An Open Letter to the Prayer and Prophetic Movement
We stand at the crossroads of history. I urge you to prayerfully read the entire contents of this letter, as I am gripped with a rare urgency in my spirit. Opportunities for revival and spiritual breakthrough exist at almost incomprehensible levels alongside toxic distractions and soul-numbing passivity. Cultural decay is dragging our young people into gutters of oppression and perversion. War on the saints is escalating as nations heave in the throes of crises, birth pangs, and political correctness. Even so, I am filled with hope! If we lean into Jesus, on His terms, revival could come more swiftly than a raging, windswept grassfire at the height of summer. These are truly historic days.
However, to be properly positioned, we must take a hard look in the mirror. Too much of our “inspirational,” charismatic rhetoric has become both anemic and insufficient relative to the coming storm. Charismatic conferences have been wonderful and useful for many years, but now risk missing the point entirely if they are not deeply attuned to the whispering voice of the Holy Spirit. When the “cloud and fire” disrupt camp to move us into new territory, we must follow. I include our own annual gathering Onething in this assessment. Times and seasons change; if we discern the Spirit is leading this, we are compelled to obey, even if it requires disruption.
This is why we are announcing a very late, critical course correction. We are intentionally scrapping plans-as-usual. I am convinced that we stand on the precipice of a new era in the prayer, prophetic, and missions movement. I want to say boldly but tenderly: our house is on fire. I mean our nation, the Church, society itself. I am not okay with this, and I certainly do not speak it in a critical or gloating tone. As a shepherd, accountable to God, I feel burdened to speak the truth I perceive. So let me be even more plain. For years, I have said trouble is coming. I now feel I must say it differently: trouble is here. This means the days and years ahead will be of a different caliber of difficulty and complexity than anything we’ve ever known in the past. The new normal will not look like the heyday of the 80s and 90s. It will be more challenging than people expect, but the kingdom opportunities are far beyond what we imagine.
Our leadership team is so gripped by this reality that we’re literally “starting over.” With only three months to go—honestly, this is terrible for marketing!—we are reformatting Onething around a simple, clarion call to the entire Body of Christ: a divine reset is coming!
One facet of our corporate reset is that we will not highlight the roster of speakers and worship teams this year. In the past, we have enthusiastically shared the schedule for our four-day gathering, and I am so grateful for the many excellent friends, teachers, and worship leaders who have brought their anointing and deep heart for God to our conference.
I need to be very clear on this: nobody has done anything wrong. Yet incrementally, I feel we’ve missed the mark by leaning more on brilliant marquees than on the Man with burning eyes. This year, we are deliberately returning to the mystery of what if? What if God interrupted our plans? What if the Holy Spirit took over? What if we lavished our affection and attention on Him above all other concerns? What if we became consumed with One thing all over again? We’re going to plan around that supreme goal, and take our chances. Rather than exalting human personalities and celebrity voices, we are deliberately re-centering around the consuming reality of Jesus, His agenda for planet earth, and His ownership of those four days in December. If we want everything God would give to the human spirit in this hour of history, a short-term, conference buzz can no longer suffice.
Onething 2018 will not be a Christian festival designed to razzle-dazzle you. Rather, we are setting aside four days for a sacred assembly to encounter Him in new depth. Though we stand on earth, we aspire to join angels around the throne.
As we enter our 20th year of night-and-day ministry to the Lord, IHOPKC is in a period of radical realignment. A new thing is coming. I am announcing this by faith. Though we only glimpse it right now, our team wants to begin talking about it publicly in December. We will likely unpack it even more over the next year or two, but the shift begins now.
I urge you not to miss the signals that the Holy Spirit is giving the Church in this hour. These are days of high transition. God is speaking, but His whisper demands revelation and unique focus. Voluntarily choose to adjust your life’s signal-to-noise ratio. The global prayer movement is entering its next critical phase, going far beyond the theater of an event into the Father’s deep desire for the total supremacy of His Son to be known among the nations and to raise up a close knit family who deeply values and loves one another. If you are moved to join this fresh swell of divine love and strategic insight, we believe this year’s gathering is more than an annual occurrence, it is an essential course correction for the entire prayer movement. I urge believers around the world, but particularly across North America, to join us December 28–31 in downtown Kansas City.
With urgency, hope, and confidence,