Evangelist Shyju is the founder of Shyju Mathew Ministries and has been in the ministry from the age of 7. He wrote his first book at the age of 17. He began to travel outside India for conferences at the age of 17. Ever since then his ministry has touched and healed thousands of people across India, Asia, Africa, Middle East & North America. He served as the Chaplain (campus pastor) for 3 years in Kodaikanal Christian College, while he pursued his bachelor’s degree at the same time. He is a gifted speaker, widely regarded as a prophet of the revival age and has a unique gift to stir up a new love for God as a revivalist. God has used many to build, motivate and mentor this young evangelist. Shyju cherishes his closest source of inspiration - his prayerful and loving mother, Mrs. Kunjumol Achankunju - whose grace, patience, devotion and tirelessness infused a dynamic change in his life.
I was born in 1986 in a small district in Kerala. Soon after that my family moved to Bangalore where we continue to live. My ministry started at a very early age for I began operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. My mother provided motivation and encouragement. The Bethel A.G. church, under the leadership of Pastor M.A. Varughese (who is also my mentor and inspiration), has been the channel of my spiritual development. At the age of 8, I was (sarcastically?) asked to preach in a small women’s meeting since the preacher didn’t turn up and there began my preaching ministry. I did my schooling in Bangalore. After that I joined a college to do a B.A (journalism) but was unable to complete it since the college did not approve the fact that I was gone frequently for meetings.
By God’s great grace, I started traveling outside India when I was17 years of age, visiting three nations at the very first trip. After a meeting in Yesu Pannai in Theni, I was blessed by God to be offered an admission in Kodaikanal Christian College by the Chairman of the college, Mr. Sam Abraham. He was organizing the Fire conference in Theni. He also believed and looked beyond my age in trusting in the call of God, which he saw in my life and called it- ‘divine qualification’ to be the chaplain of his college. So traveling around for ministry has been easier with people like him that God has blessed me with. Studying has never been fun before unlike now as it is a mixture of God’s move in the college and even in the local schools. That’s where I am now by His grace.
2. How Did You Come To Know God's Call On Your Life?
Well, that’s one hard question to answer in a way as people usually expect. I was very fascinated by the call of God on Reinhard Bonkke’s life as he says he saw a vision of the blood-washed Africa. The call of God on Benny Hinn’s life was as the Holy Spirit shook him and spoke to him and called him. I am inspired by many others, whom God personally spoke/ appeared to in order to call them out for His purpose. But unlike all of them I never had a calling specifically. From the time I can remember, I was in the church, when all of my friends scooted out of the back door to play during the service. I don’t even remember when I started speaking in tongues. My mother motivated me to pray a lot and therefore had a prayer life from very young.
Even before the age of seven, I used to pray a lot and my prayer life was filled with visions as can be expected. I have already mentioned earlier how I started preaching. So I should say I was groomed in the spirit, growing in His ways and power. So by His great grace on my life, I was never out of His will to get into His will or calling. I am so thankful to God for this. God loves using an unused manger to be born, an unused donkey to be ridden on, an unused tree to be hung on and an unused tomb to be laid in. It’s never late. Lets give Him sole sovereignty of His will in our lives. That’s why God loves complete submission. Once as I was talking to pastor Roger Houstma in Dubai, a mighty man of God, he told me this, “Son, you cannot crucify your flesh on your own, you cannot ride a nail into your hands by yourself, you must just simply submit for God to do it.” We must completely submit into his hands to have his will come to pass.
3. Tell Us A Few Things You Have Learnt Through Your Experiences Traveling And Teaching Around The Globe?
I have learnt a number of things, over a period of time, in my walk with God.
I will share three keys which I feel will help the youngsters grow in the Lord and in turn have access to God’s heart.
3a. One of the greatest things that I believe that God loves in man is a man’s brokenness. By brokenness, I mean a deep-rooted contrite spirit that craves for more of God. The source of this brokenness is caused by a man’s thirst for God. One of the greatest strengths I believe I have is that I can cry before God. Somehow, our culture brings a wrong image about a strong man. They tend to believe that a strong man must not cry. But that’s not true. We tend to put a brave front but have a broken weak heart, which is even poignant. True man is not one who has the best car or pumped up muscles. A true man is someone who will open up to God and know how little and weak he is without God. Brokenness is one of the great keys to the heart of God. From David the King to Jeremiah the crying prophet, all through the bible we see God attracted to brokenness and helplessness of man. God loves using the weak to confound the strong. If you feel you have nothing, then yes, it is you that he wants to use. Your degrees in the thermometer do not qualify you for God’s work. It’s your humble, broken and contrite spirit that he will not despise.
3b. Secondly, PRAYER, is another key to God’s heart. Prayer means intimacy with God. May I use a quote from my second book in process to explain this idea? “I was perplexed when I read about the disciples walking in such degree of anointing that they could just walk down and without speaking in tongues or screaming or claiming or resisting with few simple words with the Name of Jesus they could release the healing into the lame man in few seconds but it doesn’t happen the same these days. I asked the Lord how is it possible that they walked in such levels of faith that they could easily pull out a lame man and simply command the dead to rise without an ounce of fear in them. The Holy Spirit reminded me that for more than 3 long years they walked with Jesus and were filled with the power on high and again after a long wait in the upper room.
It was an eye opener for me. They walked with him. Had dinner with Jesus. Lie down for rest with Jesus. Went to the streams with Him. Talked to Him all day and night. Laughed with Him. Went fishing with Him. Went shopping with Him. Went to boat rides with Him. May be even trekking for fun and prayer? I mean to say it was Jesus and Jesus all the while. They were so tuned in with His spirit. Now His spirit was in them. It was never difficult to know what He wanted them to do. They knew His voice so well. They never did anything without Him. But sadly today, sans the prayer time and the Sunday service we hardly have Him with us. Now what I am talking about is a life of prayer. It was 24hours of prayer, a prayer without ceasing.
“The disciples did not have a prayer life but they had a life of prayer.” It is very important to understand this; it takes the Holy Spirit in us to be able to live a life of prayer.
Bible says in Luke:
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert.”
“The devil hates you praying because, prayer is walking with God and the fruits of the relationship (from favor of God on studies, business, millions of souls coming to the Lord, dead raising etc…) cannot be hidden by any power from hell!”
3c. The third key that I want to share about is BIBLE READING. It was my mother who taught me to pray and read the Bible. My mother told me that I must read the bible whenever I could and how much ever I could. And she told me that it was the Holy Spirit that wrote the Bible and that every word written in it was written by God for a reason and had a hidden mystery for everyone; through which he would speak to us if we asked him to reveal. These words of my mother encouraged me to pray over every word and sentence in the word of God. Asking the Holy Spirit to explain why he wrote that and what he really meant and what he wants me to learn. In time, these explanations of the Holy Spirit informed many powerful messages, which in turn have motivated thousands to get back and get going for God and even delivering them from sin and sickness.
Do not read the word of God for the sake of reading. I have seen people reading Psalms 23 early in the morning for a blessed day and Psalms 91 in the night for God to protect them from scary night and nightmares. We must not read the bible for the sake of hoping to please God or in a believer’s term to get a message for the next meeting. The bible says in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So when you read the word of God, you are reading about God. So when you know the word you know Him. If you really love Him you will really love the word. It’s your manual for life. Any great man of God, that God used, surely did love the word of God because it leads you closer to Him. Study the word of God like a hungry soul it will lead you closer to him.
4. What Are The Difficulties You Face In The Spiritual And Secular World As A Young Preacher?
The fact is that for a child of God there is nothing that can stop him. Nothing is impossible to him. A child of God can do all things through Christ that strengthens him. Yet there are a few things in the spiritual world as a preacher that I face. One challenge is the initial acceptance of me. But after they come to terms with what God is doing, then they seem to change. It is natural that there will be always some people who will always have some or the other problem with every preacher and we cannot afford to bring down our standards for them. In the secular world, there are some problems for my peers to accept me for what I am. Then, when they see the love of God they change too. Jesus had opposition and in fact there is no ministry without opposition and it’s the opposition that tells us that we are headed in the right direction and the enemy fights the ones in the forefront, as they are a threat to his kingdom.
5. How Do You Daily Practice Walking With The Lord?
Walking with the Lord is not a timetable-based activity; it’s life itself. Walking with the Lord has become a part of my life. The night before I wrote this, even while I was sleeping, I was talking with the Lord and He told me that He loves me a lot. And the power of God came so mightily upon me that I started weeping in my sleep and woke up to pray. The hostel meeting on the following day was so powerful that two new people, who were non-Christians, had their lives transformed. And in fact one of them came to me today and said, Shyju I have not used the inhaler since last night. I am healed of my asthmatic problem. Like I said above I don’t put a set time before God saying I would pray for one hour I find that ridiculous. It is like going to your dad and telling him I will talk with you for 15mins today and I am out. I spend most of the day talking to him. Shutting myself in for prayer is not possible as I have 2 roommates, but I shut the invisible door around me and get lost in prayer till I feel a satisfaction in my spirit.
6. What Change Would You Like To See Our Generation Bring About To The Church And The World?
I believe that this generation is a generation of power. This generation will not be one of simple believers but one of worshippers who will move in God’s power of signs and wonders, establishing God’s word. Sadly in most of our churches today the youth have taken a back seat. While I was ministering in NLAG, Chennai I was touched with what Pastor Sam Chadwick said during the meeting. He said I wish the youngsters run me out of job. God’s kingdom has a lot of work in conquering nations and I wish to see youngsters rise up. They don’t have to wait till they are 40 or pass out of a bible college or have a pastor’s potbelly to joke with. It’s my prayer to see a holy generation moving with great power to bring down God’s kingdom. I pray that God would raise up a generation that will have power in the political realm and will work righteously for God. I am sure that God would bring the next move of revival through youngsters. So youngsters! Gear up for it!
7. What Would You Like To Tell The Young People Reading Yo?
It’s a privilege to address the next generation cream of the crop. These are the days of Elijah where God is proving Himself through us with signs and wonders. God wants people who will pay a price by staying on the knees. Somebody said this, “The world is yet to see how God will use someone who is fully consecrated to Him.” Yes my dear friend may you be the next warrior that God uses for this end time revival. Add holiness to prayer and bible reading and be a crazy worshiper. Fall in love with Jesus. Let Holy Spirit be your best friend. I am sure God will use you.
Blessings and Prayers,