God is moving in Reading
Something is stirring in Reading – UK.
An evangelist and his team came to minister from the US, training people to go out on the streets to speak to people about Jesus. After some worship and 20 minutes training, teams are sent out and people are very open to hearing about Jesus. Around 600 had made decisions for Christ in the first 12 days. Here is what the pastor of Reading Community Church says about it:
Personal Statement from Yinka Oyekan Senior Minister of The Gate.( 9/6/16)
There is an Evangelistic outpouring happening now on the streets of Reading.
Context is everything!
Around 15 years ago the Lord gave me a lucid prophetic dream about revival. I saw a river flowing like a waterfall onto the street from the roof the church building we occupied at the time, above this cascading river was the cross.
I saw children running into the river with joy and ease as they came down a slight decline into the cascading river making their steps easier. I saw the adults eventually catching up with what was happening but their steps were a bit harder as they had to climb a slight incline. As long as the Cross was magnified the outpouring continued but where anyone went above the cross it stopped.
Then in 2010 following a visible and tangible manifestation of the Glory of God in our family home, a manifestation which happened to disrupt dinner (we saw it as a cloud and felt it as sparks of lightening), the Lord in a vision gave me a clear word about Fathers love coming down and sweeping towns and cities in the Uk into a new outpouring, but only if believers in cities would gather together and call out upon him. The leadership of three cities initially responded (Liverpool, Plymouth and Ely) but the gatherings did not go beyond the leaders.
Recently, I should have guessed something was afoot and that something strange was about to happen because in the weeks leading up to what I can only describe as the manifestation of that lucid dream I began to see angels everywhere. I have not been one for seeing angels, but recently they began to appear particularly in our current church building where this outpouring has begun from, but they also were appearing in my home and one of them spoke to me audibly. It was all really quite strange. But now I realise that Father was flooding the area with His troops and that was the point of their appearing. I was not so easily impressed by angels because I have on more than one occasion spoken to the Lord himself in a dreams.
Last week we invited evangelist Tommie Zito to lead our mission endeavour. All I was hoping for was a cultural shift in our church which whilst evangelical in belief was not so much in practice. I thought that at best ten people might be added to church out of possibly 50 conversions given we were starting from further back than I would have hoped.
I did not realise what was coming. We are finding that hundreds of people are happy to pray to give their lives to Christ on the streets of Reading, five Muslims have so far accepted Christ as well as Hindus. At last count yesterday over 720 people had prayed in the streets after just 10 days of mission.
I was trained by Evangelist Don Double and so thought I had effective follow up procedures in place, we have been so overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of conversions that all our current systems are bust and we will have to think again. True to the dream, the children are leading the way one young 11 year old has lead 46 people to Christ on the streets, my fourteen year old has lead 11 people to Christ and my nine year old has lead thirteen of his friends at school to Christ, on the school run, on the way to work at petrol stations all over the town on buses people are praying and accepting Christ as saviour, those who have come down and sat under the anointing are reporting back to me that once they got back home they are leading people to Christ. One pastor went back to his town and lead 6 people to Christ the minute he got back home having spent time with us in the renewal.
It is not like anything I have ever seen or experienced before and it left me reeling, feeling baffled and confused. Teachers leading colleagues to Christ during their break, it is every day, it is nonstop and it was initially baffling.
We will end up using many church buildings as a launch pad for this outpouring. The church of England Verger who has let us use part of his grounds as a launching pad into the town centre was inundated with stories from the staff from John Lewis (A large department store) in the middle of town who were queuing up in front of him to tell him how blessed they were at being stopped and prayed for.
What is happening is not revival yet if revival means the whole of Reading is turning to Christ, but it is an exponential explosion of what you would normally see in what I would call a normal mission. Everything is the same but hundreds of times multiplied, so there are more genuine salvations but also more people who have responded just to move teams on and also more people who whilst not sure what they did none the less are searching and want God and meant the prayers. 80+% are estimated to be prayers of Salvation or Rededications it is all so overwhelming.
I am one of a Leadership Team of five for Reading Christian Network, a charismatic umbrella body for many of the ministries and churches in the town and today when we met I offered to hand over what has started at The Gate to the town. In that meeting we heard many stories of peoples encounters with what is happening. If the Pastors in our town will pursue and will pay the cost of pursuing it both spiritually and practically then it could lead to full blown revival. Eph 4 Evangelist Tommie Zito and I believe Reading could become the first city in Europe to be swept by the Glory of God. At this point I must be honest about what I prophetically believe, I thought the Revival the Lord showed me was coming was to start in the South West and I have tried very hard in previous years to ensure the leaders there knew this. The Gate will practically steward this outpouring whilst submitting to the spiritual oversight of the town to cover and give leadership to it.
Now for the really good news.
It is transferable to any city or town that wants this. I believe that this can happen in any city in this country or in Europe and because of that Tommie Zito’s ministry and Barnabas Fellowship of Churches are going to partner to facilitate this. Why do I believe it is transferable? Oh the joy of the simplicity of all of this. It is not a technique, it is not a program, it is not a church growth plan but something Holy from the Lord, it is simply the empowering of ordinary believers to be able to share the gospel on the streets and that is where the power to transform our cities lies. If we will humble ourselves, not try and control it and allow the Holy Spirit to flow we will see incredible things on the streets of every city in this nation.
I drew this picture attached to express my initial bewilderment at what I felt after the first day, indeed on the second day I was really worried and came under the most severe psychological attack, worse than anything I had experienced in the last four years which had been tough years of contending with spiritual forces. Why the psychological difficulties? Well I value my integrity but had no credible frame of reference to explain what I was seeing by the second day. On top of that I realised my follow up techniques which I prided myself with being good at were not going to be good enough. We have since begun to understand how to steward this move of God.
It was only after I accepted that Father was at work did the Lord send a pastor from Andy Au’s church from Brighton to encourage us. He came at the prompting of Jonathan Conrathe and when he arrived in Reading the Lord told a lady he had met three years ago to call him and tell him that revival was about to start and that the Lord had told her He was in Reading at that precise moment in time. This encouraged the meeting and gave us resolve to press in.
We have been praying every week for 19 years for God to move in our town. This Wednesday was the day 19 years ago that the prayer meeting started. The leadership of RCN are more united and honest with each other than we have ever been.
Why ‘The Gate?’
God knows that whilst I am not the most prolific church planting Apostle, nevertheless I would never be content with holding this outpouring to just our church and my leadership team are just the same. Men and women who are a Kingdom minded team. A pastor receiving this gift may have been tempted to hang onto it as just another means of church growth which I believe many have seen Tommie and his ministry as in the past. Yes I wish to plant churches, yes I would love a huge church but, I would honestly prefer that every church become strong and growing whether they are part of my Baptist denomination, Barnabas Fellowship of churches, Anglican churches, Catholic churches Methodist churches or any other denomination or stream. I just long to see all churches growing and thriving. I believe God knows my heart and has trusted me knowing I would honour his servant Tommie and would seek to pursue what he had sent me and pay the cost. This is why I have a personal resolve to facilitate Tommie Zito and what he brings to our nation.
Senior Minster of The Gate & Team leader Barnabas Fellowship of Churches