Discerning Mandates

We have our scroll and 7 mountains but it is important to get a  mandate every day  for   the day to day steps. Discerning mandates is not all about seeing physically  a clear picture in heaven.

Here are some ways we can discern a mandate:-

  • Listening to the conviction of your spirit/ conscience as you go about your day.
  • Visit the courts and ask to hear accusations.
  • Interacting with the world and sensing a righteous anger or intense desire
  • Interacting with the body to discern the seasons and times . Sometimes your spirit just knows what is important and it is the only thing you want to do.
  • Asking Wisdom ( prov 3) what to do in a certain situation.  You can also engage the handmaidens of wisdom.
  • Going to the court of war for a strategy
  • Engaging the men in white linen assigned to your scroll. Joining in union with them can release something.
  • Sometimes we wake up thinking of something – that can be a heavenly mandate.
  • Engaging the angels as they are meant to bring the word of the lord to us.
  • Considering what brings you joy and peace today- are you feeling like intimacy or warfare or cleansing . If you are prone to one strength though do consider a balance.
  • Look into some info on the big picture for your scroll. Discern where your scroll is going eg how bad is the situation you care for- is it getting worse-, with whom, where etc.- see where your spirit leaps for you to play a part.

Places in the heavenly realms – moving from Glory/Prophetic Movement to the Order of Melchezidek

11219301_1450431945259698_234507348487336131_nWritten by Jane Johnson Founder of Ecclesia Framework

This is a compilation of concepts from those discerning the blueprint coming out of the heavenly realms.

You can use these concepts to find the appropriate podcast under that name. You can print it off and use it as a checklist of places to set your desire on to visit .

If you wish to see some foundational topics then visit for  pathway for new people. We are a governmental hub seeking to be a resource centre about the heavenly blueprint for the Ecclesia.

  • We are designed as Sons having responsibility for Dominion over the earth (gen 3) not just intimacy to restore earth as it is in heaven.
  • We can access the inner court and holy of holies now, beyond the veil,  we don’t have to wait until death (see engaging heaven by  Ian Clayton at sons of thunder). “We are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms”
  • Everything comes out of Christ being our first love( enter through first love gate).
  • Understanding how to divide our soul from our spirit to finally allow them to come into union.
  • There are 9 voices that mediate for us to give us the right to enter the courts immediately – not when we have cleansed our gateways.
  • Opening  our gateways is an ongoing process to be done in heavenly realms  not a one off process.
  • Restoring and exercising our crowns, e.g. life, righteousness, glory, incorruptible crown from yielding, crown of anointing oil , crown of rejoicing, the servant king crown (see engaging heaven book). When we have crowns we can trade for government.
  • Everything out of Love, Culture of Honor and a Servant heart (although we are not servants).  We seek to move from Lordship (ruling our mountain) to Kingship (judging gods courts) to Sonship (being able to create), away from orphan and slave.
  • With intimacy comes responsibility,  so going into the courts to legislate is important and taking authority over our 7 mountains.
  • Principle of Zech 3: how to follow my laws, walk in his ways, judge my house, judge my courts and protocol of entering in the courts.
  • Understanding of the four faces of God – Lion( King) Ox (prophetic), Eagle (Apostolic), Man.
  • We can go to wisdoms heights and ask for protocol ( proverbs 3) and step in wisdom and the pillars.
  • Understand and honor (not worship) the 7 spirits of God , role of  Angels Men in White Linen and the Cloud of witnesses and how  we can work with them to assist our scroll.
  • 7 spirits are different Colors.
  • We can mandate angels for our major court cases when we know our scrolls and have authorisation from the court of chancellors and it is put into law by the court of scribes.
  • Understanding of positive and negative trading floors  and everything coming out of rest (not our strength but the fathers).
  • Communion more about changing our DNA than remembrance.
  • Setting ourselves as boundary stones to provide protection. 1 Sam 7
  • Accessing heavenly realms is voluntary but the process of repentance and agreeing with the accuser is important as is  gathering our royal armaments for coronation.18796_1449923101977249_185850677502023187_n
  • Understanding transformation through seed line cleansing, DNA transforming, the importance of the blood and Jesus as mediator, obtaining our investiture in heaven.
  • Understanding of  the Garden of God and the Garden in our heart. Responsibility for tendering the garden in our heart (sowing seeds of righteousness).
  • Understanding of peoples scroll/ call/ mandate / mountains is fundamental.
  • Understanding the importance of establishing a marriage covenant with God (what will you promise to god?).
  • Four chambers of the heart (see Ian Clayton podcast) – bridal chamber, dance floor, soaking room, and gods garden.
  • Understanding of finding God in the Dark Cloud, in the Arc,  the Matrix of water, On Gods Mountain and the Tent of Meeting.
  • Accessing Satans trading floor scroll room and training room. 
  • Establishing Benches of 3 (kingly strategic , apostolic, prophetic) based on model of the Father, Son and Holy spirit.
  • Benches of 7 (as in seven spirits) are used for teams involving elders rather than boards of business people.
  • Understand Benches of 12  (12 laws of Zion, 2×12 =24 elders).
  • Understands Mountains are areas of authority/dominion. We have 7 mountains.
  • Sonship and Kingship underp11188340_1449748901994669_3897829647298330200_nin 5 fold ministries.
  • We can approach the throne of grace.
  • Establishing pillars of fire, entering in the river of fire, trading floors and trading  from the fiery stones.
  • Understanding the 7 domains  of heaven from the menorah and difference between domain, government and presence of God.
  • Moving from outer court to inner court to increase intimacy.
  • Understanding the different courts, (court of angels, mobile court, court of war, court of chancellors, court of kings, court of scribes, court of the lord, bench of 70, court of fathers and court of men in white linen).
  • Everyone has a voice not just leaders ( priesthood of all believers).
  • Understanding the role of the Hand of God and the Breath of God. When we raise our hand in heaven we are exercising authority.
  • We don’t ask for the glory to come down to us but the glory is inside us.
  • As we mature we deal with principalities  rulers and powers (Giants and dragons) to restore dominion.
  • Spiritual gifts are the less perfect way.
  • Becoming an oracle declaring what has been seen over the arc.
  • We begin to understand the nature of the chancellors houses and how they must come into alignment to release the house of scrolls.
  • Frame the future by setting our desire on it and go back in time and reset it.
  • Dealing with familiar spirits in our gateways.
  • Go through baptisms of Glory, Fire, Death, Repentance , Water , Holy Spirit,  and Fathers. 
  • Leaves of the tree of life are for healing of nations and open gateways for nations healing. We can  choose to eat those.
  • Engaging wisdom and her 7 handmaidens , spirit of truth, glory, excellence , promise, holiness, faith and life.
  • Engaging the seven spirits: counsel , understanding , wisdom, might, fear of lord , knowledge, and the spirit of God.
  • Going to the judgement seat of Christ and the throne of grace.
  • Coming into agreement with the scrolls of the men in white linen, e.g. Moses, and abram.
  • Engaging Jesus as our brother.
  • Receiving a new name and investiture – we require a name to access the mountain of God.
  • Receiving a ring of eternity (Haggai 2:23).
  •  Embedding 12 stones into your breast-plate.
  • Becoming a pillar rev 3:12.
  • Building a nest in the covering of the tree of life.

Presenting Cases (can be done as a group or individually)

  • Honour the cloud of witnesses, men in white linen, Jesus our mediator, angels.
  • We need to remove legal rights of the enemy by coming into agreement with the accuser. We can ask what accusations are against us. Matt 5:25.
  • First make sure of your scroll (calling) and you have a mandate to deal with an issue( can ask to go into the scroll room).
  • Prepare a case (considering facts, words, dreams, verses and words of wisdom) and hear the accusations – this can be done together (See Robert Henderson You Tubes).
  • Accept and agree with the guilt.
  • Verdict is released.
  • Can ask a seer to see what has happened in the spiritual realms after. Many see principalities slayed.

Visit http://www.ecclesiaframework.com for more info and Facebook group to explain these further.

Operating in the courtrooms of heaven by Henderson gives a full biblical basis for court procedure.

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Click here to sign up to the Heavenly Realms page. 

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JaneJohnson new smallCEO. Jane Johnson B.Com Grad Dip LD, Dip Coaching.

Jane has worked in many different leadership capacities from being a professionally qualified Christian Leadership Coach for 13 years to many Christian leaders, to leading a ministry with the Navigators, to being a Senior Learning and Development Manager of a multimillion corporation, advising the management team on strategic approaches to get the best out of their people. She has developed considerable experience with Investors in People taking several companies through to successful accreditation and training as a consultant for them. Hence she understands the amazing impact a tool based on this principle can have.

Connect with her on LinkedIn athttps://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=287940854&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

Changing our Learning Practices to become a Mature Son of God

Written by Jane Johnson

Disciple-Making-ChurchAs a learning and development professional I see many practices in church settings that are not conducive to good learning and are not modelled in the Bible.

Here is what I see in the bible, I see in heaven and is a better way to learn:-

  • One anothering (see page).
  • Learning a small piece of info and applying it straight away (this is why conference learning and spirit schools are not the best).
  • Trying to explain it to others really helps and you can even get new revelation from heaven in the process sometimes!
  • Seeing things in writing  increases retention more than hearing so finding a balance of written and audio materials is best. Trying it out in practice helps even more no matter what your preferred learning style (action learning). If you are doing any learning interventions for people, try to give them exercises to practice and reinforce with visual elements.
  • Debating was the original meaning of teaching in scripture not listening – there was so much debate when Jesus was on the earth and people allowed to ask questions. Debate allows us to overcome mindsets and blocked gateways. Listening to sermons only has limited retention and usually around 20 mins.
  • Daily discipling was the model of the early church. We can do this by using a lot of online methods these days such as messenger groups and Facebook chats on pages or messaging /texting each other.
  • Coaching/mentoring is a great tool to give a sounding board, accountability, setting goals, overcoming obstacles. Coaching workshops do exist but some coaching tips are on page “looking for community”.
  • Networking to get resources tailored to you.
  • Keeping momentum by listening to frequent resources to boost faith and  sharing what you have learnt to reinforce learning. Trying to explain it to others is a great exercise.

The great fact about this generation is the technology allows us  to seek resources that are the best in the world. As we were never meant to stay in one small location dealing only with the same people for years (traditional church thinking), this technology can be a real blessing to seeing a more heavenly blueprint.

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Join our Facebook page: Ecclesia Framework to receive regular updates and daily updated content.

Click here to sign up to the Heavenly Realms page. 

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JaneJohnson new smallCEO. Jane Johnson B.Com Grad Dip LD, Dip Coaching.

Jane has worked in many different leadership capacities from being a professionally qualified Christian Leadership Coach for 13 years to many Christian leaders, to leading a ministry with the Navigators, to being a Senior Learning and Development Manager of a multimillion corporation, advising the management team on strategic approaches to get the best out of their people. She has developed considerable experience with Investors in People taking several companies through to successful accreditation and training as a consultant for them. Hence she understands the amazing impact a tool based on this principle can have.

Connect with her on LinkedIn athttps://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=287940854&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

Growth checklist – See how well you are growing spiritually

church-growth

  1. Are you making a choice to say Jesus is your first love every day?
  2. Are you able to hear, discern  or see in the spirit?
  3. Do you know your gateways and how open they are daily?
  4. Do you know your scroll of destiny or what you really want to see happen in the world?
  5. Are you ruling on your mountains daily (that does not mean that you have no problems)?
  6. Are you asking for a mandate in heaven daily?
  7. Are you engaging angels?
  8. Are you operating from a seat of rest meaning things are fun and in Christs strength not striving on our own?
  9. Are you seeking to grow in court protocol and entering regularly? (Note -nothing is stopping u entering right now by faith)
  10. Are you seeing answers to court cases?
  11. Are you connecting with others to go into heaven and in some form of accountability relationship?
  12. Are you learning to multiply your life by mentoring/coaching another?
  13. Are you seeking others who have the same scroll as yourself to begin a bench of 3?
  14. Do you understand we don’t go to church we are  Ecclesia in everyplace, city, local and nationwide?
  15. Do you want to be part of the Joshua generation mentoring others and crossing over to build a new wineskin for future generations?
  16. Do you understand why traditional church models are not  heavenly , healthy or biblical in most areas?

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Join our Facebook page: Ecclesia Framework to receive regular updates and daily updated content.

Click here to sign up to the Heavenly Realms page. 

………………………………………………………………………………………………

JaneJohnson new smallCEO. Jane Johnson B.Com Grad Dip LD, Dip Coaching.

Jane has worked in many different leadership capacities from being a professionally qualified Christian Leadership Coach for 13 years to many Christian leaders, to leading a ministry with the Navigators, to being a Senior Learning and Development Manager of a multimillion corporation, advising the management team on strategic approaches to get the best out of their people. She has developed considerable experience with Investors in People taking several companies through to successful accreditation and training as a consultant for them. Hence she understands the amazing impact a tool based on this principle can have.

Connect with her on LinkedIn athttps://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=287940854&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

Moving from Lords to Kings

Jan 2015 Jane johnson
This is my understanding of the difference between Lords and Kings.
Kings mandate from their spirit so they can write on a scroll, something like Sonship, unity, spiritual fathering, or something to do with your mountain like a cure for a disease that wells up in them as from heaven etc., for example – it still has to be approved by a chancellor and written into legislation by scribes.
Lords put into legislation existing mandates approved by lower chancellors (these are different from higher chancellors of 12 chancellors houses such as Melchezidek).
So legislating does not mean creating or mandating but doing what is necessary to come into alignment with what has been mandated already. 
As a King we can present a case to the court of 70. 
Judges can overrule lower chancellors verdicts. Please challenge if you think I have misrepresented things.
We can aim to be a chancellor approving laws, statues and precepts in certain areas.
Understanding natural court systems can help.
Often you are given signs that you have this sort of role like blue rings, told you are a judge.
We are often given many crowning ceremonies as you mature.

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Surrender and Rule

and Jeremy Westcott –

Surrender

When we open the door of our heart, when we open that First Love gate and let Jesus come in, He comes in and He rules. We can rule here in this realm on our own mountain, in our own house, but we rule through surrender. We give Him rulership of our life. Now as we are renewed in our mind, and as He begins to transform us, as our emotions and our soul get restored, He gives back more and more rulership to us, so that our spirit starts to rule in us as a joint heir with Him.

Initially he comes and rules: we hand our lives over to Him. But as He starts to equip us, He gives us more and more authority to rule with Him as a son of our Father. In the early days He can’t trust us with it all because we wouldn’t know how to handle it. It would be like giving a child a machine gun. But as time goes on, the more we allow God to transform us into His image, the more authority we start to come into. The more we allow God to deal with what is in our hearts and see that worked out in our lives, the more He begins to bring us into the delegated authority associated with our destiny, so that we rule with Him in that place.

What is our destiny?

We really need to read our scroll of destiny. We can ask God to show it to us so that we know what is written on it. I have mentioned this before, and I will go into it some more on another occasion.

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:29).

This is ordained for us, our destiny has been put in place: we are called to be conformed to the image of Jesus. To be like Him. There are not supposed to be just one or two people ruling in the heavenly places: Jesus is to be the firstborn among many brethren. We are all supposed to rule as joint heirs with Christ. We just need to take up our authority.

Rule as a lord…

So we become a lord when we dispossess the giants and rule on the mountain thrones in the ‘kingdom of God’ heavenly realm. That is where we are ruling the house. That is our house, our level of authority; our mountain, our throne. That is all to do with our destiny and our mandate. We can even become a lord of lords as we disciple and raise up other lords. We give away what we have received. We raise up others and bring them into their destinies as well.

…a king…

Then we become a king, when we dispossess the dragon and we rule on that mountain throne in the ‘kingdom of heaven’ heavenly realm. We start to administer righteousness and justice from the heavenly courts.

When we start operating in the courts, we will find them to be awesome places of authority. There is a whole court system, with higher and lower courts, and I have been to many of them myself. There are divorce courts where we are able to legally separate ourselves from things in our past. There are courts of accusation where Satan accuses the brethren, and we have to go and deal with those accusations over ourselves (how we deal with accusations against us, by the way, is to agree with them, accept the judgment of God, and go free because Jesus has already paid for us). Some of those reading this are called to be intercessors: they are called to go to the courts and deal with accusations on behalf of other places, people or regions.

We can become a king of kings as we disciple and raise up other kings. Everything is about reproducing in others what God produces in us. Everything God is and has in heaven, He wants to be reproduced on earth. That is why Jesus had disciples around Him.

…a son

As we are diligent to rule as lords and kings, God will bring us into our place as sons. Then we rule on a mountain on a throne in the heavenly realm of ‘Heaven’. And God manifests us as sons of light on the earth (as it is in heaven). As in heaven, so on earth: the application of that here is that only as we rule in the heavens first can we then outwork that rule on the earth. We cannot expect to do it the other way round.

We will live as manifest sons of God, restoring the earth to its original purpose – the original purpose even in the first creation – to bring us into fullness of sonship.

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Investiture, Succession, Enthronement, Coronation

and Jeremy Westcott

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Pet 2:9).

We are royal, and we are a priesthood.

What kings do is rule. And as priests, as we saw last time, we have access to stand in the courts of heaven.

“The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force” (Matt 11:12). This does not happen easily. God commanded Adam to subdue the earth and rule (Gen 1:28). You do not just rule, without going through a battle; you do not subdue unless there is something to be subdued; you do not have dominion unless there is something to have dominion over. In our own lives we all have plenty that needs subduing and dealing with.

We must be militant about this. We cannot sit back and be passive, then expect to enter into rulership. Coming into our identity, coming into our destiny: those things happen when we pursue them, grasp hold of them, and fight for them. Paul said “I take hold of that for which Christ has taken hold of me” (Phil 3:12). The kingdom suffers under forceful ones, and forceful ones occupy by force. There are opposing forces in the heavenly realms whose aim it is to stop us ruling, and we have to deal with them.

It must have been in late 2008 or early 2009 that God gave me four words. I understood them (up to a point) but I did not immediately understand all the implications of them. Those words were:

  • Investiture
  • Succession
  • Enthronement
  • Coronation

Investiture

God wants to invest us with authority. I remember Prince Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales in Caernarfon Castle in 1969. In the UK, being Prince of Wales means that you are heir to the throne.

Succession

But you also have to come into that authority.Prince Charles has not yet succeeded to the throne because the Queen is still alive and reigning. He will not succeed until she dies. In the same way, we will not succeed until some things die. Some of those things will be in our lives, but some of them will be in the heavenly realms. We need to see those things defeated so that we can come into that succession.

Enthronement

And succession is not enough. We are called to occupy thrones, as we have seen. Put simply, thrones are where we rule from. If we leave those thrones unoccupied, there will be no government in those areas. Or, worse still, the thrones will be usurped by others who do want to rule, but draw their authority from the kingdom in darkness.

Coronation

Ultimately, God will display our rulership on the earth. The sons of God will be manifest. The kingdom will be on earth as it is in heaven. Heavenly authority is higher than earthly authority. That is why we need to rule in the heavens. It supercedes all the authority that operates here. The laws of the spiritual kingdom are higher than (and have precedence over) the  laws of the natural kingdom.

The traditional (Greek) view of the heavens goes something like this:

We live in the first heaven. The Bible tells us that Paul visited the third heaven, the realm where God is (2Cor 12:2). In between there must obviously be a second heaven – so says Greek, linear thinking – and that is where Satan and his angels and demons operate. The enemy has used this broken imagery to his advantage: if we are in the first heaven and God is in the third, then we have to go through that second heaven to get to God. And it is full of darkness. That whole pattern of thinking has stopped us from even thinking we could possibly access the heavenly realms.

Some people have tried to do it. They have attempted to go through the second heaven, but have usually been beaten up because they were coming against a higher level of authority with only their earthly authority.

The reality is different. The heavens are not linear, and we do not need to go through anything to get there. Here again is my representation of what the heavenly realms are really like. If this is the first time you have seen it, you might find it helpful to go back through the past few blog posts and read more about it:

Realms Of Heaven 20130809

As we saw before, we can choose to turn into the kingdom of light, or into the kingdom that is in darkness. This earthly realm is connected to a spiritual realm which is where God created it from. In fact it is only the word of God that holds this realm together.

He is inviting us to go into the heavenly realms so that we can bring higher authority from those realms into this one. When we do, then nothing here or in the atmosphere of the earth will be able to stand against us.

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Join our Facebook page: Ecclesia Framework to receive regular updates and daily updated content.

Click here to sign up to the Heavenly Realms page. 

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Can we serve your calling on one of our mountains?

mountain-water_2188_1024x768We have been given a mandate to set up a governmental hub/apostolic resource centre to facilitate the emergence of a heavenly Ecclesia which we believe will be foundational to transforming the mountains of society which in turn will restore dominion over the earth. Helping people find their scrolls and link in benches of 3 is critical to this.

We believe this will be the emergence of new expressions not run by paid pastors but by facilitators allowing the full expression of gifts and calling of all and building organic quickly reproducible expressions which will use resources from all areas . So we see at the moment it will be a combination of heavenly realms principles, organic church principles and one United body.

We and many others do not sense that this will be remodelling traditional churches predominately.

Our mandate is to:

Develop materials to enable people to understand heavenly realms  revelations.

Communicate the principles in the heavenly Ecclesia blueprint document.

See the Raising up hangouts for different levels and going into heaven together and one on one discipling  in the new blueprint who understand multiplication of groups and each other’s lives (not spiritual addition).

Facilitate benches of 3 meeting around a scroll.

Train up hub leaders who understand how to prevent the return to traditional church ethos.

Promote all aspects of the body not just our own to see one United body.

Help understand good learning principles.

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Possible values of a new ecclesia

  • Intimacy with God.
  • Replicating “as it is in heaven”.
  • Raising up the new generation through “one anothering”.
  • Legislating in heaven and responsibility on earth.
  • Only doing what we have a mandate for.
  • Love and honour your neighbour as yourself.
  • We are all one body across the world not just one location therefore freedom to access resources elsewhere.
  • Facilitation and Mutual subjection to one another moving away from clergy / laity divide.

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Join our Facebook page: Ecclesia Framework to receive regular updates and daily updated content.

Click here to sign up to the Heavenly Realms page. 

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JaneJohnson new smallCEO. Jane Johnson B.Com Grad Dip LD, Dip Coaching.

Jane has worked in many different leadership capacities from being a professionally qualified Christian Leadership Coach for 13 years to many Christian leaders, to leading a ministry with the Navigators, to being a Senior Learning and Development Manager of a multimillion corporation, advising the management team on strategic approaches to get the best out of their people. She has developed considerable experience with Investors in People taking several companies through to successful accreditation and training as a consultant for them. Hence she understands the amazing impact a tool based on this principle can have.

Connect with her on LinkedIn athttps://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=287940854&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

 

8 WAYS TO TREAT CYNICISM SICKNESS FROM A RECOVERING CHRISTIAN CYNIC

Slide01-compressor-4-e1445377565952by Frank Powell

Hello, my name is Frank Powell, and I am a recovering Christian cynic. I was disillusioned about the church. I didn’t sign up for church ministry. I was drafted by God. I also didn’t grow up heavily involved in a youth group. I attended church sporadically to appease my parents.

I tell you this because when God drafted me, I had a picture of the church. This picture was shaped by my limited experience in church and my idea of what I thought “church” should look like.

In my mind, church ministry would be easy.

I would baptize new Christians all the time. Everyone would be receptive to my plans and teaching. In no time, I would have a mega-church. I knew I could do it. I was friends with several 20-somethings on Facebook and Twitter who pastored mega-churches.

I quickly realized “church people” are often frustrating and resistant to change. Not everyone enjoyed my teaching. Progress was slow. For nearly two years, I fought disillusionment. And, slowly, I made strides.

Then came the bombshell.

Another minister at the church where I worked sent me a scathing e-mail. He attacked everything, from my competency in ministry to the future salvation of my family.

That e-mail was the final straw. I wanted out.

Ever been there?

Thankfully, God kept me in ministry. I accepted another position and battled more disillusionment. But on the other side of my latest season in ministry, God restored my hope. It’s not because people changed. People will always be people. It’s not because the church is different. My hope is restored in the church and in God’s work in the world because God awakened me to inconsistencies and brokenness in my heart.

Here’s the reality. Cynicism plagues our culture. It might be the greatest threat to the present-day church. Cynicism is toxic. It’s insanely contagious. And, it’s not a respecter of persons. Anyone, anywhere, regardless of age, background, socioeconomic level, or race is susceptible to cynicism.

Cynics live without hope (the anchor of the Christian faith), void of compassion, lacking trust in everyone and everything. And without hope, compassion, and trust, what do you have? Seriously?

I want to share what I learned about cynicism. And I want to challenge you to start (or continue) fighting against cynicism. Cynicism is a sickness. It’s not from God.

Here are 8 ways to treat cynicism sickness.

1.) NEVER BECOME FAMILIAR WITH GOD.

If familiarity breeds contempt, then religious familiarity breeds unholy cynicism.Margaret Feinberg

Familiarity with God turns blind faith into dry legalism. The church needs a larger view of God. The church needs to rediscover the God who created stars with his breath. God’s people are desperate for a new, fresh perspective of what it means to be all-powerful and all-knowing. There is no mountain God can’t move. There is no place to hide from God. If you travel to Pluto, he’s there. If you travel to the furthest known galaxy in the universe, MACS0647-JD, 13.3 billion light years from earth, God is there.

Familiarity with God turns blind faith into dry legalism.

Write this down…the smaller your God, the larger your problems. And when your problems are too big for God, cynicism will plague your life. Rest in God’s power to do anything, anywhere, anytime.

But also rest in God’s knowledge, which far exceeds yours. God might not answer the way you want. It’s not because God doesn’t hear you. It’s because he sees the trajectory of your life. And, he weaves your requests with his will to form an unbreakable cord that lasts for all of eternity.

2.) DON’T FIGHT RELIGIOUS BATTLES. JUST SERVE PEOPLE. 

Several years ago, a tornado ravaged a suburb in Jackson, MS. A group of teenagers and adults from my church spent the day helping those affected. It’s interesting. That day, I served alongside Christians from other denominations. I realized, despite what I was taught, they weren’t from Satan. They actually loved Jesus. A lot.

Cynicism thrives in a culture where Christians are idle and bored.

You know who doesn’t spend time debating ideals? Christians actively engaged in the mission of Christ. These Christians are too busy actually doing what Jesus said to debate whether Jesus actually meant it. What a novel idea, right? You see, cynicism thrives in a culture where Christians are idle and bored.

Show me a culture where Christians are cynical, I will bet my son’s salary (because he’s three) that church is focused on themselves and not others. I will bet my other son’s salary (because he’s two) a disproportionate number of Christians simply fill pews. Few Christians in cynical churches serve and few church leaders challenge people to serve.

Can you imagine what would happen if every Christian decided to serve others? This sounds ridiculous, but what if Christians stopped reading about Jesus and started living out what they already knew?

What if…

3.) CHALLENGE YOUR LONG-HELD ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT YOUR FAITH AND GOD. 

In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”Eric Hoffer

Cynicism loves a culture where people hold to their beliefs tighter than the time I held to my wife when we rode the Goliath at Six Flags. And, yes. I screamed like a girl. Don’t judge me.

You are a learner. When you stop learning, you cease to be human. Human beings are the only creations of God with the ability to accumulate knowledge.

Dogs eat, pee, poop, make me sneeze (I’m allergic), and sleep. Dogs don’t reach a certain level of maturity and say, “Hey, I think I’ll learn to drive today.”

Cats eat, pee, poop, annoy people, look scary, and sleep. No one ever walked into your house, looked at your cat, and said, “Isn’t your cat five? Shouldn’t he be in school?”

But you? You were created to learn. If God is all-knowing, it is godly to learn and grow.

Listen to people you don’t agree with. I listen to sermons and podcasts of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. I have even listened to atheists discuss their perspective on the world, humanity, and culture. Do I agree with them? No. Do I have to agree with their views to listen to them? No.

You must listen to viewpoints you don’t agree with. Your church culture won’t do this for you. Most Sunday mornings are glorified pep rallies. Just watch the head nods. Listen for the amens. Here’s what they mean. “Yeah, I knew that. Yep, that’s right. I agree with you.” People come to hear the preacher say what they already know.

To combat the pep rally culture, you must expand your horizon. Challenge your traditional thinking. Be open-minded. Learners will inherit the earth. Are you a learner?

4.) ENGAGE IN CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.

You weren’t created to be alone. Isolation fuels cynicism. Ironically, cynicism often drives people into isolation. So, there’s a dangerous cycle at work here.

How do you break the cycle? Christian community. Authentic, Christ-centered community removes poison from the veins of cynicism. It reveals, on a smaller scale, what is true on a global scale. Transformation is slow. Ministry is messy. People are broken. Growth comes through vulnerability. The mission of Christ is external. Suffering is inevitable.

You get the idea.

You can’t become the man or woman God created you to be if you aren’t plugged into Christian community.

Through the years, community with other Christians shaped my journey more than anything else. I decided to go into full-time ministry after a Bible study at a friend’s home. When I got the news about cancer, it was my community who prayed for me. I could on and on.

As much as it hurts, regardless of how uncomfortable it is for you, plug into a community of believers. It will transform your life.

5.) BE VULNERABLE AND AUTHENTIC.

Cynicism thrives in a culture where Bible memorization and church attendance are merit badges for your coat of external righteousness. Why? External righteousness isn’t about God. It’s about you. And cynicism begins at the line between selflessness and selfishness.

This is why authenticity is so important. It reminds you that you’re broken. And this brokenness reminds you of God’s perfection.

But, if your church culture is like mine, this isn’t the message you are taught. I was instructed to hide my sins. Good Christian boys didn’t have sex, watch pornography, or drink alcohol. And God didn’t like little boys who did those things. So, when I did them, you know who I told? No one. And it caused me years of shame and pride.

At some point, I decided the Christian game wasn’t very fun and I stopped playing. Regardless of the facade your church tries to sell, don’t buy it. Everyone is broken. Every person who walks in a church building struggles with something. If you think you don’t struggle with anything, you’re wrong.

You struggle with pride…and lying.

Surround yourself with Christians who value authenticity. The more you do this, the less you hide feelings of shame. The more you let go of yourself, the deeper you sink in the sea of God’s unending grace. Cynicism dies where God’s grace lives.

Cynicism dies where God’s grace lives.

6.) BY DEFAULT, TRUST EVERYONE. 

Look, I get it. People hurt you. They hurt me too. But when you don’t trust someone, you throw up a wall to keep from being hurt.

If you don’t trust your spouse, you don’t give all of yourself to them. If you don’t trust your boss, you withhold information from them. And here’s the problem with not trusting people…you can’t point someone to God when there’s a wall between yourself and someone else.

Look, don’t run around like Mary Poppins. Understand people are going to hurt you and disappoint you. But don’t give up on people because they’re broken like you. Treat others the way you want to be treated. You want to be trusted, right? Even when you mess up.

And remember, Jesus will never give up on you. He believes you are good. He believes you are worthy of dying for. What if the Christian community embraced the mentality of Jesus?

7.) DON’T RUN FROM DISCOMFORT. RUN INTO IT.

My default response to conflict is to run from it. And while this response protects me from short-term pain, it creates more long-term pain. If you want to end your life with no friends and overcome with bitterness, run from conflict. Don’t lean into discomfort when it comes.

Don’t miss this.

Almost every promise of God is fulfilled through conflict. God promised Abraham he would bless nations through him. In the meantime, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, leave his family, and endure a host of other difficult events.

David was anointed king by Samuel, but he didn’t take the reigns until 20 years after his anointing. In the meantime, David ran for his life. He fought for his life.

And, of course, the reconciling of the world was promised in Genesis and fulfilled at the resurrection of Jesus. In the meantime? Murder. Divorce. War. And, ultimately, the cross. At the cross, God redeemed humanity through pain and discomfort.

This is one of the greatest lessons I have learned in ministry. If you step into discomfort, the short-term might be difficult. But the long-term will be more joyful. Don’t take my word for it. Look at how God rolls.

8.) PRACTICE HOPEFUL REALISM EVERY DAY.

Hopeful realism embraces the dual realities of contemporary evil and forthcoming redemption.Andrew Byers

Hopeful realism, a phrase coined by Andrew Byers in his book Faith Without Illusions is the alternative to both unhealthy disillusionment and cynicism.

So, what does hopeful realism look like? Here are a few examples.

  1. Cynics believe the world is too far gone. Idealists don’t understand the magnitude of the hurt in the world. Hopeful realists look to the disillusionment that surrounds an empty tomb and engage the world with the Spirit’s power.
  2. Cynics turn their backs on the church in disgust. They sit in the stands, silently hoping the ship sinks. Idealists believe the church is without problems. Everyone should be happy and get along. Hopeful realists see the church as the bride of Christ, and acknowledging the church’s problems, refuse to give up on something Jesus died for.
  3. Cynics look at the youthful naivety and disillusionment of the next generation as a product of immaturity and inexperience. Idealists are more concerned with talking about changing the world and less concerned with faithful acts of daily obedience. Hopeful realists never lose the wonder and awe of God but also understand the power of daily obedience.

There is no faith without disillusionment. The central message of the Christian faith is that a man (who is also God) lived without sin, died on a cross, was placed in a tomb, and after three days walked out…alive. If you don’t believe in Jesus, the Christian message sounds more ridiculous than flying pigs.

At the same time, there is no faith without face-to-face, hand-in-hand service. Real Christian ministry is really messy. It’s really slow. And it’s really about people, not ideas.

Talking with a college student recently about this, he summed it up beautifully. He said his perspective is to think idealistically and live in reality.

____________

It’s time to fight cynicism. Yeah, cynicism is easy. That’s why most of the world chooses it. But, Christians don’t serve a God who specializes in easy. Christians serve a God who specializes in taking something hard or difficult and turning it into something beautiful. That’s your mission as well.

It’s time to stop running from the church because of disillusionment. It’s time to stop simplifying the church’s mission to nothing more than programs and steps. It’s time to stop trash-talking churches because their name is different. It’s time to stop bad-mouthing church leaders because they hurt you.

As Jesus says, “You who are without sin cast the first stone.” Translation: if you have never hurt someone, then by all means, trash those who hurt you. Since you have hurt people, you have no right to trash others. But you do have a right to pray for them.

What if every Christian lived with hope and joy? Maybe I’m disillusioned. But if I’m disillusioned, it’s because of the cross. And I refuse to believe God can’t operate outside of my logic. In the meantime, I won’t stop working for the kingdom. I won’t stop writing. I won’t stop preaching and teaching. I won’t stop discipling the next generation. I won’t give up on the church.

I want to challenge you to do the same. God is up to something at your workplace. He is doing something in your family. Believe it. Until then, work hard. Love your family well. Engage in your Christian community. Serve your city.

I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!

COPYRIGHT 2015 FRANK POWELL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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