As I am beginning to travel again, as well as spend time with leaders and churches either in person or online, I am observing a holy fire beginning to burn among the people of God like I have not witnessed since the mid-1990s.
Even though there are still many standing on the sidelines, anticipating the church to go back into normal mode where we once again begin to focus on the size of the crowd and the grand Sunday morning production, many are awakening and realizing that we cannot and must not go back to normal.
A few years ago, as I was praying for the American church, I began to observe and speak out about the fact that many of the modern church models that were arising in this generation would begin to fizzle and fade away eventually. I clearly saw where growth models built on personalities, studying demographics, Sunday morning production and performance, seeker-sensitive messages, Ted Talk self-help speeches or unbiblical unity paradigms would not be able to withstand the pressures of persecution that would eventually come to the American church.
The impending outcome is that many of these churches will fade away, while others will morph into a hybrid form of Christian ministry where Jesus will no longer be Lord and King and where universalism and a form of perverted unity will be celebrated as love, tolerance, unity and progress.
At the same time, I also saw that there was a great delusion that was casting a spell over many leaders, and especially Millennial pastors and church leaders. The reason this was occurring was because many of these young leaders were building corporate ministry models that have taken off in the areas of numbers of attendees and finances and their successes have caused many of them to push the wisdom and experience of the older generations aside.
They feel as if they are enlightened to what works in this new era of history and therefore, they no longer need counsel from those that have walked faithfully with the Lord for years.
The result of this tragedy is that an entire enterprise of churches and ministries has sprung up with little to no prayer and intercession, shallow preaching and teaching, a loss of prophetic sight and proclamation, a self-centered experience designed to flatter consumers and a loss of disciple making. Again, these leaders and their churches will not be able to stand under the pressures of persecution, and as a result, many of them will not be willing to take a stand for righteousness during this challenging season in which we find ourselves.
Sadly, we are also now witnessing the fact that many of these young leaders are being deceived into joining ungodly platforms and movements during this time due to the pressure they currently feel to appear loving, supportive and accepting. Even though some of their ambitions may appear to be noble and humanitarian in nature, they are being deceived and as a result they are aligning with groups that support and espouse unbiblical and even anti-Christ agendas.
My heart is deeply burdened for these Millennial leaders, and I know that their rescue lies in personal revival, as well as in the counsel and support from seasoned men and women of God who have been tested and have weathered demonic storms for years. These fathers and mothers must be willing to speak truth with love to the multiple young leaders who have come under a spell of compromise, pride, intellectualism and progressivism..
Even though I have pointed out my strong concerns regarding young church leaders in this hour, I also want to say that there are clearly those in the ministry and the church at large who are over 50 years old and bear some blame that must be noted as well. Sadly, when many should have been leading and guiding young church leaders, they unfortunately found themselves in positions of compromise and spiritual dullness.
I am fully aware that there are mature church leaders that have remained faithful to preach and teach the truth of the Gospel for years. I also know that these same people have refused to compromise their prayer lives, as well as their lifestyles. These leaders have remained faithful and their examples are to be appreciated and followed. In fact, we need them now more than ever.
At the same time, there are also many leaders who are 50 and older that have spiritually imploded on themselves. Some of these individuals that once burned with a holy fire and walked a life with eternity in view have been seduced by a hyper-prosperity message that primarily focuses on temporary rewards and achievements.
Others have sold out to a false message of grace that guts the power of the message of the Cross of Jesus. As a result, salvation is no longer characterized as a life empowered by grace to live in freedom from the vices of the world around us and the biblical meaning of grace has been watered down beyond recognition. This dynamic has been tragic.
Other dire symptoms include an unwillingness to address sin in the body of Christ, as well as among leaders. It is tragic, but some leaders have embraced an Eli mode of operation and as a result they are unwilling to deliberately and effectively deal with sin, even in their own spiritual children. The result is spiritual blindness and a form of godliness that is lacking greatly in the areas of passion for the Lord, a burden for the lost, a lifestyle of prayer and intercession and a healthy fear of God.
My heart is that the spirit of Elijah would be alive and well among the people of God now as never before. Malachi 4:5-6 declares, "See, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreaded day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."
Our nation and world are in desperate need of a church that refuses to live on the sidelines of apathy and compromise. We cannot remain docile in the midst of the storms that are wreaking havoc on this generation. We are clearly in need of a revolutionary Jesus movement—a movement where we fall so passionately in love with Him that as a result we become like the apostle Paul where he declared in Philippians 1:19-20, "For I know that through your prayer and the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, this will result in my deliverance. Accordingly, it is my earnest expectation and my hope that I shall be ashamed in nothing, but that with all boldness as always, so now also, Christ will be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death."
Keith Collins is the founder of Generation Impact Ministries and Impact Global Fellowship. He is actively involved in itinerant ministry, teaching and writing. In recent years, Keith served as the president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and as the director of FIRE School of Ministry, which were both born out of the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida. His recent book, Samuel's Arising: Waking Up to God's Prophetic Call, is now available on Amazon, and his podcast, titled Maintain the Flame, can be heard on iTunes and at cpnshows.com. You can contact Keith via his websites at keith-collins.org or impactgf.org.
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