In megachurch Pastor Stovall Weems' recent supernatural encounter with Jesus, he was forever transformed. His life and ministry were disrupted, and he discovered some truths about himself and the kingdom. He says that by American standards, he would be considered a success—leading a church that runs several thousand with multiple campus internationally. But he says, "That has nothing to do with kingdom success or kingdom authority."
"Kingdom authority doesn't have to do with numbers. If you have numbers, that's corporate authority. Kingdom authority has to do with obedience—especially in the area of what is less visible."
Mark 10:45 says, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."
Pastor Stovall explains if you unpack that verse in its Hebraic framework, it's saying, "Whoever wants to be the greatest must become the less visible."
He has a great concern, because he himself was doing it, that so much of what we celebrate is visible, and we've fallen into a deception that says, "If it's not visible, it's not kingdom." We live in a culture, even in the church, where everything we do has to be posted on social media. Stovall is in no way judging that; in fact, he says, "I used to do that. Post the pictures of the big stadiums filled with people."
The question is asked, "But don't we need to do that; don't we need to promote?" Stovall's response: "The Bible says not to let your left hand know what your right hand is doing."
Now, he has about 7,000 people every Friday night in their homes taking Communion and praying for the church. "I can't promote that," he says.
His encounter has changed the dynamics of his church, changed his focus to serving and recovering the sacred language that has been abandoned by the church. "The church gave up that language to be relevant," he says.
He has also felt compelled to prepare his people for the possibilities of life without meeting together in a building.
"We don't want to set up the Lord's congregation in a way that we can only thrive when we have a big building. We need to be able to thrive above ground, underground, with buildings, without buildings ... having internet, not having internet."
In spite of the pandemic, Celebration is thriving. Now, the instruction Stovall received from the Lord and his encounter make sense. He, like Ken and I, feels this the beginning of many shakings, and the Lord wants His bride to prepare herself for His return.
For more, listen to the Pastor Stovall Weems' Supernatural Encounter Part 4 on the Faith Works Podcast here.
Lesa Henderson is a prophetic revivalist, author and filmmaker. She co-pastors Salt Life Church with her husband Ken Henderson in Merritt Island, Florida. Together they produced the award-winning film Hope Has a Name.
Stovall and Kerri Weems founded Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida in 1998. Since then, Celebration has grown to include local, regional and international church locations. Stovall is the author of Awakening and The God-First Life.
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