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SPIRIT-EMPOWERED: What is an Every Nation Church? (Part III)

August 16, 2012

Here’s part 3 of my blog about what an Every Nation church or campus ministry is supposed to look like.

Every Nation Churches and Ministries exists to…
Honor God and establish
 Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, socially responsible
 churches and campus ministries 
In Every Nation

What does a Spirit-empowered church or campus ministry look like?

In some denominations and traditions the power of the Holy Spirit means falling to the ground after being prayed for. In other traditions the power of the Holy Spirit is something that happened in Bible times, but not today.

When I say we want to establish Spirit-empowered
 churches and campus ministries, I mean churches and campus ministries that honor God by welcoming and celebrating the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in ways that make sense to the culture and community where that particular church or campus ministry exists.

What some people think is the power of the Holy Spirit, might actually be a cultural response to the presence and power of God. Some cultures are emotional; others are analytical. Some are demonstrative; others are stoic. Some loud; others quiet. Huggers, hand-shakers. Loose, stiff. Serious, funny.

Some cultures and communities respond to the presence and power of the Spirit with great exuberance and emotion, while others respond in quiet reverence. Some fall down. Some kneel down. Some bow down. Some stand still. (Some fall asleep, but we probably shouldn’t blame that on the Holy Spirit.)

God seems to love the variety. He created it. I think His power can flow through all different types of cultures. But what does it really mean to be empowered by the Holy Spirit?

Here’s what Luke wrote about being Spirit-empowered: you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

It doesn’t matter if you shout and shake or stand as still and quiet as a marble statue – as long as you are an effective witness to your lost friends and neighbors when your religious experience ends and you go back to work or class. A Spirit-empowered church is a church filled with people who have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to live lives that point others to Christ.

Luke also wrote this about being Spirit-empowered: After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (Acts 4:31)

How about that for a Spirit-empowered prayer meeting – the building shook! As exciting as that building-shaking prayer meeting might have been, the proof that they were Spirit-empowered is what happened when they left the prayer meeting – they spoke the word of God boldly.

We can have world-shaking prayer meetings with all kinds of spiritual manifestations, but if we don’t live as witnesses and we don’t speak God’s word when we go home, then we’ve missed the point.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely need the miracle power of the Holy Spirit to be a decent witness. Left to myself, my witness would scare people away from God.

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