I am currently in Russia ministering. I love this nation and the people. They are amazing and wonderfully warm and friendly. Of course, I am working with believers and they all have the gift of hospitality and we spend many hours fellowshipping and sharing. I work hard as the average day is 18 hours of meetings, services, and talking to individuals. It is such a blessing to be called to minister in this nation. Already I have two more “two week” trips scheduled for 2015 just to this region of the nation. Others have asked as well but I have not even attempted to fit them into the calendar yet.
Here is what I have noticed both on previous trips and on this trip:
1> The majority of leaders are seriously dedicated and deeply in love with Jesus. They are not doing this for the money or the fame. There are exceptions but they are few. This is not a nation that encourages the Gospel of the Kingdom.
2> The churches are usually small in numbers but big in hope. They have tremendous dreams for their ministry and powerful visions usually given to them prophetically.
3> They are open to the moving of God’s Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit and love to see others blessed and receive a word. They sit, listen, and celebrate with each person being ministered to. They are “family.”
4> There is a great deal of training needed for the leaders as many really love Jesus but do not have a good grasp on church history, the dynamics of the Kingdom, good theology, and the Bible. (I am asked questions continuously about these subjects…
5> The average church is much like those in other nations. There are many who are “holding to an outward form of the religion but deny the power of it.” They are truly born again but are not walking fully “in Christ.” Of course, there are also many cultural Christians who heard the gospel of salvation, said a sinner’s prayer. and think they are saved. There is much work to do to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom.
6> Every city here could use many more new churches. In a city of 1.5 million people a pastor friend commented that there are 13 born again churches, mostly small. There is a need for a church planting movement in Russia – a multiplication of each existing healthy church.
7> The people need to be trained and equipped. Similar to many nations the people are being taught information but not equipped to minister and evangelize. For this to happen local leaders need to be trained and equipped first. Local training schools need to be formed (I will be helping do just that this coming year in the city of Kazan).
8> The church in Russia is a mixture of very young and very old. There is generally a missing generation as there is in nations such as my own (Canada). The young are hungry and ready to serve going into all the world. The older members love Jesus and are mostly unable to uproot and go into the world to expand the Kingdom’s territory.
9> Much of the bandwagon Christianity of North America is quickly absorbed here. Teachings such as the current “Blood Moons” nonsense are known and believed to be true. The internet is having a profound and usually negative effect on the life of the Church here in Russia. The American prosperity gospel is embraced, the strange and demonic manifestations of many recent “moves of the spirit” can be seen, and every heresy we know in the west is here as well.
10> There is a great need for the ministry of the apostle and prophet – and the full five-fold ministry team in each and every region and church. Hundreds if not thousands are needed to work closely with local churches to establish a biblical foundation for healthy churches and growth.
The Church worldwide is becoming very much a global church where all the same issues and problems are experienced in every nation. The same false teachings are impacting churches in every nation. There are differences in the nations but mostly due to culture, politics, history, and geography.
Please pray for the Church in Russia. Alive and well but needing some serious guidance and direction from mature, well-balanced, five-fold ministers who are not running a business but are simply helping Jesus build His Kingom.