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Featured Preaching Woman

Pastor Barbara Yoder: The Cry God Hears

When we look at the world and all of the uncertainty that is constantly swirling around us, we can truly acknowledge that times have changed. Surely, you may recall the times when confusion was not as rampant amidst our government, families were not overcome by severe financial constraints or family conflicts, job losses were not at an all-time high in our country, and global hostility was not as prevalent as it is today. Yes, times have truly changed. And, the response by many is one of fear and hopelessness.
Apostle Barbar YoderPastor Barbara Yoder: The Cry God Hears  
Written by Nichelle Early, Executive Editor

When we look at the world and all of the uncertainty that is constantly swirling around us, we can truly acknowledge that times have changed.  Surely, you may recall the times when confusion was not as rampant amidst our government, families were not overcome by severe financial constraints or family conflicts, job losses were not at an all-time high in our country, and global hostility was not as prevalent as it is today. Yes, times have truly changed. And, the response by many is one of fear and hopelessness.

However, the good news is this: The Body of Christ does not have to be overwhelmed by all turbulent changes the world is experiencing. We can rest assured that we serve a great God who hears our cry and has already provided for all of our needs according to His riches in glory! Do you believe that? Well, perhaps, you need a little encouragement!

Pastor Barbara J. Yoder (Pastor Barbara), founding apostle and senior pastor of Shekinah Regional Equipping And Revival Center in Ann Arbor, MI, cordially accepted our invitation to be featured and celebrated on PreachingWoman.com as she shares with us how to press through fear or even hopelessness and obtain a true, radical, spiritual breakthrough by knowing and understanding "the cry God hears!"


Known for her cutting-edge prophetic ministry and apostolic breakthrough anointing, Pastor Barbara is a down-to-earth, highly respected, powerful woman of God with a mission to see the apostolic church restored in alignment with Acts 15:16-17. Desiring to seea harvest of new believers erupting in cities, regions, and nations advancing the Kingdom of God, Pastor Barbara flows in anundeniable God-given authority, ministering with precision and power, especially in the area of spiritual warfare. Wielding the sword of the Word, Pastor Barbara stands firmly as a true apostle breaking through hard and impossible situations in the lives individuals, churches, and cities, releasing life and liberty to all who receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Accordingly, God has gifted Pastor Barbara with anexceptional ability to usher people all the way through the "dark times of the soul" to a place of restoration where Jesus is more real to them than before the testing time. Furthermore, their faith is stronger than ever. Through careful study of Scripture and through the lens of her own personal experiences, Pastor Barbara knows firsthand how devastating circumstances can make you cry out for God.

Pastor Barbara's husband, Pastor Paul Yoder, died unexpectedly in 1999. She had to fight a private war over grief and cry out in sheer desperation to God in order to make it. And guess what? She believes that is exactly what God desires. By travailing and crying out in prayer, pressing through the places of desolation and hopelessness, Apostle Barbara says that there is indeed a cry that God hears which will cause believers to step into the amazing and abundant life God has planned for them. The key is the cry must be mixed with faith.

PreachingWoman.com's founder, Nichelle Early (NE) enjoyed the opportunity to speak one on one with Pastor Barbara (BY) as she discussed the overcomer's anointing birthed through "the cry God hears."

Apostle Barbara YoderNE: Pastor Barbara, thank you so much for accepting this interview, I sincerely appreciate it.

BY: Thank you, Nichelle, I'm honored to speak with you and I appreciate the work you are doing!

NE: Thank you!

Pastor Barbara, please tell me a little bit about the mission or vision of your ministry.

BY: Well, my greatest thrust is restoring the church to the Apostolic mandate, Genesis 1:28; the apostolic mandate to bear fruit, multiply, fill the earth, subdue the earth and take dominion. How do we do that? By equipping the saints for the work of the ministry, which is the New Testament mandate. The ministry is to release the kingdom in whatever sphere we are assigned. As a part of this, I was recently led to change the name of our church from Shekinah Christian Church to the Shekinah Regional Equipping and Revival Center.

Our church operates primarily with a regional call, and to a lesser extent, a national and international one. We are a culturally diverse church with a global mandate. I love what a friend of mine says, "our purpose is to transform our assigned sphere through the restoration of apostolic government and the tabernacle of David, worship and intercession. How do we transform our sphere? I believe we do that through going into our world, preaching the Gospel and discipling nations, often one person at a time. I also believe God has given me multiple assignments: to empower and strengthen leaders, particularly senior pastors; God has given me to be an apostle to them, offering them wisdom, helping them to identify their calls, and speaking to their ability to move forward...helping them strategize for advancing. I am also called to influence the entire state of Michigan, to move it towards reformation through revival and awakening...God has gifted me with a breakthrough anointing, to help corporate groups, such as churches or apostolic networks, to break through to their next level and equip them to go and make disciples...As I began to look at the Body of Christ, many churches have transformed into family life centers...in other words, everything is internal within the church, the gym, coffee shops, and more, and that's fine...but I often wonder have we lost the mandate to preach the Gospel everywhere with signs and wonders.

NE: Amen, according to Matthew 28:19, the Great Commission says, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations...(emphasis mine)"

BY: That's right...It's time for the church to stand up and take her rightful place to equip the saints to impact the world. I encourage our people to look in the mirror every morning and declare, "I am a cutting edge world changer!" We are to transform the part of the "world" that we are assigned to. I believe that we have redefined the New Testament church by our culture. However, I have a mandate to raise up the next generation in order to redefine the church according to biblical standards (Matthew 28:19). I like to call it "radical church." Acts 1:8 says we shall be endued with power to be His witnesses...it's more than just speaking in tongues, but we must go and begin to impact the marketplace starting with Jerusalem, our home town. When the 120 people left the upper room, they ran out into the middle of the city; they never went back to the upper room, they built the church in the middle of the city.  We must do the same thing. We must penetrate our cities. People and cities are hurting, going through dark places of the soul. So, we [should] go to church to get empowered to change our cities one person at a time...We should be delivering, healing, and saving people through the power of Jesus Christ in the market place; we have to take the kingdom everywhere we go.

NE: Amen! You are absolutely right! People are hurting and going through dark places.

Pastor Barbara, please talk to us about the "dark places of the soul."

BY: Well, when my husband died, I went through a dark place. I had to change whether I liked it or not...Change was forced upon me .Difficult and devastating circumstances create a cry that when it's transformed into faith delivers us to the door of the new. It delivers us into the abundant and amazing life God has planned for us. It's in those dark places of the soul that we humble ourselves and cry out to God in order for us to overcome them.  In fact, I wrote a book about the Overcomer's Anointing.

NE: Yes, let's talk about that! How do we access an overcomer's anointing when we are experiencing the dark places of the soul?

The Overcomer's AnointingBY: Well, we are all going to go through night seasons or trials of our souls. And during that time God will often give us prophetic words. Some we understand, some we may not.  However, 2 Peter 1:19 tells us to purpose to hold on, because the prophetic word is given to us to be like a light shining in the dark place until the morning comes...{paraphrased}...Also when we look at Job 1:19-21, when the four winds came and blew down Job's house, I can imagine that was a dark place for Job, but the Bible says Job began to worship God. And, it is through our worship in the dark places that it creates a cry that God hears and it causes us to access an overcomer's anointing. Also, when we get to Job 42, we see that there was an end to the dark period Job experienced.  I believe it was Job's worship in chapter 1 that prepared him to overcome...In Revelation 2:3, ("You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary"-NIV) victory is delivered to overcomers. God will be with us. Revelation 2 and 3 declare we must overcome to inherit all that God has for us. And if we are going to be great ministers for His glory, then the qualification for great ministers is great overcoming!

NE: Excellent! Pastor Barbara, please share with us a few principles regarding accessing the 'overcomer's anointing.'

BY: Sure...

  1. Know what God has said about you and your future and believe it; Believe your prophetic words.
  2. Maintain your worship and praise. Bow down and stay low before God.
  3. Know and believe God's [written] word and walk in it.
  4. Know that we have the same authority that Christ had. We have the power to overcome everything through Christ Jesus.
  5. Identify your key life giving relationships, nurture and maintain them. We need others in our life.

NE: Amen! That is truly one of the things I love about your ministry is that it equips people to be great overcomers...

BY: Yes, because Nichelle, we are in a time when an era is ending. We have truly shifted as a nation. Our nation is in a crisis. Job loss is high, there's the economy crisis, terrorist activity is on the rise, and many people have lost hope. However, we as the Body of Christ must be healed ourselves and then equipped to minister to them. You see, before every revival and awakening, there's great darkness. Before the Great Revival of 48, the world was in a dark place. And again today, because people are not able to find their way, it is creating a cry of desperation in people. I believe that God has created that cry so that people will turn to Him...You see, as the Body of Christ, we all must be re-tooled for the new. The ministry machine of the last era is over. The great prophetic restoration is over, although there is a new prophetic thrust being birthed; and what is arising now, we don't exactly know, but I believe it's creating a cry mixed with faith that God hears and answers because He is now doing a new thing. I do know that God is challenging the Church to move out of introversion into a dynamic extraverted force that releases the kingdom into every sphere of society including what many refer to as the 7 mountains. And a Church will arise that will ultimately overcome every other kingdom before Jesus returns.

NE: Yes, I believe that it's not going to be just one person or one entity in the Body of Christ making a difference. I believe we are all going to have to play our part by travailing and crying out in prayer as the Church.

The Breaker Anointing by Pastor Barbara YoderWell, let's switch gears. Pastor Barbara, you wrote a book entitled, "The Breaker Anointing," please share about the "breaker anointing."

BY: The breaker anointing is an anointing that breaks loose anything held in a confined space. (Micah 2:13) It can be things that are holding a territory in captivity, a church, a person, even a city, state or nation. It shakes things free; it looses them. For example, I recently spoke at a church conference in Malaysia. I didn't initially understand the apostolic purpose. When the plane neared Malaysia, I could feel intense conflict over the nation. When I arrived, I discovered the people of Malaysia had called for a demonstration because they had reached a boiling point over political or governmental corruption and wanted clean and fair elections. However, the government was concerned regarding potential violence; they had watched Egypt erupt in January. And so they gave the police force the authority to use whatever force necessary to control the demonstrators. However the demonstrators simply wanted the freedom to express their discontent. A potentially violent, bloody scenario between the government and the people was developing. While there, I knew I was to turn that situation in the heavenly realm through recognizing when the authority came from God for anointed declaration...We found that place in the midst of worship and you could feel the power being broken. After doing so, God began to turn the whole situation around. The King of Malaysia, who rarely speaks, spoke before the people and asked the government for a reasonable response to demonstrators; he asked for moderation. As a result, the prime minister granted the demonstrators the stadium. There was a relative peaceful demonstration and violence was greatly minimized...

NE: So, it was when you sensed the anointing that you decreed and declared?

BY: Yes, when we recognized God's anointing that's when we decreed and declared...I've learned to recognize the difference between talk and anointing; you have to have a word from the Lord or sense a mighty anointing before speaking, and then decree and declare only when God says to...God has won the victory for us already, however, we have to know our sphere of anointing and authority and speak in obedience...

NE: Amen!

Pastor Barbara YoderPastor Barbara, one of the things I love about your ministry is that God has given you a strong passion to equip all people and all generations. In fact, you pastor a thriving culturally and ethnically diverse church in Ann Arbor, MI. To what do you attribute the great love you have for ministry diversity?

BY: Well, I was brought up that way. I believe it's a grace, a gift from God. I love people from all backgrounds and walks of life. When I was younger, my parents constantly entertained missionaries and people from all over the world.  I can remember people from China, India, and other countries staying with us; and, as a child, I can remember holding conversations with them. I became comfortable with people of other cultures. My mother played a huge role in exposing me to different ethnicities and cultures. Today, my church is 50% African-American...Now, I didn't grow up around African-Americans as some would think. I actually grew up in a totally white culture. I was born during segregation, but my mother didn't believe in it...My mother was very compassionateas well as had a passion for justice. My father was a business man, and although he too was compassionate, my mother really instilled in me the ability to love all cultures, ethnicities, and races...Mothers are powerful!

NE: Yes they are! Speaking of mothers, Pastor Barbara, please tell us what your family means to you in ministry!

BY: Well, my family means everything to me. My Granddaughter and Grandson are currently serving in ministry with me. They were just ordained. They are with me to help build the next generation...I love my family, however they live at a distance from me so we don't get much time together.

NE: Pastor Barbara, what do you believe God is saying now?

BY: I believe God has been testing us through the last season to see who qualifies to become part of this new thrust, to raise up churches and ministries that release the kingdom into the marketplace-the 7 mountains. I also believe God is leading many of us to team up with the younger generation and be radical enough to reform schools, churches, government and more.  I believe the church is the vehicle through which the kingdom will be released to the world. Therefore, God is looking for a radical group, qualifying and putting new passion within them to positively invade the world with the message of the Gospel, the Good News.

NE: Well, last but not least, Pastor Barbara, what do you want the world to know about you?

BY: Well, I don't think about that much. However, I guess I just want to be remembered as a radical lover of God and His people through whom people were transformed to fulfill their God-given destiny. I want people to say that to meet me is to meet a real person who is crazy about God and reflects Him.