You’ve probably heard the story about the legendary Alexander the Great riding into his military troop’s encampment one night and discovering the sentry guard asleep at his post. The angered Alexander the Great jumped down from his horse, kicked the sentry guard to awaken him, and then demanded the name of the sentry guard. The startled, frightened sentry guard responded, “Sir, my name is Alexander.” Upon hearing the response, Alexander the Great told the sentry guard, “Either change your actions or change your name.” In Alexander the Great’s estimation, the sentry guard wasn’t living up to the greatness of the name Alexander.
I have the unique privilege of being a children’s pastor in a great church and also traveling to speak in churches across the nation. In these travels, I am constantly reminded of the sad reality that churches and denominations that were birthed with Pentecostal fire are now trying to downplay and even hide their Pentecostal identity. Churches and denominations whose founding members can testify of the presence and working of the Holy Spirit at its inception are now void of the Pentecostal fire that once touched adults, youth, and children alike. While the word “Pentecostal” or “Spirit-baptism” can be found in their constitution and bylaws and possibly in their doctrinal statement of faith, Pentecost can’t be seen or heard in their services. 99% of those visiting or even faithfully attending these churches have no earthly idea that there is any trace of Pentecost in the church. It causes me to ask Alexander the Great’s question, “Who are you?”
Here’s the reality. You ARE Pentecostal. That’s your name and identity. You have the God-given responsibility to be the Pentecostal sentry guard to your position of ministry. If you are a Sunday school teacher, you alone have the responsibility to safeguard what enters into your classroom. Youth Pastor, you are the sentry guard of the youth. Children’s Pastor, you are a person of authority who watches over what is allowed into your services. Like Alexander the Great, I challenge you to measure up to the greatness of your name and identity. If you are Pentecostal (and you are!), then let’s be Spirit-baptized, Holy Ghost-filled Pentecostal and make it readily, undeniably, and unashamedly visible!