Congregations that maturely invite and allow the Holy Spirit to act, also show greater power in evangelism and motivating people to give their all to the Kingdom of God.
I have been observing this now for over 40 years. This was so true in the days when I pastored. However, most congregations that say they believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit have little in the way of showing the Spirit.
There are too many reasons why we have so few manifestations of the Spirit, but I will list some here:
- Leaders are afraid that if they open their congregations to member participation that things will get out of hand. It will embarrass visitors. Better to have an attractive and ordered gathering.
- Leaders have not been trained to govern services that are open to the manifestations of the Spirit. This ability is caught more than taught. They need to sit under others who are doing this well to have confidence that they can do it.
- Leaders have bought-in to the seeker-sensitive errors and depend on social-psychological methods to draw people. In truth, it is the Spirit who draws and knows how best to bring a reality which brings people to really confront the truth.
- Leaders have not raised up a core of mature people who can prophesy with accuracy and good impact. Good prophecy opens up a community and is a key gift to desire (1 Corinthians 14).
- Leaders have not understood that home gatherings are the places where a 1 Corinthians 12-14 type of meeting can take place so that all can participate, and then those who are mature can be released into the larger meetings.
- Leaders are afraid to upset people by denying them the microphone. If only vetted people can speak, then others will be offended. So, it is thought best that no one speak from the congregation. This is a great mistake.
- Leaders have allowed unstable and rebellious people to publicly speak and minister. Having brought shame and tension, now the leader decides it is best to not allow spontaneous participation.
- Leaders fear it will take too much time.
- Finally, leaders have not led their congregations to seek the Lord with prayer that they might be given the grace of his manifest presence.
It has been amazing to me to see congregations that grew and prospered with a commitment to showing the Spirit, later pull back and become completely controlled. Can the Spirit speak, act and re-direct? Is He also Lord? Allowing and welcoming the Spirit and his manifestations is a foundational value in Tikkun. It is a key to seeing more people healed, delivered, encouraged and drawn to the Gospel.
I have found that the Holy Spirit has to be invited and welcomed to come in a tangible way. John Wimber was right in saying, “Holy Spirit come.” I am sure you can think of many more factors. We read in 1 Corinthians that “Jews seek a sign.” I have found the reality of the Spirit revealed has been a key in Jewish people coming to know Yeshua. Members of congregations where the Spirit moves learn confidence that the Spirit will work through them in the marketplace and wherever they share with people who do not know Yeshua.