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Enjoying God Blog


Michael Brown, Jack Deere, Dan Juster, Patricia King, Joseph Mattera, Sam Storms, Michael Sullivant, Terri Sullivant

As elders in the Body, our hearts are broken by the allegations of spiritual and emotional devastation caused by the scandal surrounding Mike Bickle and IHOPKC. Some of us have called for an independent judicial council to hear all the evidence and responses and then render a decision. The situation is too large for the IHOPKC leadership, who have lost credibility in the eyes of many, and external leaders are needed to help judge the situation impartially. We will continue to press for this independent judicial council to be constituted. However, since this has still not happened, despite major steps being taken to bring these leaders together, even involving some members of this team, we believe a statement is now in order.

From the time that the charges were first brought against Mike, while addressing this scandal on different levels within our own circles of ministry and in various public settings, we have been waiting for proper investigations to take place and all charges to be known before making final, definitive statements. Some of us have also been working behind the scenes over these months to help ensure that a proper investigation takes place. But since this process has dragged on for so long, we can wait no longer and feel a sacred responsibility to make this unequivocal, joint statement.

The careful considerations that brought us to prepare this statement include:

  1. We have reviewed the testimony of Jane Doe and found it to be credible. IHOPKC has also admitted to its validity.
  2. We have reviewed the testimony of Tammy Woods and found it to be credible, and Mike Bickle has not issued a denial of this testimony.
  3. The investigation conducted by Rosalee McNamara of the Stinson Law Firm for IHOPKC has confirmed some of the allegations.
  4. Mike has publicly admitted to some of the allegations, at least in part in a general and non-specific sense.
  5. Some members of this team have personally attempted to approach Mike to ask for full disclosure, but at present, after several attempts, he has not agreed to meet, nor has he categorically denied the growing number of charges coming against him.
  6. Some members of this team have been deeply involved in meetings with leaders of both the Advocacy group and IHOPKC leadership to hear their hearts and concerns.

First, we are deeply grieved for those who have presented testimony that they were manipulated and sexually abused by Mike Bickle. We can think of few sins more damaging and destructive than that of manipulative, clergy sexual abuse, all the more in the case of a minor. We are also deeply grieved for those whose personal faith has been shattered and whose worlds have been turned upside down because of the alleged agonizing events. This is a spiritual tragedy of international proportions, affecting millions of believers worldwide and bringing great dishonor to the name of Jesus as well as disgrace to the reputation of the Spirit.

Second, after considering the reports we have reviewed, we must state categorically that he is, sadly, unfit to lead a ministry. Even with full repentance and personal restoration in the Lord, he is disqualified from public ministry. (Restoration to full fellowship is of course possible.) Mike himself, in his statement of December 12, 2023, acknowledged that his stepping down from ministry “may be long and it may even be permanent,” and that was before the most serious charges against him had even been raised.

We say this with agony of heart, as Mike has been a dear friend to some of us and a respected co-worker for years, and it is hard to believe that the man we knew was capable of leading such a double life. Yet we cannot deny the evidence that spans many decades and which continues to accumulate, some of which has been confirmed and some of which awaits a formal investigation and the adjudication of a panel of elders.

We also write these words aware of our own shortcomings and failings – as Solomon said, each of us knows the affliction of our own hearts (1 Kings 8:38) – walking in the fear of the Lord as daily recipients of His mercy. But there are lines that cannot be crossed without severe consequences, and tragically, it appears that Mike has crossed these lines time and again.

Third, while we know that many fine believers and leaders have served at IHOPKC and are part of the related, global prayer movement we recognize that the evidence points to some dangerous cult-like tendencies that emerged over the years that need to be addressed and adjusted. There has also been a lack of a formal structure of accountability for those serving in various capacities at IHOPKC, overseen by local elders, resulting in a failure to deal properly with serious sexual sins, and not just pertaining to Mike.

We do not deny that the broad outline of the IHOPKC history was credible, but it appears that, in some ways, it has crossed over into areas of spiritual elitism. IHOPKC has also admitted that its structure was woefully deficient in handling serious sin allegations and now professes to be changing its whole structure to address this.

We acknowledge that many faithful intercessors and worshippers ministered before the Lord over the years in IHOPKC with purity of heart, great sacrifice, and authentic passion for His purposes who were totally unaware of what was transpiring behind the scenes. We want you comforted and encouraged. Your hours of prayers and devotion were heard, regarded, and honored by God.

Fourth, we recognize and grieve over the lack of accountability structures in the larger, independent, charismatic church world, where there are no real courts of appeal, few, if any, boards of city-wide or trans-local elders to consult, and no formal structures in which serious allegations can be heard and adjudicated. We have been aware of this need for many years, and it is our hope that now, at last, a united, biblically based, Spirit-led effort can be made to address this gaping hole in our midst.

Fifth, we recognize that many younger believers now feel disillusioned with our generation of leaders, feeling let down by us or, worse still, perceiving us to be part of the “old guard” that is determined to protect our interests or, even worse, enabling serious clergy misconduct. This, too, breaks our hearts, as we have spent decades investing in the younger generations – right until this day, considering it a sacred privilege – and we carry a fatherly (or motherly) burden for your wellbeing. God Himself knows!

We, like you, are jealous for the name of Jesus and the kingdom of God, jealous for the health of the Church, jealous for righteousness and justice along with mercy and compassion, jealous to see the Spirit poured out mightily worldwide. We, like you, have spent hours on our faces, weeping for the lost, crying out for revival, interceding for the purposes of God.

We can also say to you – to Millennial and Gen Z believers (and now, to Gen Alpha believers too) – that we carry you in our hearts. In the words of Paul, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” (1 Thessalonians 2:19–20) Where we have failed to provide clear voices during this crisis or have let you down in any way, please forgive us. And know that we are committed to you for life.

Having said this, we decry the exalting of people and personalities. There are no superstars in the Body, only servants. And no matter how much fame or public influence any of us may have, we are all utter wretches outside of God’s transforming grace and there is not a single thing we can do of eternal value that has not been birthed and empowered by the Spirit. Apart from the Lord, we can do nothing and we are nothing (John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 3:5-9).

It is one thing to give honor and respect to spiritual leaders who walk worthy of God’s high calling. It is another thing to turn servants into celebrities and to look to them as if they were in a different category from the rest of the Body. This is not only dangerous, but it is another form of spiritual idolatry.

At the same time, we encourage you to guard against cynicism or skepticism. Even though in the coming days there will be further public exposure as God cleanses His church, scandals like this current one are not the norm. Ministry leaders engaging in the manipulative sexual abuse of those under their care are the rare exception to the rule. Most pastors and leaders are neither famous nor rich, let alone sexual predators, laboring quietly behind the scenes and doing their best to serve their flocks. As they prove worthy of honor and respect, they can earn your trust. We know of denominations and apostolic streams that have good government and have had no major leadership scandals.

Most importantly and above all, be assured that the Lord is utterly and completely faithful, trustworthy beyond imagination, and an ever-present help in times of trouble. We urge you not to let anyone or anything steal your crown (see Revelation 3:11) or rob your faith, remembering that Jesus never failed any of us. It is not in His nature to do so! Take refuge in Him, pour out your hearts to Him, and lean on Him with all your being. He will see you through.

Please keep praying for those who have been sinned against, along with all those who have been hurt, and pray also for IHOP, for Mike and his wife and family, and for the church globally that has been impacted. God desires to bring repentance, cleansing, healing, and restoration to all.

Know that we are praying for you and we are here to serve you, believing that somehow, God will bring good out of evil and light out of darkness, for the purification and healing of His people and for His honor and glory. May the name of Jesus be exalted and may His hurting people be made whole.

Lord, we cry for Your mercy! We, desperately need Your help in this hour.

“Heal us, LORD, and we will be healed; save us and we will be saved, for You are the one we praise.” (See Jeremiah 17:14)


@Terry Franklin. I have heard good things about The Gate church in Franklin, TN.
Dr. Storms,

As a former Pentecostal, I was alarmed when a friend became calvinist! He was excited when he learned about you and Grudem and Matt Chandler and others. He hoped for a combination of word and Spirit that could bring revival if the charismatics and Calvinists ever joined forces. Otherwise, I am not familiar with your ministry other than seeing occasional things like your discussion with Piper and Wilson about your eschatology or your comments on Bethel Redding.
But I have thought well about your name.

I was interested to hear the 4hr roundtable you did on false teachers with Brown and Peters. I regretted what I heard. I appreciate Brown's comments that your main thing isn't to research false people. And that your critics focus too much on this, rather than your actual work. I am only commenting on what you said in the roundtable and writing in hopes that you may see this.

As a former Pentecostal, I rejected most of the "charismatic" movement as false or unbalanced. I thought I had balanced beliefs. I was always embarrassed by TBN, but more embarrassed by the lack of Pentecostal preachers who would call them out and name names. Though there are some, there aren't many with a large platform who do so. I was shocked when Brown said he didn't realize Benny Hinn was such a controversial figure within charismatic circles. Like you argued, I once thought most charismatics aren't into all the crazy stuff so I figured most questioned Hinn. I think we have to recognize Peters point that it's supply and demand. You can't assume the flock knows better. They need warnings about the wolves.

I agree with you that this should not at all be the focus of your ministry! But Brown said that there have been times when he took time to address particularly egregious comments from Osteen or whoever. The word of faith movement, etc. has compromised the gospel and they are leading people astray, and I pray that you would do what you can with your platform to occasionally address these issues as you feel so inclined. As Brown was unaware that so many charismatics had issues with Hinn, there are likely others who are equally harmful that it may be worth taking notice of.

Ahab got upset with the prophet Micaiah because he never had anything "good" to say to him. It may feel "negative", but it can be good to address some of these harmful elements who are doing harm to charismatic believers and hurting the cause of Christ. I pray that you and your followers would see this, that the gospel would be spread, and that the income streams for anyone false on TBN, etc. would dry up.

Thank you for your time,
Clearly, you're not posting comments which are critical of Sam Storms or the other people who signed this statement. That being the case, I speak to whoever is making these decisions. Repent. To block critical comments in regard to an issue like this is deception. You are not only giving the false impression that few, if any, are taking issue with this statement and the men who signed it, but you, yourself, are joining in the mountain of lies which men like Sam Storms and Michael Brown have spent years defending. If you are, in fact, a Christian, confess your sin and our God is faithful and just to forgive you and He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
I am moved by this. This is the right heart-posture in this time. May God have mercy on us.
I apologize in advance for both going off topic and for asking a personal question...but, Does anyone know of a good Word & Spirit Church, a convergence style church anywhere in the Nashville, TN area??
Sobering. Thx Sam, annd all.
I still don't understand how Mike Bickle was every qualified for ministry in God's evaluation. His sins, deceit adultery, sexual assault of. a minor... all predate his elevation to leadership. I don't understand how God would be waiting to disqualify Mike Bickle until decades later, more abuse, and the exposure of the past that is now happening. While I understand the example of Judas and the Corinthian church, the real standard is God's standard in Timothy and Titus and by this standard, no matter what men may have evaluated of Mike Bickle, God knew Mike Bickle was extremely unqualified. Did God make Mike Bickle a leader or give him a ministry given what God knew ? Hardly it seems to me.
Good statement. As far as I can tell this is the first time Jack Deere has weighed in. I was hoping to hear from him sooner given that he promoted M. Bickle.
Thank you for excellent/encouraging/God honoring message/letter.
Thank you for this, but where is the call for Biblical fidelity in the Charismatic movement? Where is the call and instruction in developing discernment?

Where is the call to elevate The Word of God over the word of men, to elevate The Word over experience alone and a culture of truth over a culture of honor.

Please lead people out of repeating these same errors that enable these outcomes.
A balanced response to a sick and sordid mess.
Power corrupts;
Absolute power corrupts absolutely..

Thank you, Sam.
Thank you Sam. This is so sad. But glad for the many leaders now speaking and working to bring about a healthier Church. How horrible to see so much pain and abuse of some we know, and the many who we do not.

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