This last month we have had the privilege of returning to Illinois for a second phase of support-raising to build our ministry team. During this trip, we have engaged in over 30 face-to-face meetings which have resulted in 22 new individuals or families joining our partnership team. These initial team-building trips have been of utmost importance as we have prepared to continue in full-time ministry at IHOPKC. God has laid on our hearts strongly the value of connecting the body of Christ with what He is doing in day-and-night prayer and in global missions. We cannot (and should not) do what God has called us to do by ourselves. It has been exciting to see people respond to God’s calling as we have given an invitation to join with us in ministry!
Recent Thoughts and Meditations on Church Unity
Lately, we’ve been thinking much about the importance of the body of Christ walking in unity of spirit and mission. Jesus, our Apostle and High Priest, prays in John chapter 17, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:22, 23 ESV).
Stephanie and I have such a heart to see the Church come into her fullest destiny as a beautiful bride without spot, wrinkle, or any mark (Eph. 5:27). Sadly, very few today would describe the Church as the “beautiful bride” that she is called to be. One of the reasons for this is wide spread division among and within denominations, locally, and even nationally. It is common to enter a city with 100 Christian churches, but it is a rare thing to enter a city in which each congregation is knitted together with a unifying love and purpose.
The Apostle Paul addressed this same problem in the 1st century Church as he stated in 1 Corinthians 3:3 “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?” The Apostle rebuked the Church of Corinth for not living in the glory that Jesus had given to them to be one, even as He and the Father are one. This apostolic rebuke still stands today, but thank God we are not without hope! The Bible prophesies of the Church directly preceding Jesus’ return being mature in love and unity. Jesus will have a Bride that has made herself ready and She will be joined to Her Bridegroom for all eternity (Revelation 19:7)! It is to this end that we labor, praying day and night and washing the Church with the water of the Word of God.
Stephanie is glowing with beauty more and more each day as the baby grows. The baby is now over 3 lbs. and 18 inches from head to toe and is coming in only 2 months! Stuart is really looking forward to the student ministry trip to Chicago happening at the beginning of April (and praying that the baby doesn’t come too early while he is away from Kansas City