. But no matter what day we are living in, no matter the culture, no matter how busy people are, God always has a plan to meet the spiritual needs of His people.

Several years ago in Kansas City I participated in a monthly forum with a panel of 5-fold ministers, and over a two day period I watched the Spirit of God minister to people in a way I’ve never seen before. I realized the importance of what a 5-fold ministry team can bring to a people.

THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT

Another element of lack in local churches in this hour is how very little of the move of the Holy Spirit the saints are experiencing. We are losing Pentecost. We are raising a generation who knows very little about Pentecost. Many of the early Pentecostal ministers are moving on to heaven to receive their eternal reward. Who will take their place and run with the baton they have passed on to us?

In most of our churches we have sermons, but not much Spirit. We have songs, but too much style. We have announcements, but so little anointing. We receive offerings, but when the needs of the sheep go unmet those same offerings become offensive to the Lord.

A recent statistic revealed that only 15% of all Pentecostals use their prayer language on a regular basis. The manifestation of tongues and interpretation, which distinctly belongs to the New Testament Church, is all but extinct from our Pentecostal churches. Many shepherds no longer lay hands on the sick. Healings and miracles in the local church are now so rare.

LACK OF FERVENT SPIRIT-INSPIRED PRAYER

Another compelling problem in many churches today is the absence of effectual fervent prayer. This is the primary reason for the lack of power and glory in the body of Christ in this hour. Too many pastors are ashamed of fervent prayer that manifests in tongues, groaning and travail, and deep intercession. There’s a new brand of tepid, boring, and listless praying that is far too common in many of our churches that caters to the lukewarm and the visitor.

Here’s a great word:

“If you build a church with people who won’t devote themselves to prayer, you build a church on a weak foundation that will be unprepared for the coming storms, for God’s glory and Jesus’ return, and for the harvest yet to come. This will breed a place for a lukewarm, passionless people void of true judgment and discernment. Your church will be a smoldering altar with only smoke and ashes instead of one where the fire rages.”

BIG I, LITTLE YOU

Another element of imbalance in the body of Christ is the neglect of the smaller church. There needs to be a greater equality among churches. In an hour when ministers are taught to give “up” to bigger ministries there is such a need to give “down” that there may be equality among the churches. The same applies to ministries. Pentecost began this way when the rich sold their houses and possessions and brought the proceeds to the apostles’ feet and distribution was made to all who had need.

Never have I seen such spiritual poverty, hype, and charisma rewarded while the truly holy and anointed are meagerly supplied. Big ministries and big churches have large platforms for sharing their needs while too often our frontline missionary and foreign heroes who are serving in near obscurity have no platform to share their needs, and frankly, are often too busy to do so. Most of them are hardly compensated for the measure of sacrifices they make and the number of risks they take.

And I am not speaking of young ministers who are yet unproven. I am speaking of seasoned ministers and missionaries who have so much wisdom and impartation to make, and yet so little honor is given to them. We need their voices in this hour.

Let’s get out of selfishness. God’s nature is unselfish. Look for the ‘little’ guys who have the character, the calling, the vision, and the anointing to do what God has called them to do, but lack the resources. Pay attention to them and what they are doing. Sow into them and honor their labor.

Listen to the Head of the Church. He is speaking. Will we hearken?

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