I am frequently receiving questions about the local mega-ministry called “IHOP-KC.” The acronym stands for “International House of Prayer” and it is known locally for the 24/7 prayer ministry they operate. This ministry is much more than a prayer ministry. It also includes a “University” to train people for their style of ministry. IHOP recently purchased huge tracts of land along 71 Highway in the Grandview area. The IHOP University is up and running on one of these properties that used to be a strip mall. IHOP is certainly known nationally and to some degree, internationally.
Talking about IHOP is a difficult thing because I don’t want to be negative or sound arrogant or come off as someone who “knows it all”–but there have to be limits on what we will tolerate as evangelicals. In my mind, IHOP crosses many of those limits.
But I am not going to write about that here. It would take too much space and I am not an expert on the subject. But I know one. A good friend of mine, Keith Gibson, has recently been published on the related subject of what is known as the Apostolic Restoration movement. As you can tell…this is a project aimed at restoring the office of Apostle to the church. This idea alone is seriously problematic…but trust me, it’s much worse than even this sounds.
IHOP is a ministry run on the revelations, dreams and visions of its leader, Mike Bickle. He will tell you that his dreams and revelations are why it exists in the first place. You can easily find YouTube clips of his “sermons”–which are often extended talks about the things God is telling him.
What most people know about IHOP involves just the prayer ministry (which appears inoccuous enough) or some young person who is attending the ministry or University. I have met some of the young people associated with IHOP. They are passionate, often winsome people who love Jesus. They serve as a compelling commercial in favor of the ministry. Sadly, they will only be confused by what they learn there.
I cannot talk about this movement or IHOP-KC here…there is too much to say. But if you need to understand better what is going on, I would like to recommend to you Keith’s book, Wandering Stars: Contending for the Faith with the New Apostles and Prophets (Birmingham: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2011). Keith’s knowledge of this subject (as well as his knowledge of Mormonism and other aberrant Christian movements) is simply encyclopedic.
We plan to put a couple of copies of this book in our Discipleship and Resource Center library…but if you would like one before then, you can purchase your own copy here.
I wish everyone at IHOP-KC God’s best. I don’t believe they will find it by sidetracking lives with the dreams and visions of a man who claims to be a modern day Apostle. It is sad to see so much potential spoiled by confusing biblical truth with existential silliness.