The Holy Spirit has been speaking and challenging my heart about this coming year. I believe that our greatest hours as a New Testament Church are upon us. The world we live is facing unprecedented kinds of shocking evil. Threats and fear of devastation and loss now grips every nation in every continent. In the midst of all the chaos, God still has His own church in place. His church is not intimidated nor does it relent in fear because “the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
With that in mind, let me ask you a question. “What is the Church?” Dare I even ask “What your opinion is of what you think the church is?” Regardless of your opinion or even mind, God has a church that is a greater force for good in the world than all of Satan’s evil works combined.
What does the church that is a force in the world look like? First of all, the church as a force emphasizes that the world is the field, not the church as a field. The longer a church exists, the more it tends to become institutionalized where the emphasis becomes organization, visibility, programs, and promotion. However, the church as a force really is about people who are equipped to serve, meeting needs everywhere in Jesus Name!
The church as a force emphasis is worship, training, and fellowship, because these are the things that produce Spirit-filled people who can meet other’s needs in Jesus Name. The Bible says that pastors and leaders are supposed to “prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:12 What are we trying to accomplish? We are trying to bring healing to the whole man, to every area of a person’s life. WE are to be a healing agency in our communities. God has given gifts of the Holy Spirit to His body to equip us to effectively minister wherever we meet people.
The gifts of the Spirit, as I understand them, are God’s means of getting to men and meeting their needs through believers. I do not believe that spiritual gifts were meant primarily for the sanctuary. A “word of wisdom” for example, should not just be needed in the body of Christ. Why? Because we have the mind of Christ. (See 1 Cor. 2:16) But we can prophesy or give a word of wisdom to someone we may encounter outside the church and bring them encouragement. I believe the Holy Spirit is moving parallel with all the evil taking place. He is releasing His gifts of power and prophetic insights to help those who are confused and struggling through life. I see the church becoming an even greater force as we move into the coming year. It’s very exciting to me!