Shaking...

The Roll of Crisis in Reshaping the Body of Christ

According to scripture, when God is shaking the earth, He is saying something (see Heb 12:25-26). The word shake in this context means fearful trembling, which is a pretty good description of what is happening to much of the world regarding COVID-19. But do we understand what He is saying?

The purpose of shaking includes “… the removal of those things that are being shaken…” (Heb 12:27). It usually takes a shaking to move us out of what we are accustomed to and get us into the new place God wants us. There may be many things that need shaking, but one thing humanity tends to do, which goes against God’s way, is centralizing authority, power, and resources. This tendency undoubtedly springs from the fallen nature and our inclination to seek the easiest way, avoid personal responsibility, and get a free ride when we can. This is why socialism is alluring to many and threatens our freedom.

God’s original directive was for mankind to spread over the face of the whole earth. He said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…” (Gen 1:28). But at Babel, they were in direct opposition to that directive. They were building a city to make a name for themselves lest they be scattered over the face of the earth (see Gen. 11:4). So God decentralized and scattered them by confusing their language.

There are other examples of decentralization in the scriptures. Israel’s leadership was decentralized when Jethro advised Moses on how to appoint leaders of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens (see Ex 18:20-23). But against the advice of the prophet, Israel eventually moved away from this by asking for a king to be over them, like the other nations. God told Samuel, “…they have not rejected you, they have rejected Me that I should not reign over them” (see 1 Sam 8:1-22).

God’s ultimate decentralization plan was to create individual self-government by writing His laws on our hearts through the New Covenant. The very definition of the New Covenant is that “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them” (Heb 8:11). This established what is often called “The Priesthood of the Believer.”

But even after the New Covenant was established, the disposition to centralize and resist spreading out continued to be an issue and God had to shake things up. This is seen in the persecution of the early Christians, which caused them to leave Jerusalem and be dispersed. But the result was a great expansion of Christianity! So the question is: “What is God shaking out of His people at this time?”

The Nameless Faceless Church
As early as 25 or more years ago, and from time to time since, I have heard prophetic predictions about the nameless faceless church that would come. This describes a decentralization of the church and a multiplication of leaders to the point that it is difficult to identify a primary leader. This also speaks to the style of Christianity we often see today that is commonly built around personalities or organizations who have made a name for themselves and operate according to a centralized model.

I’m not saying that all centralization is wrong or that God has abandoned those who operate in such models. God continues to work with us, much as He did with Israel after they set up kings to rule over them. Everyone has to apply the principle of decentralization as the Lord directs them. What I am saying is this: God is bringing a decentralizing shift to the body of Christ. He wants us to realize that His ekklesia operates just fine even when only two or three are gathered. In fact, it may even operate better since more people are necessarily taking spiritual responsibility.

I have seen the need for a reshaping of the body of Christ for years, albeit dimly. I have often wondered how it would come to pass. Making such a shift requires sacrifice and most people, including myself, are often reluctant or unwilling to do so. But as I write this, Christian congregations all over the world have locked the doors to their buildings and stopped congregating in centralized locations. Of course we will need larger gatherings in the future, but now is a time to develop the mechanics of decentralization and consider how to practice it in the future.

Preparing for the Harvest
For many years I have also heard predictions of a coming harvest of souls that will be the largest ever! We look forward to this, but it would be a tragedy if we are not ready to receive this harvest when it comes. Being ready will require more people to step up as leaders and provide discipleship. This is part of what God is accomplishing through this shaking. He is telling us to prepare for the harvest of souls that is coming.

We should understand that being shaken out of the old doesn’t automatically put us into the new. We must not react to this situation with a goal of “getting back to normal,” but respond to it wisely with changes according to God’s long-term strategy. Insight, understanding, and obedience are required otherwise we are likely to revert right back to the ways we were shaken out of. This is where apostolic and prophetic leadership comes into play. God is raising up a company of leaders who are like the sons of Issachar who: 1) understood the times, 2) knew what to do, and 3) provided leadership for Israel (see 1 Chron 12:32).

Training the Leaders
I do not see the whole picture, but I can confidently say that it is time to launch a training program that I have spent many years preparing. Kingdom Core Training, which is based on God’s strategic purpose and plan for the earth, will focus on establishing a foundation of identity and purpose, and will reveal the path to our destiny. Let’s get prepared for the harvest of souls that is about to be released. These are exciting times!

Invitation
I am extending an invitation, asking you to take part in Kingdom Core Training. The goal is not only to attend the classes and get the benefit of the information, but also to multiply leaders who are able to lead classes themselves, either in person or online. If you are interested in this training program, please respond with your contact information so I can keep you informed.

Brad Sherman

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