IHOPKC’s executive director blames ministry failures on lack of training

General Kurt Fuller, executive director of IHOPKC presents an update on the investigation of allegations of miconduct in the ministry on Sunday January 14, 2023.
General Kurt Fuller, executive director of IHOPKC presents an update on the investigation of allegations of miconduct in the ministry on Sunday January 14, 2023. | YouTube/ International House of Prayer

International House of Prayer Kansas City’s newly appointed interim executive Kurt Fuller has blamed the embattled 24/7 prayer ministry’s leadership failures on a lack of training as an in investigation into alleged misconduct by IHOPKC founder Mike Bickle remains ongoing.

“I do believe that the purpose of this ministry was and is inspired by God. And that in order to enter into all that He has for us, we've got to evolve, and we’ve got to be willing to make some changes,” Fuller said in an address to the IHOPKC community on Friday night.

“One of the key opportunities that I've seen here is that this base has a lack of solid leadership training, and really no formal leader development programs. We need to fix this starting now.”

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Fuller, who began serving as interim executive director of the ministry on Dec. 10, 2023, noted that while IHOPKC leaders will soon hire someone permanently to fill his current role, he hopes to help the ministry in any way he can to address its leadership deficiencies.

He highlighted several important values “necessary for positive leadership,” including “loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.” He also pointed to the need for leaders to have qualities such as “the servant ethos,” discipline and humility.

“Without values and character in leaders, any organization is going to suffer from internal issues that are completely avoidable,” he said.

Noting that he was speaking about the ministry as a whole and not any particular leader in general, Fuller said he didn't believe that hurtful experiences people have suffered in the ministry were intentional.

“To thrust anyone into a role like that without proper training and preparation is a recipe for failure. So it's very clear to me from the many examples of hurtful experiences … that have been shared with me, they're a direct result of this dynamic,” Fuller said. “I don't believe that anybody intended to hurt anyone, or intended to wound others. But many staff members were simply not trained in proper leadership principles.”

Volz recently revealed that though reports of misconduct at IHOPKC have been relatively low, a preliminary review of the ministry's 25-year history shows that at least a few likely "were not handled properly."

"That review is far from over but so far, we can say that for an organization this size with 25 years of operating history, over 20,000 staff who've served here, statistically speaking, the number of known incidents is actually quite low. At the same time, we can confidently say that a few of those reported incidents, likely they were not handled properly," Volz said.

Last month, Volz announced that IHOPKC permanently parted ways with Bickle as he remains under investigation for "serious allegations including sexual immorality."

Bickle confessed to sinful misconduct he committed over 20 years ago after a woman, identified as Jane Doe by The Roys Report, alleged that for approximately three years, from 1996 to 1999, Bickle paid for her apartment, gave her a key to his office and engaged in every sexual act with her except copulation. She said the IHOPKC founder wooed her with Scripture when she was 19, and he was 42, then made her a kept woman for several years as he established his ministry.

IHOPKC founding member Dwayne Roberts, former IHOPKC Executive Leadership Team member Brian Kim and former Forerunner Church Pastor Wes Martin revealed in a joint October statement that they were the ones who first confronted IHOPKC leaders about the allegations against Bickle that span "several decades."

In his remarks Friday, Fuller said he expects new training for IHOPKC leaders “will include updated and more frequent instruction on what constitutes misconduct and how to properly report these incidents.”

“There will also be some base wide and in-depth training on the latest best practices for responding to reports like this. And I'm happy to stay personally engaged in this effort as needed. And that includes volunteering my time to review curriculum, and even teach classes,” he explained.

“Some here may disagree with the feedback that I've provided here and that's OK. I'm telling you what I think. But you should keep in mind that my position here is temporary, and the trustees of our board will soon select a new permanent director,” Fuller added, asking the IHOPKC community for patience.

“Again, adjustments of this nature take time, and I ask you to be patient. We also do want you to understand that we're not blind to the pain that some folks have experienced because of these issues,” he said. “We've heard the message loud and clear.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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