Are we ready for an Acts 2 style outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our churches?
There’s an ongoing discussion on my Facebook wall about this issue. I felt it would be good to broaden the discussion and see what some of you might bring to the table.
I’ll paste some of the comments first, and then present my thoughts:
Original post- Have you noticed how focus on the Holy Spirit, speaking tongues, ,etc. has been minimized in the church today?
- Yep, noticed it! The enemy doesn't want us uttering the mysteries of God!
- Yes sir. It's easier to have a "seeker" driven service, than to Preach a Prophetic message under the Power of the Holy Spirit. That takes time in the prayer closet-the former can happen with a slick marketing team (sometimes hired as the "pastoral" staff).
- There definitely has been a move away from experiencing the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, the use of tongues in the 80 got so beyond what scripture says. It was pretty abused.
- That may be true, but we are entering a Decade where there will be a parting of the waters. Those who have been trained AND utilize the weapons of the Spirit will thrive; others will suffer much pain.
- I just heard a George Barna stat about this recently less than 2% of the churches will hear their pastor preach a message on the Holy Spirit this year. Its alarming.
- A couple of years ago I heard leaders from a main line denomination speak at a Rocky Mountain regional meeting for that denomination. The leaders saw that the denomination that they led was becoming Spirit Filled in name only. They felt the need to see 500,000 people receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Yet the churches in this region still take the approach of the Holy Spirit isn't for Sunday morning approach. Its scary.
- Interesting, the Holy Spirit in benched on Sundays…until we need a big play, then he get's play time like Michael Vick…what a sad way to treat my Best Friend.
- The Holy Spirit misses His church. He's going to get it back though.
- Many pastors have been reduced to a role as MC and the show must go on, on schedule, or peeps won't come back.
- Absolutely.. If people knew the incredible power that is released in you when you pray in the Spirit, they would never stop lol. I encourage it in those I teach. God bless.
There are some realities that we need to consider:
- From what I've discovered, a significant percentage of Christians, pastors and leaders included, don't easily hear God, encounter him. This makes it difficult to even consider embracing a Holy Spirit driven environment. Prayerlessness is a key reason for this problem. The average pastor prays 6 minutes a day. Leonard Ravenhill said, "Pastors who don't pray two hours a day aren't worth a dime a dozen." It's a difficult but important point that would be well worth considering.
- In an environment driven by the Holy Spirit, these people who don't easily hear God can get quite frustrated. They will tend to find another place to go to church. So, the natural church preservation strategy is to minimize the invisible/supernatural and maximize the logical/tangible.
- There has been a huge misunderstanding of the primary purpose of the church. Many feel it's to be a socially focused entry point for the lost. The church actually isn't to be a house of evangelism or a house of relationships. It's a house of prayer first and foremost. It's a believer's ministry. We have lost faith that God, in his wisdom, set it up this way. If we truly have a church of people who are releasing the ‘groans that can't be uttered', who intercede for the nations, who pray in the Spirit, then we will have the ‘expected outcomes' of mass salvations, a huge harvest, life-giving small groups, etc.
- There can be a knee-jerk reaction to the problem of people who abuse freedom in such an atmosphere. Trust me, I understand the issue of people who just want to be seen and heard, who are manipulative, who are emotionally unstable or who operate in charismatic witchcraft. But, the answer is not to shut down a prophetic, Holy Spirit driven environment.
- The focus on teaching. I'm a teacher, I love to teach and I value greatly the ministry of teaching. However, I think a valid question is, "Why are most church services teaching-centric?" If the Holy Spirit breaks out, if there's deliverance going on in the room, of a spirit of intercession erupts, would people be OK with forgoing the sermon? The Holy Spirit (the Teacher) can impart more biblical truth in two seconds than we ever could in two hours.
What do you think?