Hurry, hurry, hurry…

Being in church all my life, and being in the circles I’ve been in, I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen people operate under the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the way the Lord intended, and I’ve seen them turn it into a mockery looking like a circus side show – “Hurry, hurry, hurry, step right up and let our prophet tell your future.”

Honestly, I’ve quit caring about the hoop-lah and the next “exciting time in the Lord we’re going to have at our ‘look how spiritual we are extravaganza.'”  I’ve quit going to those things until I really take the power of the Holy Spirit to the lost.  We’ve (I mean we, as in the Pentecostal church world) turned the demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit into a thrill event for those who should be actually demonstrating it.  People get prayed for to receive the power, then flop over on the floor under a power that God wants us to actually walk in daily. This isn’t for our thrills and amusement. This power is given so that we can reach the lost with it.  The power that is in you – believer who claims to be overflowing with the Holy Ghost – is meant to give you power to be witnesses of Christ! It’s not in you to show off how spiritual you are when you get to church.  This is not in you so you can go become a superstar evangelist!  The superstar is Christ. If we are not pointing to Christ with this, we are pointing to ourselves.

Jesus said “these signs follow those who believe” (mark 16:17) – rather than those who believe following the signs as we are seeing in American churches today. We hear of the stories over and over of supernatural miracles taking place in other countries, yet it is so rare here. Look at the venues these miracles are happening in.  They are not believers conferences and campmeetings.  They are in places where the lost have been gathered together in the masses and are presented the Gospel message. They are in the villages where people haven’t heard of Christ.

This isn’t to say miracles and healings don’t happen where believers gather. Of course when we are sick are to call upon the elders of the church, lay hands on the sick and they will recover. I don’t dispute this.  I’m talking about the circus show we’ve turned the “greater works” Jesus declared we would have into.

I’m reminded of stories of both Charles Finney and Smith Wigglesworth, while minding their own business, having people around them convicted of their sin by just being near them.  They didn’t need a Hammond B-3 or a great worship band like Jesus Culture or an angelic choir singing “just as I am” to generate that atmosphere.  All they had to do is know how to walk with God.  Smith Wigglesworth wouldn’t allow newspapers in his home.  He wanted to hear what God was speaking about the world around him rather than the worlds own interpretation of itself!  Do we really want to walk with God like that?

I wonder if God is tired of our meetings and gatherings where we out-do each other’s spirituality.  Jesus didn’t say “Greater works than these shall you SEE,” He said “Greater works than these shall you DO.”  Let’s take this message and power to those who need it, not to those who already have it.

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2 thoughts on “Hurry, hurry, hurry…

  1. Trevor says:

    You’re right.
    I think the use of “hooks” that resemble a county fair is short-sighted at best, and self-defeating at worst (not to mention the problem of bait-and-switch).

    First of all, you can’t maintain that type of entertainment value from Sunday to Sunday (if you can then your church needs to seriously take a second look at their distribution of resources).

    Secondly, the majority of visitors for that kind of event at a church are kids from other churches. That means you spent a lot of money to host a few kids who blew off their primary environment (where another adult volunteer most likely prepared a lesson in their scare free time during the week) to be at your one-hit-wonder environment. If that kid enjoys himself then you’ve actually opened the door to family strife as he/she pesters their parents to bring them back to your church even though the family already belongs to another church. Even if the parents give in to the student’s request, the student was won over with a hook that didn’t give an accurate portrayal of who you are or what you do. So when they show up a few weeks later, they actually leave disappointed.

    Paint the picture any way you like and it doesn’t add up to a good strategy (not to mention use of time and resources).

    The only hook the church has is this:
    We are a group of people who worship God. We think the way that Jesus modeled is a better way to live. We didn’t always worship God, though, so we accept you as you are, just as we were accepted by God and one another. You are more than welcome to join us as we discover what it means to live our lives in the image of God.

    And in these times of loneliness, depression, paranoia, greed, desperation, and fear, we might just find that that’s enough.

    • TJ says:

      Trevor, I agree with what you are saying here and in the blog post you pasted here. If evangelistic efforts are set in a way to draw regular attendees from the group or congregation they have been faithful to, it’s counter productive. We have to focus our efforts on reaching the lost, not the found.

      My point is regarding the circus act so many churches who tout the gifts of the Spirit in operation without using those gifts for their deeper purpose. What your comment is saying does however give weight to another post I’m working on. Thanks for the comment!

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