Tagged in: Leonard Ravenhill

True Discipleship is not happening today.

Many do not understand the Great Commission and this is partly due to the fact that Matthew recorded a very different version of it than Mark, Luke and John. I am not saying that Matthew was wrong (after all, it did make the Cannon), I am saying his point of view is different with that whole discipleship thing.

What do I mean by that? If you read Matthew 28:19 besides Mark 16:15-20 or Luke 1:7-8, you will see that there is something very different. Mark and Luke put emphasis on the power of the Holy Spirit to heal the sick and set the captive free as proof of the gospel. Matthew did not speak of miracles but what we call discipleship.

In my spiritual heritage, the emphasis has always been that miracles confirms the gospel. After all, Mark did say, “…the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” The stories of John G. Lake, Smith Wigglesworth, Aimee Semple McPherson, Oral Roberts, and John Wimber were common around the table.

We always knew that Matthew 28:19 was there but we kinda just left that to the Baptists who did not believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. They could nothing but discipleship. After all, they didn’t believe in healing the sick and raising the dead. Harsh as it sounds, it is how much of the Pentecostal movement sees this passage in light of the difference between Matthew and the rest of the passages.

Discipleship is best done by fathers

I remember hearing a man from New Zealand speak when I was in a meeting during the Toronto Blessing. His name was James Jordan and he spoke of the Fathering nature of the gospel. He kept talking about 1 Corinthians 4:15. It is a passage that really messes up our whole idea of what discipleship really is.

Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

The maturity of the believer should be done by fathers, not teachers. This changes everything. Most churches are trying to discipline by teaching but are they raising up spiritual sons and daughters. If a church claims to be a “family” and they are serious about mentoring the young believers as spiritual children; something is wrong.

The problem we have is when we do not focus of spiritual fathers and mothers, we reduce the idea of discipleship to a mere academia practice that is just like learning biology or chemistry. It is about learning information and the application of it for a designed purpose. It makes the whole experience one of education, not spirituality.

Discipleship is not something that can be done in Sunday School and it can not be done in our cell groups (that we ripped off from South Korea). It happens when people have the Elijah and Elisha relationship. Paul had a spiritual fathering role to Timothy. That is how it works best. One on one around the barbeque pit; not from the pulpit.

Discipleship as we know is brainwashing

I have long believed there was a fine line between the two. I went to what YWAM calls a “Discipleship Training School.” It is a course that is several months long that is focused on the fundamentals of the faith. The problem is it is based on information and not impartation. It is mostly teaching and required reading. This borderlines brainwashing. It is not just YWAM doing it, either. Almost every major mission group has the same unbibical concept.

When I went to bible college, I expected to have an educational experience. When I went to seminary, I am paying for the educational experience. When I am do discipleship, I expect to be more about mentorship than I do education. This is the problem with the model we have in most churches.

The Bible declares that God will turn the hearts of the Fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. I am not sure how we think this will work when we are more focused on developing students than spiritual children in our churches. The reality is a pastor can not father a church from the pulpit; he can only present information and release impartation.

Churches that focus on training them with information are like a man that goes around town, getting women pregnant but then leaving town without being a parent to the child. We just end up with a generation that is very educated in the scriptures but have no fathers to guide them in spiritual things.

Raising up spiritual sons

I was saved in the Brownsville Revival. The main speaking in the meetings was Evangelist Steve Hill. He was mentored by Leonard Ravenhill. It was from that relationship that Steve became the man that could lead the greatest revival in American history. It was not going through school and getting information. It was that mentoring relationship that made the difference.

People wanted to share in Ravenhill’s mantle and carry his mandate to the Bride of Christ but they did not want to share in his sackcloth and ashes. They want to stand with him in the pulpit but they did not want to weep with him in the prayer room. Sons and daughters are those who also share the sackcloth and ashes with their spiritual fathers and mothers.

It was because of those times in prayer and mentorship that the Brownsville Revival broke out on Father’s Day 1995. It was an outpouring of everything that Steve Hill received from his spiritual father, Leonard Ravenhill. That is how true discipleship works.

I look back at the several things that I know that I am anointed to do and I received what I have from men that operated in that mentored me, not just reading books and watching videos. It is true that anointing can only be caught but not taught.

God opened the door for me to be mentored by the pastors that had the fastest growing church in America back in 1999-2001. It was a mentoring experience to be there and to be close to the leadership. It was about being a spiritual son. Due to that relationship, I learned the practicals of planting a mega-church in one of the most saturated markets for faith in the United States.

Discipleship is about spiritual sons and daughters. That’s all I am saying.

Street Evangelism: response to Alan Hirsch

I am friends with Alan Hirsch, a director at the Missional Leadership Network on Facebook and we will just say he is very committed to the missional movement. I am a huge fan of the concept personally. I have been ever since hearing Ed Stetzer talk about it at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. However, you can be a fan of something and not drink the kool-aid, so to speak. Continue reading…

JD King, revival and apathy

JD King is an old friend of mine, leader of the World Revival Network and a fellow blogger about theological stuff. It would be hard to call him a revivalist anymore. He used to be but he has become very weird and from what I can tell from across the world, is pretty apathetic towards revival that does not have World Revival Church all over it.

I have people ask him about him as some knew we was friends at one time. (more on that later) There was a video of him speaking at his church that has caused some people to contact me and that is what I want to focus in on. The fact that he preached community but doesn’t have it is not for today’s article.

Before we get started, I am not a member of the World Revival Network anymore and I have not been in a meeting at World Revival Church. I am not sure what would happen if I did walk in the door. I am sure it would very awkward given many of my friends there have unfriended me and unfollowed me. They don’t want much to do with me. I do not want to talk about revival; I want to have it.

Here is the video in question:

How JD King became apathetic to revival

I remember the first day that I met him on the side of Smithton Community Church during the Smithton Outpouring. He wanted revival in every heart, home and city in America. He was passionate about revival and he lived for it to come to everyone. I loved to talk to him. I actually looked forward to talking to him actually.

When the church moved to Lee’s Summit and become World Revival Church, two things happened. First, the crowd died down and hardly anyone visited anymore. Also, the people who was just “Come, Holy Spirit” boys became professional ministers. Leonard Ravenhill would turn in his grave weeping over it. He believe the world need passionate preachers; not professional ones.

JD King was always the theological one at World Revival Church. The others, namely Tom Trout, was just off his rocker and was quite honestly, boring and little anointing. Steve Gray needs jokes and humor because the power of God wasn’t there after moving from Smithton. JD just hid himself is some theology books and tried his best to learn as much as he can.

About three or four years, he become more interested in Kingdom Now theology that is popularized by NT Wright and on a less degree by Brian Zahnd. I knew I had to get out of Kansas City if I wanted revival. I was not about to exchange a move of the Holy Spirit with some theological ideal or become a theologian. JD King can back off from revival. I refused to do it.

I remember the last discussion he and I had in person. It was at Gate’s BBQ in Westport District. He told me in so many words, “In five years, you will be less about fire and missions and more about community and relationships.” That was about seven to eight years ago. I am happy to report that I still going for revival completely and I am not backing down to have “community.”

World Revival is not the revival of Kansas City

I would move to do a treatment of revival in Kansas City. I really would but this is not the place for that. It starts well before Steve Gray and JD King. It starts as early as the Second Great Awakening and the Nazarene movement that is headquartered in Kansas City to this day. I am sure his friend, Larry Martin could fill him in on the importance of Kansas City in early Pentecostal revival. This is all before Steve Gray was even born.

When I saw this video saying that basically the history of revival in Kansas City is the story of World Revival Church; I should have been picking up my jaw off the floor. However, I wasn’t. I have come to expect this shameless promotional spirit out of the people that claim to be in revival.

In April 2009, they claimed revival hit a second time. My question is when did they admit that they lost revival the first time? You can’t have revival without admitting your need for it. Just something to ponder is all.

Community is not the aim of revival

One thing that I find odd is they have become very focused on community in recent years but no community has lived in revival since the Morivans in the 1700’s. People like A.A. Allen have tried it but failed.

What is mind blogging to me is how many of the people in World Revival Church suck at actually having community. Many of them that I called friends at one point have hardly spoken to me since I left Kansas City. Some of them want nothing to do with me. A few have even attacked me on social media over the years.

If I ran into many of the members of World Revival Church that are still there, I am sure that the discussion we would have be very awkward at best. I am not even sure that sitting down with JD King and Steve Gray would not be awkward anymore.

In the end, revival is not about community; revival is about setting the world ablaze.