Best-selling author Dutch Sheets announced Wednesday he will be leaving Christ for the Nations Institute (CFNI), where he returned to his alma mater in 2012 to serve as executive director. His resignation becomes effective at the end of May as the school’s spring term concludes.
During his tenure at CFNI, Sheets continued to minister and speak around the nation most weekends, as well as write books—including his latest, The Power of Hope, which released Tuesday.
He told students and staff Wednesday that the demand on his time did not allow him to give himself fully to leading the school in a way he’d like, adding that this was “a difficult decision.”
“The No. 1 passion of my life is seeing America experience a third great awakening. This has been my primary calling from God for over 20 years,” he said to CFNI staff today. “When I accepted this assignment at CFNI, I knew that calling to America would not change—that I would have to add this responsibility to what I was already doing.”
Sheets said upon arriving at CFNI he was also aware his assignment might not be long-term—though he hoped it would be longer—and called his work with students “one of the greatest joys.” He believes, however, that the Lord has given him a new assignment for America leading up to national elections in two years.
“I believe there is a two- to three-year window for us as a nation to see certain things change,” he said. “I feel a great responsibility and stirring in my spirit to be a part of leading in this. It has to do with prayer and, of course, the revival that I know is coming.”
CFNI President Dennis Lindsay publicly thanked Sheets for his leadership and joined staff in praying a blessing over him during a service this morning. He also wrote a letter to Sheets, which he shared with Charisma News.
“It is obvious to me that God has put in your heart a plan to touch America’s spiritual spine,” Lindsay wrote. “Though we would love for you to accomplish this divine plan as executive director of the CFN Insititute, I am convinced that the structure of this ministry could impede the vision God has placed in your heart, as well as the burden upon you to be an agent of change over the next two years.”
Sheets and his wife, Ceci, graduated from CFNI in the late 1970s, and Sheets taught at the Gordon Lindsay-founded school throughout the ’80s. A former pastor, Sheets is best known for his book Intercessory Prayer, which has sold nearly 1 million copies worldwide.