Thank You John Wimber

wimberThe last month or so, I’ve been consciously asking the Lord to remind me of men and women who have shaped the way that I think and act.  It has created a flood of gratitude within me.  One person near the top of that list is John Wimber, founder of The Vineyard movement.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

I’m a fool for Christ. . .who’s fool are you?

How do you spell faith?  R-I-S-K

I’m just a fat man trying to get to heaven!

Not long before John died, I had the privilege of spending a half day with him.  I could fill the next 10 posts with insights from that day.  One of the most significant moments happened when John laid his hands on me and prayed.  He prophesied that I would see the spontaneous expansion of the church like the beginnings of Methodism and the early Vineyard movement.  After that prayer, he gave me a book by Roland Allen called The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church.  He said that next to the Bible, it was the most important book that he read.  I read the whole book that night with tears.  It has consumed me ever since.

It has been 17 years since John prayed over me.  I recently transitioned in ministry so that I can devote myself full-time to seeing the church spontaneously expand through the ministry of The Malachi Network (www.malachinetwork.org).  This is a huge step of faith (risk) for Tania and me.  We covet your prayer.  This next quote from John is once again very real to us:

The economy of the kingdom of God is quite simple.  Every new step in the kingdom costs us everything we have gained to date.  Every time we cross a new threshold, it costs us everything we now have.  Every new step may cost us all the reputation and security we have accumulated up to that point.  It costs us our life.  A disciple is always ready to take the next step.  If there is anything that characterizes Christian maturity, it is the willingness to become a beginner again for Jesus Christ.  It is the willingness to put our hand in his hand and say, “I’m scared to death, but I’ll go with you.  You’re the Pearl of great price.”

Thank you John for helping us take the next step.

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About Rich Stevenson

Rich is the Executive Director of The Malachi Network (www.malachinetwork.org), a ministry focused on making the name of the LORD great among the nations. This network serves young leaders in missions and church planting. Prior to his present ministry, Rich pastored in Southern New Jersey, planted a church in Wilmore, KY, established a network of churches, served as an adjunct professor at Asbury College and was a senior leader at The International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO as well as The International House of Prayer in Atlanta, GA. Rich is the author of two books: Secrets of the Spiritual Life—10 Lessons from the One Thing Passages (Baker Books, 2003) A Voice from Home—The Words You Long to Hear from Your Father (WaterBrook Press, 2005) He graduated from Asbury College in 1984 with a BA degree in Philosophy of Religion and Asbury Theological Seminary in 1987 with a Master of Divinity degree. In 2010, Rich received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Union Biblical Seminary in Yangon, Myanmar. Rich has been married to Tania since 1982 and they have been blessed by amazing children: Zachary and his wife Meghan, Jacob and his wife Lena, Jessica and Corrie Emma.
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One Response to Thank You John Wimber

  1. Cheryl Holmes says:

    We also saw him at Blood and Fire Ministries in ATL months before he died- before we came to Asbury- what an impact his ministry had on my life, and touched Barry’s as well! Thanks for sharing. We have enjoyed watching that prophecy unfold in your life! Wondering what is 4 hours away from you right now- since you moved to KC, we moved to Iowa -4 hours away. You move to ATL- we move to AL- 4 hours away. 😉 blessings! (good to see Tania and Corrie serendipitously in Kohl’s a few weeks ago!)

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