I'm not a "chase every demon" or "spend my time on witch hunts" type of guy. I don't believe there is a demon behind every broken door, nor do I think witches have nothing better to do than to stalk Christians and try to make our lives miserable. However, I have been in this thing called "ministry" for a long time now, and I have enough common sense to know that as ministers, we must be covered more than any time before.
Last night, I had a dream which I believe is a warning to the pastors of our nation concerning those who are gracing the doors of our church each month—the people that God has entrusted to you, your flock. This dream is a reminder that we must take full authority and responsibility to assure that those who come into our churches or ministries are exactly who they say they are, and there for all the right reasons.
Satan is aggressively going after the U.S. government and leaders within our country at an unprecedented level; Satan is also strategically slithering his way right into church congregations as quickly as possible. If Satan can bring down and divide the American church, he can permanently destroy this country. Bluntly put: Satan is coming after your church. That's right, your church, pastor, not just the church a few blocks down the street that causes all of the trouble in town, but yours.
The Dream From Last Night
There was a church service being conducted, and the atmosphere was relaxed, comfortable like a home group, but public enough for it to feel like a Sunday service. During the meeting, there was a middle-aged man who began making a loud noise, mimicking praying in the Spirit. But it was easy to discern that he wasn't; what he was doing was not the Lord's leading at all. He was trying to take attention away from the main service and eventually set himself up as an "anointed volunteer" for that church ministry. Several people began to take note of what the man was doing and, unfortunately, the pastor and his wife looked right at him and showing some concern, but did nothing about it. Nothing! They could tell something wasn't right, but they chose to let it go in order to avoid conflict.
After the pastor's family looked the other way, the strange man said, "Now I'm going to lay hands on all the children around me. This is where I will start, and then work my way to the adult leaders." (Notice the pattern?) He started laying hands on the small children around him, and the young kids trusted him out of the innocence of their hearts. Unfortunately, these young children had no idea how evil this man was.
After he laid hands on several of the children and spoke bad things over them, he then turned his attention to some on the leadership team of this church. He left the children's area and walked directly toward the leadership team. Once there, he raised his hand to place it on the worship leader's head. (Notice the pattern here?) As he was about to put his hand on the worship leader, someone near the worship leader said, "No way, not on this head!" then grabbed the evil man's hand to stop him. Immediately, the power of God hit this wicked man and took him right to the floor, and at that moment, the demon inside him left.
During this time, there was another man in the congregation just sitting there watching all of this unfold. When the first man hit the floor, the other man in the congregation who was just observing started to manifest a demon as well. Others around this second person were really shocked; they had no idea that this second, innocent-looking man was also demon possessed. Within a short time both men were ushered out of the building. It became obvious to many people that these two men had been sent to this church on assignment. They were involved with witchcraft and were regularly going in and out of the church to attempt to take it over, disrupt the meetings through chaos, and damage the overall ministry of the church. Primarily, their main goal was to turn the hearts of the people against their pastor to completely divide the church.
Notice the Pattern
- The fake spiritual gifts.
The man usurped the attention of the meeting and others around him by faking spiritual gifts. These people work their way up to key positions by faking spirituality. If they can operate in a false anointing well enough, then they will probably fool most of the people around them.
Remember, even the pastor and his wife looked at the first evil man and did nothing about it. They both knew something was off, something was wrong. Church leaders, now is not the time to take a back seat in your church ministries.
- The children were targeted first.
Why? Children are innocent, trusting and vulnerable. In many ministries, it is nearly impossible to keep the children's church staff filled week in and week out. These types of departments are where the enemy wants to hit the hardest.
- The leadership, specifically the worship leader, was targeted next.
After this witch/warlock attempted to infect the children, he went directly to the church leadership who served under the pastor. Notice, he went right toward the worship leader. There is faith-building power in worship, and the enemy hates this. One of the most important positions connected to the pastor's role of the church is that of the worship leader. If a pastor finds an outstanding worship leader who is called to serve their ministry, they have found spiritual gold. Pastor-worship leader conflicts can rip a Sunday service and a church right in two. This is what the enemy wants. Our worship leaders need to be covered well in prayer right now.
Pastor, Protect Your Flocks
Pastors, we are living in a time in America when the days are progressively turning evil. Corruption and disruptions are commonplace now. In order to counter this chaos, we must rise to a greater level of oversight within the church and ministry functions that we are called to serve.
Most churches I walk into are normally facing the same problem: volunteers needed! This is where we must really be discerning and careful. With the regular need to fill worker rosters, one can easily see how the enemy can infiltrate a church with corrupt people. Regardless of how long it takes to fill some of the key positions within your church, we must:
- Regularly screen and monitor (discern) the leadership and volunteers within the ministry. Take an inventory; get to know some of the workers. Extensive research on the person's life is very helpful. This isn't just the standard background checks (which you should be doing not matter how well you think you know someone); this is a thorough investigation of who this person really is. What is their life really expressing to those around them? Who are they hanging around? Exactly why do they want to work in this specific department? Do they have a genuine track record? Remember, safety nets are best developed through long-term relationships.
- Listen to the Holy Spirit. Secondly, when in doubt, stop. Pastor, I know that you needed another nursery worker, floor cleaner, drummer, elder or youth director four months ago, but are the people you are about to place in these types of positions really up to par for that spot? Like you, I had a few people whom I put in key positions only to later discover that it was a huge mistake. Don't risk placing someone in the wrong position.
"Do not lay hands suddenly on anyone, and do not partake of other men's sins. Keep yourself pure" (1 Tim. 5:22).
Andy Sanders has been speaking for 25 years. He has traveled extensively around the U.S. and other parts of the world. He is a prolific writer who carries both a prophetic and leadership-type message to the church. Sanders has a B.A. from Central Bible College and a master's and doctorate in Christian education from Freedom Seminary, graduating with honors. He is married to Cathy, and their family resides in Syracuse, New York.
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