Category Archives: The Church

Recently I heard about a ministry where during their church service a young woman stood up to bring a prophetic word:

“I believe that thousands of young people will come here to join this ministry and I don’t mean people with problems…!”

My wish isn’t to critisize another ministry but to point out the obvious and painful reality that is spreading throughout many churches. When you have a church full of people with problems, things will inevitably get messy. When you claim that everyone in your church is without problems or issues, that is when things get even messier. The problem is, everyone has issues and the more your congregation avoids those issues, the less likely your church is to grow and flourish… and trust me there just aren’t enough “perfect people” to fill up the seats in a ministry. They don’t exist. Clearly, the ministry was seeking fame for itself… they didn’t care about ministering to broken people… you know the kind of broken people that Jesus hung out with. What is the purpose of a church that doesn’t minister to the broken? Hype. The bigger their numbers, the more loud and exciting,… the bigger their name.

This summer I had a dream. I dreamt I walked into a room that was full of puppies. I love puppies and I knew, in my dream, I was free to take whatever puppy I wanted. Most of the puppies were beautiful and adorable. I remember a beautiful yellow Labrador Retriever and a cuddly St. Bernard among the wiggly animals. In the room with the puppies were several African orphan children. As I scanned through the many puppies I couldn’t seem to make a decision and so I asked the orphans which one I should take with me. The orphans brought me a skinny, quiet, ugly puppy.

This is the one you want me to take? You think this is the best one? I was very disappointed. I wanted to take care of a puppy that was pretty and clean and happy. Sometime before the dream ended I went from picking out an ugly puppy to picking out which orphan I would take home with me. The Lord has since taken me on a journey about this subject.

I have to confess that I haven’t always wanted to minister to the broken but for some reason, since high school, I am always finding myself around broken people and I always seem to be ministering to them. I’m realizing that my perception of what the Lord has invited me to do isn’t even based on what He has actually  called me to do. Maybe the adventure he has invited me on isn’t as glamorous as I thought it was. It could be that one day I’ll move to Africa and live in a remote, mosquito-infested  jungle among starving children… but how am I going to prepare for that?

By learning to love the broken, spiritually starved people in Little Rock. That’s how. The ones addicted to crack and heroin; the ones who sit in the Quapaw Quarter begging for extra change; those that sell themselves for cash to spend on their habits. Next month I am preparing to move to a new place with my friend Toni. As I have been praying about where we should live, the thought of moving to downtown Little Rock has been a constant, nagging sensation. This morning I woke up with this vision of our house being full of addicted people; People starving to know the love of the Father; People who try to control their pain through drugs, binge-drinking and sex. These are the people that make religious people feel uncomfortable. But my heart is to love these people and make Jesus known to them. To pray the love of the Father over them and to see them set free from all of their “problems”. To call out, through prophecy, who they really are and who Jesus has destined them to be.

If no one wants to take them, I’m up for the challenge.

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We’re suppose to model Jesus, right? Well, everything that Jesus did was motivated by compassion. Of course He had love. No one will argue with that but what fueled His ministry was compassion. We see the exact words “He was moved with (motivated by) compassion for them,” FIVE times in scripture at  Matthew 9:36, Matthew 14:14, Matthew 18:37, Mark 1:41, and Mark 6:34. Whether He was healing the sick, teaching truth, or rebuking the Pharisees, everything He did was motivated from compassion for those that were hurting and being abused by religious authorities (Luke 11:46).

And the world sees right through our motivations if we don’t have true compassion. If we are motivated by pride, control, and the “need to succeed”, those outside of the church will see right through our empty facade. Maybe people enjoy the presence of God in your ministry or they like the cool activities involved in your church but are they getting healed and set free by love? Is your ministry a place of refuge for the broken?

I am tired of seeing people walk into a church and become more wounded when they leave it than when they first came in. It’s time for the madness to stop.

Signs that your motives might not be from compassion:

  • You spend more time trying to convince people to “serve” your ministry, obey, be loyal to, and honor leadership more than you talk about having intimacy with Jesus.
  • You are passive-aggressive and treat people like garbage from the microphone.
  • Anyone in your church who addresses problems instantly “becomes the problem”… instead of evaluating and changing your methods of ministry, the person is instantly villainized.
  • You spend more time caring about the reputation of your ministry than how people might actually be hurting in  your ministry.

I like to argue sometimes… especially about theological and doctrinal matters.  As long as it doesn’t get ugly (and unfortunately sometimes even if it does), I enjoy a nice intellectual debate from time to time. If you get me around an unbeliever or a traditional church member and the subject of God comes up, I always have fun trying to convince them with my words and sharp statements about “truth”.

But about a year ago I realized that though this kind of debate can be helpful at times, mere conversation and bold statements are usually not the ideal tool to convince others. I was attending a weekend conference with a speaker who is probably one of the most prophetic people in our nation today.  He pointed me out of the crowd and spoke to me saying “young lady. You like to convince others with your words and through debate but the Lord is going to make you into a presence carrier. It will be the presence of God in your life that will draw others to the truth.”

The problem I see with many who are always trying to be shocking by “shaking the church out of their slumber” is that most of the time they actually enjoy being offensive… being able to cause reactions… and you can tell. I’m sure many of them are convinced they are prophets like Jeremiah who have come to speak “truth” to the church gone astray but rarely do they have the heart of the prophet Jeremiah who loved his people deeply and was very troubled by the call God had on his life. He didn’t spout off the judgments of God to look smart and profound. He pleaded with God to relieve him of his prophetic duties.

I have been a little troubled myself, after seeing some of the ways people have put themselves on a pedestal in the name of “truth”. Why are we spending so much time rebuking the church (I mean do we really think we’re that perfect ourselves?) when we could be convincing them of how great and wide and high and deep the love of God is for them? If we really think our words are going to shape church culture than we have it wrong. It is the all-surpassing, passionate, jealous, consuming love of God that is going to shift the state of the church in our day. If we want to be reformers then this is the message we must, must, MUST bring to the church. If we believe that God needs our words to change things… well than who gets the glory there?

It is not our words but His presence that ignites a fire in a dead church.


* The following statements are not necessarily the beliefs of the International House of Prayer but are based on my own opinions… the opinions of Brooke Turner.

I am not a heresy hunter therefore I want to first affirm some of the sincere qualities of the emergent church. I have been a participant in the Emergent Church movement in recent years and some of those involved in this movement are people that are very much beloved by me. This is not intended to bring hurt or cause disunity in the church, however, I felt the need to share my heart about this matter because it is an area of great concern to me.

The emergent movement began initially to address the great decrease in church attendance among young adults. It was clear that traditional church culture was not drawing the lost to Jesus. And so in observation of this dilemma, a web of ideas began to circulate among many young leaders. The underlying theme seemed to be: “how do we get the world to like us more so that in return, they will start coming to our churches/home groups etc?”

I believe that many “emergents” have a sincere burden for the lost. Many of them are characterized by great compassion for the poor and the marginalized. They have a desire to break out of the traditional Christian culture mode and relate to the lost in a new and fresh way. This is admirable considering the great majority of the church seems to feel more comfortable hiding behind the four walls of the church than venturing out into the world to love and serve the lost.

However, I have many concerns about the direction the emergent church has gone in recent years. The primary reason I have these concerns is because I believe that we are at the end of the age. Unlike a large percentage of the church, I believe that instead of being “sucked up” to heaven during the tribulation… we will actually be living here on earth. The tribulation will be used to purify the Bride of Christ and make them ready for His return to earth (2 Peter 3:14, Revelation 19:7-8). If you can find a verse supporting a pre-tribulation rapture, I would love to find out where it is because I haven’t seen one and personally… I would love to stay up there in heaven while hell breaks out down here on earth… but it ain’t gonna happen that way, folks.

The emergent movement has challenged the explicit truth of the Bible that we are to live Holy and blameless lives (Ephesians 1:3-5). Instead of using intimacy with Jesus and the powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit living inside of us to draw unbelievers to the truth, they have instead utilized compromise as a bridge to the lost. This may sound harsh but I myself have experienced this. In fact I was one of the promoters of this style of evangelism: “let’s hang out in bars, drink what we want and that way the lost will feel more comfortable around us.” Did it lead anyone to Jesus? I don’t remember one person coming to Jesus through this method and even if there was such a person, they sure weren’t being fed the truth of the gospel.

Why are we so concerned if the world likes us? We are actually suppose to expect that the world HATES us. 1 John 3:13 says, “do not be surprised brothers, if the world hates you.” In Jesus’ conversation with His father before his death on the cross he prays for us, His followers, “I have given them Your Word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.” John 3:19 says “this is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil.” Yes. It is uncomfortable to be around people who hate us because we love Jesus. We are commanded to love them anyway but we are not given permission to join them in their sin. It pains me to think that we are using a false message of grace to exploit the work done on the cross. Grace is not a reason Jesus gave us to sin. Grace was given to us to empower us to keep from sinning. Sinning just because we can is a mockery of what Jesus has done on the cross.

So how do we reach the lost then? I have a few ideas 1. PRAY. Pray for the lost to know Jesus. Pray for specific people. Pray for their hearts to be open to the gospel. Pray for encounters with Jesus and dreams in the night. GOD is a real, active, and personal God and He is always moving. He wants evangelism to be a partnership with Him… not just some idea that we come up with on our own. 2. Prophesy. Yes. That’s what I said. 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 says that “if an unbeliever or someone does not understand comes in while everyone is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming ‘God is really among you!’. 3. Serving the lost. Feed them, clothe them, but don’t feed and clothe them without introducing them to Jesus. Without Jesus, humanitarian efforts are pointless. We are simply making their lives more comfortable as the drift away to hell.

A message of holiness, intimacy and purity for God CAN work in a young adult movement. Just look at my community, IHOP. The International House of Prayer is comprised mostly of young adults. Imagine that. Around a thousand or more young adults, pursuing Jesus as their ONE desire, and striving to live a life before God that is blameless. It can happen. Young adults are looking for something bigger than they are. In the words of Misty Edwards “there’s something bigger going on… something bigger than ME.”

In light of the times that we are in… and trust me… we are very very close to the tribulation… I want to introduce a few other dangers with the emergent church.

Because Jesus return is so imminent, the Sprit of the Anti-Christ is increasing rapidly. The Apostle John refers to this in 1 John 1:2-3. It is a spirit that deceives unbelievers into trusting in the false doctrine that Jesus is indeed NOT fully God and fully man. This spirit will be prevalent even in the body of Christ and well… it actually is already very prevalent. The emergent church has been characterized by a pervading deception that questions, ever so subtley, the deity of Jesus our Lord. This will start out in a seemingly subtle way and then increase in deception over time. A few years ago, I was able to hear a very popular emergent speaker. I will not share his name because it is not my desire that anyone should be ‘singled out’, but some of the things this man referred to have disturbed me for some years now. He made a statement similar to: “the book of Genesis is outdated and archaic” and then began to subtley share his unbelief in what he seemed to believe wasn’t inerrant, God-breathed scripture on how the earth was formed and created by an uncreated Being. 2 Timothy 4:2-4 says this, “3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” People who are uncomfortable with the truth of God’s inerrant Word will find someone to preach to them what they desire to hear. This is dangerous, why? 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 explains about the Spirit of the Anti-Christ or the Spirit of Lawlessness as it is otherwise called: “the coming of the lawless one will be in accordance to the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perished because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” There will be many in the church, who once called themselves Christians, who will fall away from Jesus because of offense.

In essence… we don’t have time to mess around. This spirit is in the world RIGHT NOW. We cannot allow any form of deception from the enemy. We cannot allow ourselves to sit in compromise. If our consciences are bothering us at all, we must turn away from that sin. Paul said that he “strives to keep his conscience clear before both God and man.” In humility and without religious pride, we must lay hold of the prize that is set before us… JESUS! We must live lives holy and blameless before Jesus and before the World. This includes loving each other. This includes serving each other but it also includes fleeing from immorality, darkness, dangerous theology, and drunkenness.


The title of Randy Bohlender’s recent article on Neue. This is some good stuff.


So I’m going through an inner healing program right now. It’s absolutely one of the most brutal experiences of my life. It’s funny how things are popping up that haven’t happened in literal years. People popping back into my life (briefly) who had previously caused a lot of pain, apologizing for the mistakes they’ve made. Family secrets that have been hidden for years being exposed and generational strongholds being revealed. It has been a lot to take in. In essence, I’ve been handling it by hiding. Finally, this weekend I decided to actually lean into Jesus rather than avoid Him. I’d been frustrated about not hearing from Him during this difficult time, but it was really mostly because I was too scared to let Him into certain aspects of my heart. So I spent much of the evening in the prayer room yesterday. This resulted in me finally having some dreams.

The first dream, I was at my childhood home in northern Wisconsin. My boss, Kristen Anderson was there and someone had stolen the security system out of her car. She called the “car company” to see if they could replace it but they wouldn’t so they had to tow her car away.

At first I thought the dream was about Kristen and was going to tell her I thought I might have had a prophetic dream about her but when I told the dream to my OTHER boss, Dale, she mentioned that the place that the dream was taking place in was very significant and the scene was the home of my childhood.

So I pieced the symbols together. Kristen, is my boss, so this speaks of authority. The car speaks of ministry, and my parents were both pastors. The security system was stolen from them. It all started to make sense. When I was around 11 or 12 there were some serious issues in our church. It’s sort of a long story but one of the major major disruptions was when my dad was accused of stealing $10,000 from our church. A huge split happened and there were rumors spread all over my small town about my family. In the end, the truth was found out and it involved a mistake of someone else in the church. My parents ended up staying at this church for another five years but that year caused a lot of insecurity issues with my parents. At the time of this happening, I was really tough about the whole situation. I don’t remember feeling a lot pain, but definitely felt a lot of anger towards the people that were treating my family in this manner. I’ve always felt, for some reason, that I needed to be strong for my mom. I think my mom suffered more than anyone else in the situation. My dad handled the situation as well but I think that I internalized a lot of the pain I felt and covered it with an appearance of resolve and indignation at the injustice. Without knowing it, I believe that this scenario caused a deep level of insecurity in me because of the shattering of outward security in my parent’s lives. I will write more at another time.

edit:

I will add another dream (or what I can remember of it). This one I really have no clue what it is talking about but I’m hoping that someone else gets it.

I had moved back in with my grandmother in Little Rock. In my dream, I had a room there ready for me. It was a room from my childhood and I had a lot of other things from my childhood in the room. However, when I went to move into the room a girl I hardly know, named Joelle was in my room playing guitar. Like I said, I barely know Joelle, but I looked up the meaning of her name and it means “be willing”. Anyway, I saw her and I went into another room next door to this room. It was like I was talking to her through the wall of the two rooms and I was saying that I should have brought my keyboard so that we could worship together.

So I kind of think it is the Lord calling me out to be willing to see the painful things from my childhood but to worship Him in the midst of it. Yikes! If anyone else gets more interpretation from it, let me know. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.


So I had a dream awhile back.

It was shortly after I returned from England. It was very symbolic and I have been dissecting it for months and months when Jesus this weekend gave me some pretty interesting insight on it.

I was a nanny for Paul McCartney and Elizabeth Hurley (don’t laugh).
They were on their honeymoon and we were all together in Egypt.
We are all in a jeep and it is a really hot day.
They hand me their tiny newborn baby to take care of and I take it and walk down the streets of Egypt with it.
I wind up walking right into a city in England. I’m not sure if it was London or not but it was England.
I was on a street lined with shops and the baby is suddenly about 2 or 3 years old.
In this particular part of the city, they were having an art festival.
I went inside a store and it was full of classrooms where people were working on various art projects. I’m carrying this toddler around and we are inspecting all of the art projects.
At the end of the dream I see a closed door and I go to it, curious to see what is inside. When I open the door, my dream ends.

I’ve figured out that Egypt was here in Kansas City. This is my wilderness season. The baby is my vision for London. It was newborn at the time I had my dream. When the baby is older, I figured out this means that I will be in England around the time my vision is about 2 or 3 years old. So basically I’m sticking it out here for 2 or 3 years. Let me tell you… sometimes it sure feels like Egypt here.

What I didn’t understand for a long time was all of the artistic stuff. For one thing I’m carrying the baby of two English celebrities. McCartney, a musician and Hurley an actress. Then I end up in an art festival and then in a store full of classrooms with people working on various art projects.

I believe that when I entered the closed door that this was prayer and intercession. But what is all the rest of it?

Saturday, I woke up with a start. I suddenly realized what this meant… well in part anyway. There is a school in New York City called “The New School”. It’s a place where adults can go and take classes on various things. Anything from dance to history to writing to foreign languages.

If there is anything that that can get the humanistic culture in London to have an interest in the church (other than a sovereign move of the Holy Spirit, which is of course ideal) it’s the arts. My crazy, nutty plan is to eventually start something like “The New School” in London where teachers (who are secretly prophetic messengers) are interacting with adult students daily. In the back of the school somewhere I foresee a furnace of prayer and intercession for the city and small grassroots church plants sprouting in various homes around the city… or maybe just one big one. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like yet.

I know I sound like some kind of crazy idealist nutjob but I really think this might be Jesus. There’s no way I could come up with it on my own.