From a Former IHOP Accountant
I used to be an accountant for Kansas City Fellowship/Metro Vineyard Fellowship/Grace Ministries/Abounding Grace Bookstore/Grace Travel/ etc. in the precursor to IHOP in the late 80’s. I consistently found Mike Bickle misrepresenting the purpose of contributions/donations/special offerings in large conferences, where people gave sacrificially to the extent people often put diamond wedding rings, gold coins, etc. in the offering plates. For example, in several large national conferences, special offerings were often taken specifically for “missions and outreach to Guatemala, India, etc.” but, in reality, the funds were deposited in the the main bank accounts and not paid to specific “missions.” While there was occasional financial support given to missionaries, other ministries, etc., it wasn’t close to the amounts received from these special offerings, and/or it was often used to pay for the main leadership staff to go on “mission trips.”
Also, while all staff were paid a salary on a pay scale based on the size of the their families, not the value they contributed to the organization, and while Mike Bickle ‘claimed publicly’ he was on the same scale, he had a ministry credit card he used for many questionable expenses, basically personal expenses he claimed were ministry expenses to the extent of tens of thousands of dollars per year, when a family of 4 was “supposed to be on a pay scale of about $24,000-I honestly don’t remember exactly-it was in the late 80’s.” Not to mention the “Perks” he received from being the leader, people giving him and his family cars, travel, vacations, meals, etc. In my broken, imperfect opinion, he spent an inordinate amount of time traveling to “build” his ministry than staying at his home church ministering his personal flock.
As I was the recipient of most questions about the ministry finances and how they were being used, and I felt very uncomfortable misrepresenting the truth, and instead of outright lying – I sometimes skirted the questions and sometimes I told the explicit truth. It singed my heart.
Additionally, due to experiencing these misrepresentations, I suggested we join and have the financials be reviewed according the EFCA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) but was “subtlety” told not to pursue that option. When I told him and the executive staff I didn’t feel comfortable with the misrepresentations of the financial “stories” being told publicly, he made excuses-rationalized it away, and yet it wasn’t but a month or so later that I was told I was being “let go,” this, right in the middle of being engaged and preparing for my wedding, just a few months away, and now unemployed and having to search for a job. I wasn’t being let go/fired for my work performance, it was presented to me I needed to find something to better support my soon-to-be new wife—however, it was clear that since I challenged Mike Bickle, there was no place in the organization for anyone who questioned him.
Let me say it this way, if people think President O’Bummer or Presidential Candidate Donald Trump are manipulative sociopathic narcissists…these guys are “hacks” compared to Mike Bickle and the leadership in his internal and affiliated organizations. It has been reported here and elsewhere the LIES he’s told publicly that have been PROVEN to be untrue over and over again – yet even today, he continues to REPEAT them as truth. (it is one thing to be broken, wounded and imperfect follower of Christ misstating the truth… but a church leader, self-claimed “Apostle” who has been a PROVEN LIAR to CONTINUE TO LIE?) “Partial truth” is the GREATEST & MOST POWERFUL WEAPON of the enemy. (see C.S. Lewis Screwtape Letters) And, IHOP, Mike Bickle and his direct internal ministry leaders and those who are externally affiliated are unrepentantly FULL of “Partial Truth” (and straight-out FALSEHOOD).
It deeply saddens my heart to see how many good-hearted people, honestly seeking an intimate relationship with their Heavenly Father are deceived and sucked into the verbal and emotional manipulations of this “organization” and being led astray like sheep to slaughter. (and I don’t have time to tell you of the many, many people I know personally who have rejected their faith as a direct result of being involved with KCF/Grace Ministries/MVF/IHOP.) Inspect the FRUIT.
This revelation of “CHANGING the understanding and expression of Christianity” are words probably given to Mike Bickle in 1982 straight from a demonic spirit straight from the Pit of Hell, but they sure are NOT TRUTH!
Jesus is PURE TRUTH. PERIOD! The Bible, God’s Word, is PURE TRUTH. PERIOD!
My personal caveat: This is as close to the truth as I remember, I may be slightly inaccurate with some specific details, but it is not my intention to misrepresent, nor bear false witness against anyone.