It’s not enough for one man to be Spirit filled and flowing in the gifts.
It’s not enough for there to be a man of God to come to and bring people to when emergencies and problems arise.
The fivefold ministry must return to its Biblical purpose and mandate and equip people to minister and serve supernaturally. We must be releasing people into the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We must be enabling people to walk into the callings and destinies that God has given them even from inside the womb.
The world is never going to stand back and say “what an awesome man”, “what a glorious prophet”, “what an anointed apostle”. But if the awesome man, the glorious prophet and the anointed apostle do what God called them and designed them to do and equip and inspire and challenge the Christians to live in love and peace and life, and minister supernatural life and deliverance and healing everywhere they go, then the world will stand back and go “what an awesome church”, “what glorious Christians”, “what an anointed co-worker”… and then we will impact the world in such a way that Jesus will be able to return in our generation.
That is why one of our unmovable, unshakable pillars at Tree of Life Church – in every Tree of Life Church – is “full of the Spirit”. Not just the pastor, not just the Conways, but every single person full of the Spirit.
We need to ensure our churches have gateways where people can receive the Spirit on a regular basis (different people – let’s not fall for the old “we leak and need top up” nonsense) and we need pathways in which people can understand the gifts and how to flow in them.
We have a two week course called “Prophetic Workshop” in which we get people baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues and prophesying. I am currently writing an 8 week course on how to discover your giftings in the local body of believers. This is something we are going to do deliberately, intentionally because it is how we want our church to look.
When you decide that your church needs to be like this: you need to decide the gateway and pathway for yourself. Will you give altar calls for the Holy Spirit baptism on Sunday mornings? In the small groups? If so, why? If not, why not? Think about these things in the light of your situation – there is no right or wrong answer as long as there are gateways.
We have one month every year in which we preach and teach on the Holy Spirit and His gifts. Then we will give public appeals to be filled with the Spirit each week. We will then have further open appeals in the week. I am in the process of ensuring all our small group leaders and lead someone in the baptism of the Holy Spirit in a quiet, calm, no-nonsense manner. Your situation may be different, but you have to have a plan.
A gateway is the way in, but a pathway is the way along. Some people may come to your church from a church where tongues is a swear word – or (even worse) a kooky charismatic church where tongues was misused and prophesy was abusive. How are you going to teach and train those people how to flow in the gifts in a way which is encouraging, comforting and edifying to the entire church?
The way you do this must be deliberate – it cannot be haphazard. Take some time this week to make a plan – a God-inspired plan – and then when you are confident with it, communicate it to your leadership and put it in place.
Every pastor should be able to answer these two questions succinctly and accurately:
1. How can I be baptized in the Holy Spirit?
2. Where can I learn more about the gifts around here?