Last April, I wrote a blog and recorded a podcast with Pat and Karen Schatzline, who have a powerful anointing to spark revival and a deep insight into why rebuilding the altar is important. They had come to the office to meet with the book team about their upcoming book, and they brought Joy and me a gift: a wooden altar with the word "Souls" engraved on the top.
That message resonated with readers, and it was among the top 10 percent of my many blogs as measured by social interactions, which are sometimes called "shares."
The Schatzlines' book, Rebuilding the Altar, released on Aug. 1. It's beginning to take off—it's a message needed by the church that is gaining traction.
During the podcast (which you can listen to below), the Schatzlines told me stories of how lives as well as churches are transformed when Christians understand the importance of encountering God. When that happens, Karen says, "What you have been is interrupted by what you can become!"
You will be blessed if you listen to the podcast, in which Pat shares his belief that people are desperate for an encounter with God, which is why going back to the altar is so important.
When I was a boy, most Pentecostal churches had altars—often stretching the width of the church. Today, most churches have removed the altars, and when people come forward for prayer, they stand or kneel on the carpet. I've taken home the altar the Schatzlines gave me, and I often kneel there to pray as I seek God. Pat says more and more people are putting altars in their homes because churches don't have them.
There has been a groundswell of support rising for this very important message, calling people back to an encounter with God, to the place of the encounter—the altar—and to a place of brokenness and fresh hunger for God. The message is resonating with leaders all over America and the world.
On release day, hundreds of leaders all over America, including Marcus and Joni Lamb (Daystar), Rodney Howard-Browne, John Kilpatrick, Jim Bakker, Sid Roth, Ward Simpson (GOD TV) along with many other notable leaders and hundreds of church pastors, posted about the book in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more.
Pat appeared on The Jim Bakker Show on July 21 to talk about this important message. Next week, he will be on Dr. Michael Brown's radio program and will appear on Sid Roth's It's Supernatural, Daystar, GOD TV and back on Jim Bakker's program again in August and September.
Pastors all over America are reaching out to Pat and Karen, wanting the message of the altar back in their church. This message is stirring revival in the hearts of many who are hungry for a move of God right now. We believe the book is a catalyst for a powerful move of God.
Within 24 hours of release, the book ranked as high as No. 491 on Amazon among all books in the world—and quickly became a No. 1 New Release on Amazon! It's amazing that a message about encountering God at the altar would get this type of response. The book is available wherever Christian books are sold, but you can also get it on Amazon by clicking here. Check out the Rebuilding the Altar website to learn more about the book.
In my blog last spring, I wrote how that, in an era where a seeker-friendly focus and "easy believism" seem to be the norm in churches already fighting an uphill battle with the culture, Pat began seeing the opposite happen: an intensity to seek God at the altar, which sparked the idea for the book.
As he travels the U.S. and abroad, Pat has been preaching on the altar and tying himself to it (see Ps. 118:27). The response has been overwhelming. But an altar represents something about people intently seeking God. It is a place of repentance and anointing.
In the podcast, Pat and Karen spoke of how this message grew out of a powerful service near Orlando last fall while the power was still out after Hurricane Matthew. Despite the lack of air conditioning, the church, Trinity Assembly in Deltona, was full. Hundreds streamed to the altar, and Pat has been preaching about its importance ever since.
Spending time with Pat and Karen, seeing their passion and hearing their message has rekindled something in me to seek God in a new way for a new season. I pray this blog and podcast will do the same for you.
Steve Strang is the founder of Charisma Media and President of Christian Life Missions. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to subscribe to the Strang Report podcast, and here to sign up for the Strang Report newsletter.