Gossip is never pretty—but when it comes from one pastor about another pastor and his church, it seems to come straight from the enemy.
So when Pastor John Lindell of the then-fledgling James River Church, meeting in a storefront in Joplin, Missouri, learned of another pastor spreading unkind words about his church, he went straight to the source. He told the man, “We’re pastors; hey, we should be on the same team,” he tells Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of the Greenelines podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. But Lindell had no idea of the dynamic prophetic word that would arise from this moment—or what God would do in fulfilling it.
“You’ve got a little church, and it’s full of a bunch of rebels, and it’s never going to do anything,” Lindell says the other pastor essentially told him. “What do you think of that?”
“I’m not given to these kinds of statements,” Lindell says. “But all of a sudden, these words popped out of my mouth, I believe by the Spirit of God. I said, ‘Well, all I can is the hand of the Lord is on those people. And whether it happens under my ministry or not, someday, that will be the largest Spirit-filled church in town.
“And he said, ‘And you have how many people?'”
“Eighty-five,” Lindell answered.
“That’s a big statement for somebody with 85 people,” the pastor told him.
Lindell explains that, as the Bible says, God puts eternity in our hearts. “I think sometimes God puts dreams and visions even we haven’t dreamed up for ourselves,” he explains. His church grew to become a multi-site church in both Joplin and Springfield, Missouri, with over 16,000 people in weekly attendance. And one day, when he saw the pastor again, the man told him, “Obviously, the Spirit of God had plans that no one else could see.”
For much more from Pastor John Lindell on experiencing God’s best for your life, listen to the entire episode of Greenelines at this link and subscribe to Greenelines on your favorite podcast platform for more inspiring stories like this one. Find Lindell’s most recent book, New Normal, wherever fine books are sold.