_ Recently our National CONECTer in Kenya, Pastor Thomas and our National CONECTer in Myanmar, Apostle John Mark provided me an updated report. Between these two updated reports we discovered that there are churches from 21+ denominations, in 35 cities, with over 61 churches working together, 25 city prayer centers launched, and 19 church plants between them. Neither time nor space permits me to share the supernatural signs, salivations, water baptisms, and healings that they report as well.
Corporate intimacy with our heavenly Father produces supernatural corporate fruit. Operation Rolling Thunder (ORT) is a strategy going strong and serving those who utilize the wisdom of God's strategy found in it. At the same time I could point to numerous examples where the strategy seemingly only worked for a short time or failed. I have learned 6 major lessons.
_ Lessons Learned
After 6+ years of overseeing ORT, training and consulting with ministers, mayors, state representatives, fire chiefs, business leaders, doctors, etc. I've learned some lessons about that is takes to begin to transform and continue that transformation process long term. In fact, I will share some common characteristics and lessons learned from churches, cities, counties and states where in we see long term results that we'd all agree speak to some level of transformation (ie. decreasing crime, church growth, economy effected, abortion rates decline, adoption rates rise, etc.).
Lesson 1 - Honor God's Word
Never forget that Operation Rolling Thunder is like the procession King David used in 1 Chronicles 13-16 to bring back God's presence to his city. Any people that do what King David did on Mount Zion in the City of David can have a Mount Zion in their city (Isaiah 4:3-5). That is the key of David, God's presence, ushered in by and maintained through continual prayer, praise and worship in a city, 24/7/365.
Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are God's idea. Jesus gave them for the perfecting of the saints and the work of the ministry in Ephesians 4. Each gift has a function it is designed to perform. The Lord even set an order for their use in 1 Corinthians 12:28. It is important to follow God's order of function. There are two gifts that are revelatory by God's design; the apostle and prophet. The apostolic gift also has a gift of wisdom to know what to do in order to bring the prophetic word into reality. This gift is the one anointed for strategy to build and to war. That is why Paul was called a "wise master builder." It means spiritual architect.
Do you know which gift is the most important? It is the gift needed at a specific time to meet a specific need. If someone is sick, the gift of healing and faith are some of the best gifts for that situation. If someone needs teaching then the teachers gift is great. If someone is discouraged then one with a gift of exhortation is perfect. If someone needs comfort then a pastor or one with a gift of mercy is invaluable. If you want to pioneer or start something new then you need apostolic and prophetic gifts working together (Ephesians 2:19-21).
Jesus teaches us in Mathew 10:41 that if you receive a prophet in the name of a prophet you will receive a prophet's reward. I understand some people have abused titles and I also understand that many in the body of Christ do not know God's word and therefore do not know how to test the fruit of an apostle or prophet to determine what the gift is. Because of fear, many avoid addressing these issues. However, the answer is not avoiding it, the solution is to learn God's word and DO IT. God has deployed in cities all around the world many more strategic gifts that we realize. If we just honored them we would be so blessed by Christ's gift that flows through them for our benefit.
I've observed that those who honor the apostolic and prophetic gift that Christ deposited in me see more results and their fruit remains. Those that do not honor Christ's gift do not see any where near the same results or if they do, it only lasts a short time. The ones that see the greatest results, signs, wonders, and long term fruit like has been described in the book Operation Rolling Thunder have honored Christ's gift within me in two primary ways.
We are called to make disciples. This truth that I'm sharing here is vital to building anything that will sustain itself long term. If you are a CONECTer and you need more financial provision you need to ask yourself if you are reaping what you sow? Remember the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You cannot lead where you do not go. If you want to receive honor then you need to give it first.
Lesson 3 - Honor God's Plan
Acts 2:42 says that the early church continued in the apostle's doctrine. Christ gave this strategy to me by revelation to steward. The strategy is not mine but His. Those who have continued to use the strategic plan without changing the core teaching and plans have continued to see results. Those who choose to change parts of the strategy so as not to offend a certain group do not see the results. Man's wisdom can never improve on God's plan. The key is to "honor God's plan." The details are found in the book and the Operation Rolling Thunder Kit (CD's & DVD). Whole cities, states and provinces have been mobilized using these tools.
One of the keys to success within ORT is its strategy to form councils. This is one of the primary ways we find those gifted with apostolic and prophetic gifts. ORT is much more than a 24/7/365 prayer strategy. It is a church mobilization strategy that discovers and honors the gifts Christ gave to the Church in a specific city or region.
Lesson 4 - Honor Jurisdictions - 7 Spheres of Society
Jurisdiction is the right, power and authority to decide. It is the territory over which authority is exercised. Authority comes from assigned responsibility. There are limits and boundaries to jurisdiction. Acts 17:26 says " And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings...". There are a few simple questions to ask to discover who has authority. Ask, "who is responsible to pay the bill or who is accountable and will suffer consequences for failure? That is the person who has jurisdiction over a specific area. When that person, like a police chief, a mayor, governor, pastor, bishop, or a business owner, invites us in to pray it is much more powerful.
Also, don't forget lesson 2. The Church is the one responsible for building the House of Prayer in a city. Those who desire the benefit of the prayer upon their behalf ought to honor those who serve them in their city. In every reformation in scripture they followed King David's pattern. It was the kings and governors who initiated and funded the building of the house of prayer. For example, it was King Cyrus who initiated the building of the temple in Ezra. Why? Because he wanted prayer for him and his kingdom (Ezra 6:1-10). Today, each one of us is called to be a king and a priest (Revelation 1:6 & 5:10).
Lesson 5 - Measure the Results and Report
Our goal is to transform society through the presentation of the gospel of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. ORT is a strategy that dramatically increases your ability to project power. Transformation is much more than a feeling, though I love God's presence. Transformation means "measurable results." Get specific and ask the mayor, police chief, pastor, business owner, or government official what they would like to measure to judge the impact of your prayers.
Various councils we have formed have chosen to measure unemployment rates, crime rates, economic reports, number of church plants over a specified time, numbers of new decisions for Christ, water baptisms, number of new business starts, the number of Planned Parenthood offices closing, the number of adoptions, etc. Many do not like this because it introduces a level of accountability and requires discipline. However it is worth it, especially when you see the results accomplished through the Church in your city or region.
Finally, it is important to report back to those whom you serve and those who pray what the results are.
Lesson 6 - Honor All People
1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. Every person, I mean every single person is important and valuable. Each one has a destiny in Christ and they carry gifts (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4) that our Lord gave them for our benefit Many of them do not know their God given destiny in Christ and its our job to help them encounter the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and then to discover their destiny in Christ. If we honor each person's gift mix and role we will receive the blessing Christ intended them to provide to us, His Church.