“Smoke filled the room!”
This was one of the powerful headlines written by Stephen Strader, the pastor of Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida (where I am at) about the revival going on through his church.
Ignited Church recently brought in evangelist Todd Bently. Apparently, revival has broken out and is still rocking.
Upon returning from a trip to California, we found this charismatic movement still going. Having been brought up in the ministry under evangelist Terry Kruse, I was used to revival.
So, me and a few friends went to check it out. (This was about 2 weeks ago.) Then, it was running about 500+ people. The crowd was charged, but we got in with no problem.
It was a service like any other revival meeting. My only critique at the time was how cartoonish the leaders were. Healings and testimonies not withstanding, it all felt kinda “old-hat”. Been there. Done that.
The worship was amazing. The claims of healings were as inflamed as ever. The offering plate was passed as consistent as ever. We were definitely intrigued at the level of faith the people were exhibiting (based primarily on the testimonies going on around us, not necessarily in the altars), but we left around 11 p.m. when they started anointing the prayer cloths with olive oil.
A personal friend who went later testified that her knees were healed. And, 2 weeks later, the revival had jumped to 3,000 people and moved to a church that could hold the people.
Being the chasers of God that we were, my mentor, Terry Kruse and his wife Donna Kruse, booked a room to come and check it out. There was only 1 hotel room left in the whole city, so the revival was still selling out hotels!
Well, we got there early because reports were that there was a line. And a line there was! We waited from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
(Side Note: I PRAY that the people leading this revival read this. Here is my question: why on EARTH is it necessary to keep people waiting outside? If you open up the doors at 4:30 or 5, the people who wait all day would get their seats like they would if they waited outside. If you just open the doors early, there would be no line and no one would get trampled anyway. And the people you turn away, you could turn away hours earlier.
Can you help me understand this? I can’t think of another reason other than getting people to have mild levels of heat stroke so that they are calm as hindu cows when they get into revival.)
But I digress.
Well, we ended up 3 people from the door, when they locked us out and sent us packing. Terry and Donna and I got turned away.
(Side Note #2: How do you turn people away from revival? Why not just put speaker system outside? If people would wait in the sun for 2 hours, they would certainly wait around to hear the word of the Lord. What the heck?)
The last update we have had is that the revival is moving to The Lakeland Center. The seating is for 8,000, and the line should be INDOORS. This is a bonus.
Terry and Donna are set to come back in two weeks. I will try to go tonight and see how it is on a Monday night.