Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why Do We Bother? To Build A House!

I was immensely blessed to be sent a box full of old videos and audiotapes by Rob and Glenda Rufus last week - that contain some solid gold treasures! Rob had carefully collected some videos by Kathryn Kuhlman that are just amazingly provoking. But sneaked in there was an amazing tape from Brighton 1998 (the now finished "Together on a Mission" conference run by Newfrontiers). This was the same year that Simon Petit preached his movement-changing "Remember the Poor" message. But the tape Rob Rufus sent me was called;

"Revival Seasons require Oil-Filled Leaders" by Frank Damazio

I believe my dear friend Pete Day was at that conference and said it was powerfully visited by the Presence of God - maybe on the same level as when Rob himself was there in 2006 and 2007 - maybe moreso?! But I have been listening to that tape on the way to and from work and Frank Damazio made a quote that grabbed me;

"We will never reach a city - unless we build a house - and we will never build a house unless we build great people".

Newfrontiers used to talk about "restoring the house" but have been called on; "It's too small a thing". However we cannot forget that the house still needs to be built. This is one reason why Dave Devenish writes that apostles and prophets are so essential! Without Ephesians 4 Ministries, the foundations are shaky.

I was told recently that my post on Joshua Harris ("Pastor of Pastors") was linked by Christianity Today - which was a surprise! It just shows you never know who is visiting your blog and reading. But it made me re-evaluate my interest and concern in the things affecting SGM at the moment. The fact is - back in 2000 when we first heard C J Mahaney speak at Stoneleigh Bible Week as a guest speaker I sensed something special. Nothing else would have persuaded me to move to Bristol and join the church plant there - and moreso persuade my entire family to make the move too!

Yes, the concerns and problems I had eventually outweighed my love for SGM and events outpaced me so I had to move on. But I still do believe C J Mahaney is incredibly gifted in his singular prophetic ministry to remind Christians of the Cross. I firmly believe that ministry would be best tied to a true apostolic ministry like Larry Tomczak's (which is why we look forward to November with great interest!).

I was asked what would be the ideal resolution in all this? I can't really answer that - because only God knows but surely the most God-glorifying answer would be a stronger house with true Ephesians 4 Ministries (apostles and prophets - not a "Board of Directors"), true Holy-Spirit inspired ministry firing preaching of the Word of God absolutely devoted to mission through church-planting to all people groups of the world. May it be so!


Peter Day said...

Yes, I was at Brighton 1998. I still remember those Frank Damazio sessions, and Barney Coombes, and Claudio Freidzon. Some truly awesome times.

I regularly go back to the talk on "Oil filled leaders" that Frank Damazio gave.

Also - re: SGM. I've just e-mailed you a reminder of the spinning plates analogy that CJ used about performance-based Christianity. It was the arrow of the Word in THAT message that first pierced my legalistic armour and led me ultimately to where I am now!

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks PD - am so jealous you were there! Yet another time I wish I had been there - yet we must believe there are more glorious times to come if we hope and believe!

Re: C J and spinning plates - absolutely, you are spot on. That was the first time I heard a leader address this and we must not forget the truth of it. God was speaking through C J - no matter what he may believe now, and no matter where he may be!

Jon Sidnell said...

I find your comments re: CJ and his message at stone with very interesting. I seem to remember sometime ago you posted an article from Restoration magazine written by CJ about prophetic ministry. I was a bit wary cos i've never been a massive fan of SGM, but found CJs bio very interesting - he was described as a prophet on Larry Tomczak's apostolic team.

When reading that all that time ago, I couldn't help but wonder whether the problems in SGM were really down to the fact that CJ is anointed to be a prophet, but that he didn't rest in that calling. Instead, he got hungry to move in the apostolic, and that ambition outside the call of God didn't do good for him or the movement he assumed leadership of. As a prophet, he just wouldn't be gifted to bring the fatherly, affirmatory, Christ-imparting foundational stuff that truly requires an apostle. And so we have the story of SGM since Tomczak was ousted from his position.

Let's hope and pray that the ultimate outcome of this season is CJs fresh recognition of who he really has been called to be so that he can be a Spirit-filled, incisive and inspiring prophet rather than a wannabe apostle who could only build structure and not impart apostolic life.