It’s official; I have completed the Intro-To-IHOP (ITI) Internship. This internship was made up of two, three month tracks that were both six days a week and is a pre-requisite to joining the staff at the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC). Our family moved out to Kansas City in March of 2013. I started Track One of ITI on April 5th and I concluded the Second Track on September 22nd. So much has taken place within these past 6 months of the internship including the 7 total months of living in Kansas City. This hasn’t just been with me personally; God has deeply impacted our entire family, especially Phinneas. We feel like we are home here at IHOPKC and in Kansas City, MO, which is a great feeling. It’s been awesome to be in a community that is challenging, but also feeling like I have something to offer, both within the community as well as the many visitors that come in (around 100,000 annually).
Here’s A Little Bit of Information about My Time in the Internship
Coming into the ITI program I had several things I was assumed that God would do in my life, along with some areas that I really wanted Him to change and mold at a greater level. As the first weeks passed in Track One it was clear that God had something very different in mind for my life and for my family. I made the common mistake of assuming I knew better than God. In those initial weeks I dropped my previous Bible study of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) to look exclusively at John 12-17 (it’s now about 6 months later and I’m still in John 12-17).
I quickly ran into both the truth of John 15:1-8 (the vine and the Vinedresser) and also the experience of it. It’s always one thing to hear sermons about God the Vinedresser, but it’s something totally different to experience His pruning process. I felt totally vulnerable, stripped of my strength and open before both God and others. This first track (3 months) was a very challenging season as I found my identity before God in who I am, not what I do. Our flesh isn’t something that surrenders to the Lordship of Jesus easily, but through the grace of God and many trials, I am being formed into the image of Christ. I’m not there yet, but I’m engaging in the journey!
During these past 6 months I have been able to strengthen so many people with both my present story and my history in God. I have counseled dozens of people, listened to other’s stories and encouraged some to keep moving along in the process of sanctification. It was in track two (3months) that the Lord lifted some of the pressure and moved me into a new season of preparation. While in Track Two I learned more about personal prophecy, moving in the power of the Holy Spirit, evangelism, serving orphans, and praying for the sick. What I learned throughout these last 3 months will be a huge asset to our ministry to others in the future.
One of the most profound things for me about both Tracks, and specifically the second one, is that we did all of this within the context of community. We prayed together, laughed together, did projects together, ate together, fasted together, cried together, and dreamt about our futures together. Being surrounded by a company of people that have invested both time and money into this program brought so much strength to my personal pursuit of Jesus.
With ITI completed I will now be joining staff at IHOPKC and working with Corey Stark to serve in both Immerse and Weekends at IHOPKC. Corey is a gifted leader and these two training programs are central roles at IHOPKC for connecting people to the heart of God and the prayer movement. Jennifer and I couldn’t be happier with this role and our opportunity to serve the IHOPKC missions base and the nations of the earth.
The Final Numbers from Both Tracks of Intro To IHOPKC
So after doing 6 months at ITI I have many hours doing a variety of things. It was out of my personal curiosity that I ran some of the numbers at the end of the program to see where my time actually went. Here is what I came up with;
- Total number of pages that I read from required reading book (862 Pages).
- Total number of notes I received from FCF, EGS Conferences and Classroom (811 Pages).
- Total numbers of hours spent in the Global Prayer Room (576 Hours).
- Total number of hours spent in weekend services (108 hours).
- Total number of hours spent in the classroom (288 hours).
- Total number of hours spent in small group (48 hours).
- Total number of hours spent in outreach to others (24 hours in 3 months).
- Total number of days spent fasting (theoretically 63 days out of 186 total days). *We technically spent 1 out of 3 days fasting, or 33% of our time (including a 21 day Daniel Fast).
What a joy and a privileged season that our family has experienced in this recent internship. Our lives have been changed eternally. We have also made some friendships that will last a lifetime. Jennifer and I are so grateful for the opportunity that we have received here and know that it’s because many of you who were co-laboring with us through it all. Thanks for having such a profound impact on our family and the multitudes we will come in contact with in the weeks, months and years to come. And we look forward to continually sharing about the progress of our journey here at IHOPKC and beyond. Thanks!