Since this pandemic began you have heard me say repeatedly, we cannot come out of this mess the same way we came into it. We must not exit the same way, with the same mindset, with the same desires or the same level of hunger & thirst that we entered it.
If we only want to get back to church as usual, we’ve missed what God has been trying to get across to us. For the last several days I have been praying and asking the Lord:
Where do we go from here?
I’m still convinced Revelation 3:7,8 is a right now word. This is a time in which God has set before us an open door and no man can shut it! After seeking the Lord the last several weeks, this is what keeps coming to my heart:
1.I strongly sense God is wanting to establish Apostolic Training Centers instead of more churches copying what other churches are doing just to keep up with the latest church growth idea. I’m not against the church growth programs, because some of them ARE based on continuous prayer and intercession, hearing from the Lord and simply obeying what He speaks corporately in prayer.
Ephesians 4:7 still says “For unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” That grace carries an assignment locally, regionally, nationally then internationally.
An apostolic training center will look different in different places and will formulate according to the apostle who is leading it. Some will be healing centers, others revival centers, and others their focus will be deliverance. Other training centers will focus on teaching financial and business principles to help raise up marketplace ministries that will begin to provide the skeleton or the “bones” that God can put the meat on that will enable channels to create the transfer of wealth we have been believing God for. Of course, there will be a continued focus on youth & children. I have seen over the last forty years churches whose major focus is on youth & children carries a great blessing from the Lord.
These apostolic training centers will also help produce networks of house churches or small group ministries. You say, “Copeland, that’s already happening in many bigger churches:” What I am seeing though is going to take on a fresh purpose that will be birthed out of deep prayer that will provide a connecting of the lost and backslidden with homes they can find Jesus in. These are prodicals and misfits and “dechurched” people who may never go to a brick & mortar building to worship because of past issues and hurts. It’s not what is already being done, it’s going to increase in magnitude to the point that almost every neighborhood will have their own “synagogue” or house church they can go & find God in. If the persecution comes like it has been prophesied that will come, we must prepare in this area because it will become quite challenging to meet on Sundays in large sanctuaries. Covid-19 was a warmup for what is coming in terms of government restrictions.
There will become less of a focus on the brick & mortar church building meeting on Sunday because apostolic training centers are not as concerned about drawing people into a building as they are raising up sons & daughters who will bring Kingdom expansion. I want to say this again: an apostolic training center is not interested in putting people in the building as much as it is interested in raising up sons & daughters who will bring Kingdom expansion.
2.GOD is putting a demand in the Spirit that we find our spiritual father & plug in!
If we know our spiritual father/our apostle, plug in with them! Connect deeper! Don’t take the relationship for granted. Don’t assume everything is ok. In every generation there has been a deep cry for a return to apostolic New Testament Christianity. And every generation feels like they must reinvent the wheel and develop “relevant” ministries that will draw the mainstream into the church. That has been the problem: we’ve wanted them in our church first instead of being concerned as to whether they are in the Kingdom. Despite the “disconnect” that modern technology has produced in our lives, people DO want to be a part of something that’s based on relationship and not a program or how much money are they expected to give. May God help us strengthen the Kingdom connections we have with each other. Who you are connected to determines what flows out of you.
3.Honor the past, don’t worship the past! Many have problems moving forward in their walk with God because they feel like if they do, that will somehow be a rejection or a desecration of the good things from the past.
And don’t let the pain and the problems or even the abuses of the past keep you held back. Don’t let the pain & problems of the past keep you from plugging in to where God wants you to be. These are the Good Ole Days because for people of God no matter how dark it gets; we are still the light of the world!
4.There is a coming “merging of ministries” that will form a stronger body; a stronger force for GOD to use. This is not just bigger churches swallowing up smaller churches. God is leading us back to covenant principles in which alliances will be formed with men & women with an apostolic anointing on their lives who will make frequent trips in and out of churches and ministries, not to rule over them, but as a spiritual father to check on their faith, strengthen the brethren and yes, even correct things that need to be corrected. Not as a dictator, but as a strong spiritual father.
Just some more thoughts as we navigate the chaos of this hour….