Tag Archives: IHOPKC

Surprised by the Love of God

Surprised by the Love of God

by Adam Wittenberg

9/10/15 Training and Events

He had never felt God’s love before, until the Lord broke in at Onething!

After nearly ten years of trying to pursue God and feeling like he “wasn’t really getting anywhere,” Jeff L. came to Onething.

At the invitation of his son, Tyler, Jeff drove from Rockford, Illinois, to Kansas City, Missouri, for the Onething conference in 2014. What the 62-year-old investment advisor didn’t know is that it would change his life and walk with God forever.

Tyler, who was working in the Partners department at the International House of Prayer, scheduled a prophecy appointment for his father with Ed Hackett and Chris Ferguson, two leaders at IHOPKC.

But instead of simply speaking encouragement over him, Chris and Ed sensed the need to get to know Jeff a bit first. When they asked, Jeff said he was feeling “stalled out” in his walk with God.

This prompted Ed to share a dream he’d had. In the dream, Ed was a defensive football player who picked up a fumble, but was immediately attacked by four large linemen as he started to run toward the goal line.

surprisedbyloveIn Ed’s dream, the coach (representing God) shouted from the sideline, “Keep your legs moving and fix your eyes on the goal!” By doing this, Ed broke free and eventually reached the end zone.

As he crossed the line, the Lord highlighted Hebrews 12:1–2: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

What Chris and Ed didn’t know was that Jeff coached defense for a high school football team in Rockford.

The men connected, and Ed shared his own journey of how he felt like he had to work his way to God until he had a radical encounter with Him.

“When you don’t know if you’re walking with the Lord or not, there can be a heaviness, and of course sin comes in there and tries to take us out,” Ed said, recalling the dialogue.

He then asked Jeff, “‘Is this the day you want to drive a stake in the ground for Christ?’” Jeff replied, “Yeah, let’s do it.”

When the men finished praying, the shift was evident.

“It seemed like his countenance was just bright,” Ed said. “You know the change when someone knows that they know—it’s not about your words, it’s what Christ has done.”

Jeff knew that things were different, too.

“Before that, I’d never had a deep feeling of God’s love for me,” he said. “At that particular moment, it started. I could feel something, and it’s only gotten better and better since!”

From there, Jeff went immediately into the prayer room, which is held at the Kansas City Convention Center during Onething, to spend time with Jesus.

“Usually my dad’s always like ‘go-go-go,’ but he was in there for hours, just sitting there. He didn’t want to come out,” says Tyler.

Jeff then attended Onething sessions with Tyler and Tyler’s wife, Katie Jo. This blessed Tyler, who had been praying for his father “for a really long time.”

“I had my dad on my right hand and my wife on my left hand, and we were just worshiping the Lord,” he recalls. “Just to be in the presence of the Lord with both of them like that was really special.”

Since the conference, Jeff’s experience of God’s love has only grown. It carried him through an emergency heart bypass surgery in February (“He got a new heart spiritually, and then physically,” Tyler says. “We both had peace before the surgery”),  and now he wants to transition from his career and football coaching in order to pursue God more.

Jeff also wants to come back to Onething and bring his friends, most of whom “aren’t big believers and wouldn’t understand unless I brought them there. I tell them, ‘You have to be in that environment and you’ll feel it.’”

And to anyone who has never been to Onething, or is thinking about coming, Jeff’s invitation is just as encouraging.

“You’ve got to come to this because it’s life-changing, for you and your family,” he says. “You’ve got to get there. You’ve got to see it for yourself.”

Prophetic ministry is offered to Onething 2015 attendees. Registration opens December 28 and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Adam Wittenberg

 A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. Adam is also active in evangelism and has a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Chastening of the LORD

What Do You Do With A God,

                                         Who Crushes His Favorites?

Pastor Bob Sorge has some great insights into sonship! He isn’t an echo he lives what he is teaching and he speaks with authority. “Have you ever experienced a trial so intense that you were left with seemingly unanswerable questions for God? What did I do wrong? Where are You going with this? Do You even care about my pain? Sometimes the pressure is so great that we feel abandoned and forsaken. But often times it’s in the heat of our trials that God is doing the most transformative work in our lives. This film explores the intricate topic of God’s chastening in our lives, and the incredible hope that it carries.” Bob Sorge  A Bastard has the right mother but the wrong father…Jesus called the scribes Bastards. Here’s how you recognize bastards, there is no chastening in their lives. Yes chastening is painful but consider the alternative, He lives you alone! What do you do with a God who crushes His Favorites?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Christian Ministries: Crossing The Digital Divide

OK

CROSSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

Saturday, October 1, 2011
by Marcus Yoars

Charisma Magazine, October 1, 2011

How the church is spreading the gospel and leading the way in an online revolution

Every April at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the world’s most creative minds converge with a legion of tech-heads to talk shop and plan world domination. The NAB Show, as the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention is called, is a utopia for those who work with content production—one of those rare can’t-miss events for Hollywood movers and Internet shapers alike. It’s where 100,000 people gather to find out how to cross the great digital divide in the ever-shifting world of communication and technology, and how to bridge the gap between old-school media and an online revolution that operates at light speed.

It’s also where the church became a leader—again.

Jono Hall, director of media at the International House of Prayer (IHOP-KC) in Kansas City, Mo., has sensed this shift in recent years while walking the floor with industry leaders. And this year’s show placed the body of Christ on full display, especially when it came to one of the conference’s main themes: live streaming.

Hall leads a media team that streams 24/7 live prayer and worship from IHOP-KC. His convergence of technology, communication and spirituality is framed continuously via the ministry’s various online vehicles that stream more than 1 million hours of video each month. What Hall’s team produces online—and the tools they use to create such content—isn’t the lo-fi stuff that critics of the church often clump in with past generations. There’s nothing embarrassing about the technical quality of IHOP-KC’s content, nor is there a hint of miniscule budgets that can’t compete with professional studios.

No, even among the “big boys” represented at the Vegas show, IHOP-KC is leading the pack alongside other ministries and churches. Hall says even vendors and providers noticed how the faith community was leading the way in live streaming this year.

Of course, piloting the technology path is nothing new for the church, which has pioneered everything from the printing press to satellite TV. Hall saw this innovation up-close last year while visiting Heritage USA in Fort Mill, S.C., where Jim Bakker’s PTL Satellite Network once blazed a trail in global communications.

“It was phenomenal what they were doing back in the early 1980s,” Hall says, adding how Heritage USA was completely “fibered” and could operate remote cameras anywhere on site through a central control room. While cable TV was just starting, a handful of today’s cable giants, including CNN, visited the PTL site to glean from the ground-breaking Christian ministry.

“Christianity has always been at the forefront of technology,” Hall says. “Here was a case, 30 years ago, where they were at the forefront of cable TV, they were leading the way. Often we think we need to be at the forefront of Christian media, but I believe the Lord wants us to be at the forefront of media—period.”

To establish that leading position, however, takes resources believers often lack. “Technology costs money, and if you don’t have those resources, you’re not going to be at the cutting edge. At least in the churches I’ve been a part of, money has always been the challenge. As a result, there’s always been a little more creativity on how we actually achieved things technologically.”

That creativity is emphasized more often in the church these days given a digital world in which constant change is the norm and connecting with audiences is king. The common user now understands the seasonal, trending nature of the online arena: how for every Facebook today (yes, even with 750 million active users) there’s a MySpace left in its wake. And like everyone else, believers recognize the great mobile shift occurring: This year smartphones and tablets surpassed PCs in sales for the first time. A staggering 5.3 billion people—77 percent of the world’s population—are mobile subscribers, while the percentage of mobile-only Internet users continues to rise dramatically.

But as the world goes mobile, our faith is changing too—not necessarily the foundations of our faith, but how we live out our beliefs within the context of communities that have URL addresses rather than street addresses. Today the kingdom of God is being established as frequently on Facebook and Twitter as in person—and with results suggesting the harvest online may be the greatest yet. What used to take years of sowing to yield a few hundred lives changed can now “go viral” and, through social networking, affect millions within moments.

“This is the Internet moment in human history,” says Walt Wilson, a former Apple Computer executive and one-time senior vice president at Computer Sciences Corp who founded the online evangelistic ministry Global Media Outreach (GMO). “We have the technology to reach every man, woman and child on earth. We’re the first generation in all human history to have this capacity.”

Amid such astounding potential comes a hopeful reality: The church is regaining its footing as a pioneer on the technological trail, as “the head and not the tail” (Deut. 28:13). Yet as believers adjust to this new environment of innovation, are we ready to fully cross the digital divide for the sake of the gospel?

Meet Me at the Crisis Point

Few churches value innovation in technology like Edmond, Okla.-based LifeChurch.tv. A multisite church that relies heavily on satellite video teaching, LifeChurch.tv has been a giant among innovative churches for the past decade. In 2006, it was the first church to hold real-life worship services within the online game Second Life, exposing millions of “avatars” (and the people behind those virtual beings) to the gospel. Two years later, the church introduced the world’s most popular mobile phone Bible software, YouVersion, which has reached an astounding 13 million people and still ranks among the top-10 most downloaded apps on Apple’s iTunes.

Through all its innovation, the church hasn’t veered from its mission of sharing the gospel anywhere it can; in fact, the digital arena has simply opened up ministry avenues never imagined before. In December 2007, for example, LifeChurch.tv began running Google ads amid pornographic search words. “Looking for pornography? God has a better plan. Try Church Online,” reads one of the text ads that shows up amid a list of smutty sites. Once clicked, the ads take users to a live videocast of a LifeChurch.tv worship service, as well as a lively chat room with volunteers who are ready to answer questions, pray and lead people to Christ.

“We’re trying to connect with people at a point of need, a point of hurt, a point of searching—literally on Google—for something that we know is trying to fill something in their lives that’s just not going to do it,” says Troy Steward, LifeChurch.tv’s pastor of technology.

This year alone, more than 2 million people have visited the church’s website via the ads, with 9,000 people responding to the gospel as a result. The ads, which also appear in searches related to divorce, suicide, depression and similar crisis topics, run only during live worship services, and between two to 15 volunteers monitor and participate in the chat room.

“That type of intelligent interaction or intersection is something that couldn’t even exist in ministry five or 10 years ago,” says Bobby Gruenewald, pastor of innovation at LifeChurch.tv and the creator of YouVersion. “That ability to intersect someone in the moment of sin or in a moment of temptation … in that moment they can obviously be presented with the gospel and with truth.”

A tech industry veteran, Gruenewald is a rock star among Christian media leaders, having made Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” list earlier this year. Yet his kingdom-minded approach to technology and innovation doesn’t just stand out in secular circles, it’s also a common denominator among those leading the church’s transition from old methodologies to new vehicles of delivering the Good News.

Serving the Nations

At the height of the dot-com boom, Tim Jenné couldn’t have had it any better. The IT manager had been a part of several fast-growing companies and, in 2001, was on his way to being the chief information officer for a $60 billion bank in Seattle. But after God captured his heart through a Jack Frost “Father Loves You” conference in Toronto, Jenné moved to tiny Redding, Calif., and, following years of consulting for Bethel Church, became the church’s media director.

Few congregations have crossed the digital divide as successfully as Bethel. Only three years ago, the church leapfrogged an entire generation of technology, moving from tapes and CDs straight into HD cameras, on-demand videos and live streaming. Using his entrepreneurial experience, Jenné created a $450,000-investment business plan that took Bethel, a community that had already spawned a global movement, to a new level online. iBethel.tv, which streams Bethel’s services, conferences and the like, launched on Dec. 14, 2008, and by the end of the night already had 100 subscribers—with 100 more added each day for the following weeks. Today more than 95,000 subscribers a month log in to join live worship or view archived content.

Yet Jenné is quick to point out that the message and mission of Bethel are what people connect with, not technology itself: “Technology is like the Roman roads: They were built for commerce, but the gospel went out on them. When it really needed to be there, we didn’t have to build roads, they were there. The same thing is true with the Internet; it was built for us. And social networking was built for us.

“It’s easy to get bogged down with the details, as important as they can be,” he adds. “But we’re serving the nations, we’re hosting the nations—and we don’t want anything to get in the way of that.”

To remind his media team of that truth while they labor in the trenches, Jenné will often share healing testimonies—a major part of Bethel’s corporate culture—that relate directly to iBethel.tv. His favorite involves a wheelchair-bound woman in Alaska who had, among other major diseases, multiple sclerosis that had left her paralyzed and unable to go to church. As she watched iBethel.tv with a friend one night, the friend felt led to pray for her, upon which she was instantly healed—and later proved this by traveling to Redding and standing onstage next to Bethel Senior Pastor Bill Johnson.

Even a missionary couple in China who work with “castaway” disabled children—from catatonic to quadriplegics to mentally disabled—said they couldn’t continue their ministry if it weren’t for iBethel.tv.

“All they need is a little pinhole, and I can get life to somebody,” Jenné says with tear-filled passion that’s rarely found in someone so heavily entrenched in the tech world. “All it takes is a little Internet connection and they’ve got it.”

The Mission Field Redefined

If fact, it’s that simple Internet connection that is altering the global church’s expansion. About 2 billion people use the Internet, yet because 90 percent of the world now lives in places that are accessible to a mobile network, more than half a billion people go online using a mobile device. Even in rural areas, where mobile coverage drops to 80 percent, Internet connections often run faster than in the U.S., thanks in part to pure fiber optic connections (and the lack of legacy systems).

Clearly, the mission field is no longer just physical locations, but an online landscape that could yield the greatest spiritual harvest in history. According to Global Media Outreach, 2 million people a day go online to search for spiritual truth or guidance. The online evangelistic ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ recognized this and established a lofty goal: to reach the entire world with the gospel by 2020.

Using more than 100 different websites, GMO presents a basic gospel message to those already searching. The ministry recruits volunteer online missionaries—a worldwide army now 4,300 strong—to correspond with those who make a decision for Christ, answering questions they may have and helping to connect them with a local church body. In this sense, every Christian can establish his own ministry and mission field—a concept GMO says is revolutionizing the way the church views evangelism. Last year GMO reported more than 15 million decisions for Christ.

“This is one of the most exciting things I have ever been a part of in my 40 years of ministry,” says Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland: A Church Distributed in Longwood, Fla., which partners with GMO. Hunter’s church has long integrated online worship and community as part of its own corporate body life. In fact, of its 15,000 members, a full one-third attend a service each week via the church’s website, smartphones, Roku set-top boxes or Facebook.

In March 2010, Northland launched the first live-church Facebook app, which allows users to invite Facebook friends to join in a streaming service with a single click. The megachurch was also the first to create a dedicated channel for the Roku set-top box, an open-platform device that allows users to access exclusive Internet-based television channels. Northland holds entire services on Roku, which has been uniquely used to establish and resource house churches.

“The motivation behind these tools is to take the church where people live,” says Robert Andrescik, Northland’s director of public relations. “Our hope is that online worshippers will join a community with other believers … or start one.”

Viral Church

If the church hopes to follow the lead of innovative congregations such as Northland and shine a light in every corner of everyday life, we must fully realize—and seize—the opportunity for unprecedented exponential growth that technology provides. For example, a recent evangelistic crusade in Anaheim, Calif., with Harvest Church Pastor Greg Laurie drew an impressive 115,000 people to Angel Stadium over a three-day period. Yet online, the outreach event was viewed more than 1.3 million times in all 50 U.S. states and 63 countries, marking a 500 percent increase over the previous year.

What made the difference? The church’s concerted marketing effort to tell an online audience about the event. Within one weekend, 26,000 people “liked” the Facebook promotional page, which means 26,000 visitors posted a promotional video and poster on their own Facebook walls for all their friends to see. Paul Eaton, pastor of communications at Harvest, estimates that 12 million people had access to see the promotions, which may have resulted in the number of people who viewed the event.

“People are spending a lot more time looking at their computers as opposed to looking at their televisions and other areas of media,” Eaton says. “It has really grown, and we recognize that. As we see people going into this space, we’ve really been motivated to go in to the space too.”

That space is no longer a single medium. The smartphone age is upon us. As of this summer, 12 percent of American adults owned an e-reader such as Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook. And the tablet era is emerging—Goldman Sachs estimates almost 80 million tablets will be sold in 2012.

For IHOP-KC’s Hall, such rapid and sweeping technological changes naturally bring to mind a prophecy IHOP-KC founder Mike Bickle received almost 30 years ago. In 1983, Bob Jones envisioned people in Asia carrying “unplugged TV sets in their hands and even on their wristwatches” who would be able to watch “songbirds” from the Kansas City prayer community.

With its 24/7 streaming of prayer and worship, this has not only been fulfilled in Asia, but throughout the world—including areas previously impenetrable with the gospel.

“Before, people might get a CD and be able to listen to us,” Hall says. “Now, no matter where they are in the earth, they can actually link in. It’s pretty amazing for us to see that. Because it’s one thing for someone in Kansas City to feel a bit lazy one day and, rather than coming into the prayer room, decide to watch us online; it’s another thing to have people tuning in from Muslim nations and see their lives transformed.

“The message hasn’t changed, but the way we communicate has definitely changed. And if we’re burning with the Great Commission and we want to reach the world for Jesus, then we’re going to find creative ways of reaching audiences.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Called to be an intercessor in a church that “doesn’t get it”

 

From the Ask Mike Bickle Series: “They don’t like prayer.” ” No, the real problem is they don’t trust you…” Mike Bickle gives some practical points!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Awaken Teen Camp Music Academy

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Teach Us To Pray…Developing A Culture of Prayer

How do we help people have “wins” in prayer? How do we help people develop prayer that is a dialogue? I don’t think it is much different than language acquisition.  How did you learn to speak your native tongue? You heard others speaking all of your life, you began to make gibberish, and sounds became words.  You observed that words were associated with certain objects or food that you wanted. You begin communication and it was all about you. Wants, desires, and needs drove your initial foray into speech.  As your vocabulary grew and matured monologue turned to deeper more meaningful conversation. Dialogue grew and developed and soon you realized language was the relationship accelerator. Eventually you delved into some form of more formal instruction in language but most of it was caught with only a portion of taught via academia. 

How does this relate to prayer lives of the typical believer? It underscores the value of prayer meetings in the local church. Most of my life as a Christian I have heard a prayer or two on Sunday. We’ve gathered in small groups and prayed for “prayer requests” aka needs. Little opportunity for “Joe Christian” to actually learn and develop a pray life and language that moves beyond petitioning for needs. This is where regular Corporate Prayer Meetingsserve a great purpose. We can learn to pray just like we learn a language: see, hear, and DO!

I love to watch people gain the confidence to go from praying 10-15 second “rapid fire” prayers, to amazing 2 to 3 minute conversations with God. See, hear, watch and DO, really is effective training. Whenever we teach subjects such as Prayer Reading the Scriptures, or Biblical Meditation it is never enough to teach, we have to actually delve into “hands on” and actually do it as a group! It is amazing. Start another Corporate Prayer Meeting today.”Chris Ferguson

How do you help believers “win in prayer?”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

An Invitation to Intercession by Julie Meyer

“This is provoking me…so I hope to provoke you as I have been. Help from heaven is being sent to strengthen you when you grow weary! Be strengthened in the LORD! Be endued with might and power on your inner man! ” ChriS Ferguson

by Julie Meyer

greatawakeGod is stirring His people to pray. God is raising up houses of prayer, prayer movements, and ministries who realize the great need for prayer and for having foundations of intercession firmly established before ministry takes place.
People are bowing their knee in reverence to our Holy God, believing that He gives more when we simply ask. God set it up that way – that we would be co-laborers with Him, joining Jesus the Great Intercessor. We are simply to ask – knowing that God is listening and answering our simple prayers (Isaiah 64:4).
The revivalists of old were men and women given to prayer. Before a Word was preached, the Heavens were stormed with prayers and petitions asking God to come, to act, and to move. We are now entering a new era – for never before in history has God moved on the hearts of people worldwide with such an invitation to intercession.
Across the nations of the earth, men and women, young and old, are giving their lives as a fragrance before the Lord in day and night prayer. Houses of prayer, prayer movements, and praying churches are arising worldwide with the revelation that God moves when His people simply ask.
A Great Greater Awakening
I heard a fresh cry exploding out of Heaven – an invitation for the nations to become part of the prayer movement that is blowing across the face of the earth like an unstoppable wave leading to a Great Greater Awakening.
I was told in the dream to study and look back to the 1700s and the first Great Awakening – for this is our story. We are invited to say “yes” to prayer – we are invited to all become part of the story.
I saw that many intercessors have grown weary and have become dull; therefore help from Heaven was sent to strengthen the heart of the intercessors, the prayer movements, and the houses of prayer that a glorious people would arise in unending prayers.
We are in a Revelation 3:1-2 time frame, “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…”

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized