I consider myself to be a generalist in the body of Christ. I can teach the Word, there are many specialist teachers who can take their topic and own it, but I am comfortable teaching all the topics of the Bible. There are people who can flow in the Spirit much more adeptly than me, but I can flow in all of the gifts at different times. I am no evangelist, but I love sharing my faith and creating a culture of outreach.
So I am a generalist, not a specialist. I’m like a GP of pastors! That’s fine, I am happy with what I am called to be and love doing what I do. I am saying all this as it surprises people who only know me as a teacher and pastor that I flow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But I am seeing the seeds of this revival that is coming right now, and I can see trends that will be coming in the body of Christ. Here are ten things I can see coming for the UK right now.
- I see pastors with a higher level of devotion than ever before.
Those of you who know me know that I am totally for local church. I believe in local church, and I don’t believe your Christianity is authentic if it is not rooted and grounded in local church. I love local church. I believe everyone should stop being a goat and be a sheep and get a shepherd and be devoted to the local church. I shoot pretty sharp with this because it is fundamental to this coming revival – it will be happening in local churches.
However, one of the reasons why many Christians sadly are not devoted to their local churches is that there has been many occasions where there has been a lack of devotion from the pastors of the churches! People are uncertain when the pastor has no devotion to the sheep – no one wants to follow someone who is going to disappear.
I have to tell my sheep all the time that I am staying in Dagenham and I will be there until I die. In fact I say the only way I am leaving Tree of Life Church is feet first. The people know I could travel anywhere in the world, and need to know I am there for them! How many pastors travel to America for green pastures!
But I sense that in the UK there is going to be, more than ever before, pastors who know the geography they are called to, know the people they are called to and will be utterly devoted to the town, the church, the culture, the people. These pastors will be the major harvesters of this coming revival!
- I see a positive image of the church bleeding into society
At the moment, the church is a figure of ridicule in the UK on the whole. People think that the Vicar of Dibley represents the church of the living God, but things are changing and will keep changing, and people will start to realize that behind the scenes it is the church that is feeding the poor, helping people get jobs, helping people learn to read, changing lives, healing the sick and generally being Christ-like. This shift will come with a shift towards a positive attitude to the church from the leadership of the nation.
Can everyone reading this do me a favour? Can you stop reading for a second and speak positive words over your local church (if you don’t have one, get one!)? Can you say “my church is highly favoured, my church is growing, my church is a great place to be, my church is changing this nation”. It will be a tragedy if the world wakes up to how awesome the church is before some Christians do. If you have been attacking the local church, stop!
- I see Christian businesses working in the United Kingdom, and church members employing many from the churches
One of the things that will happen in the next few years is that many Christians in the UK are going to start businesses and those businesses will be successful, putting those Christians in strategic positions. They will use that position to employ from their local churches, and create companies that represent the ethos and love of Christ. People will come to their pastor needing a job, and there will be several available from church members!
Now if this is to come to pass, we all need to make sure we are good workers – not coming in late claiming we were evangelising! But being the best workers we can be.
- I see the role of the pastor changing on a national scale from teacher to father.
Many pastors have never stepped beyond being a teacher of the Word to their people, feeding them great messages on grace and faith. But people don’t gather around a teacher, they gather around a father or mother (have a look at Matthew 23.37 for a beautiful picture of this). The more fatherly the pastors become, the more the churches will grow in this nation. Now many pastors have made this transition individually through the leading of the Lord, but this is going to be like an awakening, like something everyone is suddenly talking about. There is an anointing to father and it is here right now for the pastors.
- I see many many miracles being done by the unknown
We see many miracles today, and they are done in the big conferences and by the big ministries, and that is great. But miracles are coming home, and the home of miracles is the local church, and the miracle workers are not the pastors of the local church but the “certain disciples” of the local church. The battle cry of the next ten years will be not “this is a great ministry”, “this is a great conference”, but “this is a great church, this is a glorious church” and the focus will not be a man but the body of Jesus Christ on earth. I see miracles being done as believers lay hands on the sick, and I see the church as a whole rising up. People who are in schools, colleges, workplaces that the TV evangelist or pastor would never and could never go will be praying for people and healing the sick all over the nation.
I know this has begun, I am watching it happen, but it will become a national trend.
These are exciting times people, you better believe it!