Watching IHOP KC deal with very serious accusations against their former senior leader over the past few months has been gut-wrenching. Full disclosure: IHOPKC has been incredibly generous to our ministry and me over the years. I have enjoyed a distant friendship with Mike Bickle for the past few years, and he has been a great encouragement to me. Calling for three weeks of prayer and fasting for Israel last May mobilized more prayer for Israel than maybe ever! Helping us organize a Yom Kippur worldwide prayer effort was also a huge blessing.
However, I have always had a deep heart for victims of abuse, and I feel that there is an epidemic in the Body when it comes to principles of leadership, fleeing sexual immorality, dealing with accusations of sexual immorality, and so much more.
I’m happy that there seems to be a structure in place at IHOPKC now that is genuinely seeking a third-party investigation. Matthew 18 is not the way to deal with issues between a victim and an abuser. You never send a victim back to their abuser to confront them, particularly alone, as is suggested in Matthew 18. Issues of a sexual nature should go directly to eldership. (In fact, there should be a neutral party in every organization that somebody could reach out to as an initial first step. Female to female. Male to male.) Elders (if the accused is a fellow elder or senior leader) should reach out to a third party for help.
I made this video last night, and it wasn’t easy because I know some of the people involved and have been deeply blessed by their life and ministry. Nevertheless, we have to start getting this right. If you look at any Christian news site, there are stories every day of leaders who have fallen into sexual sin. I’m sure others are speaking on this, but in the past few months, I’ve seen a lot of accusations and a lot of denials, but I haven’t seen very much teaching on how to avoid these issues or deal with them when they arise. In this video, I offer a few of my thoughts. I do so with the fear of the Lord, recognizing that I am equally capable of doing the most horrible things. I am certainly not holding myself up as the example. Like many of you, I’m doing my best to work out my salvation with fear and trembling.
I also want to say that I greatly respect those who have brought these issues to light. I know from personal experience that it can be excruciating. People attack you. They accuse you of the worst things when all you are trying to do is defend victims. May God give us grace!
And I’ll leave it at that.