WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES

 
 
TUESDAY TEACHINGS
 
 

 

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH

Changes God requires in His church today in order to produce the perfected 'bride of Christ'

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Today we will look at some practical examples and see what we can learn from them to help us in our 'walk with Jesus'. My heart is not to criticize the establishment but to suggest ways in which we might do things better, to operate more in tune with Holy Spirit' ways.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

CHURCH
CHURCH
CHURCH GOVERNMENT

 

The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
DEFINITIONS (For serious students only)

 

 

Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue

 

NEW YEARS GREETINGS

 

May the New Year bring all that the Lord desires for you.

David

 

 

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 1. RESTORATION OF HOLY SPIRIT POWER AND DIRECTION continued

 

This week we will continue with our look at the Holy Spirit in the church using practical examples.

 

 

PRACTICAL EXAMPLES

 

1. There is a group of pastors and churches that I have been involved with that grew out of the Latter Rain Revival of the late 1940's.

This movement started out in a classical Holy Spirit way with meetings of people in small groups in homes and halls, led by people with the 5 fold giftings, but who were simply part of the group and worked at jobs in the community alongside others. A truly grassroots movement, empowered by the Holy Spirit, loved by some and hated by others.

Over the years that followed the movement grew into a denomination. Bible Schools were set up, churches built, and the leaders became 'pastors' in full-time, paid ministry. Now, in most cases, to become a pastor within this grouping, one has to have a theological education.

Many would say that the denomination has come to maturity, for it has a steady membership, a reasonable financial base and does a lot of good work in the community. Very commendable!

 

 

 

There is only one problem! The Holy Spirit anointing that originally, powerfully permeated the movement, has largely gone. Mans ways, filled with good intentions, have taken over.

When talking to the few senior people left from the 'old days' of the movement's foundation, there is an almost universal disappointment with the direction things have taken. For they once knew the power of the Holy Spirit as the people met together, a group of equals hungry for the Lord's revelation and desiring to live a life of holiness. While times were tough financially, the movement grew rapidly and people's lives were dramatically changed.

Now things are easier. But the newer leaders know little of the previous, Holy Spirit filled days. They have full time ministry jobs, generally reasonably well paid and a satisfactory career. Membership too has stagnated and the people themselves simply attend 'a church', a church that does good but one that is lacking in Holy Spirit power.

What went wrong?

 

 

 

2. I was once involved in a church that decided to have 'Holy Spirit meetings' on a Sunday evening. A great idea, embraced by the keen Christians amongst the membership.

So we went along and simply waited upon the Holy Spirit to lead us. It was amazing! He truly turned up! One would get a song, another a word of prophecy, another a message from the Word. There would be testimony, body ministry and healings.

 

 

 

After a couple of months, the (godly) pastor thought that it would be a good idea to use these services as an opportunity for the young people in the church to get experience in ministry. So the services became programmed and organised - and the Holy Spirit departed.

A worthy ideal - but what went wrong?

 

 

 

3. Now for a more personal testimony. I will simply be honest. Take me as you find me.

In Christian terms, I am a very ordinary person. Coming to Christ in middle age and, kicking and struggling, for I come from a Baptist background, into the things of the Holy Spirit, a few years later. I have no formal theological education but a love for the Lord and a openness to the Holy Spirit to teach and change me.

While, in the natural, I have an ability to take complicated things and explain them simply, I have no qualities that would qualify me for ministry. Yet the Lord has used me in that way, not because I am trained, but presumably because I am available. Financially the cost has been great, but there are many others out there who also, have been prepared to sacrifice everything for the Lord.

On most occasions when I speak, the Holy Spirit turns up in a tangible way. It is hard to explain, but He is there, and all present know He is there. About 10+% of the time, He turns up so powerfully that all I can do is let Him minister to the people directly, for He is a far superior minister to me. All my plans 'go out the window' as He takes over.

 

 

 

On the few occasions that He doesn't turn up, experience has taught me it is because the people there don't want Him to! For He is a gentle person and will not come where He is not wanted. It is not what we say with our mouth that is important to Him in such situations, but what we actually believe inside!

An opportunity for Holy Spirit ministry is there every time. But what sometimes goes wrong?

 

 

 

The Holy Spirit comes when He is both wanted and allowed to operate. 

 

 

How then, do we get the Holy Spirit to show up in our gatherings?

The key is very simple in theory but often difficult to achieve in practice.

Experience has shown me the key is desire.

There are 2 aspects here. In a church or large group situation, the Holy Spirit is looking for acceptance from.....

 

 

 

1. LEADERSHIP: Nearly all pastors and leaders would say that they desire the Holy Spirit's presence in their meetings. But would they - would you - really? Are you prepared to have your well ordered plans for a fantastic service, ones that you have put so much time, prayer and preparation into during the week, disrupted? Are you prepared to forgo your wonderful sermon in order to let the Holy Spirit minister? Are you prepared to let things get out of your control? And the biggy - are you prepared to forgo tithes and offerings this week because the Holy Spirit has left no room for them in His, likely in your eyes, extremely disorganised, order of service?

When traveling and speaking, I get to go to lots of different churches. Most want what the Lord has to offer through me or they wouldn't have invited me. As I mentioned last week, the Holy Spirit normally blesses both me and the group with His presence at these times. However, there are occasional occasions when the leadership of the church involved see things getting 'out of control', from their perspective, and find an excuse to step in to take it back. Very sadly, you can literally feel the Holy Spirit immediately depart.

 

 

 

2. THE PEOPLE: As a congregation, we are mostly very comfortable coming along to church for 1 or 2 hours a week to 'do our duty' to God, or maybe our church. We actually quite like order as it is predictable and comfortable, particularly if it speeds up proceedings so that we can more quickly get on with the next activity of the day. Very often, this is where our brain is. It is often hard to switch off the world and onto God. I am no different. This morning (Sunday) I went to church but found it so difficult to switch off from the 16 hour days I have been working for the past fortnight getting africa arise up and running. (Note: This was a few years ago now - David) It is work for God, work He has requested me to do, but it is not relating to God through the Holy Spirit, as He desires me to do. To simply spend time with Him and let Him minister to me.

Again, I have ministered in churches where the people are not interested in the presence of the Holy Spirit being in their midst. I may deliver the same word that the Holy Spirit has come in power to in another church, but because the people are not open to His presence, He simply doesn't show up.

 

 

 

SMALL GROUPS: Once again, experience has taught me that The Holy Spirit generally turns up more powerfully in smaller groups than in larger ones. The likely reasons here are firstly, they are generally less structured, often with informal leadership only.

Secondly, the people who attend are generally 'keener believers' who have a greater desire for the things of the Spirit. The group is likely to have lees formal expectations of how the meeting should be run and are therefore, more open to the Spirit's intervention.

 

 

 

The desire for the presence of the Holy Spirit in both leadership and people is a key to His appearance. 

 

NEXT WEEK: TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 1. RESTORATION OF HOLY SPIRIT POWER AND DIRECTION continued

 

We look at the concept of greater personal participation in our meetings together.

 

 

A NOTE FROM DAVID

 

Sadly, it is human nature to try and control the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is a gentle person, and simply responds by leaving.

Lord, may we change our ways!

WESTERN WALL

The Western Wall is one of the few surviving sections of the huge Temple Mount enclosure built by King Herod 2,000 years ago. After the destruction of the second temple by the Romans in 70 C.E., the Western Wall gradually became a Jewish holy place "by proxy," and symbolizes not only he mourning for the destroyed Temple , but also the eternal hope of redemption. The western wall is 20 meters high. The seven lower layers, some 7 meters in height, are constructed of huge stones, cut in the special fashion typical of Herod. Additional layers, from later periods , are found on top of those laid by Herod. Further layers from the second temple period are still buried. Extensive excavations have been carried out on this site since the six-day war.

 

 

So until next week.......
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD!

His servant and yours

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Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

 

A DAVID'S DOODLING

3. The foolish deny God; the wise acknowledge Him, while the godly experience their God.

David Tait         

 

 

 

Earlier Series of "Tuesday Teachings" can be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

Check out the WWJ website for….

More David's Doodlings: www.wwj.org.nz/dd.php
Laughing at Ourselves: http://www.wwj.org.nz/laugh.php
A look at some of lifes curious questions: http://www.wwj.org.nz/why.php
Everything you ever wanted to know about....: http://www.wwj.org.nz/exex.php
Life's a Laugh: http://www.wwj.org.nz/lifelaugh.php

 

 

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