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Getting Your Message Through Part 1- Carl Townsend

megaphoneIf your are serious about God’s call on your life, God will give you  a burden, a message. You then begin to respond that call and call other people to join you in terms of that call God is placing on your heart. That is your message. There are many ways to get your message out: social media, a blog, magazine articles, authoring/publishing a book, speaking, singing. and more.  How you share is important, but also here are some issues common to all of these.

  1. Who shares your message? Identify, in contemporary language, who is your tribe? Who also owns the same message? This “tribe” defines others you know that share your burden and message. This identifies your tribe and may exist within your current church, a viral church, your network of churches, or you may need to create your own “Church”. One major pastor shared with me as I left for a new job: “Stay with the vision God gives you, even if it costs your your life. Join a church that affirms that vision. If  you cant find it,, build it yourself with others that share it. As an example, back in the eighties Dr. Joe Aldrich began sounding a message that he wanted to see one city or region anywhere totally transformed by the Power of the Holy Spirit. By the early nineties, George Otis, Jr. had identified a dozen cities in the world where that was already happening.  His Sentinel group published the video story of four of these cities on  a DVD. Last time I talked with Otis, he had identified some 250 cities or regions worldwide, with fires started in some 500 more as this grows. This didn’t make your local newspaper, did it? In my own city. Dr. Joe identified those pastors who wished to see this locally and called them to prayer. We had a database of 1800 churches in our four-county area. In the Christian language, you define the harvest force.
  2. Define your audience very specifically. The “audience” defines those whom God wishes to hear your specific message. To use the Internet, which is very inexpensive, you need to aim at a very specific audience. This is very different from traditional advertising, which casts its net to a very broad audience to get a few people within it taking action. Your audience should be a group of people you are naturally called to. In the Christian language, this is your harvest field.
  3. Define your message. What is your specific message to your audience? What is your burden and passion? In Chapter 1 of Nehemiah, what was Nehemiah’s burden and passion? It was not building a wall. This wall isn’t even mentioned in the first chapter. For example, it might be “Restore America” or “Transformation of America” as the message. Your message should be one that your audience can understand and relate to their heart -need.
  4. Add value to the vision of your audience. For this you need to know the need of your audience. This is heart question. What is the heart of your audience? Now you need to communicate your message in terms of the heart need. With Nehemiah, the heart need was security. Jerusalem, or what was left of it was destroyed and they were surrounded by enemies. Nehemiah was going to address that by building the wall. Their real need was a unity and oneness and spiritual recovery.  He spoke to that by leading them in building the wall. The wall was the vehicle for the real need. Some years ago in Portland we had discovered using powerful mapping tools a Hispanic community without a church and needing one. Their want was ESL classes to learn English so they could get jobs. We started by addressing their need. We can confuse needs and wants if we are not careful. Define each for your audience, then add value.
  5. Define the warfare. What is keeping you from carrying your message forward? Finances? time? education? health? depression? Define your counter strategies for each. If the Lord wants you to deliver this message, He will provide a way if you commit. You’re the “postman”. Your job is to deliver the mail, not fight the dogs.
  6. Go personal. When younger I, like others, kept a journal (still do). I’d  get upset if anyone read it.  Now I journal on Facebook. So does a lot of my tribe. And I want you to read it. The personal posts that I do get read  the most, and are also shared the most.  If you want your posts to go viral, getting your readers to share you is essential. Don’t use Truth to beat others. Build relationships in trust and love.
  7. Evaluate. Make sure you have some type of feedback system to measure your on-going success.

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What America’s Election Means

There are many views on this, even within the Christian community. Dutch Sheets did an excellent response in defining five of these from what he is hearing in his ministry (http://www.dutchsheets.org/electionresponse.html). I would suggest you read each of these as a starter.

I wept watching the Democratic Convention as they endorsed homosexuality, abortion, Islam, greed, adultery, and socialism while throwing out God, the Constitution, justice, and a long list of values that were the essential ingredients at the founding of our country. The bottom line is that God is ticked off, and that means God is going to be judging – in the here-now.

Let’s look at a bit of history first. We live on a visited planet. Long ago in a Garden Man walked with God and experienced peace, purpose, and love. When Man sinned, he lost that. But God promised Adam and Eve a Visitor would come (Jesus) that could restore what was lost. Jesus did come, opening up a path to each of us to regain that Place and relationship that was lost.

Ever since losing the Garden, however, Man has tried to get back to God on his own. First the Tower of Babel, then later we see the struggle as the Israelites (Man) tried to go into Canaan on their own. The early settlers in America were the New Israel. The Puritans did it right and struggled for survival, and then saw God do miracles to enable them to survive. Then they got prosperous. What happened then?

Then the Americans moved west, looking for Eden where my own city of Portland is today, again looking for Eden. Our latest adventure to find Eden involves traveling into space in billion-dollar spaceships. Only humans have any desire to embrace this pursuit. The reason is based into the purpose for which we were created in the first place – to glorify God and to experience His love. We want Eden, Place. And Jesus said “I go to prepare a Place for you.”

Where is America Today?

George Otis

George Otis, Jr.

So where is America today? Revival is rare in America today. George Otis Jr. says that of nearly•800 cases of authentic, transforming revival in the last 15 years, only two were in North America. Researcher George Otis Jr. unveils why revival has become so rare in Western society—and what we can do to change that. (http://creatingnewworlds.org/2012/11/12/3124/). Do we really pray? Do we really want what God seeks to give us? Here is what was common in the places Otis found God breaking through.

The greatest breakthrough today is where the Spirit of God comes down and attaches Himself to the broken and humble. It’s where God goes when He wants pleasure.
George Otis, Jr.

When Daniel saw his glorious visitor, what did his visitor says was the reason that Daniel experienced the visit?

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.
Dan 10:12 NKJV (Emphasis added)

Does this describe where your church was this election and where you were in praying for the election?

When the Israelites stood on the edge of The Promised Land (or Promised Times as it more accurately translates), the spies were sent in. Only Joshua and Caleb brought back a good report and saw what it as Place. It was already theirs, Joshua and Caleb could see it. The others could not. As a result, God was ticked off and of the adults, only Joshua and Caleb went in. They had to wait until an entire generation had died. There was a window of opportunity and they could not see it. The word Times here translates as a strategic opportunity that, if not taken, is gone forever. This is the same as the Greek word kairos used in the New Testament to refer to this type of window.
Later as they are in Canaan, we see another interesting verse:

Of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command;
1 Chron 12:32a NKJV

Now this is interesting. The same Hebrew word is used for times here. They had the gift of discerning the window, or time, in which to act and also knew the action step.

It is important to understand that when we are standing at that Kairos moment, we have full authority, with God, to step through the window. In the Model Prayer Christ taught his disciples, when we pray “may you will be done in Heaven as it is already done on earth”. It is not so much an intercessory prayer, but a prayer of declaration, one of taking final authority in the name of Christ for what is already done. This is what so many of us fail to understand today. It is already ours.

Our prayers in this election were not in vain. God is not mocked. Some Christian leaders are already telling us that Obama is the Belshazzar of Daniel 5. (And you know what happened to him.) I do not know. I do know, however, the God will judge. Our nation is not outside of God’s judgment. Neither is our nation outside of His mercy if there is repentance. I believe we are seeing the beginning of another Awakening; but you won’t see it by passively waiting. This is the kairos moment. Will we act on it?

Carl is a researcher, writer, speaker based in Portland, Oregon.

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The Cali Story and the Transformation Video

One of the most fascinating videos produced – and many have watched – is the Transformations video produced in 1999 by the Sentinel Group and Global Net Productions. Millions have seen this video. Primarily birthed from the research of George Otis, Jr., the video took you to four cities where the power of the Holy Spirit had broken through, transforming the city in major ways.

One of these cities was Cali, Columbia. In the early 1990’s was the drug capital of the world, a center violence, corruption, and sin. The churches there seem powerless. Julio César Ruibal, a pastor who lived in Cali, led the pastors through prayer and commitment to see a real transformation in the city by the Holy Spirit that is documented in the video. Ruibal was eventually assassinated, but his martyrdom became the trigger that took the transformation process to the final breakthrough.

There is much to be learned from this and other transformation stories as the Holy Spirit moves in the world today. George Otis, Jr. has authored an entire book on what he has discovered is common to all of them. (Otis, George, Jr. . Informed Intercession.) This is a study of a collection of cities that have been transformed spiritually, politically, economically, and socially – and the factors that led to making it happen. You can buy it here.
Strategic Intercession

What did Otis discover? Transformation is born, always, in the hearts of the intercessors. It starts as a burden. And it generally – almost always – starts in the heart of one person. It IS very real and it is happening in many cities. We came very close in Portland of seeing this with the 1992 Billy Graham Crusade.