Eleven Principles of Youth Ministry


Eleven Principles of Youth Ministry

Professional ministry can be a precarious business; it’s easy for people to get lost in the shuffle and chewed up by the machinery of “big ministry”. With kids, who need special care, this is even more precarious. Youth ministry is often the least funded, because kids are not a priority; too many view it as professional babysitting until kids can grow up and be contributors and producers. And this should not be so.

As one who has walked between these worlds, please accept the following hard-learned principles I have tried to make real in all I have done, and hope yet to do, in youth ministry.

  1. Keep your promises.

So many kids come from broken homes. Fathers, especially, tend to fail to keep their promises: I’ll play ball with you tomorrow. I’ll be there for your recital. I’ll be home in time to kiss you goodnight. We’ll go see that movie.

The message kids get is, adults can’t be trusted. Don’t be one of them. Keep your word no matter what it takes. If you make a commitment to do something for or with a kid, do it. A broken promise does incredible damage. Everyone fails, but too few even consider this a big deal. It is a HUGE deal to a kid. Help them, by your faithfulness, build that trust that eventually translates to a greater trust in God.

  1. Don’t blow your class.

How old are you? Be that age. It’s a mistake to “try” to be “cool” to “relate” to kids.

I believe kids don’t want you to come down to their level. I believe they want to be spiritually raised up to your level. Raise the standard higher. Grab their hand and lift them up. A hero isn’t “one of them” as much as someone whose life, purpose and character make them hunger for that kind of life.

When you “try to relate” it fails. Just relate to the universal needs of the heart of all kids: the fears, the loneliness, the need for love and for meaning and purpose, to the hopes and hurts and joys. And the silly laughter and spontaneity and childlike embracing of life and God and love. That’s real, and they’ll know it. Beyonce, viral videos and culture trends will soon be in yesterday’s archives. Only how you connect to kids at a heart level will remain in memory, and in true eternal things.

  1. Kids are not a project.

Professional ministry generally treats people like notches in a gun belt; numbers to increase their own visibility, viability and credibility. People become a project.

In my early days of ministry, I adapted the “psychospeak” of my fellow pastoral counselors, and began speaking of those who I ministered to as my “counselees.” God forgive me. Later, I moved that over to phrases like, “I worked with this kid,” as if the hurting young person who trusted me enough to share their deepest secrets and wounds was a “work.” “I worked with them.” How can a labor of love based on such precious trust be called “working with them”? God forgive me – again. God help us to dispense of such pretentious, arrogant and self-elevating nonsense. Kids are not a project to be worked – they are precious lambs to be loved, nurtured and grown. It is not their fortunate lot to be blessed by “my” infinite gifts and graces – but in reality my humbling privilege to serve them.

  1. Don’t drop kids when they aren’t kids anymore.

We place so little value on longevity in relationships anymore; marriages and friendships that last are increasingly rare. Yet the value of long-term relationships can’t be measured.

Modern youth work is not designed for this. It’s like school. You graduated; have a good life, goodbye. And yes, kids grow into life and in some measure outgrow their need for us.

But I learned an astonishing thing when the 86 year old woman who had raised me in Jesus, taught me, and loved me when I was still a kid, died. As I went through her things, I found a box of letters from grown men that she had taught Sunday school when they were boys – sixty years earlier! She never lost touch, nor did they. They all wrote of the profound influence she had on their lives. What a revelation!

We as youth ministers are taught to be teachers and entertainers, not necessarily disciplers, or fathers and mothers in the faith. And that is a great loss.

I told one young man who had grown to be a son in the Lord, “Even when I’m 80, you’ll still be my kid.” I think it matters, that kids know they don’t cease to be of value to us just because they grow up and move on. I was recently talking to someone who had one of his older youth becoming withdrawn and angry. As I thought about it, I realized it was like having a child, raising them, then having another: If you give all your attention to the new child and very little to the older, that child will feel rejected, useless and replaced. And as my friend moved into other things and other youth, his young friend felt that. Like in a family, a new child needs extra love and attention – but the older child needs to be included, given responsibility, and a reaffirmation that they are still just as special, just as loved.

  1. Hype fades; the Word remains.

I think there is some value in entertainment for kids, especially in getting the interest of unsaved kids. Young Life uses games and fun to a tremendous benefit for the Kingdom of God, and they have tremendous success in reaching kids through the avenue of these tools, and I support that 100% in that context. But beyond that, in some ways I am struck by the utter lack of entertainment in the New Testament. I think games and entertainment can be used by God, surely. But it is never a substitute for the power and presence of God. I’m okay with using the media to evangelize through music, the arts, etc. But face it – we’re glutted with it. And most of it is FLUFF. It’s smoke and glitter. And the fruit? Who knows, really? God uses what He will. But my heart longs to see kids drawn, not by hype, but by the Anointing poured out through vessels committed to giving the pure and powerful Word of God.

Most Christian music is designed to sound like the world, and many artists are just waiting to “cross over” to the big boys’ secular market. I thank God for the few who keep it pure and powerful.


Fluff Christian entertainment will pass, and little of it will transform. Seek for the higher, the eternal, that which will transform kids into living flames of fire.

  1. Be a flawed hero, not a plastic saint.

Apologize when you’re wrong; admit when you blow it. If you hurt someone, make it right. And above all, if you don’t know the answer to something, don’t make it up. When kids see you as you are, and yet see God still mighty in you, using you, blessing you, touching you, they will know God can do the same for them.

  1. Have a heart coated with steel and filled with compassion.

Kids can hurt you. Oh, boy, CAN they. Their words are often careless and thoughtless, cynical and sarcastic, mirroring the world that surrounds them. Most of the time, they don’t mean to hurt you. But they do. And you need a steel-plated, Teflon coated, non-stick heart. But not impenetrable. Understand  that even when they mean to hurt you, it’s rarely really about you or toward you. It’s hurt and anger over school, rejection, parents, any number of things. Take the blows, cry later, then let God show you what’s behind their hurt. And let it go. Be mature enough to place their need above your hurts.

  1. It’s not as much what you say but who you are and how you love that matters.

My pastor has been my mentor and spiritual father for many years. His messages are straightforward, powerful and cut right to my heart. And of the hundreds of messages I’ve heard from him, several have been life-changing – literally. So many principles he’s taught remain rock solid principles of my life and ministry.

But in the end, it is who he is in my life that has had the biggest impact. He invested in me – trusted me – befriended me – picked me up when I fell flat on my face and gave me hope that God was not through with me. He was vulnerable, caring and real. He was- and is – always there for me.

Okay, try to be relevant if you need to, or “cutting edge” as they say – but it is your true essence in Jesus and how that changes kids that will remain.

  1. Trust is not a given – it is earned.

I have a small problem with the term “accountability.” It’s not used in scripture, except that “we must all give account before God.” “Accountability” was actually a corporate world term used long before the church stole it. I believe in authority in the Kingdom, absolutely. And ALL of us need relationships that are honest, challenging and healing. None of us should go it alone.

However, when you mix “accountability” with “professional ministry” and the opportunities for abuse and control are very real. I have ministered to dozens of people and kids who were chewed up by such abusive leaders and churches. Some are still trying to heal years later.


You DO have an accountability before God to protect your kids. Sometimes from each other.

But kids being “accountable” is only beneficial in the context of trust, and trust is not a privilege you assume as a leader but a sacred trust you EARN. One of the most profound things my pastor ever said to me is, “You have to earn the right to speak into people’s lives.” And with kids, that trust is hard-earned. It doesn’t come and shouldn’t be demanded automatically, but comes when they know you are safe – and that they really matter to you. Then, “accountability” will be freely given, natural, real. Are you willing to let that happen in time, willing to prove yourself trustworthy of that kind of dangerous trust?

  1. True discipleship is built on real relationships.

What’s the difference between a kid who grows up and has fond memories of their youth group and youth pastor, and a “lifer” – one who goes on to produce much fruit? Much of the time, it’s the difference in investment in relationship. Elijah and Elisha, Moses and Aaron and Miriam, David and      Jonathan, Jesus and the 12, Paul and Timothy…life begets life…one life poured into the other, true spiritual parenting. Paul said, “We were willing to give our whole lives for you, so dear you were to us.” A Hireling is doing a job. A shepherd surrenders his life for his sheep. That’s the difference between professional youth pastoring and true youth shepherding. It’s that simple. If it’s a step for you while you wait for a “real” job as a pastor, God bless you, but move on. Kids need shepherds who are committed to them IN THE NOW with no ulterior motive but who do it because they are….shepherds.

Youth Ministry can be as mercurial and passing as adolescence itself – or an enduring, life-changing window for both kids and yourself. Build with strong materials – real relationships – invested relationships – trustworthiness, faith in their calling and potential, transparency, the solid Word of God, genuine love and commitment. If you do, it will truly bear “fruit that remains.” And YOU will be blessed because you did not settle for a quick cheap imitation, but gave it all for the real thing.

  1. You can only give what you have.

That is a multifaceted statement. From one angle, it means that you are limited. You can’t do or be everything. Team ministry is wonderful. For myself, I am very limited. I’m terrible at games – but others are great at doing games. I’m a teacher and a listener. I can’t do what it isn’t in me to do. Know what you CAN and are CALLED to do and let others help you with the rest.

From another angle, this statement means that you cannot give if your cup is empty. I am a true believer in the truth that the best ministry comes from what God gives to you directly. I know you’re busy. But if you are so busy that you have to scramble at the last minute to come up with a message, then your kids are going to get stale bread.

Life changing truth is truth that comes new and fresh from Father’s hand. And THAT is your first ministry, your first priority. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck forever looking for clever things to keep kids coming back week after week.

There is nothing as powerful, attractive, life changing or compelling as pure truth poured out through a yielded, listening youth shepherd who has cared enough to wait to receive from the hand of God what He has to say and give.

If youth pastors did this, I suspect the “clever games for bored and spoiled Christian kids” book industry would go belly-up in a quick hurry.

Unrealistic, you say?

Let me ask you a question: Why is the Word of God never enough?

The fault is not in the Word, but in our failure to receive that Word in a powerful, NOW revelation which when delivered will bring down the Shekinah presence of God.

Sure, let’s play games! But let’s do it because it’s fun, we all need to laugh, it makes kids feel at ease, and US less sanctimonious.

But make no mistake – it will never be a substitute for the undiluted Word of God. That is to be the ultimate standard, the ultimate goal – to let that Word penetrate and transform the hearts of every young life God has committed to our care.

Let’s redefine youth ministry – God’s Way – if we do, is there any limit to what He will do?

Gregory Reid

Not Compromising in a Digital Age


We all enjoy the convenience of smart phones, especially being able to access scads of bibles, devotionals and sermons all at the swipe of an app. I use them. I’m glad for them.

But I’ve also become spiritually lazy through them. No more hunting through books…just input a few keywords and, voila! It’s all right there.

Among other things, technology has begun to erode my previously razor sharp memory, and my powers of deductive reasoning. I have begun to deliberately force myself to remember things in real world brain work, trying to avoid using Google to think for me. And as I’ve done so, I can feel the strength of God-given reasoning returning a synapse at a time. Like other muscles, the brain atrophies through lack of work and exercise.

Though technology has made the Bible easier, it’s done two other things. One- it has made us spiritually and Word-lazy. We don’t study to show ourselves approved unto God much, because we don’t have to. We just keyword, copy, paste…sort of glancing over the verse.

Now, I’ve never been good at “addresses” – you know, which chapter and verse. But from age 15 on, I was so hungry for the Word that I devoured it, reading it over and over. Not because I’m smart. In fact, my brain was just new age mush when I came to Christ. God’s Word healed me. And it supernaturally was put in my heart and in my mouth. I can quote the Word nonstop, though I can’t always tell you exactly where it is.

It’s not something I take any credit for. It is a miracle of the power of God’s Word. It will do the same for anyone who diligently reads His Word.

Now let me ask you a question, and please be honest: How often do you sit down and have a deep, anointed quiet time with your iBible? (Insert cricket sound here.)

Second question: when was the last time you picked up a real bible and had a deep, anointed quiet time with God?

If people are honest, many will admit that there is something major missing from the virtual devotional world. Yes, you might find a book quote snippet or two that sparks a fire, and I’m thankful for that. But I personally feel an emptiness staring at a screen version of God’s Word. But that’s just me. I love the book, the underliner, the lack of Facebook switching distraction (you know you do it!) and the silence and absence of artificial light. Just something to think about…

Next: if your only bible study is your virtual Bible, how much have you retained? If you come up lacking, I encourage you to get the hard copy, shut off the media and sit with God, slowly read, and let Him speak. It is powerful when you feel His presence come from those Holy pages and begin to make those words come alive to you. It is an intimacy I personally have never really obtained from a 4 inch phone version of the scriptures. Am I the only one?

But there are two other considerations we need to make in our attachment to virtual Bibles and virtual religious devotional lives.

The most immediate concern is this: One of the things that made us so strong as young believers when I was first saved was that we carried our Bibles to school, to work, to restaurants, everywhere. Yeah, pretty radical by today’s standards. But we knew it marked us, and friend, we WANTED to be marked! (Crazy Christians – aren’t you just showing off?) Hey – when your boyfriend/girlfriend buys you a ring or a locket, do you keep it at home in your drawer? If you’re engaged, do you hide the ring in your house, in your pocket? If you do, it’s probably a sign that you still want to “play the field.” Or you’re not really serious about getting married. Or maybe you’re kind of embarrassed by your fiance.

One  of the bad things about smart bibles is it allows us to remain hidden secret believers. No one needs to know we’re a Christian. And we’re largely OK with that. Because, you know, we don’t want to offend anyone…

I’m glad for one of our local Christian school groups which is actually doing a challenge to the kids to carry their Bible for a number of days. And I know it will get them to think, as some will carry it and feel squeamish, trembly, uncertain. Many will get mocked. But many I am sure will be strengthened, and perhaps emboldened. And frankly, that is something a virtual smart Bible won’t do. Any of that.

Here’s the other concern with smart Bibles. What happens when (not if) “Christian extremists” get marked for their “radical” and “dangerous” views about abortion, homosexuality, drugs, sex before marriage, Jesus coming back, the Antichrist and the tribulation? (There are still a FEW young people still being taught that in church, right? Right? (More crickets…)

Well, that is coming, and probably sooner rather than later. And with it will come the confiscation at some point of the book we hold so dear. And it occurred to me that once they identify you as “one of those Bible extremists that are dangerous to society,” then it will be as easy as….switching off your phone service, and there goes your access to the Word of God.

You think it can’t happen? Oh, you must be a new evangelical American Christian.

Because surely, it will come. And when it does, what will we then do?

I believe the book Fahrenheit 451 is instructive. It was about a society in which all books were confiscated and burned. The books survived because each person BECAME a book. They memorized it. The books lived because they lived in the person’s memories and words. And you could only destroy the book by destroying the person.

I think you see where I am going here. There’s probably a reason early Muslim teachings called Jews and Christians “the people of the book.” Because they were so dedicated and committed to the Holy Writ. We are so, so far from that, folks.

This is the time for some crash-course Bible reading and memorization. The time will come when we may not have access to the book we hold so dear. So I’d like to urge you, not to dispense with your electronic scriptures, but get hold of the real thing and read it every day. Feel the pages. Smell the paper. Cherish the words. Underline the places that the Holy Spirit speaks to you. Let it become once more – while we still can – people of the Book.

I remember in the former Soviet Union – an atheistic, satanic monster that killed far more Jews and Christians than Hitler ever dreamed of – people would give anything just for a fragment of the Word of God. One young teen girl stood by helplessly as KGB agents threw her Bible to the ground, ripped it, spat on it. When they finished, she knelt down weeping and wiping the spit away with her long hair – until they executed her.

May God help us to cherish His word that much!

Oh, and one more thing. And I am dead serious. Think about purchasing some small Bibles, either the whole Bible or a small New Testament with Psalms – and hide them away. If we all did that a few at a time, then when the electronic Bibles are taken away, we will have hard copies of the real thing. We back up our computers and print hard copies. Now is a good time to make sure we have backups, too. The day may soon come when it will be the most hated – and by real believers, rare and cherished – book on the planet.

“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11

Gregory Reid

Confused by an Angel: The Roma Downey Dilemma


Roma Downey first came into our lives and hearts as “Monica,” the angel in training in the successful television series, “Touched by an Angel.” A feel-good, moral and new-age tinged show, many people’s memory of Roma was her angel character saying, in an angelic Irish brogue, “God luvs ya!”

Years passed. Suddenly, Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett lit up the media sky with their successful television miniseries,The Bible. Christians – especially those with fond memories of Monica – were thrilled at the presentation of the Bible by what seemed to be the newly evangelical team of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, founder of Lightworks media production company. The church embraced them – no questions asked. (Note: Even the name of their production company, Lightworkers, is very telling. In the New Age, a “lightworker is “any being dedicated to the cultivation of inner presence and the elevation of awareness in self and other selves. This being is called a lightworker and is an evolutionary step toward a state of “LightBeing.”) (http://lightworkers.org/what-is-a-lightworker-are-you-a-lightworker)

Much of what we call the evangelical church has for decades been enamored with “Hollywood conversions” and saved entertainers. From Donna Summer to Eldridge Cleaver, from Bob Dylan to Stephen Baldwin, we have too often promoted and used their testimonies without giving them time to grow in their faith, and many did not make it.

Unfortunately, our longing for affirmation and importance in “the real world” and desire to be accepted and “relevant” in this media-driven age has created a church that will automatically accept someone who says “Jesus” as being one of us without asking any questions as to what they really believe.

Thus is the case of the meteoric rise and wholesale embracing of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.

After The Bible series came the movie Son of God. It was the most highly promoted Christian event I can remember in 40 years. Soon Mark and Roma were on nearly every Christian television and radio program there was.

They sound like us. They say the right things. And to our shame, they are in many ways more Christ-behaving and giving than many Christians.

But they are not of us. Roma Downey is, in fact, a New Age initiate.

She is not a “dabbler.” She hasn’t merely got a few unsanctified New Age ideas. She is, in fact, a deeply committed follower of the new spirituality and its ideas.


  1. She is a graduate with a degree in “spiritual psychology” from the University of Santa Monica, a premier new age training center. Its founder, John-Roger, (http://www.john-roger.org/)
    is one of the most well-known new age teachers over the last thirty years. Experiencing an auto accident when he was young, a spirit known as the “mystic traveler” began to speak to him, then “through” him. Everything he does – and teaches – is based on that experience. He is a “trance channeler.” His organization, MSIA or Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, is well-known in the New Age world. This is some of what he teaches:

“When a person participates in MSIA and works with the Mystical Traveler, that person is, if anything, “submitting” to himself/herself, to the Christ within, to the God within. And that is really a joyous surrender to love.  To be an initiate of the Traveler is to devote yourself to the God within you, to devote yourself to Spirit, to returning to your home, the Soul, from which you originally came before you incarnated onto this earth. It means devoting yourself to working out the karma you’ve accrued while being here and to releasing yourself from that karma through grace and your good works, so that you are free to rise into the heart of God.”

“If you feel you aren’t worthy of God, that you’re too small or not as good as God, then stand up. Face God on equal terms, as a co-creator and one who also owns the sun, the moon and the stars.”

This is the teacher – and the foundation of the education – that Roma Downey is proud to have learned under, and graduated from. Ms. Downey is a new age initiate. There is no way that Ms. Downey could have gone through this university without knowing exactly what it was. Any believer in Jesus and His Word would have never gone to such a school, or,  if they became believers afterward, they would have renounced it. Unfortunately, Ms. Downey was still finishing her degree in “spiritual psychology” when she gave her interview about the Bible series. (http://becksmithhollywood.com/2009/04/roma-downey-happy-out-of-spotlight/)

What kinds of things was Ms. Downey learning in her education at Santa Monica University? Let’s take a look:

–              Soul-Centered Co-Creation

–              Experiencing enhanced spiritual awareness through knowing yourself as a Divine Being having a human experience.

–              Tools for spiritual evolution.

–              Working with the patterns associated with each of the eight chakra centers in service to deep healing physically, mentally, emotionally, and within the unconscious, with the focus of further awakening to the Authentic Self.

From their own curriculum description, we read:

“(Spiritual Psychology) empowers them to convert their everyday life experiences into rungs on the ladder of Spiritual Evolution …Spiritual Psychology is the study and practice of the art and science of human evolution in consciousness.

Practically, it means learning how to surrender—or let go of— anything that disturbs one’s peace. It also means sacrificing our illusions of separation. Essentially, this ‘surrendering’ and ‘sacrificing’ is work that can and has been called ‘healing,’ which includes healing on the physical, mental, and emotional levels in service to the deeper revelation of who we truly are as Loving, Peaceful, Compassionate, and Joyful beings. We refer to this level of awareness as the Authentic Self. And, by the way, assuming we get through the current challenges, these very same skills will be exactly the same ones that will be highly valued as we transform into a more peaceful highly globalized world.”

This has been the education of Roma Downey. But it gets worse.

Ms. Downey recited a rosary prayer for a CD called, “Practical Praying” by John Edward.


John Edward is best known for his psychic TV show in which he “talked to the dead.” Ms. Downey has been on his show and allowed him to “channel” her “mother.”

Ms. Downey is an avid reader of new age material by such well-known new age writers as Tony Robbins and Eckhart Tolle who are worlds away from any biblical truth. Ms. Downey’s husband speaks to Roma’s spirituality in glowing terms this way: “You’re so self-realized you’re practically levitating.”

Roma Downey’s acknowledged mentor is Della Reese, her angel-boss Tess on Touched by an Angel. Della is a well-known and acclaimed singer and actor for many years. She is also the pastor of UpChurch in Southern California. Her mentor is Minister Johnnie Colemon, pastor of the megachurch Christ Unity Center in Chicago. Colemon was a pioneer of the “new thought” movement, which is a new age metaphysical teaching that is based on “healing meditation and positive thought.”


What does Rev. Reese believe and teach?

“These are core, foundational principles that we teach.

God is everywhere, evenly, equally present! Omnipresence

(There is no spot or situation where God is not!)

God is all the power in the universe! Omnipotence

(God is all there is, there is nothing else!)

God is all the wisdom/intelligence in the universe! Omniscience

(In the beginning, God!)

All humankind is made in the image-likeness of God. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience.

Thoughts are things! Our thoughts are creative. They produce definite results. When we control our thoughts, we control our lives.

When we are aware of God’s Presence in all that we do, we can experience God’s Goodness in all that we do. We spend quality time in prayer (speaking sincerely with God and listening for God to speak with us) and meditation (taking time to become still and focus on God’s Truth).

When we practice truth principles, we set the Law of God in motion to bless our lives. Divine Law produces Divine Good. A child of God, we can look to God for:

Right Thinking

Right Feeling

Right Words

Right Action

Right Reaction.”

While many of these ideas have tiny shreds of scriptural backing, they are most akin to some of the modern power of positive thinking Christianity put forth by people like Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland. But these are not rooted in sound doctrine, but rather its genesis comes from from Unity School of Christianity sources.

Below are some of the people Rev. Reese admires and emulates:

“Thoughts from Great Spiritual Leaders:

‘The philosophy of Jesus is a workable philosophy, a way of life. Jesus taught of the depth of potential of man and his spiritual unity with God. Perhaps he was ahead of his time. Only recently have scientists, philosophers, psychologists and educators began to catch the idea of an integrated whole as the guide for studying man or life or the universe. This is the concept of spiritual unity that is found between the lines in all of Jesus’ teachings.

Eric Butterworth – Discover the Power Within You.

‘I am a firm believer that Jesus was the WayShower, the model for each of us to follow. As he explained to the disciples, if we know Him, then we automatically know the way to the Father, which is also the way to Truth and to Life. This, then, is the first thing which we should understand about the meaning of, Try Jesus. Jesus is our perfect model. If we accept his words as true and accept his life as the perfect example, then we have at our disposal the means to teach, heal and bless ourselves and our others in our daily activities.

Dr. Barbara King – Transform Your Life.

‘We must instill into the mind the fundamental proposition that good is without bounds. Only good and loving-kindness shall “follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalms 23) We must get this concept, rather than continuing to think there is a power of evil as opposed to the power of Good. We experience good and evil because we perceive a presence of duality rather than unity.

Ernest Holmes – The Science of Mind.’

Every existing thing is the expression of thought. Man-made things are the expression are the expressions of man’s thought; all else and man himself, is the expression of Divine Thought. The entire solar and planetary system; the sun, the moon, the stars, the clouds, the rivers, the mountains, valleys, trees, flowers and birds; all, all are expressions of thought. And just as the creations transcend infinitely the work of man, so naturally must the mind in which they originated transcend the mind of man. The universe is the expression of the Universal Mind, …of God.

Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein – How to Live.

Live from the premise the the spiritual-world is real, that it is friendly to you. Make God your only source of energy, and let his infinite wisdom determine the channels through which your every need is fulfilled.

Charles Roth – Mind: The Master Power.

‘Think enthusiastically about everything, but especially about your job. If you do, you will put a touch of glory in your life. If you love your job with enthusiasm, you’ll shake it to pieces. You’ll love it into greatness.

The Reverend Norman Vincent Peale.

‘As we grow as unique persons, we learn to respect the uniqueness of others.

The Reverend Robert H. Schuller.”

Although Rev. Reese also includes a couple of quotes from well-known Christian pastors, her base theology clearly comes from new spirituality teachers such as Eric Butterworth and Norman Vincent Peale, people who were clearly outside of Biblical faith. You will not hear her proclaim Jesus as Lord, or the Bible as the perfect Word of God, or Jesus as the only way to the Father. He’s just a “way-shower.”

This is Roma Downey’s spiritual mother and most cherished mentor.

It is neither inaccurate nor speculative to say that Ms. Downey is rooted and grounded in metaphysical new age beliefs.

I truly love Mark and Roma. And I truly pray for them, as one who came from that world, to come to meet the real Jesus.

I fear that the likelihood of that is greatly hindered by the evangelical leaders who have surrounded them, adored them, courted them even – without (1) Discerning whether they are truly biblical Christians, or (2) Asking the questions that might uncover their true beliefs and thus give them a chance to be brought into the truth by those who CARE enough about these things and KNOW the dangers of new age thought to help them come to know the real Jesus.

When the History Channel movie series was first released, I had obvious concerns because I knew where Ms. Downey came from spiritually. Then Son of God was going to be released, and I saw everyone accepting that they were believers without question. What I knew stood in clear contradiction to what everyone assumed about them.

When a major Christian book retailer started stocking The Story of God and All of Us, a book based on the movie The Bible with Roma and Mark as authors, I felt I needed to inform the bookstore’s representatives of the concerns I had unearthed. I received a brief e mail reply in which the representative said yes, we are aware of some issues, and we decided they would release it “for the greater good” in spite of the issues. But what he ended with completely floored me:

“I listened to Roma Downey tell about her involvement in making the miniseries and was impressed by her powerful Christian testimony.”

It was as if nothing I had brought to his attention made him think that Roma was anything but someone “with a powerful Christian testimony.”

It was clear that people were unwilling to consider these concerns, either for financial reasons, or because they were afraid of being “divisive,” or because they themselves did not see an issue with Ms. Downey’s core spiritual belief system.

So here we are now, and Ms. Downey is doing a new series on the women in the Bible. And I can already be fairly certain that they will include Mary Magdalene, who was also prominently featured in Son of God. Why? Because in the ancient occult teachings that had infiltrated the early church through Gnosticism, they taught that Mary Magdalene was in fact the thirteenth disciple.

With all this in mind, would it not be of great importance, considering Mark and Roma’s vast influence on the western Christian media, to ask some very crucial questions to make sure they are truly Bible-believing, evangelical believers that adhere to the basic doctrines of the inerrancy of scriptures, the supremacy and exclusivity of Jesus as the way of salvation, and that salvation only through the cross?

No one appears to be asking those questions. No one seems to know why it matters.

Here is the simple truth: Either Mark and Roma know exactly what they are doing, and are aware of their role in bring about synchronicity between Christianity and all faiths, or they do NOT know the difference between what THEY believe and what Biblical faith requires. If it is the first, then we are in real danger in letting them even deeper into our circles of influence than we have. If they do not, then we are indeed poor stewards of God’s things and God’s house. And if people who are in a position of influence DO know that Mark and Roma represent another belief system foreign to the faith we hold dear and choose to ignore those issues for the “greater good” of “spreading the good news,” then we are the ones that should be in great fear. For it is our responsibility to care for the flock:

“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” (Acts 20:29)

Last year I had an opportunity and a mandate to hand Ms. Downey a copy of my friend Warren Smith’s testimony book, The Light That Was Dark. I do not know if she has read it. I do believe God is reaching out and trying to save them. All of this is written with the understanding that these are people Jesus died to redeem, and He loves them very much.

Knowing that is all the more reason that we should NOT purchase these products, promote these media ventures nor embrace these people UNTIL we have clarity on who they really are. And if they turn out to have been masking new age religion through words like Roma’s  “I have always loved Jesus since  I was a child” to try to convince us they are one of us, then the truth needs to be known and we need to hear it from THEM. And if it turns out that they are confused followers of a false belief system that teaches that “we are all divine,” then SOMEONE needs to sit down with them and explain to them who the real Jesus is.

I believe a very simple set of questions needs to be asked and answered by our friends:

Is Jesus the only way to God? Do we all have the “Christ spirit?” Are we all divine? Is the Bible the infallible Word of God? Knowing that the Bible forbids necromancy, are you sorry you worked with John Edward? Is what you learned from John-Rogers University compatible with your Christian faith?

These are basic, reasonable and crucial questions, and it’s on us if we do not ask them but continue to promote people who by all appearances and facts on the ground, are very much following another Jesus than the one that the scriptures attest to. And God will hold us responsible for not doing so.

Roma was recently asked to host one of the largest contemporary Christian music events in decades to help raise money for persecuted believers worldwide. Good cause, to be sure. But again, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. If we are willing to ignore or accept the clear biblical conflicts that Roma has presented us with “for the greater good,” then how much MORE will we be willing to overlook next time? Or even start receiving and believing? We are, in the western church, already on the slow slide to doctrinal dissolution and biblical rejection of the essentials of the faith that have stood for thousands of years. Every compromise is a snowflake in the landslide we are about to witness.

The greater concern – one that those I have communicated with in places of influence have failed to understand – is that it’s not about one series, one movie, or one book. It is about new or innocent believers seeing not only these movies or reading the book but watching those in Christian media and evangelical positions of influence give their complete stamp of approval to them, even if they hide the little secrets of new age issues they are choosing to ignore “for the greater good.” What happens when, as often happens, the average believer does see the movies or read the book and thinks, “I wonder what else Roma has done?” And then they find themselves getting Roma’s CD that she did with necromancer John Edward, or reading Eckhart Tolle, or Tony Robbins, or heading to the UpChurch website and slowly finding themselves seduced by another Jesus? Do we not owe it to God to be responsible stewards of His flock to raise the warning and make sure we do not participate in such compromise that can injure those who are trusting our spiritual leadership in these matters? I believe to not do so is to stand before God saying that we knew, but we did nothing about it. We cannot afford to be so complicit.

Let’s pray diligently for Mark and Roma, for we too were once in darkness and ignorance of the true Savior, and He redeemed us from a dark pit. And let us do all we can to hold our leadership’s feet to the fire and make sure they do not promote what God clearly has warned us about.

Gregory R Reid, YouthFire Ministries


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Warrior’s Creed


Warrior’s Creed


Jesus IS my life. I will not give Him 10% of my
money, time or obedience. By His grace, I will lay
my life down at His feet and give Him 100%. I am not
my own.


Proverbs says that life and death is in the power of
the tongue. More people have been destroyed by
lying, criticism, judgementalism and gossip than by
any war. Before I speak, I will weigh my words, and
the consequences. I will pray, “Set a watch at my
lips, O Lord.”


The more a person talks, the more it shows how
empty their heart is and how shallow their
relationship with God. I learn far more from listening
than from talking. I will listen to others – there are far
too few listeners. And with my Father, I will listen as
much as I pray. He wants to talk. I cannot expect
guidance or comfort, challenge or growth if I simply
hand God my wish list and walk away. The world is
too full of noise. I will remember that when God
spoke to Elijah, first there was a whirlwind, then a
fire, then an earthquake, but “The Lord was not in
them.” Then came a still, small voice. I cannot be
greatly used unless I take time to listen.




This is the loneliest generation in history. We are so
afraid of being alone that we will take any
friendship, date any person and go any place just to
make sure we aren’t alone. But I accept that
loneliness is a gift. It is God on the telephone. Even
if I have friends., even if I marry, there is still a
God-shaped loneliness which will never be
completely filled until I am with Him, but which
drives me to His heart while I am in exile here. I will
set apart time without TV, without radio or music,
without people and without hurrying, to just be with
Him, worshipping Him and loving Him. A great
leader once said he would not see the face of man in
the morning until he saw the face of God. By God’s
grace, this will be my goal as well.




I will set my affections on things above (the things
Jesus cares about -not success, money, power, etc.)
I am determined not to be counted among those who
have just enough of the world to be miserable with
Jesus, and just enough of Jesus to be miserable with
the world. I will count myself as a pilgrim and a
stranger in this world and strip myself of every
worldly entanglement I can, so I can please Him who
has called me to be a soldier.


I will not sacrifice eternal reward on the altar of
temporary pleasure. Knowing that the great tragedy
of judgment day will be what I could have been if I
had let Jesus really run my life, I will keep a daily
awareness that only those things I do for Jesus will
never be forgotten. Because I am away from my real
Home, wherever I find a true believer and share in
the fellowship of God’s love, they will be my home.

Jesus said the rain falls on the just and the unjust. I
expect hard times, and I am determined to let no
circumstance make me bitter, or hardened to God, or
unwilling to love. In any trial, I will ask Jesus to let
it make me into a broken servant. Only when I am
broken, am I strong.


Jesus said I must worship God in spirit AND in truth.
I will hold nothing back from God. I will yell,
scream, cry, laugh, tell the ugliest sin and the
deepest hurt to God without reservation or fear,
knowing He already knows what is in my heart. I will
eliminate all “thees and thous” and formal nonsense
from my prayers and simply talk to my Father as I
would to my friend. He is not frightened or offended
by my anger or my honesty, nor ashamed of my tears
and my wounds. I will hide NOTHING from Him, and
even when I have sinned, I will take it to Him right


Knowing that “man sees the outward appearance but
God sees the heart”, this will be my goal as well. I
will judge no one by their dress, words or actions,
but will ask Jesus to show me their heart. A prophet
is one who “sees with seeing.” God, help me to see
as You do, hear as, You do and feel as You do, as
well as think as You do.



The truth of God’s love, Jesus’ power and my
purpose are easy to stand for when things go well. By
God’s grace, I will never deny these truths no matter
how much my personal fires and trials may seem to
say God does not love me, that Jesus cannot help
me or that I have no purpose. “Let God be true and
every man be a liar. Though my faith in these truths
be tested, I will spit in the devil’s face and tell him,
“Though He slay me, I will still serve Him.”




I am not exempt from suffering or problems.
Therefore, when they come, I will not ask God, “Why
me?”, but ask Him what the trial is meant to
produce in me. “Why?” is a pointless question. But
“What for?” allows the Holy Spirit to use the
circumstance for my growth and guidance.




If I really believe that “God is at work in all things to
produce good”, then I accept that there are no
exceptions. Therefore my past, no matter how
painful, ugly or sinful, can be transformed into a
tool of compassion and forgiveness that the Father
can use to touch hurting people




I accept that hurts that took years to form may not
change overnight. There will be spiritual surgeries
and times of tears. I will not settle for a halfway
deliverance, but seek God’s face until my emotions
are fully healed and in God’s hands. A former
prisoner war once asked how he endured all the
years of imprisonment and still had hope. He
replied, “I never decorated my cell.” I will not
become comfortable with my wounds or the
sympathy my flesh seeks from them, and I will not
decorate my personal cell of pain, I will be free.


Although I will listen to all criticism, receive and
weigh all counsel, I will
not allow anyone’s opinion to deflect me from
following Jesus and His will for me. I will always
play for the Coach and never for the crowds.
Knowing that popularity is not approval from God, I
will not allow man’s praise to feed my ego nor his
blame to defeat my spirit. Only Jesus’ opinion




Knowing that God’s Kingdom and message is
advanced more by prayer and obedience than by
personality and persuasion, I am committed to
making sure demons know I mean business, not to
impressing the crowds.




Paul said, “From now on we know no one after the
flesh, but after the Spirit.” I will not waste my time
socializing but find and addict myself to Christians
whose life is lived in the love of Jesus and His




If Jesus lives in me, then I do not want people to
have to sort through the trash in my heart to see
Him., I will seek to be cleansed from all secret
sins, so that I am like a clear window through which
my Savior can be seen. I will not be afraid to share
my heart, my healing or my struggles, if that will
gain the trust of the wounded, so that I can take their
hand and place it in the Father’s healing hand.




By God’s grace, I too will be that man. I want no
other thing than for God to use my life as
completely and thoroughly as He can, and whatever
price I must pay to be that pure vessel, I will pay it
and not shrink back.




The world is full of betrayal of trust and of innocence
destroyed. I realize, in the words of Floyd McClung,
that people don’t care how much I know until they
know how much I care. Therefore, I will seek to be a
trustworthy friend and a person who will not
condemn or turn back from anyone’s sins or
problems, but rather give them a place where they
can know the completeness of God’s acceptance
and love.




Knowing that Jesus left the 99 to seek the one,
knowing that Jesus always took time for the one
person who needed Him, I will not prefer crowds to
the one life Jesus may give me to love and disciple.




I will be willing to get my hands dirty and get into
the blood and guts of their lives to bring them to
Jesus’ arms, I will not be afraid to cry, for tears are
precious to God, and only an insecure and proud
man cannot and will not cry. Paul commanded that
we weep with those that weep, and I will ask God to
break my heart until my tears become powerful
intercession on behalf of the hurting soul. Knowing
that only a man afraid of himself will not show
gentleness, I seek to know God so deeply that I can
say, like David, “Your gentleness has made me
great.” Knowing that God longs to bring people to
him “with cords of human love” (Hosea) I ask God to
let me be the cords through which His love is




Jesus said to make disciples – followers of Him.
Knowing that Jesus has given me, through spiritual
parents, a great legacy, I will seek to instill that
legacy into all those He gives me to raise up. Then,
I will teach them how to pass it on to those they are
called to. I will never forget that God’s Kingdom is a
family and only grows as I am willing to lay down my
life to raise those He has given me to love for His




Knowing that 1 Corinthians 13 is true, I will ask God
that love be the starting and ending of all I do, and
everything in between. God is love; may my life be
a vessel of that Love until He takes me Home.


Removing the Linchpin

Removing the Linchpin

Satan fears the Word of God. I’ve lived enough to see the power of the Word of God change lives, heal the sick, deliver from demons, mend broken hearts, and set people on fire with purpose and power.

I was recently “set” up in a phone interview I did innocently believing I was going to be asked about my law enforcement work. Instead, I was viciously attacked. At one point, they said, “You’re not law enforcement. You have no formal training. What right do you have to post what you do on the internet?” “Because it’s the truth”, I replied. “That’s YOUR truth!” they replied. I nearly laughed. I’d hit the crux of the matter. “Listen bubba”, I replied, “There’s no `my truth’ and `your truth’. A thing is either true or it’s not.”

If I said I was a poached egg, you would call a therapist. “But that’s MY truth!” No, that’s my DELUSION. Clearly I am not a poached egg (though I sometimes resemble one.)

Somehow, absolute truth has been completely lost in the modern lie of “relativism” – you know – that truth is subject to circumstances, social settings and personal feelings. One professor told a student, “There are no absolutes”, to which the wise student replied, “Are you absolutely sure?”

The degree in which relativism has infested the educational system and filled young minds full of junk is deeply disturbing. I can’t even have a rational conversation with most “educated” people. They get emotional and angry when presented with reason and facts that contradict their oft-repeated and little reasoned ten second sound bite opinions, finally ending the conversation with, “Well, that’s YOUR truth!” Which is the liberal version of “Nanny, nanny boo boo!”

Can you imagine, if, for example, driving laws were based on relativism?

– The lights are red, yellow, and green. If your truth says red means go, then go.
– The speed limit is only a suggested one. If it “feels right” to go 90 MPH in a school zone, follow your heart.

In other words, lawlessness and anarchy would rule the road, and it would be a slaughter, when “your truth” opposed “mine” and we met in a fatal crash of relativistic speed limit interpretations.

Can you imagine if scientists worked by that standard? We’d never have gotten to the moon. “it’s about a million miles…we think…but we only use the rule as a `general guideline’. The moon looks closer by eye, so we trust that more than some `absolute ruler.’”

Obviously we don’t conduct science OR road laws by relativism.

But we ARE told by the world to conduct our lives that way. Paul calls it “the Spirit of lawlessness.” It is the ageless satanic lie that says that you can become your own god.

Now that most of the world is under the influence of this lie, satan has now set his sites on the church. The church has always been most powerful when it has proclaimed the pure Word of God. Satan knows it is his biggest threat.

For hundreds of years, he’s been successful at weakening the church through petty doctrinal differences: methods of baptism, tongues, end-time disputes.

Now, he’s about to go for the jugular. He is seeking to completely destroy the standard of truth – the Word of God – in the house of God.

The Bible is the standard – the linchpin, so to speak – the foundation of truth by which we live. All else – relationships, righteousness, directions and destiny – hinge on it, our ability to stay true to it. God Himself set that linchpin – “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven.” (Ps. 119:89) “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” (Mt.24:35) And woe be to those who tamper with it!

But tampering they are, to their own destruction.

Two young people I love dearly attended the same Christian Bible school, where they were subjected to a book that contained a chapter that convincingly argued that the Bible really did NOT condemn homosexuality. Talk about confusing! You go to a Bible School to learn about the Bible, and they undermine the very thing they claim to stand for!

We used to joke about seminaries, calling them “cemeteries” and now I don’t think we were too far off the mark. I will be accused of being anti-intellectual, which is fine. I’ve got to tell you, I’ve rarely seen someone argued into the Kingdom of God. Even the great CS Lewis came to Jesus by a burst of spontaneous revelation riding his bike, not by argument. People come into the Kingdom, not by good ideas, but because God opens their hearts to truth. And yes, there is a place for reasoned argument, as Paul speaks to persuading people. But it always strikes me that although Festus said, “Paul, you almost persuade me to become a Christian”, we don’t know that he ever did.

But my concern isn’t just that we’re too intellectual. In fact, there are too many believers that “only believe” but haven’t a CLUE as to why! I always encourage kids to learn all they can, get all the facts and think sharp so they can “be ready to give an answer to every man for the hope that is within you.” (1 Pet. 3:15) Nevertheless, the rise of Christian intellectual elitism that is pervading many seminaries, Christian media and churches is a concern. I realize I am not a scholar. I can’t argue didactic points (or even tell you what didactic means) or give grand outlines. I’m just a truth-teller. And I expect the world to react negatively to what I say and write. But 90% of the assault I get comes from Christians who think I’m too subjective, too “experiential.” Or, too fundamental”. I get it from both ends. I stand in the middle and believe that experiencing God is totally compatible with 100% faith in the Scriptures. In fact it is only when these things become one dynamic that the Kingdom is truly manifest in power.

But given the option of being too “fundamental” or too “experiential,” based on the dangerous place I see a lot of Christians, I’ll take “fundamental.”

For many, that reads as “Pharisee.” But the Pharisee’s problem wasn’t that they believed the Scriptures; it’s that (a) they added a thousand laws and inferences not there, and (b) They did not grasp the TRUTH of the scriptures; “You search the scriptures, thinking you will find eternal life; but these are they that speak of Me.” (John 5:39)

In other words, they took the Word and tried to make it say what they WANTED it to say. You can’t do that.

I recently had a conversation concerning “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” (2 Cor. 6:14) Someone had told a young person I know that it was referring to business deals, not marriage. (The logic of that, of course, is absurd – implying that God cares more about keeping our business dealings separate from unbelievers, but in the most spiritual human relationship of all – marriage – it doesn’t matter!) I sat in shock, as this young person said this man had been living with an unbeliever, and she later got saved. (Maybe she did. I pray so and rejoice if so.) The young man I spoke to asked if this guy was in trouble; after all, he was doing well, and was financially blessed, his wife got saved – didn’t that indicate God’s blessing?

First, I explained, his finances were irrelevant. Second, I said, he’s in more trouble than he knows. HE BELIEVES A LIE. Rather than take God’s Word at face value concerning not being unequally yoked, he said, “It doesn’t fit how I’m living. I’ve got to see it in a way so I can make it fit my lifestyle.” Peter spoke of those who “twist the scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Pet.3:16)

Worse – he was teaching kids the same thing! I would rather be living in abject sinful failure and proclaim, “I may be in sin, but the Word of God is still true”, than to gloss over the scriptures to cover up my violation of it. It’s about integrity to TRUTH.

Anytime we run into scriptures that speak in opposition to cultural sins or our personal ones – we choose to either receive the truth regardless, or we end up twisting what is there to make it support sin.

Never – NEVER – bend the Word of God to fit around your sins or lifestyle. Bend – and break – your own hardened sinful heart and conform to its truth. Fall on the rock and be broken, Jesus said, or it will fall on you and crush you to powder. (Mt. 21:44) “Is not my Word like a rock…like a hammer?” (Jer. 23:29)

If my EXPERIENCE contradicts the scriptures – my experience is wrong. Period. If my way of life contradicts it – my way of life must change. It’s that simple.

I recently read an article by a mother about keeping kids away from the occult. She agreed with all the scriptures against it. Then she explained how they read Harry Potter with their kids, explaining the GOOD, pointing out the bad. (Either make the tree good and its fruit goodf, Jesus said, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad – Matthew 12:33) She did the usual delusional justification of the difference between “real” magic and “fantasy magic.”

Then, in a stunning piece of advice, she tells parents to steer children away from things that were about talking to the dead, divination or spell-casting! She apparently was completely blind to the fact that Potter was FILLED with spell-casting, teachers who were divinators and the DEAD speaking through the living!

This is a perfect example of moving the linchpin even a little. She moved it just a hair – “Well, the scriptures are probably only condemning REAL magic, not fantasy magic…” The next thing you know, she’s so deceived, in one breath she can tell you to avoid occult practices, and in the next, promotes a story FULL of them – without a CLUE to the contradiction! Once you move the linchpin just a little, it’s just the beginning.

Someone told me, “I don’t accept a certain part of the Bible.” I said, “Well, then throw the whole thing in the trash and get it over with. Because if you can’t trust THAT part, why trust ANY of it? How do you know ANY of it is trustworthy if you just throw out what you don’t like?”

NO. Accept it ALL or accept NONE.

That doesn’t mean it’s all easy to understand. Far from it. Many times I feel like I did when I was a child, crying, yelling, staring at math problems and saying, “I DON’T GET IT!!!” How foolish to abandon math, because it does not always make sense to ME, therefore it must not be true. It’s my understanding that is lacking, not the material.

I play a frustrating computer game where you have to combine similar objects to get points. As the clock runs down, I can rarely find the combinations to keep the game running. But it’s THERE. On occasion, I just take a deep breath, relax, and tell myself, “You can find it. It’s right there somewhere.” And there it is. The game didn’t lie; I just couldn’t see what was there.

I’ve always approached the Word of God that way. If I’m confused or don’t get something, I say, “The answer is here. Show me, Father.” And He does. Sometimes the answer was right in front of me, not able to see it without the Holy Spirit’s help.

Math does not lie. It’s fundamental truth. The Word of God does not lie; it is fundamental truth. Change one math fundamental, you produce chaos. Change one little iota of scripture, then spiritual chaos will follow.

In a time when churches and even denominations are trying to remove the linchpin of the Scriptures to justify adultery, homosexuality, occultism, you name it, in a time when “new translations” are hip and seeker-friendly and the “Old” are being buried by them, it is imperative that men and women of God who guard that linchpin nail it in solid, guard it and TEACH it to this generation, who will be the guardians of the Word of God for the generation to come.

As an old preacher once said, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” It’s just like that. Anything less is tampering with the Word of God, to our own destruction.

Gregory Reid


Dealing With the Demonic: Rules of Engagement

The subject of “deliverance” is a hot button topic for believers. What I will write will no doubt fly in the face of the conventional thoughts regarding demons and deliverance. I do not have all the answers, but I want to pass on what I do know, to those who may have ears to hear.

First, I want to make something very clear: I am NOT a “deliverance minister.” Youthfire is NOT a “deliverance ministry” at least not in the way most people have come to think of that term. I have and do deal with occult matters. I have been involved in casting out demons and praying over the demon oppressed. But I’ve also traveled to Indonesia, written books, painted a youth center, done evangelism, and even played Larry the Cucumber. (Do NOT call me for that job again!) I babysit a lot. But that doesn’t mean I am a babysitter by calling. Sometimes I wonder if there is a connection there. You know how it is: Babysit a few times, you get on a list and people assume you are available to do this all the time. And if you do a few deliverances…..

The reason I won’t be tagged as a deliverance ministry is the reason I am WARY of deliverance ministries by and large. Praying for demonized people is surely but only ONE PART of a much bigger calling all of us as believers should have. And once you are known for this, people will be sent to you or come to you in droves, and sometimes keep you from the full measure of ministry God wants you to do.

From that scenario, I have seen two things emerge: One, ministers get overwhelmed, caught up in the deliverance work and completely burn out. As one minister told me, “I never want to see another demonized person as long as I live.” Two, many (though not all) of those who hang out a shingle of “deliverance ministry” have been some of the scariest people I’ve ever seen. If you mean by deliverance the overall healing and setting free of a person, I believe in that. If it is strictly a “demon business”, I see no scripture for that. I have seen the fruit of many of such ministries, and it is chaos, convoluted scripture and messed up lives. I think you understand why I don’t want to be associated with that kind of ministry.

Is there a place for demonized people to get free? Absolutely, yes. It is in the church. Unfortunately, 99% of believers are too terrified of the demonic to do their job, and thus, God has raised up those who are willing. It becomes specialized when it is something we should all be willing to handle if the need arises. “In My Name you shall cast out devils.” (Mark 16:17).

There are two situations in which I will engage the demonic: One, when a demon manifests. Two, when I have been made aware of a situation, and have carefully prayed and gotten God’s go-ahead to become involved.

I believe the first situation is the most frequent and the most Biblical. Wherever Jesus went, demons manifested. They could not stand His presence. I truly believe if we are walking in the Power of God as a church and individuals, this will happen, and we must deal with it when it does.

The second situation is crucial for me. I must know in advance, if someone is brought to my attention, if and when I should engage. I need to be prayed up; I need to be prepared and be sure. Many have been trapped because of getting a reputation for doing deliverance, and before long they are completely overwhelmed. You need to understand that not all demonized people want to be free. And if they do not, they will make the rounds of pastors and ministries and their demons cause havoc.

Let me share, from my own experience over the years, a few essentials concerning deliverance.

We must set the rules and terms of engagement. Sometimes people manifest in church. (expect this to happen more as we approach a time of greater occult involvement in our culture.) We must determine by the Spirit whether to confront, deflect, or move the person into another part of the church to deal with it. A few years ago I was confronted with this situation. It was a large youth outreach at a church. I had just finished giving my testimony and was in the process of leading kids to know Jesus and dedicate their lives to His service, when an ungodly scream came from the congregation and someone fell out of the pew in a demonic fit. Conventional wisdom – as well as “instinct” – would say to deal with it right there – but instead the Spirit urged me to have the elders take the person out and into the prayer room to pray for her. It was crucial, because a moment of eternal consequences was attempted to be sabotaged and we could not allow it.

Sometimes demons are sent to be manifest to create fear, chaos and confusion. Do not let them set the battle. Each situation is different and requires a well-discerned action.

Choose your team carefully.

Deliverance prayer is not a free-for-all. It’s not a time for everyone to “give it a try.” It is a time for order, discipline and unity. Everyone on the team must come CLEANSED. Believe me, you don’t want to carry any sin uncleansed into a deliverance. I have seen and heard too many deliverances where uncleansed private sins get very publicly detailed and exposed by demons who use it to fail the deliverance. But what is CLEANSED is untouchable. Make sure every team member is spiritually strong, humble and ready for anything.

Maintain order.

One person alone should be the “point man.” Everyone else should pray, support and follow that person’s lead. The worst situations I’ve seen are where there is no order at all and the person being prayed for is put through a round-robin of people all wanting to cast the demon out, or worse, everyone yelling at one. (Demons are not deaf. But they do love that kind of attention.) I don’t care who leads, but if I am called to lead, everyone else MUST follow that lead and back me up. If someone else leads, it is my responsibility to pray, back them up and only engage if called on to do so.

Stay focused.

It is not for us to dialogue with demons. Part of their strategy, because they are desperate to maintain their dwelling in the person, is to engage you in conversation. Do not fall for it. If you begin to speak to them, they will twist you, intrigue you, lie to you and wear you out. Your ONLY communication should be the steady and unbending demand for their expulsion. NOTHING ELSE.

Whatever you think you’ve learned from the last deliverance, put it on the back burner. This is a whole new situation. You are dealing with demons that are older than you can fathom. God has NOT required you to match wits with them. You are only to expel them, not with methods or what you learned before or from some book, but with the pure power of God alone. Make sure your team is not made up of people who have their own ideas based on books or “deliverance manuals.” They will only cause division and chaos.

Recently, a well-meaning person who brought a woman with epilepsy cornered me to engage my help in casting demons out of her. I declined. He had already decided that epilepsy = possession. Such assumptions are dangerous and can result in terrible harm, and on rare occasions, even death. I cannot bide that. All epilepsy and sickness is not the result of possession. Multiple personality disorder is not the result of demons. (Though sometimes they may be demonized.) Schizophrenia (healable by God) is not demons but a quantifiable medical brain condition. I have even met occultists who were saved and were not possessed! (They did, however, need deliverance from oppression and occult ties of the past.) I have also witnessed, for example, a good church going lady who came to an outdoor rally I was speaking at and she began to

”preach” from Revelations right in the middle of my message – loudly, crazily, disrupting the whole evening – as demonized as anyone I’ve ever seen. We simply cannot afford to “assume” what we are dealing with. Assume NOTHING but that it is God’s intention to deliver the demon bound, and that we have been given the authority to do so. Perhaps terminology hangs us up too much. The Bible does not use the term possessed, but “demonized.” And demonization can be anything from oppressive headaches to full-blown takeover. Let’s not get too hung up over words here.

Having read numerous “deliverance manuals” I can pretty confidently recommend that you don’t bother with them. There IS no “formula” deliverance.

Know your authority.

“You” do not cast out the demons. It is JESUS IN YOU. They fear you not one whit. In fact they could crush you without God’s protection. Do not allow ONE OUNCE of arrogance, either in you or in your team, when you walk into that room. Let it be only, “It is JESUS who commands you to leave. It is HIS Name, HIS Blood and HIS Power that demands that you leave.” The minute you forget that it is only HIS authority they fear, you become like a uniformless, badge-less police officer in the middle of a gunfight trying to convince them to stop.

A few additional points:

– Do not fear either the devil or the demonic. Fear cuts those in need off from those who could set them free. It is the devil and demons who truly fear Jesus in US. Even a child who speaks the Name of Jesus cam make all hell tremble and every demon flee.

Do not become “interested” in knowing about the demonic realm. Except for Neil Anderson’s books, everything else I have read is either useless, wrong or dangerous – or all three. All you need in order to be able to accomplish the job is an intimate relationship with Jesus, a solid knowledge of the Word of God, humility and availability.

DO NOT tackle a situation alone. Always work with a team, and have plenty of prayer covering besides.

Treat deliverance as just one aspect of all Jesus has called us to do and to be.

There is little doubt that we are living in an age of unprecedented demon influence, which is resulting in vast numbers of demonized people. Be ready for anything. And do not be afraid. This is part of the church’s job, and we need to stop relegating it to a few because the majority are afraid and unprepared. Obeying Mark is for us all.
Dr. Gregory R Reid


Thank you for stopping by!

Thank you for all of you who watched my interview with Frances and Friends on the 30th of August. Thank you to all of you who have been patient with being contacted, as well as negotiating this website, which is still in progress! If you missed the program, you can find it archived here:



Please note that we have  several books available to purchase through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online outlets. They are:


Trojan Church – The New Age Infiltration of the Evangelical Church

A prophetic and systematic look at the dangers of occult infiltration in the modern church. A must in this day of deception and delusion before Jesus’ return.



 A Cry in the Wilderness

A compilation of clear and direct prophetic and biblical articles



Nobody’s Angel

A True story of occult bondage and redemption



The Color of Pain

Sexual Abuse of Boys and how to prevent it



Treasure from the Master’s Heart

A Simple Devotional book



Nehemiah: Rebuilding the ruins

A Biblical look at the rebuilding of the temple, and the rebuilding of the church and lives by the power and love of God







Again, thank you for stopping by!

Gregory Reid

YouthFire Ministries




Timing and Obedience


There are two kinds of time according to the Scriptures. One is Chronos, which is the linear, point-A-to-point-B time we experience as humans, and mark with clocks, calendars and dates.

The other is Kairos – God’s time. In very oversimplified terms, it’s God’s eternal invading and intersecting of our human Chronos time.

As believers, the measure of our brief lives will be the obedience we gave to God, and our responses to the Kairos moments, when His eternal plans and purposes and Voice intersected and interrupted our Chronos lives. What we do in those moments determines the value of the lives we’ve led, and the eternal reward and destiny we will have.

Jesus, in His 3 ½ years of ministry (and really, His whole life) walked in Kairos. People were constantly trying to pull him into Chronos living and Chronos activities. “Your time is always,” Jesus said. You want what you want, when you want it, how you want it. “Be our king! Show us a miracle! Prove you are the Messiah!”

When they saw a king to free them from Rome’s tyranny, Jesus saw the cross that was going to free us from the tyranny of sin. When they sought a miracle to prove he was the Messiah, He said the only miracle he was going to give them was three days dead and then Resurrection life.

He only did what He saw the Father doing. And while people paved a road for Him to be king, He followed a blood-soaked trail to be crucified. Man’s Chronos demanded of Jesus that their ideas of freedom from slavery under Rome be addressed. But Jesus walked ONLY in the Father’s Kairos, and from the beginning, He knew it would not be the road to success, but to DEATH.

You know, it’s only recently that it occurred to me that Satan was NOT pro-crucifixion. In fact, it was the devil who attempted to get Jesus to AVOID the cross by offering him kingship if he would only bow down to him…just once…come on, just a little Jesus, take the shortcut to Glory…take the easy way…

But Jesus knew that His PURPOSE was the cross. He came to DIE. And then to rise again.

That’s why when Jesus was rebuked by Peter (can you imagine the audacity?) saying, “You can’t go to Jerusalem to die! God forbid!” that Jesus didn’t say, “You’re right, of course. Thanks, Peter” but rather said, “GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!” Why? Because Satan didn’t WANT Jesus to be crucified! He KNEW something bad was coming for him, because Jesus was DELIBERATELY walking toward death on the cross!

I’m not saying Satan didn’t revel in Jesus’ torture and suffering and death, because he IS a sadistic monster that cannot HELP but feed on pain and bloodshed – but he did so likely in spite of his dread in knowing that Jesus CHOSE the cross – and that couldn’t be good news for Satan’s kingdom!

“Put away the sword,” Jesus said to Peter. “Don’t you know I could call down 12 legions of angels, if I wanted to be rescued? But this is how the scriptures will be fulfilled!”

“Now my soul is troubled,” Jesus said. “And what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour’? BUT FOR THIS PURPOSE I CAME TO THIS HOUR. Father, glorify Your Name.” (John 12:26-28.

He came to die. That was God’s plan – and nothing could deter Him. Nothing did.

My spiritual mother once gave me a beautiful picture of God’s dealings. “Look at the back of a tapestry,” she said. “It’s all threads and knots and is not pretty and makes no sense. But turn it over. Look how beautiful it is on the other side! We’re living underneath God’s tapestry for our lives. Sometimes all we see is the ugly side and the things that make no sense. But HE is weaving a masterpiece of beauty in our lives, and one day, we will see it.”

God’s ways are higher than ours, His thoughts are higher. He sees the END. That is why trust and faith in His timing and His ways are so important to Him. We only see our needs, the things and people around us, the things of Chronos time. He sees it ALL. Faith asks that we trust Him, for all that we do not see – in all that we do not understand. And, faith asks that we give up the need to know. We always say, “Well, it will make sense later.” Sometimes, yes – sometimes, never. Not in this life, anyway. Amy Carmichael said, “The end will explain all things.” In this life, we may never understand the painful weavings, the sharp needle of a suffering, the snapping of a thread of relationship through circumstance or death. But we can know that though we may NOT know in this life the “purpose” of a thing, God has promised – Romans 8:28 – that He is at work in ALL things to produce good – if we trust Him.

When difficult things come, we are taught to fight, rebuke, bind, etc. And sometimes we should. But often difficulties are God’s tools to produce a greater thing. And it is HOW WE RESPOND in the difficult things that determine the value of that work of God in us.

Joshua was a young man who grew up under Moses and became one of his most valued right hand men. He served under him for many years. There may have been moments when he thought, “Moses is old. I’m watching my best years go by. I can probably lead the people as well as he does…” But rather than allow the discontent of human understanding and Chronos to motivate or even embitter him, he trusted God’s Kairos, and when the time came, he was ready, and prepared, and able to do all God asked of him. Had he let discontent and lack of trust move him, he may have tried a coup and ended up in the pit with the others who tried to rebel against Moses – and God’s ways and timing. He waited on God’s time. He was rewarded.

Elisha must have chafed under servanthood to Elijah. He left all he had – career, family and friends, to….wash Elijah’s hands. A woman’s job, by the way. You KNOW he was losing man- points for that when his old friends found out! But he stayed faithful, even though this was NOT what he expected. He trusted God – and His Kairos time. And when the time came – Elisha was given a DOUBLE PORTION of Elijah’s spirit, because he was faithful in the little things, even in the things that he didn’t understand.

Many of us sign on with God thinking, “I’ll get this, and that, and do this, and go there” and end up disappointed and hurt and even embittered because we didn’t get what we wanted or expected. We should have read the fine print of discipleship. It’s not an employment opportunity that we sign on for to get great benefits. It’s a draft notice where we sign our lives away to His service.

Yes, there are extraordinary benefits! But it’s not a negotiated contract. It’s a death warrant to our flesh, our old lives.

But oh, the glory of the surrendered life of trust! HIS choices, not mine. HIS will, HIS leading, HIS plan. The blessings of that road surpass anything we could have designed for ourselves.

I was going to be a politician. God said, “You’re going into MY service.” I was going to enroll in a local college. God said, “You’re going to Christ for the Nations in Dallas.”

I was going to be world-famous evangelist.

God said, “You will serve me in dark corners, forgotten places, bloody battlefields, and will live largely in obscurity.”

I was going to change the world for Jesus.

God said, “You will be used to change the hearts of lost and forgotten ones no one knows even exist.”

Has my life turned out like I wanted? Not even close. Would I have it different? Not for all the treasures, fame and acclaim the world could ever give.

Sometime after one of my big dreams was shattered – I had been set up to be exposed to the largest Christian radio audience in the world, then, without explanation, dropped …

…I found myself at a middle school church camp, signed up because a tiny church in New Mexico didn’t have a youth pastor and they needed someone to go with their kids…

Our cabin was the worst on the campground. Broken curfews, fights, kicked out of worship…making me wonder at first if God was punishing me for some unrepented-of sin or misdeed.

That is, until God interjected several other kids from other churches that had no room for them in their cabins, and they ended up in our cabin. And I fell in love. One had extreme asthma and I had to watch him to make sure he was ok and got his medication. One was a big kid, who, I was told, had something wrong with him – no one knew what – but if he was cornered or made fun of, he’d go violent…

…and one autistic boy of about 11 who connected with NOBODY.

One day, two kids brought Jimmy to me. “He had an `accident’, they told me, and left him with me. This poor boy had completely lost control of his bodily functions and was standing there covered and soaked in humiliation. He looked like he just had gone into another world to avoid the humiliation he was feeling – and who could blame him? I loved the kids who brought him to me and who did not shame him. I took him back to the cabin, got him to the shower, had him hand me his soiled clothes, helped him into clean clothes and sent him back to the others. I wept as I washed his dirty clothes. I felt a love and compassion for Jimmy so deep it broke my heart.

That night at worship, Jimmy came over, sat next to me, put his head in my lap and slept.

And I understood. “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.” I didn’t have to be Mega Christian. And, I no longer wanted to be. I wanted THIS. To be with the least, whom to God are the princes and princesses that are to be at the head of His banqueting table.

If I had said, “I don’t want to go, it’s beneath my ministry gifting,” think of what I would have lost. Notice I said what I would have lost, not Jimmy. Because the reality was, instead of leaving thinking, “God must love this boy a lot to send me to him from my busy anointed life,” I left broken, thinking, “God must really love me and trust me to ask me to serve one of His most loved children like this.”

Sometimes I think of Stephen, cut down in his adolescence by the murdering consent of Saul of Tarsus. He would not know the joys of a full life: a wife, children, career, dreams.

No, Stephen was picked to be a waiter. (Acts 6:8) But he didn’t need a big ministry or a public platform; God did wonders and signs through him in his common job – one we’re not trained to aspire to in modern Christian ministry. Notice how most prophecies are, “You’re going to be great! You’ll stand before kings! You’re going to be influential and wealthy!” Not, “God called you to be a waiter, and He’s going to do mighty things through your obedience in your daily job!”

Stephen trusted God’s Kairos time, and His career choice! And he obeyed. And when the moment came, he gave an epic sermon – an entire 53 verse chapter – and then was killed. But friends, even Jesus stood up to see this and welcome him Home! “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Stephen proclaimed before he was stoned. Jesus – who SITS at the right hand of God – STOOD to receive this young hero as he gave up his life.

I promise you, he did not regret his choices. What to us might seem a human tragedy, was woven into heaven’s tapestry and was a glorious and eternal TRIUMPH!

I would rather labor and walk under circumstances that humanly make no sense, if I could have a STEPHEN MOMENT that would define all God has made me for – one brilliant comet streaking through the darkness of this sinful world, then gone – than to have all the earthly success in the world with no eternal definition of my life at the end.

Trust God’s eternal timing. Trust His ways. Never ask, “Why?” Always ask, “What for?” Not ONE THREAD of His dealings or our circumstance will be lost or useless – every one of them is going to make a beautiful tapestry of glory that will last for eternity.

Gregory Reid

My life is but a weaving

between my Lord and me;

I cannot choose the colors,

He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow,

And I, in foolish pride,

Forget He sees the upper,

And I the under side.

Not ’til the loom is silent

and the shuttles cease to fly,

Shall God unroll the canvas

and explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful

in the Weaver’s skillful hand,

As the threads of gold and silver

in the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,

nothing this truth can dim.

He gives His very best to those

who leave the choice with Him.

~Author Unknown


A New Year in Perilous Times

Welcome to 2013! Obviously the Mayan calendar was much ado about nothing, and as usual, the media wags its tail and we blindly follow.

These times are some of the most treacherous I have witnessed for believers. The astonishing thing is, the closer we get to the fulfillment of all the biblical prophecies concerning the last days and the return of Jesus, the more “believers” in the evangelical Western church are abandoning the truth concerning eschatology and replacing it with a Brian McLaren-style “high hopes” theology that sees things getting BETTER and those that believe we are headed toward crisis of epic proportions as an obstacle to world peace. (The latest entry being Jonathan Welton and “Raptureless.”) Hard to swallow in light of the scriptures’ clear proclamations, but then, it’s also a fulfillment of the Word: ” knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:2-4)

We are experiencing an unprecedented time in which violence is once again filling the earth as in the days of Noah. We are experiencing a worldwide revival of Islam and all its attendant conflicts, wars and domination.

We are experiencing a complete shattering of biblical values and walls. From gay marriage to the acceptance of Mormonism as just another Christian denomination, we have come to a place where we are willing to bend to culture in order to “reach” culture, producing a church culture than has neither power nor message to change lives through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ by His Spirit.

I understand that the church in China is thriving, though. The Son rises on the east…even as it appears the sun is setting for the Western church.

So how then shall we live? In the light of the recent horrible calamities, mass murders of children and meltdown of all social boundaries, what should believers do? What believers have always done in crisis: focus on what matters, proclaiming the real Gospel of Jesus Christ, cost what it may. We have drifted for far too long, watching the deterioration of the spiritual fabric of the Western evangelical church, waiting to see what will happen. I know what will happen: In the last days there will be a falling away, and a deception so strong that if possible, even the elect will be deceived. Anyone who doubts we are there is clearly not paying any attention. The enemy of our souls has been downplayed and dismissed as mere folklore, and he is stronger now than he ever has been, because we are suffering from an absence of spiritual warriors who know what is at stake and know what to do.

This year will be a year for preparation both spiritually and physically. I urge everyone to do everything they can to get free of debt. And it wouldn’t hurt to have a few week’s supply of food and necessities. It’s not survivalist – it’s common sense, especially in the light of recent disasters our country has faced.

Spiritually, dig in. Make solid your commitment to the Word of God as God’s trustworthy and perfect word. Do not be deceived by the many unbiblical books and new “Bibles” that bear little resemblance to the original Word of God. Stand fast; be watchmen. Put your feet on solid ground, and do not be moved, neither by man nor circumstance.

I am neither a pessimist nor an optimist. I am merely doing what I have been called to do from the beginning – being a watchman and reporting what I see and hear.

He who has ears, let him hear.

In His Grace,

Gregory Reid
January 3, 2013