Several years ago, we were blessed to have the author of The God Chasers book, Reverend Tommy Tenney, as the keynote speaker of our national Ignite the Supernatural Conference. In an attempt to help reduce the expenses for the travel and accommodations, I asked a friend about the possibility of connecting Tommy with a large Pentecostal church in the area for a service on the following weekend. With the two meetings splitting the costs, these necessary expenses would be greatly reduced for both of us. Without much thought, my friend told me that Tommy would never fit into the mode of this church. I learned that their services were structured and orchestrated to the very minute and didn’t have room for a Spirit-following, highly unpredictable Tommy Tenney. They knew that at 10 AM sharp the choir would open the service with an anthem. At 10:05 the Pastor would come and do an opening prayer followed by three songs ending at 10:21, followed by … well, you can see what I’m talking about. Needless to say, I never contacted that church.
Before you criticize this church for being over-structured, it might be wise to take a step backwards and look objectively at your service. We all have our formulas and ways of doing things. While it might go unsaid, we have an idea that by so-and-so time, we need to be doing ***** (you fill in the blank).
I would ask that you consider the words of the great 19th century missionary to China, C.T. Studd …
“How little chance the Holy Ghost has nowadays. The churches and missionary societies have so bound Him in red tape that they practically ask Him to sit in a corner while they do the work themselves.” ~ C.T. Studd
No great dissertation is needed to expound upon the quote. Instead, turn off the computer and then ask the Holy Spirit to speak freely about His level of involvement in your ministry. You might learn that you’ve limited Him in so, so many ways. Starting today, let’s remove the limits and allow Him to be Himself and do what only He can do.
Pastor Billy… I love your article, but probably more than that, I love the fact that you’re writing, challenging fellow ministers of the gospel, and continuing to impact children’s lives.
I love and appreciate you and Vickie… always have, always will.