ImplicationsDecember 16, 2006
As I mentioned previously, there are some serious implications to the coming changes with God TV.
Around the time IHOP started up 7 years ago, the ministry and its leaders were hit with a lot of accusations. You can easily find numerous websites warning of Mike Bickle as a dangerous heretic with his little IHOP cult. With increased publicity (as TV is sure to bring), there will also come increased criticism. And our community is going to be evaluated (integrity, living the sermon on the mount, identification with the stereotypical western church, etc.) by Christians across the globe. There’s just a lot that is really sobering about being in the public eye.
There are also a lot of financial consequences. God TV is convinced that they can bring our monthly subscriptions to the 24/7 live webstream up to 1 million. At $10/month, 1 million subscriptions means $10 million coming into the IHOP missions base. Mike is excited about what this means in enabling thousands of intercessory missionaries to do this full-time. But there are so many things that come along with that.
There’s also the factor of the thousands of people this could feasibly draw to IHOP. I love the idea of lives being impacted and more people finding their place in the prayer movement. But this is also going to attract a lot of weird people. And even money is going to be a drawing factor for some. As Mike pointed out, we know that the people who are here now came and gave their lives to do this knowing that they would get nothing in return (thus having to raise our own financial support).
I have a hard time staying focused and being faithful when we have a crowded prayer room for Friday Night Burn. What’s going to happen when IHOP goes to 5000 full-time staff and there is no such thing as having my own row in the prayer room anymore? Eeek! That’s part of why I want to continue enjoying the empty morning times in the prayer room while I can. It won’t always be there. And talk about losing that place of hiddenness that we so enjoy in the prayer room at times. When we are being broadcast all over the world, we aren’t exactly so hidden anymore. (Bob Sorge has just given a bunch of copies of his book, Dealing with the Rejection and Praise of Man, to the IHOP worship teams. And it has been recommended that we read his Envy as well.)
I am so thankful that we are entering into this 90 days of consecration as a night watch community before all of this is fully set into motion. It is so important that we address our weaknesses now and establish a culture in the night watch that allows us to fully give ourselves to what we have all moved here to do. Before the added publicity comes and the people start flooding in.
Essentially, these changes put a big target on us, both spiritually and in the natural. I’m not even going to get into this one… but it does.
In our last meeting about this, we spent long periods of time just sitting there and crying together. It is sobering… the stewardship that God has given to a weak group of people like us… and the changes that are likely to quickly come upon us.