A couple of weeks ago, I was watching a Kenneth E Hagin teaching on YouTube and took special note about his traveling days as an evangelist after leaving his last pastorate in 1949. In the video, Brother Hagin stated that after becoming established as an evangelist and having traveled a couple of years, he never accepted an invitation to minister in a church unless he was assured that the meeting would last at least three weeks. Was Brother Hagin looking for prolonged meetings just to fill up his traveling calendar? No. He stated that it often two weeks to build the people’s faith in order for the supernatural to manifest. It was in the third week that the physical healings would begin to happen. The protracted time was essential to laying the foundation to initiate God’s plan.
In our travels, I’m sensing the same situation. While I am thrilled at what God does when I minister on the infilling of the Holy Spirit in the Sunday morning services, I sense a great need to go further and help establish the believers in their newfound walk in the Spirit. I am keenly aware that after I leave town, the pastor will continue his/her series on any number of subjects and fail to take the opportunity to establish the newly Spirit-baptized believers in this exciting, powerful walk. Without this additional foundational teaching, my one-time Sunday morning ministry can and often does just become an event rather than the launching pad to equip the saints for a greater work of the ministry. Sadly, I can say that what happened at the Sunday morning altar will stay at the altar and the believer will continue on with life as they did before I came to the church. To take this one step further, what is happening in the adult services is also happening in the children’s and student ministries. Often, we see children and youth baptized in the Holy Spirit at retreats or camps and then they come back home and their experience goes untouched until the next retreat or camp. The leaders with great pride quote numbers of people baptized in the Holy Spirit but fail to acknowledge that what happened at the event stayed at the event.
Thank God for the opportunity to share about the Helper. I love, love, love providing an opportunity for believers to be baptized in God’s precious Holy Spirit. But, we must constantly remind ourselves that the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues isn’t a one-time, one-service event. I love what Howard Carter wrote:
“We must not forget that the speaking with other tongues
is not only an initial evidence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling,
it is a continual experience for the rest of his life to assist in
the worship of God. It is a flowing stream that should never
dry up, and that will enrich the life spiritually.”
Howard Carter ~ Questions and Answers on Spiritual Gifts
I want to encourage you as the leader or teacher to provide the opportunity for those entrusted to your ministry to receive the promise of the Father. Preach and provide the opportunity. Invite guest ministers to teach/preach and then give the altar call. But, please don’t stop there. Please don’t have a powerful, life-changing altar call and have many believers (adults and/or children) baptized in the Holy Spirit and then move the next service to something totally unrelated. Build. Enlarge. Enlighten. Fortify. In the very next ministry opportunity and the subsequent weeks, teach about the who’s, what’s, where’s, and why’s. Teach about who should be daily praying in the Spirit. Explain what are the benefits of daily praying in the Spirit. Share about where they can daily pray in the Spirit. Emphasize why praying daily in the Spirit isn’t an option, it is a command. Oh, and if you didn’t get it, the word “daily” is an important word.
Leaders, let’s make EVERY day a DAY of the Holy Ghost for those in our ministry by turning an experience into a relationship. Let’s not make a major mistake by making ministry about the Holy Spirit an annual, one-service event. Let’s create a ministry filled with people that love and know the Holy Spirit just like you do.