One Family: The Difference Between a Ministry and a Family, a Leader and a Father

by David Demian on July 30, 2020


Dear friends,

As the Lord used the COVID-19 crisis to cause us to stop business as usual, many shared the witness of the Holy Spirit that part of the purpose of this pause is an opportunity for the body of Christ for self-examination. To re-evaluate,reassess where we are, and reset. Why do we do what we do? What are our motives? What is the response that the Lord is requiring from His Church? We shared some of these thoughts back in March in this article titled COVID-19:What is God Saying?

Recently Pastor Rob Swanson shared a thought-provoking article titled "Re-form"  in which he challenged us to rethink how we do Church. His article resonated with many people who sensed that he was articulating the heart of the Lord.

As far back as 2 years ago, the Lord began stirring many leaders across the world with the same thing: That the Church is not an organization led by executives or administrators, it's a family led by spiritual fathers and mothers with a servant heart (Matthew 20:25-27).

The short video below is inspiring and encouraging. It's a compilation of different clips from a gathering that took place 2 years ago at the International House of Prayer in KC (IHOPKC). 

In this gathering, the Lord stirred a group of 1000 Christian leaders of networks from various Asian countries such as mainland China, Hong King, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia...etc who have been walking together in unity as ONE family for 10 years or so, to gather with the folks at IHOPKC for 3 days. 

They were stirred to have no particular agenda for this gathering, and to wait on the Lord for His direction. They had no speakers, no particular plan, their object was to simply come seek God together, wait upon the Lord in prayer and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. They had a leadership discernment team to steward the direction of the meetings. That team waited on the Lord and discerned collectively, comparing notes as to the witness of the Holy Spirit to their hearts, and then after a time of worship they responded to what they collectively believed was the leading of  Holy Spirit. (Of note, is that these folks are solid, ardent students of the Word of God, which they consider to be the final authority, and they teach the Word of God in their Sunday morning services, but they felt stirred to have no agenda for THAT particular gathering).

 A.W. Tozer's said “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95% of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference". ‚ÄčAt a GOGCC prayer meeting 2 years ago, Pastor Myron led us to pray for one another to be led by the Holy Spirit and give Him more room to actually take leadership of our lives and ministries. This was the heart of the leaders of that gathering at IHOPKC, to be led by the Holy Spirit and follow His agenda for the meetings.

One of the things that took place at that gathering, was that the Holy Spirit gently highlighted a needed change of course for their ministry. This was spontaneous, unplanned, and brought on by the Holy Spirit. What was very refreshing and inspiring, is the humble response of the founder and senior leader of IHOPKC, Mike Bickle, saying "We need to be changed, we are in need of help."

The video is relevant because that gentle correction that the Holy Spirit highlighted to that particular ministry 2 years ago, is relevant to the body of Christ in this season we are in, and it is very interesting that the Lord recently stirred pastor Rob Swanson with similar thoughts.

In this video:

  • The difference between a ministry and a family.

  • The difference between a ministry leader, a father of a vision, and a father of a family.

  • The people of God are referred to in various different ways in the Scriptures. They are referred to as the bride of Christ, the temple of God,  the army of God.  

  • The army of God is God's people walking in ONE HEART as a family. with fathers and mothers, sons and daughter, together carrying the presence of God....that is the most powerful weapon that we have.

As the above verse from Deuteronomy 4 indicates, the Manifest Presence of God upon His people (The glory of God in our midst) brings deliverance (He brought you out..WITH HIS PRESENCE). It brings spiritual authority to overcome forces of darkness and expand the kingdom of God (Driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you). By pursuing unity, consecration, and united intercessory prayers, we prepare ourselves for the Manifest Presence of God (the glory of God in our midst), and the subsequent outbreak of revival on Cape Cod.

What would happen if the body of Christ on the Cape walk as ONE family made up of different churches, charismatic and non charismatic, young and old, and different ethnic groups? what would happen if we spur on one another to do so, as they did in the Second Great Awakening, where a key verse for that awakening was Zechariah 8:21: "The inhabitants of one city shall  go to another, saying,'Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, and seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also." 

We would be ONE family walking with ONE heart, carrying the presence of God. We would experience the glory of God in our midst and the subsequent outbreak of revival on Cape Cod!
Pastors and leaders have a wonderful opportunity as friends of the Bridegroom, and gatekeepers of the flock of God, to facilitate such oneness in the body of Christ, a oneness that is very much on Jesus' heart as we see in John 17, and is directly related to the revival we are all praying for, "That they may all be one....SO THAT the world may believe that you have sent Me.." John 17:21.

The statement below summarizes why we gather as regional leaders, and why we have monthly multi-church prayer meetings:

We gather in response to the Lord's stirring us with His desire to show His glory in our midst, and the subsequent spiritual awakening/revival on Cape Cod, with multitudes coming to Christ.

By pursuing unity, consecration, and united prayer, we prepare ourselves for what God wants to do in our midst. 

"Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool, what kind of a house you (plural) will build for Me, or where is the place of My rest?" Acts 7:49

"In whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,  in whom you (plural) also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." Ephesians 2:21,22


Mamdouh Riad