Myles Munroe is a man of many talents. He sings, plays piano and guitar, sculpts, paints, writes books and is a gifted speaker. He does acrylic work, watercolour and oil painting and also loves to read. With these abilities and with three degrees from the
in Fine Arts, Education,
and Theology, he could have gone in a lot of different directions after
graduation. Oral Roberts
Growing up in the
however, gave Munroe a different idea of how he should spend his life. “I came
to ORU with ministry on my mind,” Munroe said. “I didn’t come to ORU to look
for a wife or to get an education [in order] to get a job,” Munroe said. “I
came to ORU because I already had a passion in my heart to make a difference in
my country.” His success earned him the 2004 Alumnus of the Year award from
Oral Roberts for distinguished service to God. Munroe has also received the
highest award possible from the Bahamian government: the Silver Jubilee Award
for providing outstanding service to the Bahamas in the category of
Religion. In 1998, he became the youngest citizen of the Bahamas ever to
receive the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), an award bestowed
by the Queen of England. Munroe started public speaking at the age of fourteen
and by seventeen could gather 5,000 people in one location and had his
country’s Prime Minister as one of his guests.
What motivated Munroe was the feeling that “most of the people in developing countries, like the one I’m from, about four billion people worldwide, were victims of oppression, and that oppressive impact has developed a mentality that is not conducive to the fulfilment and the maximization of their potential. Most people of colour come out of that environment with their . . . self-esteem . . . damaged. So, my passion still is to restore [what was lost] from the impact that oppression has had on billions of people.” To do that, Munroe felt that people needed to hear a good Word. “I was set free personally when I began to discover the original message of the Bible: what God had created man to do and to be,” he said. “That really motivated me to teach that to as many people as possible, to . . . help people discover their real purpose.”
After completing a master’s degree in administration at the
in 1980, Munroe returned home and started Bahamas Faith Ministries
International, a Christian growth and resource centre that now includes
leadership training institutes, a mission’s agency, a publishing company, a
television network, radio and Web communications, and a church community. It’s
a global work that has touched more than 80 countries, as Munroe conducts
seminars and fulfils hundreds of speaking engagements each year. University of Tulsa
“My vision,” Munroe continued, “is wrapped up in one statement: I exist to transform followers into leaders. My philosophy is, trapped in every follower is a leader. My belief is, if that person is placed in the right environment, the leader will manifest himself or herself. As I teach a seminar, I teach the information that creates the stimuli, spiritually and academically for them to tap into their ‘hidden leader.’’’ The “unbelievable” response worldwide has given Munroe a vision for a “leadership incubator” where, he said, “after you finish your academic studies, you come to me, I put you in this environment, and then you come out the other side as a leader.” Munroe says his ultimate goal is to establish a world-class leadership institute that will attract members of Congress and Parliament, legislators, doctors, lawyers, “people who make decisions,” he said. “And the school would be built on biblical principles.” After all, he said, “all true leadership training steals all of its information from the Bible.”
Dr. Munroe’s number one love and preoccupation is his family (his wife and two children). They have been married for 27 years and have enjoyed their life together. “We have had a wonderful marriage and we expect to live and die together. We are a great example to our kids as it relates to loving your spouse. I love my wife with all my heart. We are best friends and she makes me happy. My son, Myles Junior, is 21 years old and my daughter, Charisa, is 22 years old. They are currently pursuing their master's degrees at ORU and they both have a clear vision for their lives, and they have the full support of my wife and I. Given what he gained at ORU, Munroe couldn’t think of a better place for them. “I would never exchange ORU and the experience I had there for anything in the world,” said the former missions director. “What I’m doing now, I can say that ORU had a significant role in preparing me [for it]. “ORU inculcated in us that you could be a strong believer in a very difficult environment and make a very positive impact.” My wife is my partner in my work. She is also a public speaker and also undertakes teaching and training in our conferences. We do everything together. Ruth Ann and I got married when we were 25 years old. What attracted me to her was that she was so busy fulfilling her purpose that she didn't need me. I think if a woman needs a good husband she should not look for him but she should instead be preoccupied pursuing her dreams and vision.
To those who have rejected Christianity as a tool of cultural oppression, Dr. Munroe says, “I believe that religion can be, and in many ways, is a source of oppression because in many cases religion is built on traditions and belief systems that do not allow the adherent to that religion to think for himself or to question those standards or traditions. In many ways religion is also used to minimise thinking. From the Leninist perspective religion seems to have a paralytic effect on people in that it doesn't allow them to be progressive in their thinking or expansive in their views or to be developmental in their perspective of life. I can see why. This has led me in my own journey to conclude that there is a distinct difference between religion and the
. Jesus' message and His work was a
practical, need-meeting, life transforming philosophy. We, therefore, need to
revisit and rediscover the Jesus of the four Gospels and the message He taught,
and compare that to the religion we have developed called Christianity. Kingdom of God
His message to Christian leaders is that they should, in this time of social crisis, economic stress, political uncertainty and domestic unravelling of homes, become proactive. It is no longer acceptable for them to sit back and prepare people to leave earth. We need leaders who will prepare people to live on earth a faith that integrates itself with society and confronts and engages the society. We need leaders today who are not afraid to confront the issues and the people who are damaging the society, whether they are political leaders, gang leaders or even fellow ministers who are not living up to the standards that they should. We need leaders today who are willing to pay the price to be different.
His primary influences in life he says are his parents and Revd. Oral Roberts. “My mother and father were very strong believers and their impact on their children (there were 11 of us) was very positive. They taught us to dream big, to believe and to have faith in ourselves. They always made us believe that it was possible to achieve our dreams. The other person who impacted my life was Oral Roberts. I began to read his material at a very young age. He was born with tuberculosis and almost died but by a miracle he lived to establish a worldwide work through his ministry. Among the other persons who impacted my life was Dr. Turnel Nelson from
Tobago; Dr. Fuchsia Pickett (deceased
founder of the Fountain Gates Ministries, Texas); and Andre Crouch,
contemporary gospel musician, has influenced me musically. These are just a few
of the many people who have influenced my life.
On the basics that one needs for success, Dr. Munroe believes that every human being was born with a natural gift. He also believes that every human being was born with a purpose - to fulfil something specific on earth. “Education is important but you don't need education as a primary prerequisite to success as many of the people who are successful in the world are not necessarily well educated. If you want to be successful in life, you should never seek success. Instead of seeking success, seek to become a person of value. Successful people are those who have made themselves so valuable that people are willing to pay them to be who they are.
Dr. Munroe advises the black man on how he can transform himself into a leader in the society especially in countries like the
and South Africa
where they can’t even find jobs. He believes that in order for the black man to
transform himself into a leader, he must first change the way he thinks. For
example, the "black man" tends to look for a job rather than look for
opportunities for business. “What we need to do is to stop looking for people
to engage our gifts or to employ us but rather to become creative and let our
own gifts create opportunities for us. I want to challenge every black man to
start thinking about creative opportunities rather than employment. I am
convinced that everyone was born with a seed of greatness and that they have
the potential to turn that seed into a fruitful tree and to let that gift bring
them success. So, I challenge our people of colour to begin thinking of
themselves as producers rather than consumers, to become productive rather than
dependent and to become deployed rather than employed.
His main objectives for the next five years include becoming a New York Times best-selling author. He plans to establish the facilities for a leadership institute to train leaders around the world and he intends to see that his children are married to good people who can be an asset to them in the world. “My son and daughter are a major part of my goals because if you don't leave a successor in the world then you are a failure. Whenever challenges come I meet them with a determination that I will overcome. You never succeed in life without tests and trials. Failure to me is always temporary.”
The biggest message Dr. Myles Munroe has been preaching on over the past few years has been on The Kingdom of Heaven. The astute Man of God has been teaching and studying and meditating on the Kingdom message for the past 20 years and has churned out multiple books loaded with fresh insight and understanding. Dr. Myles elaborated on the role, purpose and power of The Holy Spirit in the
. He identifies the Holy
Spirit as the Governor of The Kingdom. “The message of the Bible is not
about a religion, the message of the Bible is about a King and His Kingdom and
His Royal Kids. The Bible is about a Kingdom, that means it is about the
dominion of a King over His territory.” Kingdom of Heaven
Dr. Myles gives us a definition for kingdom. “A kingdom is the governing influence of a king over his territory impacting that territory with His will.”
The first saying of Jesus Christ is found in Matthew Chapter 4:17, “And from that time forward, Jesus began to declare, proclaim or to preach, Repent because the Kingdom of Heaven has arrived.” The teacher wanted hearers to understand that Christ came to introduce a government with a territory, and not a religion. “All kingdoms have territories; the territory that is immediately under the King’s rule is called his domain. But all kingdoms historically also have territories that are owned by the king, but they are not under his direct physical rule. That territory takes on a different name, it is called a colony. Where the king lives physically is called his domain, where the king rules, but not in the physical, is called his colony.” “Earth is not in Heaven. Heaven has a King. Heaven therefore is the direct domain of that King, so when you refer to Heaven, you refer to it as the
. Heaven is the original
country, the home country, the domain of God.” Kingdom of God
Dr. Myles explained that God created the universe as an extension of His Kingdom. “Earth is a colony of Heaven. (A foreign place) The purpose of a colony is to extend the kingdom of that king to that foreign place. Kings and kingdoms administer their will in their colony through governors.” “The way a king administrates a colony is through a governor. It is the way a king extends his influence to a colony; he doesn’t do it directly, he sends a person to live in that colony representing him and that person is called a governor.” We must return to this very important message as it is the original message of Jesus, Whom we claim to represent.” Truthfully speaking, how many Believers are walking around preaching this message today? We find in Matthew 10:7 that Jesus specifically instructed the disciples to preach this one message: “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” “Jesus tied His return and the end of the age to specifically this message of the Kingdom (Matt 24:14)…and said that when we (the church) get this message “of the Kingdom” and preach it; ‘not our doctrines or denominations or our own theological beliefs or tenants’ to the world, then the end will come. “I have taught this Kingdom message in over 50 nations and it continues. We have received and continue to receive thousands of emails, letters and phone calls attesting to the life-changing impact the Kingdom Message is having on the hearers, and we are glad. Many have said it was the missing link in their search for spiritual fulfilment and answers many of their lingering questions beyond Christianity. Hundreds of pastors and Bible schools have now adopted the Kingdom Book for their ministries.”
“I have been teaching the Kingdom Message for over 20 years now, but it is just beginning to be received and understood. My books entitled “Understanding The Kingdom”, “Rediscovering The Kingdom” and “Applying The Kingdom” all provide detailed instructions about the Kingdom message and they all continue to be big sellers. Dr. Myles rightfully reminds that it is “the only message we have been given as the Body of Christ. “Saints, our eyes have been opened to the truth that we are God’s colonies. Jesus is Our King and the Holy Spirit which He sent, is our Governor. We have been made aware that Jesus asked us to preach a certain message, The Gospel of Jesus Christ with the assurance that signs and wonders would follow; that message is simply this, “Repent, for the
is at hand.” Kingdom
I went to college and have a degree in theology, but there was not one class on the Kingdom. I read the four Gospels and it was the only thing that Jesus preached. That was a very strange contradiction to me. The Spirit of God has been speaking about the Kingdom for years, but we are finally listening and that’s exciting to me. We will see the true impact of the Kingdom if we keep preaching it. What we call signs and wonders and miracles are simply the evidence of the presence of another government – the Kingdom. A kingdom is not a religion. It’s the influence of a government over a domain or a territory. It’s the impact of a king over a territory. That’s why it’s called a “king-dom” – a king’s domain. So miracles, signs and wonders are not for entertainment. Miracles are not supposed to be used as a point of attracting believers to big meetings. Miracles, signs and wonders are supposed to show that another government, another authority, another power, another Kingdom is present. The more we preach the Kingdom, I guarantee you the more we will see miracles taking place; I mean on a daily basis. Just like any government impacts the land over which it rules, so will the
impact the world
when we begin to appropriate its authority and power. That’s what Jesus did. Kingdom
Dr. Munroe believes there’s a great need for spiritual fathers that being one of the greatest lacks in the Body of Christ. “That is why there is so much immorality, unethical behaviour and corruption. Families are disintegrating, divorce is skyrocketing, rebellion is in the Church, and congregations are splitting. I am certain this is the result of a lack of fathering. We have many great preachers, fantastic singers, awesome teachers but very few fathers. Fathers are difficult to find because fathering has more to do with care than with charisma. It has more to do with responsibility than with performance. It has more to do with leadership, accountability and love than with fame, exposure and glory. Fathering requires a commitment to nurturing and developing others rather than using and benefiting from others. In the Body of Christ lately there seems to be a tremendous pursuit of titles. It’s amazing that everyone wants a title but no one wants the title of father. They are pursuing the titles of bishops and apostles and prophets and evangelists, but how come no one desires to be a father? We are in dire need of spiritual fathers. We have very few people who are willing to lay their lives down for the sake of the development of other people. Many leaders today have not been properly fathered. My hope is that there will be fathers who will be strong enough in character to rebuke and correct and to restore some sanity to the people who are in leadership positions who have not been fathered.
On why he prefers to teach rather than preach, an approach that seems largely acceptable by a lot of people, he says that is because that is what Jesus did. In his view, the difference between preaching and teaching is very important. To preach means to declare, to pronounce or to announce. To teach means to train and instruct for change. Preaching doesn’t change people. Preaching may attract, give information, alert people, even convict people, but teaching brings understanding and you cannot change until you understand. You cannot grow until you have information. That’s why Jesus taught. Jesus never preached to the disciples. He preached to the multitudes, but He taught His disciples. He announced the Kingdom to the multitudes but He taught the Kingdom to His disciples.
As to the biggest challenges to spreading the Gospel in developing nations; Dr. Munroe believes that the only ones that can reach these people are the people themselves. “I believe that the greatest way to win the Third World is to win the
Third World people first and let them go
back into their own culture and into their own environment and share the
Gospel. One of the greatest obstacles is the misconception of who Jesus is.
Many Third World people I work with have a
concept of Christ that comes from what religion calls Christianity. In many
ways Christianity has misrepresented Christ in a very terrible way. I’m talking
about hundreds of years of history that has really damaged the image of Jesus.
Many of these people don’t want to hear about Christianity. Secondly, in many
of these countries there are very strong cultic religions, and those religions
have also twisted the concept that people have of Christ. We need to correct
that. Thirdly, in many of those countries there is a misconception of God and
the reason why Christ came to earth. We have misrepresented and almost made
Jesus Christ synonymous with democracy. That’s dangerous because Christ is a
King, not a president. Finally, poverty and corruption are major issues in many
of these countries because of poor leadership that was a product of oppression.
People have been dispossessed. They have been raped of their dignity, their
self-concept, self-worth and self-respect. Christianity is not enough as a
religion. These people need restoration of self-concept and in many cases the
religion of Christianity does not provide these answers. Many times it can
provide the religion but it doesn’t provide restoration of the quality of life
that people need to have to believe in themselves. So these are some of the
issues that we need to look at in the 21st century and I hope the Church will
take another look at what makes effective missions.
“I am convinced that the last world on earth is the
that God has now turned His face toward them. I am convinced that the greatest
spiritual movement on earth is about to emerge and it will not emerge from the First
World or the Second World. It will emerge from
the Third World. It has already begun. I am a
part of it. I represent them. The largest churches that exist today and the
massive growing emerging ministries are in developing countries. I believe that
God is going to transfer the responsibilities for winning the world in this
century to the Third World people. Also keep
in mind that the largest segment of the world’s population is in Third World countries. So it is very natural for the Lord
by His wisdom to move among those people to win their own people. If the second
and first worlds are wise, they will begin to learn from the third world and find
out what’s going on and not to try to impose their brand of Christianity on the
third world because it will not and cannot work. God is raising up people
without anyone’s permission. He is calling them. He is anointing them without
anyone’s sanction and the greatest leaders in the world to come will be third
world leaders used of God. They are going to be products of their culture and
God is going to use them to impact the world. And my prayer is that the Second,
First and Third World believers will cooperate
and not compete with each other and see the world won for Jesus.
On the benefits of networking with other ministries, Dr. Munroe says no one man can win the whole world but all men together under Christ can win the world. God will never place His program in the hands of any one person or one ministry. He’s too smart for that. But He will make it necessary for all of us to have a piece of everything and that’s why we need one another. One of the weaknesses of the Church in history is the spirit of exclusivity and isolation. That’s why denominations were developed. One move of God thought that it was the move of God and so they began to believe that previous or future moves could not be moves of God. This is very sad. The world seems to be wiser than us because it realizes it has strength and it has weakness and that’s why you have what they call merging companies. Some of the most successful companies in history are those that merged with other strong companies. The Church needs to learn that lesson and begin to network. Networking is first understanding your strengths and weaknesses, appreciating the strengths of another and then joining your weakness to that person’s strength so that you can be stronger. We will not make it in this 21st century without networking. Networking requires, first of all maturity, secondly, the ability to submit to another man’s strength. Without those two added elements we remain prideful and weak.
On how we can break down the barriers between races and cultures in the Body of Christ: Dr. Munroe asks everyone to reduce ‘ourselves from every race to one race and that is the human race.’ “As long as we consider race beyond human race there will be racism. We need to get a revelation of what it means to be human. Racism and bigotry is not only related to pigmentation of skin. It can also be related to differences of opinions or differences of methods. We can be a racist between denominations and belief systems. The source of racism is low self-esteem, low self-worth and a poor self-concept. Once you realize how valuable you are as a human and recognize that everybody else is also made in the same image as you are, then equality is an automatic result. The greatest command in the law is the secret to destroying racism and that is to love God with all your heart, your soul, and your strength. Then love yourself and love your neighbour to the same degree that you love yourself. Until you love yourself, racism will always be present. Racism is a sign of self-hatred. I don’t care if you speak in tongues. I don’t care how many miracles you work. If you have problems with people who are different from you, then you are still suffering from self-hatred. If you discover and really understand God and love what God is and who God is, then you’ll naturally love yourself because you are made in His image. It’s impossible for you to love God and hate your brother.
One of Dr. Munroe’s key messages is “everyone is born for a God-given purpose and potential to fill that purpose.” How does he see the apostolic and prophetic ascension gifts helping believers recognize and walk out their purpose? “The Apostle Paul said Christ gave to the Church some gifts, some functions. They are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to train the saints for the work of their ministry. That word “ministry” means to exercise their gifts. So the goal of all leadership is to help people under their care to first discover their purpose (the word “purpose” means original intent) and then help them develop the character and skill to execute that assignment. Then the Body will never suffer weakness because each one will bring to the table their gift, their strength. Purpose is the discovery of your reason for existing. Without purpose life is an experiment.
On what he sees as the biggest challenges facing the Body of Christ today and what we can do to address these issues; “The Church is becoming impressed with itself. We seem to be preoccupied with promoting ourselves to ourselves. There seems to be such a clutch for self-promotion, self-labelling, self-advertisement, and self-possession. That is very dangerous because the commission God gave the Church is not to promote itself but to reach the world. Also, the world is being given a very distorted picture of the true message of the Kingdom. Right now religion is the number one problem in the world and we know that all the terrorism that we are experiencing and the fear is mostly motivated by religion. Jesus Christ did not bring a religion into the world. He bought a Kingdom. The world doesn’t need another religion. It doesn’t need traditions and rituals. The world needs a practical application of principles and precepts that will impact their daily lives. Jesus said blessed are those who are poor spiritually for to them belong, not a religion, but the Kingdom of heaven. Only the Kingdom satisfies spiritual hunger not religion.
Originally published in The Christian News in March 2008