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In Charismatic circles, there is a movement or teaching called the Seven Mountain Mandate. In a nutshell, we are taught that it is God's purpose for the Church or Christians to have influence, or take dominion over seven specific areas of society/culture: media, government, education, economy, family, religion, and arts/entertainment.

There have been many books on the topic written over the last decade, from authors Lance Walnau, Johnny Enlow, Tommi Femrite, Bronwyn O'Brien, Bill Johnson, Rivkah Isaacs and others.

One of the earliest book titles (from 2009) stood out to me: Johnny Enlow's The Seven Mountain Prophecy. The title seems to imply that this mandate originates from a specific prophecy uttered by a specific person.

When did this teaching originate, and by whom? I've heard it taught as a general teaching, but I have never learned its origin.

Related question: What's the biblical basis for Dominionism?

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Although the general concepts associated with soft forms of Dominionism like the Seven Mountain Mandate have been around for a long time (arguably since the very beginning - cf. Genesis 1:27-28; Matthew 5:13-16; 28:18-20 etc.), according to the7mountains.com, the particular formulation in question dates back to the 1970s and was first promoted by Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM:

God gives Loren Cunningham the 7 Mountain Strategy

In the book Making Jesus Lord by Loren Cunningham (YWAM, 1988, p. 134), Cunningham wrote:

“Sometimes God does something dramatic to get our attention. That’s what happened to me in 1975. My family and I were enjoying the peace and quiet of a borrowed cabin in the Colorado Rockies. I was stretched out on a lounge chair in the midday warmth, praying and thinking. I was considering how we Christians – not just the mission I was part of, but all of us – could turn the world around for Jesus.

A list came to my mind: categories of society which I believed we should focus on in order to turn nations around to God. I wrote them down, and stuck the paper in my pocket.

The next day, I met with a dear brother, the leader of Campus Crusade For Christ, Dr. Bill Bright. He shared with me something God had given him – several areas to concentrate on to turn the nations back to God! They were the same areas, with different wording here and there, that were written on the page in my pocket. I took it out and showed Bill and we shook our heads in amazement.

Here’s a list (refined and clarified a bit over the years) that God gave me that sunny day in Colorado:

  1. The home

  2. The church

  3. Schools

  4. Government and politics

  5. The media

  6. Arts, entertainment, and sports

  7. Commerce, science, and technology

“These seven spheres of influence will help us shape societies for Christ.”

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