| LEAVING KANSAS CITY -Andrew Strom|
LEAVING KANSAS CITY
- Andrew Strom.
It all started with the sale of the house we were living in. (-We did
not own it ourselves). The owner put quite a high price on it, and
very few people were coming to see it, so we figured we had a
lot of time to find our next home in Kansas City. I had already
been scouring Kansas City for many weeks - looking for a place
to buy that we could use as a 'Ministry House' as well as somewhere
to live ourselves. The weird thing was, we missed out on a
whole string of suitable houses one after the other - in the most
strange and unusual circumstances. It started getting alarming.
To our shock and amazement, the home we were in sold after just
a week-and-a-half on the market! (-Only two people had seen it!)
And they wanted early closing, so we suddenly had to get out fast
and we had nowhere to go.
Meantime after several disappointments we missed out on the
"perfect" ministry house by just 3 hours - while we were writing
the contract it was sold. Then with just a few days left we found
a "last chance" house. But on our way to the office to write the
contract our car died on the highway! (It had never done that
before or since). It finally started 45 mins later - just long enough
for us to miss the appointment. The next day (not to be deterred)
we made our offer. The other party counter-offered two days
later and we agreed to the price. We finally had an accepted offer!
We had our house! (-Or so we thought....)
The very next day we were told that the house had already been
placed on some little-known "auction" site and so our deal was off!!
Not to be deterred, I decided to bid on that auction site! (To me,
this was like a "fleece" before God - the last chance after months
of exhaustive searching and disappointments. I had to know for
sure if God was really closing the doors in KC). I bid up to a
certain amount and left it in God's hands (-this amount was HIGHER
than our "accepted" offer had been!!) Up until two days out I was
still winning the house, but suddenly in came another buyer and
it was gone. -Our last "fleece". -Our final chance.
As you can imagine, this whole process had really started us
questioning - "What is going on??" "Does God even want us in
Kansas City any more?" This was not a 'small' question to us -
after all we had come thousands of miles specifically to live in
Kansas City. I found it hard to believe our 'mission' there was
over. But we were reeling from the whole "house" situation. It
became more and more clear that we needed to be open to
In my time in Kansas City there is no question that my message
has been clearly heard by the leaders and the movement there.
In fact, certain things that I have published have literally
"shaken" the movement nationwide. That does not mean that any
of it has been "received". But I have had personal interaction
with most of the top leaders in one way or another - and some
of them are well aware that I was sent to KC with a message
and anointing from the Lord. (-Other leaders around town also).
They have all had every opportunity to receive or reject. However,
they have all kept the doors firmly shut against me - even those
who get on well with me on a personal level and fully
acknowledge my calling.
In my wildest dreams I never imagined that I would come to
KC merely to "cry out with a loud voice" over the movement there.
From the start I was (and am) fully willing and able to "build and
plant" in KC - like in other places. But the doors have simply
remained closed. -Thus, I have to conclude that it is God's time to
move on to more "fruitful" fields. Other places have received our
ministry and borne fruit far more than KC - and it must be that
God wants us concentrating there. Remember, Jesus cursed the fig
tree that bore no fruit - He did not simply accept it. Despite long
effort, KC for us has been a "barren tree" - and I truly believe
they have rejected a long line of prophetic voices who have
been sent to them - of which I am simply the latest. What
lies in store for that city and that movement I do not know. But
my feeling is that it will not be good. Already it is one of the most
spiritually "dysfunctional" environments that you can find in
America. -Thousands of hurt and disillusioned Christians wandering
around in one place.
But none of that is a reason to simply up and leave. I would
only leave Kansas City if God said "GO!" And it appears that this
is exactly what He has done.
After a great deal of prayer and soul-searching, the place we feel
clearly led to after KC is Wisconsin - where there is a wonderful
community of friends and youth who have received our message.
This is far more of a "Christian Community" type situation with like-
minded people who have a heart for the poor and the true gospel,
etc. They have converted an old school into living quarters and there
are great possibilities for a 'Training School' and all kinds of
Already God has prepared the way for us. In fact, the leaders told me
this week that a year ago they felt the Lord tell them we would be
shifting there - but had never told us. Our move is already underway -
actually I am speaking there this week at 'The Gathering Wisconsin'.
So to all intents and purposes our family is already moved to WI.
We have friends in KC who will continue our homeless ministry, and
I believe exciting things are in store in Wisconsin. However, we are
still somewhat "shell-shocked" and may take awhile to get over
what has just occurred. It is pretty stunning when this kind of
thing happens - especially when you have a large family. -So sudden
and disorienting! We would greatly appreciate your prayers at this
time, my friends.
My apologies to anyone who is shocked or grieved at the contents
of this letter. I feel somewhat the same myself!
Send feedback to- firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you and thankyou so much for your prayers, my friends.
Kindest regards in Christ,
Robert Wurtz II
| 2006/7/27 7:44||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: LEAVING KANSAS CITY -Andrew Strom|
I trust that God is guiding and speaking to mr strom. I was able to meet him when I was in Kansas City visiting brother Robert Wurtz. He has a great heart for ministry and the church to see it as the holy bride that it should be and that God is making it so. Do send your regards to brother Andrew Strom if you have been blessed by his ministry and do pray for him and this move.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2006/7/27 11:03||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: LEAVING KANSAS CITY -Andrew Strom|
Thanks for posting this Robert. It's awesome to see how prayer and providence have come together in showing God's will for Mr. Strom's ministry.
Robert, since you know Mr. Strom personally I'm curious if you would care to share any thoughts you might have on this matter.
| 2006/7/27 21:12||Profile|
Robert, since you know Mr. Strom personally I'm curious if you would care to share any thoughts you might have on this matter.
I first heard of Andrew no more than a few weeks before he came to Kansas City. God had been working on my life in late 2003 to start a series of lessons on rediscovering the Classical Pentecostal life. Our church had missed several services due to the weather and that had never happened in it's existence. I viewed this, among many other things, as a sign that we needed to get our act together. I was researching on repentance and revival and found Andrew's message, "Thundering in Nashville." I also read some writings that seemed to correspond to exactly what I felt concerning youth, etc.
While researching old e-mail publications, I came to the newest one which said, "Shifting to Kansas City." This was the day before he was scheduled to arrive. I was amazed to say the least. I took the day off and went to his new house to greet him and the family. They had not got off the plane yet, so I left a note. A few days later he contacted me and we met with him and others in what I believe was a 'God thing.'
One of Andrew's first messages preached was "REPENTANCE IN KANSAS CITY." Our church at this point was having a revival of its own as we baptized 30 odd people in a span of about a month. Folk were renewing their lives to the Lord and repenting of their backsliding. Many churches had gathered for the meeting at NEW LIFE Church. There were many pastor's there and even the highest ranking officials in the district.
Only a few of us knew Andrew and we had only known him a short time. We were hungry for revival and repentance and it seemed like a perfect match. God did some awesome things in that service. A young man came to repentance who was brutally killed 2 weeks later. A whole family had been murdered. I see this as a call to repentance to that church at that time as danger was right around the corner.
It is my estimation that certain aspects of the sermon were interpreted by the elders as being 'anti-church'. Just being honest here. The ministers were all classical Pentecostal and were used to firey preaching, so that was [u]not[/u] a problem. I have heard them preach many messages that were much more troubling than the one preached that night, so I saw no problem with that basic 'message of repentance' at all. Nor do I believe they did.
I continued to minister along the lines of spiritual renewal and repentance for the next 2 years almost. Not the same message, but things you may be used to seeing me talk about. But a few other things happened that really crippled things. I won't go into them all, but enough so you get the idea.
We actually had a fund raiser for Andrew and the family at the church so I know there was not a sense of 'anti-Andrew'. Yet, there were a few more things to add to this mix. One was, when we attended the Billy Graham crusade there was a radical group (maybe two different ones) that stood outside with banners saying that Billy Graham was a FALSE prophet. This did not sit well at all with the elders in our church as they knew better than that. They knew at the least that God had not called them to behave like they were behaving. They had little kids out there and everything. It was NOT good at all.
Being full of zeal myself along with others were created a HUGE repentance banner and had an out reach on one of the busiest thoroughfares in KC at the intersection of Blue Ridge and I-70. This is where Arrowhead and Royals stadium are located. The banner could be seen from the highway at times. This came off to our elders as [u]radical[/u] because I think they associated our actions as having been influenced by the people protesting Billy Graham.
THEN, one day out of the blue, a young brother visits our church who was on fire and zealous for God. I had spoke to him the night before and invited him to service. His message was way radical also. It happened that we had a guy come in that morning who was a motivational speaker in schools. The 'sinners prayer' was still pretty big at this time. In fairness to our leaders, they are almost 'Finney style' holiness folk. I doubt there is a repentance preacher I have met that could say they lived as strict of life as these people or preached as strict of message. But [i]they[/i] believe a person can get started towards Christ by saying the sinners prayer if they are truly sincere with God.
What happens? The guest speaker makes a crazy statement about being saved after saying a 10 second prayer or something. I was stunned myself. Yet, in a matter of seconds the young brother stands up and rebukes the man during the altar call. It was a scene out of George Fox or something. Finally, he was escorted out and I later came and tried to explain the misunderstanding. The problem that was far reaching is that someone thought he was part of the group that protested Billy Graham at the stadium because he remarked that Billy Graham was a false prophet. etc.
Are you starting to get the picture why so many doors were closed for Andrew and myself? I'm not blaming anyone- I am saying there were many misunderstandings as well as issues that could have been dealt with differently. Wind is a good thing until it reaches over 100 MPH. The situation just became too volatile and as an act of [i]caution[/i] ministers would not open their doors for ANY repentance preachers or revivalists. It took me 2 years to get Jesse Morrell in the doors and he was welcomed with open arms. I believe all the others would also, but the immediate circumstances muddied the waters too much. And this is what I have tried to convey to our young preachers on SI.
I believe if repentance preachers and revivalists will lay aside the unecessary weights of things that GOD is not wanting to deal with YET, and focus expressly on what He has called them to do- things will go well. There are too many issues to try to tackle all at once. Sometimes it takes 50 surgeries to cure a patient. A patient will die on the table if you try to do too much all at once. I am not saying over a period of years- but a time of healing between each issue to allow the Lord to bring things into balance and make corrections. He has to turn the minds of men. They have to see the light for themselves.
I was very sad to hear Andrew was not coming back. We had a ministry at Jurassic Park that will continue on Lord willing. I was there to see him off the night before he went home two days ago. I have really wondered what all God has done and how we are all changed to be more like Him. I have learned a lot and so have others. There is much more to this story, but that is my immediate perspective of what may have happened. I would say he was 'rejected' but I don't think that is 100% true. Like an airplane trying to get off the ground with too much weight, things just seemed to crash from too much baggage from too many places.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2006/7/28 8:51||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
The situation just became too volatile and as an act of caution ministers would not open their doors for ANY repentance preachers or revivalists. It took me 2 years to get Jesse Morrell in the doors and he was welcomed with open arms. I believe all the others would also, but the immediate circumstances muddied the waters too much. And this is what I have tried to convey to our young preachers on SI...
...Like an airplane trying to get off the ground with too much weight, things just seemed to crash from too much baggage from too many places.
Thanks for the "inside" information, much to be learned here for the careful reader.
Also, it shines a bit more light on some of the things you have been sharing here in the forums recently. God bless you brother!
| 2006/7/28 10:23||Profile|
Thanks for the "inside" information...
No problem brother, just trying to put my view out. Others have a view also. My perspective is limited. There are other areas of ministry Andrew tried to reach that he gives an account of.
I was asked by a brother via PM about Andrew's feelings towards IHOP, etc. My earlier comments are a supplement to multiple articles he has written already addressing the prophetic movement in KC, as I am limited to our limited sphere of Pentecostal Churches and ministry we have done together elsewhere. My points deal with one facet of why I believe more things did not happen in [u]our[/u] camp.
Please, as Bro. Greg has said, pray for Andrew that God will guide his steps. He is over here from New Zealand with his lovely family and needs our prayers. He has a heart for revival in this nation. He has left all to come here.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2006/7/28 23:49||Profile|
i enjoyed listening to Andrew the kiwi.....pity i could only find 8 sermons.......
haha. who would have thought thesay when I a AUSSIE would for once not be criticizing a KIWI hehe.
| 2006/7/29 2:26||Profile|
| Re: building trust|
Sometimes it takes 50 surgeries to cure a patient. A patient will die on the table if you try to do too much all at once. I am not saying over a period of years- but a time of healing between each issue to allow the Lord to bring things into balance and make corrections.
Seeing this issue exposed in the light of truth is most helpful and relieving. It relieves us of the need to produce an immediate fix. And it helps us cope with rejection and foiled plans. God knows best! After all, its HIS project.
Most of those who run across the paths of my life are in this vast category those turned off by past experiences surrounding religion, or those carrying wounds inflicted many years ago. They just doesnt heal in one surgical sermon (which might actually aggravate the injury).
Besides trusting God to bring healing, I think we need to learn to value the importance of establishing trust with those who have lost trust.
| 2006/7/29 8:45||Profile|
Diane's: It relieves us of the need to produce an immediate fix. And [u]it helps us cope with rejection and foiled plans.[/u]
This is at the center of everything, I think. How do we cope with rejection? Are we willing to ask ourselves [i]why[/i] we were rejected? We are our own best advocate. We never see our own shortcomings rightly until the Glory of God shines down.
Over the years I have suffered a fair amount of rejection. I wish no pity. In the last 2.5 years I have seen some doors close that were open before. I have to ask myself, why is that? Is it because the powers that be are closing me out due to backsliding in their own life? That's the most palatible explaination; it allows me to swallow the rejection easier. But is that the truth?
Exhaserbating the problem is that you have a group of people more than willing to make statements such as, "They are preaching from their wounds and hurts", or "That's what God is doing in [u]their[/u]life." This causes a knee jerk reaction in which we would not rightly examine whether or not we are making certain statements in our preaching because of the [i]rejection[/i] we have suffered.
If I or anyone else is to be effective in ministry and keep our message pure we will have to learn to deal more and more with rejection. What is worse is that we would say something like, "Well, I won't be invited back to speak here- so I may as well let them have both barrels." (of the shotgun that is) This is a sabotage of our own calling. We are not ka·mi·ka·ze preachers and ministers; it is not a one-shot one-kill proposition.
A friend recently reminded me of a saying we hear in our circles coming from the old timey preachers; "You can shear the sheep many times, but you can only skin them [u]once[/u]." Keep in mind I am referring to 'hard preaching'. I define 'hard preaching' as preaching in which a minister is drawing a line in the sand and he draws the line back farther than what is normally heard. Hard preaching in our parts is called, "Ripping them from Dan to BeerSheba." Smokers go out of the service wondering if they are saved. Tatoos, earrings, etc. are being hit with a vengeance. And that is the watered down modern day version.
Go back 15 years and there were ministers still calling for women to stop wearing makeup and wearing pants and high heels even. If these ministers (most all of whom are now deceased) were to step into a pulpit, they had put the hardest of preachers in subjection. God forbid any of us had ever heard Finney preach. He preached it strait, but he was not [i]unnecessarily[/i] [u]controversial[/u] and there is a huge difference. I don't agree with his severly strict way, but that was the times and that is that.
Finney refused to allow the resistance his 'new measures' brought about to effect his preaching. He would clearly tell you that if you bring those topics up in a sermon- you will stop the flow of revival. Peoples attention turns EASILY to the controversy and the Spirit is quenched. That had to take some serious discipline to do! But I believe we need to observe Finney here. Finney was persecuted on the right hand and the left. He did not allow that persecution to effect his message. He did not take out on the people the persecution he suffered. It did not bleed through the skin of his sermon.
Rejection has a most terrible effect if we are not careful. Pretty soon we can shift into full-on upbraid mode. We will be overturning the tables because of the rejection. What is even more sad is that often there are sinners in the crowds that have no idea what you are even talking about when it comes to these matters. They may not know a thing what you are going on about. They go out scratching their head?!
The enemy will use folk to [u]provoke you[/u] before you preach. I have had this happen many times in outreach especially. I have gone into nursing homes where the workers, not willing to help the residents to the meeting, would get an attitude with you and even say things that would highly upset you. IF you are not careful, that 'anger' or feeling will carry over into the message and you will scortch the hearers out of frustration. Settle yourself down. understand what the enemy is doing. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. If the enemy can rile you before you minister, he has you in position to torch your own ministry.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2006/7/29 10:29||Profile|
| Re: continuing...|
I suspect there is something we dread at least as much as rejection and that is defeat with no chance to vindicate ourselves. I suspect thats why we spend so much time and mental energy pointing out that we are right about a particular past defeat. I have, at times, felt that a preacher was using his sermon or after-church monologue to argue with me (projecting on me).
So the parishioner becomes the preachers project - more for the preachers sake than for the parishioners sake. Preachers and their peers pat each other on the back for their powerful words, unaware that there may be victims who have been driven from the good Shepherd.
A thought about inviting a great-name preacher: Why the need? Is it to make the church/ leaders look and feel better, or to truly strengthen the people?
I wonder if God closes doors sometimes, to allow those involved to become familiar with themselves their hidden fears, motives, desires, etc. Its the waiting room test.
You yourselves know, dear brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not a failure. You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, even though we were surrounded by many who opposed us. So you can see that we were not preaching with any deceit or impure purposes or trickery.
For we speak as messengers who have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He is the one who examines the motives of our hearts. Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you very well know. And God is our witness that we were not just pretending to be your friends so you would give us money! As for praise, we have never asked for it from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but we were as gentle among you as a mother feeding and caring for her own children. We loved you so much that we gave you not only God's Good News but our own lives, too. 1 Thes.2:1-8 NLT
| 2006/7/29 12:04||Profile|