Monday, June 9, 2008

Rants of a Spirit-Infused Pastor

When it comes to being Spirit-filled, people are divided on what "it" means. Here are a couple of observations that I believe are unhealthy: 1) Some people think no one is Pentecostal enough. 2) Some believe in the experience but reject the manifestations mainly because of emotionalism which leads to Spirit-phenomenon worship.

I believe to be a true Spirit-led Church we must embrace an ancient 2000 year old tradition. The way of the first apostles should be our model. Here are a few highlights:

1. More is good.
My most recent prayer is for God to increase my capacity to understanding and know Him through the power of the Spirit. Romans 15:13 encourages an "overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." At the end of the day (and the beginning), we need more dependence of God and less on ourselves.

2. Spirit baptism is a potential not a warranty.
Sometimes I hear the question, "Since we have the gift of the Holy Spirit then why do we have moral failures, dying churches, and dead lives?" Spirit baptism is only one part of a much larger mix. It is not meant to be a substitute for character, holiness, planning, common sense, and obedience. It affords us the potential for great ministry but not a warranty against sin. Spirit baptism is the tide that rises all the boats but the other boats must be in the water.

3. Pentecostal ministry needs to be more about mission than about maintenance.
If your heart is to reach people it will put you on your face. Some ministries are too safe for the Spirit’s necessary empowerment. Why are some evangelical churches that claim not to be Pentecostal winning more people to Christ that Pentecostal churches? I do not know all the answers to these questions but I do know that the Spirit attends mission and not denomination.

Let us strive to keep Jesus at the center of our hearts and message. We should also pray that the Spirit help us grow in Christ and to lead us those who need to know His love.

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