Pastor Alex Clattenburg believes 2020 marks a critical time for the church. In this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, he says the church must lead out of the prophetic voice God has given and respond in true faith, not fear.
I interviewed Alex, who pastors Church in the Son here in our area of Central Florida, on a recent episode of The Strang Report podcast. Like every other church, Church in the Son has gone through the process of closure and waiting on the Lord to reopen, he said. But a word the Lord gave him recently moved him to respond in faith and action. "I was waiting on the Lord the other day ... and the Lord said, 'This is an alert. The enemy is going to try to use this situation to literally take the church out.' And it was like something prophetic. And I shared this with our church," he told me.
Right at this time, Alex said, he was trying to figure out what to do when so many churches were closed and the mayor of Orlando had placed restrictions on gatherings, limiting them to 10 or fewer. He spoke with attorney and religious freedom advocate Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel to get his advice. "And we opened our church on Pentecost Sunday," Alex said.
Alex told me it's time that churches have "a prophetic voice. And we do not allow everything around us to somehow cause us to be cowering to what is taking place. But this is a time for us to lead and to say, 'No, we have a right to meet.' And we are meeting, and so people are looking for confidence and strength, not natural strength, but the strength that comes from the Lord, the confidence of the Lord."
Alex's words reminded me of other situations where we have seen civil authorities do their best to come against churches. In some states, people are allowed to gather in large groups for riots, for shopping or almost any purpose except worshipping the Lord. Alex believes this current situation brings a great responsibility and a great opportunity. "If the church rises up and begins to pray and allows the Holy Spirit to move, we're going to see signs and wonders. We're going to go from defense to offense, from retreat, to attack from passivity, to a filled congregation with the Holy Spirit, and nothing stops us," he said.
Alex also spoke a powerful word to his fellow pastors. "You need to decide that you can meet. ... It's our time. And we have to seize the day and stop acting as though God is impotent," Alex said. "When we back up, what we're saying is, 'He can't. He's small; He's powerless.' Now we have to get out and say, "Hey, listen, we're not preparing for good services. We're preparing for a mighty move of God.'
To hear more from Alex about churches' mandate to meet and what he sees as the beginning of a great move of God, listen to the entire podcast at this link. And be sure to share with your pastor, friends and family who may need to know more about how the church cannot be afraid to step out for such a time as this.
I also encourage you to check out stevestrangbooks.com, where you can learn more about the work of God in our day and age, particularly in the United States and through the Trump administration. The world keeps telling us we live in unprecedented times. Believers must recognize this and live as though our words, our faith and our actions, including our votes, can make a true difference in our country and for eternity.
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