By Apostle Matthew Stevenson
As an apostle, I have been positioned very similar to Samuel and Paul in this generation, and I have been traveling nationally and internationally seeking to declare the prophetic word of the lord and anoint entire David companies to replace the Sauls from oppressing God’s people. We must realize that King Saul was still in position once David had been anointed. Young people, it doesn’t matter what the popular majority is, the anointing will shift! I have observed that the current climate of the corporate church has been more indicative of stabilizing and aligning with current culture as opposed to aligning with heaven, but the Lord is establishing a different kind of leader, one that is sensitive to his heart, secrets, plans and agendas.
The enemy has become more and more proactive about broadening the current “new age” movements. This sensual, psychic, soulish movement has captivated the hearts of entire cities, and has consequently become the alternative to accessing the power of the spirit. Psychics, witches and Satanists, have always understood the importance of supernatural power and they have been demonstrating levels of dark powers for centuries and yet the church is almost terrified of anything supernatural. Young people across the nations are being introduced to these wiles strategically by Satan himself, to keep them far away from the true source of power; The Living God! Satan knows that the awareness of “the Fullness of the spirit” in the life of a fearless young leader could mean permanent destruction of his plans over cities, nations and regions. In the apostolic movement especially, we throw a lot of buzz words around such as signs, wonders, reformation etc. But if any of these things would break out in it’s fullness I’m convinced that the church, with its current leadership probably wouldn’t know what to do. Most leaders would even question whether it’s God or not. We truly have the wrong concept about reformation and revival. We suspect that it is going to come to our organized religion. Let me tell you, there is nothing more chaotic and abrupt than reformation! I know this concept may be disturbing but if you review the rest of the article I’m sure you would agree. I believe that a part of the reason for this is the lack of next generation leaders and the lack of leaders who are next generation minded. If we do not become objective about raising the next generation of leaders instead of being so involved in the organizational structure of our churches and ministries, we are talking about God overturning entire cities and nations by way of his power! This will not happen without apostles and prophets. Further more, those of us that have begun to experience the hunger for revival need to consider that revival precedes reformation!
A reformation is what will open the door and prepare the land for the limitless abilities of God to be poured out into planet earth resulting in revival. If we are not cautious, we can unknowingly harbor attitudes and ministry practices that hinder revival and reformation. We desperately need a reformation. Now the final outpouring of the spirit will not be able to be stopped by anyone, but it can be resisted, altered and even minimized if certain elements are not put into play. Revival is not something that is intended to be a once in a lifetime experience to encourage and empower. It is meant to become a perpetual experience of what it means to walk in the power of the spirit with the end result being the greatest harvest of souls ever known to mankind.
One of the greatest plagues and satanic strategies that I see creeping into the current leadership of the church is the reluctance of leaders to position and release the next generation of leaders. It is almost as if there is some type of fear of releasing young people to walk into there God ordained destines. We acknowledge the fact that young adults can have the call of God on their lives we just refuse to take the invisible leash off of them and allow them to go free! This kind of talk usually makes leaders uncomfortable and it should. Begin to recognize the emerging reformers and revivalists in your midst and benefit from their ministries because if this is not done, they will eventually attract their own following and start works in direct opposition to the one they came from because of the true lack of encouragement, fathering and support.
While some may say the aforementioned is not a really critical problem, I must declare that it is probably that greatest cancer of our day! Church, Satan is trying to kill off the lineage of the church. Not the organization but the organism! When Jesus stated in Matthew chapter 16, that “upon this rock I will build my church” he was not referring to a religious organization! He was referring to a living expression of who and what he is to humanity! Satan has been actively involved in publicizing alternatives to faith through the media, through various cultures and worse of all through the political systems of the world and the devil is after anyone who has the power or ability to do anything about it. The devil is trying to kill off the heritage of the church and that is the emerging leaders.
If we are hungry for revival we must begin to invest in heaven sent leaders. Young apostles and prophets are being stirred by God in every sphere of life in these days and they are literally being hand taught by God himself. While this is not bad in and of itself it is unfortunate because leaders of vast and great influence in some case refuse to pour they’re lives and ministries into these young revivalists. It seems that instead of allowing them to be what God is calling for them to be, the church would rather come up with a baby sitting tactic typical to the religious community! God is raising up leaders who will be the first fruit of a national movement lead by the same breed of leadership, and after school programs will not be good enough! The church is in danger of becoming outdated, obsolete and irrelevant to today’s societies and cultures and the way to prevent this from happening is to begin to entrust responsibilities, mantles and impartations to young men and women who apparently have the calling of God upon there lives. We have mistakenly thought that “if we bring in a few rappers and dress down, then we really are ministering to the young adults”. This kind of empty thinking is what individuals between the ages of 18-35 are beginning to despise.
I would like to encourage every pastor reading this article. The greatest disservice you can do to yourself, especially if you consider yourself to be apostolic, is not to literally pour your life into the next generation of leaders. You cannot afford not to do this. The devil is trying to kill you and your message and he will be successful if you fail to impart to the next generation. We mustn’t continue to hide under the excuses of “maturity and wisdom” not to allow young people to really stand in Gods purpose for them because as long as you are alive you will never stop maturing and growing. Most churches have some form of youth night, youth church or even might allow the young adults to occasionally speak on a Sunday service, and this is a great tragedy and it is alarming to the father. The church is not some community organization “facilitating the needs” of young adults!
There is a generation of individuals literally grieving for the lack of Gods power in operation. That grieving is literally what we need to see the heavens opened and the power of God released! This generation understands what Jesus’ words meant when he states in John 4:48, that “Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe”. We are living in the same conditions. A large number of older leaders have become more than content with establishing churches, missionary outreaches, bible studies, conferences, buildings and the like and it is almost becoming a morbid waste of time and resources. Some leaders could care less about ever seeing a miracle, sign or a wonder! Why focus on things that appeal more to building our “own” ministries rather than releasing a generation of miracle workers to impact their nations for Christ?! God is releasing a people that will minister until they bring men to belief!! There is nothing more powerful than the demonstrative power of God to pierce the human heart.
I have personally been in public ministry almost a decade now, and since my start I have continually heard the cry in the earth for the sons of God. I have heard the cry for a generation of people that will quit talking about the apostolic and BE apostolic! I have heard the cry of a generation of leaders longing for fathers to help them to fulfill Gods purpose on their lives without any strings attached. Beloved, this is the Key to Reformation: empowering the next generation of leaders to radically alter the social, moral, and spiritual climates of entire nations. I don’t by any means consider myself a youth minister or an advocate of “youth or young adult ministry” but I am a passionate advocate of reformation, revival and the miraculous and so by default I must call the church to make a stand for young leaders.
We need a generation of leaders who will go beyond conferences to confrontation. We need a generation of people who don’t care about loosing members or tithes and offerings, so they will preach the words of God and not some life lesson. We need a generation of leaders who recognize the agonizing need of humanity for the miraculous, and who will pray until they get endued with power from on high instead of being fascinated with “slaying” people in the spirit by “faith “only to fall down and come up exactly the same. Church, if we intend to experience true revival, we must partner the generations.
I cannot convey how many times I have come into relationship with young leaders across the Globe who are literally oppressed by the religious systems that they have been inducted in. Most of these leaders were born into these churches. This was true of Moses. The scriptures teach that he was raised in pharaoh’s house. He learned pharaohs operations. He experienced first hand the hatred of Egypt for the holy nation of God. Moses’ life experiences had been shaped by his years in pharaohs house, until one thing happened. He had a supernatural encounter with the living God. In that visitation, God extracted Moses from the system that raised him and sent him with signs and wonders to declare the fate of that system! Hallelujah! The lord is calling an entire generation to encounter him supernaturally so that every dark system opposing the rise of the one true holy nation of God will fall by way of signs and wonders! Moses went from being oppressed by a system and way of life to becoming the deliverer of an entire nation. God is raising Moses with signs and wonders that will judge the systems that oppose Gods remnant! In his youth, Moses, probably thought that pharaoh’s way of life, was the right way of life, that is, until he came to the burning bush of course. Leaders, I tell you the truth the greatest conflict is on the horizon and once these young apostles and prophets begin to manifest they will confront darkness on every level even if it is in YOUR pulpit!!
I want to at this juncture encourage the young leaders who are reading this. Perhaps, you are hard pressed between the leaders you have known and the burden of the Lord on your life. Maybe you are a pastor of a church or in a church just being told to shut up and serve. You might be someone “stuck” in the Saturday night youth outings and you desire to alter a nation for God. You may be one of the countless thousands who are sitting in the pews listening to men and women you once admired and have now discovered that what’s being said in the pulpit in terms of power is not being done and you’re tired of being teased! God wants you to know that he is in need of you! He is awaiting a people just like you who wont allow there carnal ordinances, religious rituals and headstrong intellect to oppose what he desires to release in the nations. You are not alone! God is gathering up individuals just like you, passionate young leaders who only know the agenda and interests of God. He wants YOU right where you are to begin to agree with him for his plan for the ages…REVIVAL!!!
Apostles, Pastors, Overseers, you have the power to help bring reformation closer to becoming a reality instead of merely books and tapes. You possess the influence needed to begin to position next generation leaders, to rise to there place of prophetic destiny! Take a risk! Trust God! Don’t fight his movement, allow the young leaders that God has entrusted to you to begin to experience the blessing of his holy calling. This generation needs it! Begin to father and impart, begin to train, begin to ordain them, YES ordain them! It is sad to state that we are more comfortable ordaining senior citizens in most cases than individuals who have the rest of their lives to minister in the vocation wherewith they were called! We serve a savior that died at the tender age of 33, and yet in our day most ministers are just getting ordained and started at that point. How demonically ironic is that. Shift your paradigm! Begin to hear God calling the young adults in your spheres of influence. Be the wind beneath there wings and not the anchor on their boat. This is the key to Global Reformation.
The following is a brief list of trends that will happen as prophetic acts as we position, impart and RELEASE (emphasis added) the next generation of leaders.
1.Greater Emphasis will be placed on Revival and Societal Reformation. Next generation leaders will become more and more discontent with empty messages that do not carry the agenda of God.
2.A greater display of “Apostolic Preaching” will be seen in the nations, as it was displayed in the book of acts. Next generation leaders will preach messages that shake entire cities and cultures, not just the local church.
3.There will be greater passion for relationship with God. Next generation leaders will care less about great ministerial accomplishments and religious endeavors, they will want to see men reunited with the father through prayer and intimacy.
4.The next generation of leaders will have tremendous political impact. God will through his providence, position young adults in political circles and they won’t be there to make friends or connections for their latest project, they will be sent with the word of the lord for that territory or nation. Next generation leaders will understand the significance of ministering to political leaders for the sake of national revival.
5.Next Generation leaders will definitely experience a greater release of revelatory gifting. The word of Knowledge along with the other revelation giftings will increase far beyond anything the earth has ever seen because of the lack of fear and the desperate need for a God who is not stoic and detached. Next generation apostles and prophets will regularly call out names, specific sickness and disease, addresses and phone numbers because God will show himself through them as the God who is not afar off, but the one that is close. We have only seen ankle deep amounts of this kind of prophetic anointing. What we will see in the next decades will be the gradual increase of this prophetic power that will also affect the elements. Humanity is not yet prepared for this level of supernatural activity.
6.Next generation leaders will not preach over the major issues of the church. There will be a greater grace to confront and move in apostolic persuasion. 2nd Corinthians 5:11 say “We therefore knowing the Terror of the Lord we persuade men!” Apostolic Persuasion will be the mark of Next generation leaders.
7.Next Generation leaders will experience a tremendous level of influence and Godly fame. The message and unusual ministry practices upon these leaders will open up unusual realms of favor and renown.
8.Next Generation Leaders will be specifically burdened by the need for city wide prayer movements. Upon experiencing these leaders, human hearts will become powerless to the power of the word of God. These leaders will beckon churches to revivals of prayer the last for months at a time!
9.Global evangelization will be the focus of end time leaders. They won’t become indulged with building funds and picnics; they instead will become obsessed with turning the hearts of unbelievers to God by any means necessary. The hunger level for the miraculous will enable them to gather a different bread of skeptics and atheists that will be drawn into the kingdom of God, by way of the supernatural.
10.Corporate worship experiences led by these leaders will attract massive amounts of angelic activity. Whole services will be lead in dead silence as the manifested presence of God takes sovereign ruler ship over the gatherings. Angelic activity will increase in drastic amounts in the corporate assembly as next generation leaders lead worship services.
Matthew Stevenson is called to father an entire generation of apostolic reformers and prophetic revivalists. He also carries a fresh cutting edge anointing that empowers his strong burden for societal reformation and a global release of signs and wonders. As an apostolic leader he travels nationally and internationally igniting flames of revival in the hearts of men and women everywhere. Apostle Matthew imparts the power of the miraculous to the thousands that have received from his ministry.
Possessing a very unusual prophetic mantle, he ministers the word of the Lord with detailed accuracy, conviction, unearthly boldness and precision. He has written several books and articles on subjects ranging from political ministry and the apostolic to the supernatural and dreams and visions. Apostle Matthew is affiliated with the IMPACT Network which is under the leadership of Apostle John Eckhardt. Recently ordained as an apostle by Apostle Eckhardt, at age 21, he is the youngest ordained apostle in the IMPACT Network. He and his wife Kamilah both serve as the resident apostles of the multicultural International Church of Fire in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.