Before you write off all Millennials as religiously disaffiliated, consider @ihopkc where every week, 24-hours-a-day, 84 worship services per week are conducted, and there is literal non-stop, prayer and worship. @ihopkc is a magnet of spiritual intensity that draws people from all over the world. Yes, there are men and women of all ages. But, look closer in the seats, and you will find a strong contingent of millennials in deep devotion to Jesus Christ. And, it never stops … every day … every night reminiscent of the Old Testament Levitical priests who were consecrated to the Lord.
Mike Bickle @mikebickle and I have been friends for 35 years. I have repeatedly told people, when asked, “I have never met a man with such passion for Jesus as Mike Bickle.” His spiritual intensity has produced a global movement. Annually, 25,000 young people attend his Onething Conference in frigid temperatures. Further, IHOP University is growing with hundreds of millennials intent on changing the world by their faith – another vision that came from Mike.
The International House of Prayer has continued in non-stop prayer led by worship teams since September 19, 1999, and is committed to combining 24/7 prayers for justice with 24/7 works of justice. Around 1,500 people (staff members, students, interns) serve full-time on the missions base, investing fifty hours per week in the prayer room, classroom, and ministry outreaches. Mike is also the founder of the International House of Prayer University which includes a full-time Bible school, music school, and media school.
Call it the dichotomy of American culture – millennials leaving organized religion and the church while, simultaneously, multiplied thousands of young people are exhibiting an intensity of Christian faith that is a bit shocking to the average church goer. Mike told me that there are now 20,000 “prayer centers” all over the world just like IHOP. Many received inspiration to begin from the example that ensued from his “believe-God-at-any-cost” faith.
We met and discussed the condition of American Christianity.
JERRY JOHNSTON: 70% of young people in the UK don’t believe in God. Over 50% are nones. They kind of fast forward our culture by two decades at least. You’ve been in the UK. What do you take away from that as you look at America now?
MIKE BICKLE: And again I think you are right. I think they’re a decade or two ahead and I think we’re following Mother England as we have for years, following right in the track and I think it’s that reducing of what’s going on in the pulpit backfired. Though it made a lot of folks gather in a certain way, it lost the interest of the young people. Because a lot of folks think the young people just want cool media and I think they do want cool media. I think you can’t deny what’s happening in the culture. We are a product of our culture in part. But young people want to be challenged. Young people want something to die for. It’s like the preacher said if you don’t have something to live for you don’t have anything to die for.