Randy Clark describes personal revival beginnings

Randy Clark describes personal revival beginnings

God led Randy Clark into global revival ministries, particularly from the Toronto Blessing of January 1994. “The Lord said, ‘They’re not wanting you. They’re wanting Me.'”

Revival blessings continue to explode worldwide in evangelism, healing, miracles and signs and wonders as in the New Testament.

Randy Clark reads from his personal journal, recounting the events that lead up to the Toronto Blessing. Before revival comes, it starts with a group of people pressing hard after God, crying out for His presence to come.

Randy Clark wrote:

From the very beginning, the ministry that God gave me and my team has demonstrated that everyday Christians can operate in the supernatural. Today, the power of the Spirit is flowing everywhere from mission fields and shopping malls to grocery stores and even aboard airplanes.

Join me as I read from my personal journal on November 8, 2019, at Global Awakening School of Supernatural Ministry, recounting the events that led up to the Toronto Blessing. Up to that point, I had never journalled before in my life.

THE MEETING ON OCTOBER 27, 1993 IN MISSOURI, JUST WEEKS BEFORE THE TORONTO BLESSING (January 1994), WAS A VERY STRATEGIC TIME IN MY LIFE. MOVING IN THE POWER OF GOD WAS A DREAM COME TRUE. I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE ABLE TO PRAY FOR PEOPLE AND SEE HIS POWER COME ON THEM. THAT NIGHT WAS AWESOME. IT WAS LIKE WALKING IN ANOTHER DIMENSION. I ONLY HOPED THAT IT WOULD NOT BE A RARE OCCASION, BUT THAT GOD WOULD ALLOW ME TO VISIT THAT DIMENSION FREQUENTLY. I THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE HEAVEN.

Before revival comes, it starts with a group of people pressing hard after God, crying out for His presence to come. I believed God wanted to touch the leadership – the pastors and the wives – of our region. I prayed in general for the Spirit to fall on the meeting. The great theme of my prayer time beforehand was, “Come, Holy Spirit.”

The meeting was drenched in prayer ahead of time. At the meeting, I shared on “those who are thirsty may come to Jesus and drink” from John 7:37, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Revelation 21:6 and Acts 2:15. It was obvious that the Holy Spirit was at work among the pastors and their wives as well as many others who attended the meeting.

In total, I shared at the meeting for about 40 minutes telling a story of how God had come again into my ministry in a wonderful way and how He was touching people in my church. I also told a story about how far I had fallen from the work in the Spirit that had characterized my earlier ministry when I had first gotten involved with the Vineyard Church in Missouri and how I had repented of that to the church.

The first person I and a team member prayed for was a woman. She came and stood right in front of me. She was very hurt and nothing happened to her initially. She later finally broke through and was touched by God about two hours later.

The next people I and this team member prayed for at the meeting fell quickly to the floor under the power of the Holy Spirit. Some began to cry. Others, laugh. And others were just quietly ministered to.

Interestingly enough, I wrote of these occurrences in my journal: “I anticipate this may occur in my ministry in the future.” But I concluded: only time will tell if those were isolated sovereign incidents or whether they will be the beginning of a ministry of revival for the church.

The next two hours of the meeting were like stepping into another dimension, or like living in a dream. I kept thinking to myself, I need someone to pinch me to know this is really happening. (Be sure to watch the video to this point in which you will hear about some of the more notable incidents that are still deeply impressed upon my memory today.)

In the video, I recall a story from the 1980’s in which the whole choir at a Baptist church in southeast Missouri was being “wiped out” by the power of the Holy Spirit while they were singing a worship song. I point out how you could hear the wind—literally, “like a mighty rushing wind”—and the church service went until mid-afternoon. I will report how within a few weeks, every miracle you can think of that you would see in the New Testament—including raising the dead—happened.

My friend Happy watched the meeting happen for some time. He had gotten scared and hidden under a chair. At this point in the story, it’s important to know that “Happy was Mr. Control; he had to have everything figured out down to the last second.” But Happy finally approached me and said, “I’ve received things from you in the past. Now I want this. I want to drink.”

I began to pray for Happy. Happy began to bow his body backwards under the power of God and, instead of falling, Happy began to shuffle his feet backwards to keep from falling. This was not safe because the floor was covered by people who were “slain” in the Spirit. Before I and my team would begin to pray for someone, we had to find a place to position them so that when they would fall, they would not fall on someone. It was like “falling trees”!

I told Happy not to walk out from under the Spirit’s power but to stand and fall. But, not to back up to keep from falling. I prayed again, and Happy fell under the power of God. After about 15 minutes, Happy came up and said,”I want another drink.” Happy was prayed for again, and he began to shuffle backwards under the power of God again.

I and a team member pushed Happy up and continued to pray for a few seconds. Happy fell on the floor under the power of God again. This time Happy began to double up with his knees to his chest and his feet sticking up in the air, as he began to belly laugh. It was quite the sight! You couldn’t help but laugh in the natural at what God was doing in their midst. It was funny, because Happy who was “Mr. Control” had now given God the control.

Then I felt led by the Holy Spirit to kneel down beside Happy as Happy was laying on the floor, laughing. I said, “God, take control of Happy. He wants to control, and I ask that you take control of Happy.” When I prayed this, Happy stopped belly laughing and quickly grabbed his shirt at his belly button area. Happy was gripping his shirt and his hands were clenched. I knew by an unction of Holy Spirit this was a stronghold of the enemy in Happy’s life. Then I and my team member prayed for the power of God to totally take Happy and for the stronghold to be broken.

Slowly Happy’s grip began to loosen and he began to relax his hands. Then I began to pray, “Lord, birth Your work in Happy. This [grabbing of Happy’s shirt at his belly button area and not laughing] is breach. Turn it around, and let it be born.” Very soon, there was a breakthrough in Happy. The joy and laughter returned, and he was once again laughing and enjoying the refreshment of the Holy Spirit.

After about 30 minutes, Happy came up to me again and asked for another drink. I prayed for Happy again and within seconds, Happy fell under the power of God again; enjoying the Lord’s presence. At this point in the story, it’s important to realize that simultaneously others were receiving prayer and being touched by the Holy Spirit as well.

Happy later helped start two of the Vineyard churches in the Midwest. So there’s a history between Happy and me. In fact, the most powerful touch from God that I ever had was when Happy blew on me at his church in 1999 when I thought I was going to die. (You’ll want to watch the rest of the video to hear more stories like Happy’s.)

This meeting was just a foretaste of a new move of supernatural Christianity characterized by signs, wonders and healing miracles that God ignited around the globe and that He caused to transpire in my and my team’s four decades of ministry that followed.

Watch the entirety of the above video on YouTube for my full recount of events that led up to the Toronto Blessing

—Dr Randy Clark

P.S. I believe the events that led up to the Toronto Blessing are a prophetic sign to the culture that God can use everybody. Over the years, I and my team have developed two conferences that provide a solid foundation in living a supernatural lifestyle. It’s my heart that people everywhere will be empowered to see a fresh revival come to their spheres of influence. 

Randy Clark photograph
Randy is the founder and President of Global Awakening and author of books on healing, impartation, and revival history. He spends his time writing, traveling, speaking at events, and hanging out with his children and grandkids. His life’s message is: “God will use anyone who’s willing to take a risk in faith.”
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These Study Guides are adapted from former Distance Education materials produced by Citipointe Ministry College, the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia. Now they are adapted into these books for your benefit. The current courses use different and updated materials as part of internet resources for students.

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Compiled by Paul Grant and edited by Geoff Waugh

Welcome to this Study Guide on Renewal Theology 1.

This study examines the characteristics and methods of theology from a renewal perspective including its integrative and comprehensive approach to the whole of Scripture, the relationship of the Old and New Testaments, the study of the doctrine of God, the centrality of the themes of covenant and the kingdom of God, and their application to contemporary ministry and mission.

Theology provides a systematic study of biblical teaching in historical and contemporary forms.  It is the intellectual process whereby all other theological and ministry studies are related to biblical studies.  This introductory study of Theology is a systematic approach to themes and teaching of the Bible placed in historical and contemporary terms with a view to practical application in ministry.

This introductory study has the dual aim to teach methods and presuppositions of the study of theology including its hermeneutic, and to apply these methods to fundamental theological issues such as the study of God and revelation, including the seminal themes of the Kingdom of God, covenant and mission.

This study relates directly to all biblical studies, drawing on them for the formulation of theological concepts.  It also undergirds all ministry and mission, providing a reference point for the development of applied theology in the practice of ministry.

Module 1: Theology and Biblical Hermeneutics

  1. What is Theology? Why Theology?
  2. How to Begin – Prolegomena (I)
  3. How to Begin – Prolegomena (II)
  4. Methods in Theology.

Module 2: Revelation and the Knowledge of God

  1. God’s Existence and Being
  2. The Trinity and Nature of God
  3. Creation and Providence

 Module 3: The Centrality of Christ

  1. The Person of Christ
  2. The Problem of Evil
  3. The Kingdom of God
  4. The Concept of Covenant

Module 4: Theology of Mission and Ministry        

  1. Mission : “The Mother of Theology”
  2. Contemporary Theologies : Western and Non-Western
  3. Doing Theology : Its Application

We all can learn more together about effective ministry. That learning is enhanced and expanded rapidly when we share our experiences and learning together. The ‘teacher’ usually shares from his or her experiences, but others can do also. So the more that our ministry education fosters mutuality, the more we can learn from one another.

We call this open education, or open ministry education. It is open to everyone and everyone can be involved. It is not just for leaders. Our leaders can help us, but their main job is to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). We can do these things in classes, small groups, seminars, training courses and home or church groups.

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BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES) 

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

Study Guides

Study Guides

These Study Guides are adapted from former Distance Education materials produced by Citipointe Ministry College, the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia. Now they are adapted into these books for your benefit. The current courses use different and updated materials as part of internet resources for students. 

For information about current courses, contact the Principal,
Citipointe Ministry College, PO Box 2111, Mansfield, Qld 4122, Australia. Email: cmc@citipointechurch.com or study@chc.edu.au 

Each Study Guide in these Blogs refers to a paperback and eBook for each of these seven subjects. 

Study Guide Series

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1. Signs and Wonders – Blog
Signs and Wonders PDF
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We all can learn more together about effective ministry. That learning is enhanced and expanded rapidly when we share our experiences and learning together. The ‘teacher’ usually shares his or her experiences, but others can do also. So the more that our ministry education fosters mutuality, the more we can learn from one another.

We call this open education or open ministry education. It is open to everyone and everyone can be involved. It is not just for leaders. Our leaders can help us, but their main job is to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). We can do these things in classes, small groups, seminars, training courses, and home or church groups.

This educational book is reproduced and expanded from chapter 5 of The Body of Christ, Part 2: Ministry Education and chapter 15 of Body Ministry: The Body of Christ Alive in His Spirit.

Learning Together in Ministry describes how we all can learn together to minister more effectively. Expanded from chapter 15 of ‘Body Ministry: The Body of Christ Alive in His Spirit’ this book gives further comment and examples of Spirit-led and Spirit-empowered ministry by ordinary people alive in the Spirit of God.

These reports are reproduced from South Pacific Revivals and Flashpoints of Revival. now updated to Revival Fires (2019)

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See also Body Ministry

Learning Together in MInistry has selections

from Body Ministry

This educational book is reproduced and expanded from chapter 5 of  The Body of Christ, Part 2: Ministry Education and

chapter 15 of Body Ministry: The Body of Christ Alive in His Spirit

Body Ministry is a popular version of Geoff Waugh’s Doctor of Missiology dissertation with Fuller Theological Seminary.

Geoff Waugh taught Ministry and Mission subjects in Bible Schools in Papua New Guinea and at Trinity Theological College and Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia.   He has a Doctor of Missiology degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and is an author of books on mission and revival including Flashpoints of Revival and South Pacific Revivals.

Contents

 

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES) 

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

Be informed of now Blogs and updates

Reflections on Renewal, by Ralph Wicks

Reflections on Renewal

Ralph Wicks

Ralph Wicks

The Rt Rev Ralph Wicks, an Anglican Bishop, was a pioneer in renewal among Anglicans in Australia. He reflected on that ministry.

Article in Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth
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Also in Renewal Journals, Bound Volume 1 (Issues 1-5)
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I have been amazed over the years at the

transforming power of Jesus in individual lives.

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An event of some significance occurred in the early years of my episcopate. I had a feeling that the church as a whole was just plodding along. There were a few bright spots among the parishes, but on the whole I thought church growth was not exciting. What troubled me more was that not many clergy were over-concerned, and if they were anxious about the situation, they didn’t show it.

At the same time as I was experiencing these impressions, I was made aware of the ‘Holy Spirit’ movement. Pentecostal churches had been with us since the beginning of the century, but in the 1960s they had been showing a lot of vitality and considerable growth in adherents many former Anglicans and also former members of a number of other historic churches. I was interested to discover the reason for this new phenomenon. Books by Michael Harper, Colin Urquhart and David Watson, Anglican priests in England, helped me to understand this ‘charismatic movement’ (charisma here refers to the Pauline list of Spiritual Gifts).

Power ministry

I wanted to know about the ‘Power’ ministry, i.e. the Power of the Holy Spirit. I knew God had blessed the few natural gifts I had, but there was always so much effort on my part, and I got tired. There was not much ‘resting in the Lord’.

But I had a problem. My wife and I now lived in a fine house in Taringa Parade, Taringa, owned by the diocese. My wife knew of my growing interest in the charismatic movement, but was very apprehensive about this spiritual phenomenon. She said to me, ‘If you get involved in this movement, I’ll leave you.’ So I pulled back from the charismatic movement. However, an extraordinary event was about to unfold.

I went to a clergy retreat. While I was away, my wife went, albeit reluctantly, with a friend to a house meeting to hear an evangelist and spiritual healer. I imagine the friend was endeavouring to find support for my wife, who now had cancer. During the meeting, an invitation to go forward for prayer was given. My wife, who was really a very private person, was first to step forward. Later, she told me she didn’t really know what happened except friends were picking her up from the floor. She felt weepy, and asked to go home. She cried herself to sleep, not out of grief, but of joy.

The next day she had a strong desire to ring three women from whom she was estranged. Two were delighted that friendship was restored; the third, from whom my wife had not heard for months, got her phone call in first, and there was much rejoicing. In a real sense, I found a different woman in my home when I returned from the retreat. She of course looked the same, but she seemed to have grown ten feet tall spiritually.

With confidence now, I went to a conference in Sydney, led by Archbishop Bill Burnett of Capetown and Bishop Zulu, also from Africa. Archbishop Burnett was the Episcopal Father of the Charismatic Renewal in the Anglican Communion.

The conference was terrific and I ended up being elected chairman of the Anglican Renewal Ministries in Australia, a post I held for several years.

It was a joy to organize several Diocesan Renewal conferences at Camp Cal, Caloundra. Guest speakers at various times included Vernon Cohen and Dick Wallace, Anglican priests from Melbourne. It was a privilege to have Father Terry Fulham from Darien, Connecticut, USA, at another of the meetings.

Ecumenical Renewal services at St John’s Cathedral drew packed houses. The Rev. Geoff Waugh, from a Baptist-Uniting Church background, and a Roman Catholic priest, Father Vincent Hobbs, were co-convenors of these rallies, some of which were also held at St Stephen’s Roman Catholic Cathedral and the Albert Street Uniting Church. These were exciting times as lives were changed, Holy Spirit power was in evidence and healings took place. A small number of diocesan priests were blessed and their ministries enriched.

Proclamation of Jesus

However, it was not all plain sailing. Some clergy regarded me as a ‘weirdo’ but one thing they could not deny: The proclamation of Jesus and God’s gifts of salvation by grace through faith became key features of my preaching. I was reminded by Scripture that the work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus.

Of course, there are excesses in most spiritual movements. I have also known Anglo-Catholic and Evangelicals to go ‘over the top’, and I have experienced ‘charismatic Christians’ who have become quite unbalanced and fanatical.

I have been glad to have experienced the strong sacramental life of Anglicanism and the good order of liturgical worship. But liturgical worship need not be stiff. The warmth of the Spirit can melt the coldness of mere formalism. At times, ‘non-liturgical’ services, too, have a very helpful place in our churches.

I was invited to a conference of Evangelicals in Melbourne. I guess it was strange to have one brought up in a strong Anglo-Catholic tradition to be given this invitation. However, my role was to respond to a paper by Michael Cassidy on ‘Charismatic or Spiritual Renewal’. Michael has been well known in many countries as one of the leaders of African Enterprise an organization concerned with a two-pronged mission Evangelism and Community Social Development.

From Monday to Wednesday, the lectures had been superb, but more of the head than of the heart. I thought, in fact, that the mood of the delegates was quiet and subdued. So arrived my six minutes. The then Archbishop of Melbourne, Bob Dann, kept reminding me about the ‘six minutes’. I put away my prepared text and simply shared with the conference what spiritual renewal meant to me: how my ministry was enriched, how I came to understand and love Jesus more. The response of the delegates was very moving to me. They rose in acclamation. I went backstage and wept. God had done something beautiful.

As I had to leave the conference immediately and return to Brisbane, I could know only secondhand that the mood of the conference changed from that moment people were more open and friendly than before.

What has always amazed me is that Anglican leaders, yes, bishops, have almost acted as though Pentecostalism does not exist, especially when many Anglicans have moved into Pentecostal fellowships and especially since Pentecostalism is the fastest growing Christian expression in Australia. Either they are afraid to admit that Pentecostalism has ‘something’; or worse, they think Pentecostals are in some way outside the pale and not to be regarded as part of the Christian family.

Bishop Shevill once said, ‘The untaught truths of yesterday become the heresies of today.’ In other words, what the historic churches fail to emphasize, others pick up and go to excesses. Historic churches, by their partial neglect of the third Person of the Holy Trinity, have in part, only themselves to blame for the growth of many Pentecostal fellowships.

Parish Missions

Before and after my adventure with ‘Charismatic Renewal’ I felt called to offer myself to any priest who would risk inviting me to lead a parish mission. I had no particular training in evangelism but I learnt something by doing.

During my time as an archdeacon and assistant bishop, I conducted parish missions or intense weekend teaching periods in a number of places within and outside the Diocese of Brisbane. The ‘local’ ones were at Stanthorpe, Pittsworth, Petrie (twice), Mt Gravatt (twice), Maroochydore, Bundaberg, Nanango, Ekibin, Inala, Yeronga and Ashgrove. Outside the diocese, missions were taken at Kurri Kurri in the Diocese of Newcastle, Glen Innes in the Diocese of Grafton, Stratford in the Diocese of Gippsland, Belgrave in the Diocese of Melbourne and Biloela in the Diocese of Rockhampton.

It was a privilege to be invited by the Bishop of Singapore, Ban it Chui, to take a mission in his Cathedral of St Andrew and also a clergy retreat. The visit to Singapore was a real eyeopener. In this diocese, the ‘charismatic movement’ has changed church life in many parishes. I saw churches filled especially with young people hungry for the Gospel. In one parish I visited, a cinema has now been acquired to accommodate the growing congregation.

One night while I was ministering in St Andrew’s Cathedral, a young man a Buddhist wandered in and was converted to the Christian faith. On one Sunday, I ministered to an all Indian congregation. For three hours, the whole congregation came singly or in family groups for the laying on of hands with prayer. A number were overpowered by the Holy Spirit and all the time I was praying over others, two women knelt on the concrete floor beside me, praying for me. With such enthusiasm for Jesus, it is perhaps not surprising that it was hard for me to leave Singapore.

Of course, it is difficult to estimate the effect of such parish missions. In one or two places, I suspect the missions were a complete failure. My own ministry may have been defective or maybe the preparation may have been inadequate.

However, in other places, according to the rectors, lives were changed, people were converted, people were physically healed. A former rector of Maroochydore, in the Diocese of Brisbane, told me that my mission was the most significant event in his long ministry in that parish. For that I praise God and give Him the glory.

Recently I met a businessman in Nambour who confessed that he had been converted at the mission in Glen Innes. I remembered this man well. He was the last to whom I ministered at that mission.

There have, however, been a few regrets. I have known people so changed and challenged by the in-flowing power of the Holy Spirit to be a real threat to parish clergy in parishes where I have ministered. These dear priests have not been able to cope with the enthusiasm of the newly converted and have found them difficult to cope with. Some of my missions have swelled the numbers going to Pentecostal churches.

It has been beautiful over the years to see wayward husbands come back to their wives and families, to see men and women freed from the burden of guilt which has plagued them for years, to see people with cancer have remission for a number of years, to know people so enthused that they form the nucleus of a new parish. I have been amazed over the years at the transforming power of Jesus in individual lives.

____________________________________________________________________

(c) Ralph Wicks, 1993, One Rung from the Top (Brisbane: Boolarong), pp. 76-82.
Used by permission.

(c) Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth (1993, 2011), pages 53-58.
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright intact with the text.

Now available in updated book form (republished 2011)

Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth
Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth – PDF

Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth – Editorial

Church Growth through Prayer, by Andrew Evans

Growing a Church in the Spirit’s Power, by Jack Frewen-Lord

Evangelism brings Renewal, by Cindy Pattishall-Baker

New Life for an Older Church, by Dean Brookes

Renewal Leadership, by John McElroy

Reflections on Renewal, by Ralph Wicks

Local Revivals in Australia, by Stuart Piggin

Asia’s Maturing Church, by David Wang

Astounding Church Growth, by Geoff Waugh

RJ Vol 1 (1-5) 1Also in Renewal Journals, Bound Volume 1 (Issues 1-5)

Renewal Journal Vol 1 (1-5) – PDF

Renewal 2: Church Growth on Amazon and Kindle and The Book Depository

 

Contents of all Renewal Journals

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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New Life for an Older Church, by Dean Brookes

New Life for an Older Church

Dean Brookes

Dean Brookes

The Rev Dr Dean Brookes wrote as a Uniting Church minister and former Consultant for Evangelism in the Synod of South Australia.

Article in Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth
Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth – PDF

Also in Renewal Journals, Bound Volume 1 (Issues 1-5)
Renewal Journal Vol 1 (1-5) – PDF

________________________________________

In witnessing to the wholeness of God’s kingdom

we seek to demonstrate unity, forgiveness,

reconciliation and new relationships.

_________________________________________

In January 1989 I began as minister of a thirty-five year old church at Beaumont in Adelaide that had suffered numerical decline. It had followed the typical pattern of an inner suburban church with its complex of buildings, a Sunday School of 350 children, and two packed morning services in its heyday of the boom years of Methodism in the fifties and sixties.

In those years the church was a buzz of activity. Its youth group grew as children entered their teens. Membership figures increased as the teenagers took confirmation classes. Church growth was natural and expected. It required no specific strategies. People looked for a neighbourhood church which provided worship, a Sunday School, youth program, and the accepted activities associated with church life at the time.

Gradually the neighbourhood became prime real estate. When the young people married they had to move out to newer suburban areas where land was cheaper. Predicably the congregation declined and grew older. By 1989 an average of 85 people attended the one service on Sunday and a handful of children attended the Sunday School. Many were concerned about the future of this single congregation parish, and the parish leaders had begun discussions with nearby congregations regarding amalgamation.

Regreening in the Spirit’s power

This became for me an experiment in turning a church around. Was it possible to arrest the decline and begin to build again? Would the church have a significant and effective future as well as a dynamic ministry in the name of Jesus Christ?

Early in my first year at this church I found I was also involved emotionally and could not separate my personal feelings from what I discovered and what I believed God had in store for us. Could I lead this church to new life and growth? I personally was most aware of my own need of God’s help and of my need to grow spiritually as the leader of this church.

I was fortunate to be nearing the end of doctoral studies in church growth and renewal. I had also been a consultant in the related area of evangelism for eight years. Hence I came with some knowledge and experience that I believed would help my leadership of this church. However, my experience of working at length with a declining congregation was minimal. I knew that I and they would be very dependent upon the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

In the interview before my appointment the nominating committee indicated they were seeking someone of my age and experience. They also emphasized their desire to be more effective evangelistically and to reach the neighbourhood for Christ. I intimated my bias for evangelism and sought to know whether they would be open to change and to embrace new directions I might initiate. They agreed, not knowing exactly what would occur in the years to follow.

New goals and direction

I began by getting to know the people and by learning their corporate history. Some had been in the church since its inception. Most had been there for ten or twenty years or more. Very few, if any, were new to the church in recent years. They considered themselves a friendly church but did not have in place ways of welcoming and assimilating new people.

Obviously pastoral work was important. I was led by the Spirit to visit people in their homes. In the first year I listened considerably. I also realized that the people were ready for change and much could happen in the first year. Indeed, some significant developments needed to occur as symbols of hope and as signs of God doing a new thing.

We were to engage in a stewardship program in June of my first year. Planning for this two year stewardship cycle had to begin early. So I talked with my parish council and elders about their aspirations and yearnings for the church. It was obvious there were no common goals, no specific direction, no vision to fire the imagination and to prompt people to give freely. Therefore in the April of 1989 we gathered forty people, key leaders and interested people for a seven hour session of reflection, evaluation, waiting on the Lord and goal setting.

We met on a Sunday afternoon and evening with a shared tea. At the end of the time we had established ten specific goals that we could work towards in 1989-1990. These became strategic in the life of the church and did much to harmonize people around a common direction. It gave purpose to the stewardship program which was successful and assured the church of financial resources for the ensuing years.

In the weeks preceding the goal setting I preached on the nature of the church using New Testament imagery such as the Body of Christ, the vine and the branches, and the picture of living stones given in 1 Peter 2:410. This supported the truth that theology is the basis of renewal.

Although there are simple practical strategies that are easily overlooked, true growth is biblically and theologically founded. It occurs through the Spirit of God renewing both people’s lives and the structures that enable us to live in community.

Theology of renewal

Theology became for us the very essence of renewal. How we understood and experienced God and the covenant determined our attitudes, expectations and actions. The term ‘the body of Christ’ became important as a description of who we were. It affirmed three main truths about the church:

1. There is to be corporate growth in unity and maturity.

2. Growth occurs as the variety of gifts of the people, given by the Spirit, are used in complementary fashion.

3. The church is a living organism with Jesus Christ in authority as the supreme head of the body.

Emphasizing a gift theology, inherent in the Uniting Church Basis of Union, we held a gift workshop in the spring of my first year. This examined the teaching of 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians

4. It had practical application and included a process by which the participants could begin to identify their special gifts for ministry.

In Ephesians, Paul describes a church in which all the members are to be equipped for the work of ministry. He does not envisage a church where only a few are engaged in ministry or where most are consumers rather than participants. Ministry is done by the whole church, by Christians working in concert. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Harmonious cooperation and the complementary use of gifts far surpasses the results of individual Christians working alone and independently. One of the priority tasks of church leaders is to help the members discover their gifts for ministry, to develop such gifts, and to channel them into effective areas of service.

Equipping people for ministry

To enhance the pastoral ministry of the congregation a Caring Committee was appointed by the elders council. This group believed that the ministry should be according to one’s spiritual gifts and not by virtue of the office one might hold.

We identified over thirty people gifted in pastoral ministry and called them together to discuss the ministry model we had in mind and to provide instruction on how to make effective pastoral visits. An eight week care workers course followed in the next year. The result is that we now have a team of people who visit members and others associated with the church. This provides a network of care in which no one need be overlooked. The visitors meet about three times a year to discuss their ministry and to review their list of people.

Another person, gifted in administration and with deep compassion, coordinates a special caring program whereby practical help is given to those with special needs.

In our church we no longer allocate each elder to a group of members. Some elders are not gifted pastorally but have other excellent gifts. Any elder is available to anyone according to need and relationships that are established. We work on the principle that the elders are responsible to see that visiting occurs and are there to release the gifts of those who can do it well.

Other gifts have emerged under this theology. We appointed an honorary administrator who retired from the business world but who obviously brought a wonderful gift in administration. His work of about ten hours a week has involved two mornings a week at the church office. I arranged to be at the office on those mornings as that increased efficiency and communication. Opening the church office on these two days improved the church’s profile and made its leaders more accessible.

Many music gifts lay dormant in our worship. We had a very good choir and a couple of proficient organists. The piano in the sanctuary, however, was rarely used. To cater for increasing numbers at worship we added an additional morning service in August 1989. This provided more options. The 9 am service became family oriented and only on occasions is the pipe organ used at this service. Instead, an orchestra sometimes numbering seven or eight has provided the music.

Introducing new songs and installing a screen for use with overheads enlivened the worship and provided greater variety. Our work with musicians includes workshops for worship leaders. We have many unused gifts in this area that we wish to employ. The commencement of a regular 7 pm service has created other opportunities for lay leadership, especially by youth. By 1992 the aggregate number at worship had grown to about 200 and the average age is much less than it was in 1989.

We had demographic data available to us on that first planning day and we discovered that the surrounding community contained more younger people than was reflected in the church. Fifty per cent of the population in the parish area is under forty years of age. With this in mind, and trusting in God, we set about embracing the future with confidence. Now our Sunday School is growing, we operate a creche, and we have a growing youth movement.

Believing prayer is central to the renewal that is occurring. A prayer chain has operated in the church for many years. Its members, all ladies, meet over lunch once a month. Here prayer needs are shared. Another early morning prayer group has begun as a spin off from 7 am services on Wednesdays during Lent. A number decided to meet every Wednesday at that time and so a group of ten, including men, have gathered faithfully to pray for people and for the church. A focus of our prayer is the renewal of the church and for effective evangelistic ministry. Our church also offers prayer for healing, primarily during ministry time following services of worship.

Group life has also received attention. New home groups and Bible study groups have commenced to provide opportunities for people to engage in study, to offer and receive ministry, and to enhance fellowship. These meet according to needs and availability. They very from weekly to monthly gatherings.

Ongoing renewal

At the heart of what is occurring in our church is our belief that God is continuing the renew us and, while giving ministry in the present, is preparing us to embrace God’s unfolding future. We understand that renewal is the ongoing renewing by God of the church. It is dynamic, never static. It is not an achieved state. It is not the end but the way. To be in renewal is to be journeying with God in the presence of believers.

The primary theological ground for renewal is the kingdom of God. Renewal is not the result of human effort although we are able to respond to God’s renewing activity in ways which appropriate such activity. Renewal is the work of God that points to the coming reign of God in the lives of persons and community.

The kingdom of God is neither entirely present nor entirely future. It is here now, is coming, and will come. This gives perspective to renewal. It enables the church to be a community of hope. This orientation points to what is to be as a reality greater than what has been. As such it is a very powerful motivator for Christian living and ministry. It creates vision which fosters hope and incentive.

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we have been led to preach that the church is a community premised on the promise of what is to be. We are not simply to adjust to present reality, nor only to patch up here and there or even seek to recover what was. Renewal points to transformation, embracing the new. Hence we pray ‘Your kingdom come’ (Matthew 6:10).

We believe that the ultimate purpose of the church is to glorify God and to be an agent of God in establishing the unity and wholeness of all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:910). The church is a servant of the kingdom of God.

In witnessing to the wholeness of God’s kingdom we seek to demonstrate unity, forgiveness, reconciliation and new relationships. One of the most important factors in our witness is the quality of our corporate life in Christ lest our words be empty and our theology barren. We endeavour to be spiritually renewed, our motivation enlivened by the Holy Spirit. We seek a genuine growth in holiness that releases the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our church is on the way. In some quarters we struggle with conservatism but we endeavour to listen to one another, recognizing the Spirit of Christ in us all. We also use appropriate practical strategies that can be learned from church analysis and church growth. We are down-to-earth and pragmatic. But we endeavour to place God at the centre knowing that unless the Lord builds the house we labour in vain. Renewed in the power of the Spirit we wish to be living stones, built into a spiritual house of God (1 Peter 2:5).

_________________________

(c) Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth (1993, 2011), pages 35-42.
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright intact with the text.

Now available in updated book form (republished 2011)

Contents of all Renewal Journals

Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth
Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth – PDF

Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth – Editorial

Church Growth through Prayer, by Andrew Evans

Growing a Church in the Spirit’s Power, by Jack Frewen-Lord

Evangelism brings Renewal, by Cindy Pattishall-Baker

New Life for an Older Church, by Dean Brookes

Renewal Leadership, by John McElroy

Reflections on Renewal, by Ralph Wicks

Local Revivals in Australia, by Stuart Piggin

Asia’s Maturing Church, by David Wang

Astounding Church Growth, by Geoff Waugh

RJ Vol 1 (1-5) 1Also in Renewal Journals, Bound Volume 1 (Issues 1-5)

Renewal Journal Vol 1 (1-5) – PDF

Renewal 2: Church Growth on Amazon and Kindle and The Book Depository

Contents of all Renewal Journals

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Blessing

RENEWAL JOURNAL 7:  BLESSING

Article in Renewal Journal 7: Blessing
Renewal Journal 7: Blessing –
PDF

Also in Renewal Journals bound volume 2 (Issues 6-10)
Renewal Journal Vol 2 (6-10) –
PDF

All Renewal Journal Topics:

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,
3 Community,   4 Healing,   
5 Signs & Wonders,   
6  Worship,   
7  Blessing,
   8  Awakening,  
9  Mission,   10  Evangelism,
11  Discipleship,
   12  Harvest,   
13  Ministry,
   14  Anointing,   
15  Wineskins,   
16  Vision,   
17  Unity,
   18  Servant Leadership,  
19  Church,   20 Life

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CONTENTS: 7 Blessing

What on earth is God doing? by Owen Salter

Times of Refreshing, by Greg Beech

Renewal Blessing, by Ron French

Catch the Fire, by Dennis Plant

Reflections, by Alan Small

A Fresh Wave, by Andrew Evans

Waves of Glory, by David Cartledge

Balance, by Charles Taylor

Discernment, by John Court

Renewal Ministry, by Geoff Waugh

Book Reviews:
Comment on books by Partick Dixon, Rob Warner, Guy Chevreau, Mike Feardon, Dave Roberts, Wallace Boulton, John Arnott, Andy & Jane Fitz-Gibbon, and Ken & Lois Gott

Renewal Journal 7: Blessing – PDF

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EDITORIAL

‘BLESSINGS ABOUND WHERE E’RE HE REIGNS’

This Renewal Journal continues to discuss controversial issues, such as the current ‘blessing’ transforming thousands of churches and multiplied thousands of people in the last few years.

People often have strong and opposite opinions about whether it is indeed a ‘blessing’ or not.

What can we make of it all?

Caution

Important cautions need to be made. To endorse and swallow everything that is happening as good would overlook the usual excesses, theological imbalances, and human sin. We are never free of that. It is present in all we do.

So we need to recognize our own bias to sin and to blindness. We all need the light of God’s grace and mercy.

Often those who most strongly assert their own theological purity may tragically disobey the most important commandments of all – to love God and love others. Theological purists, of all traditions, tend to judge others in direct contraction to Jesus command (Matthew 7:1 – judge not).

Wisdom

Having said that, we do need to exercise wisdom and discernment.

Some groups are excessively emotional and gullible. Other groups are excessively intellectual and proud. Others toss around like the waves of the ocean, riding the latest fad. None of us are free of a blind spot or two. So we need to walk humbly with our God, open to correction and willing to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

God gives grace to the humble and wisdom to the meek, but he resists the proud. The discernment we need is available but hidden from the worldly wise and haughty. That is a key to understanding this current ‘blessing’.

Thousands of God’s people testify to the humbling grace of God transforming their lives, even with and often through strange manifestations. Hard hearts are softened, and people weep – then joy comes in the morning. Burdened souls find release in joy unspeakable, full of glory and wonder, including laughter. Broken lives find a peace that passes understanding even in the midst of uncertainty; worry dissolves into exultant faith.

Empowering

A common thread in the blessing of the mid-nineties is the empowering grace of God multiplied to those who hunger and thirst after what is right.

More than most of us have ever seen, we now see, hear about and read of significant changes in people and in churches where the current blessing has burst into bloom.

Pastors confess their sins of control, pride, theological rigidity, jealousy and fear of people’s opinions. Many are reconciled and work publicly together for God’s glory, not for the glory of their own denomination or theological stance. Churches which once competed, blamed others for ‘sheep stealing’ and criticised each other, have confessed their sins of division and hatred, found reconciliation and an astonishing love for one another. Many of them now co-operate to minister this blessing together.

Blessing in the nineties catapulted so many of us into new dimensions of renewal and revival in the 21st century.  This century opened with renewal and revival transforming individuals, churches and whole communities. The Renewal Journals document some of those recent changes. 

Fruit

The current ‘blessing’ has been around long enough for us to assess its fruit in thousands of churches and lives.  Ask around.  You may be amazed at the people who will tell you of God’s grace bursting into their lives in these days, of new zeal for the Lord, of worn out leaders refreshed and renewed, of timid Christians finding surprising boldness and joy. 

The high and mighty are being brought low, and the lowly made strong.  Such is the Kingdom of God.  Surely it is logical that if the glory and power of God touches us even a little, we will be undone, shake, tremble, weep or laugh for sheer joy. 

The Renewal Journal, Number 5, on ‘Signs and Wonders’ included comment on the current blessing from overseas by Derek Prince, John Wimber, Jerry Steingard and others.  It included some early Australian observations on this blessing.  This issue, Number 7, gives Australian testimony and comment from leaders involved in it. 

Owen Salter describes developments in Australia and overseas.  Greg Beech, and Ron French add historical reflection to their testimonies.  Dennis Plant, Alan Small, Andrew Evans and David Cartledge give their perspectives on the impact they have seen in the church.  Charles Taylor and John Court offer wise counsel, and I comment on our discoveries in current renewal ministry. 

The Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (formerly Toronto Airport Vineyard Christian Fellowship), which during the first two years of the current blessing impacted about 100,000 people a year continues to minister in its significant expression of this current blessing.  The Vineyard Churches also continue to minister that blessing in their unique way which has brought blessing to thousands around the world.  Others minister this blessing in their own ways also, such as the Anglicans at Holy Trinity Brompton in London, the combined churches in Sunderland in England, Melbourne in Florida, Pasadena in California, and various Pentecostal expressions of this impact such as ministries of people like Rodney Howard-Browne, Benny Hinn, Argentine healing evangelists, and many others. 

And you? And me?

If, as multiplied thousands testify, God is blessing his people in profound ways right now, may we not miss the day of our visitation.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.  They shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).

© Renewal Journal 7: Blessing, 1996, 2nd edition 2011.

 Reproduction is allowed with the copyright intact with the text.

Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)

Community

Renewal Journal 3: COMMUNITY

Renewal Journal 3: Community – PDF

Also in Renewal Journals, Bound Volume 1 (Issues 1-5)
Renewal Journal Vol 1 (1-5) – PDF

All Renewal Journal Topics

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,
3 Community,   4 Healing,   
5 Signs & Wonders,   
6  Worship,   
7  Blessing,
   8  Awakening,  
9  Mission,   10  Evangelism,
11  Discipleship,
   12  Harvest,   
13  Ministry,
   14  Anointing,   
15  Wineskins,   
16  Vision,   
17  Unity,
   18  Servant Leadership,  
19  Church,   20 Life

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CONTENTS: 3 Community

Renewal Journal 3: CommunityLower the Drawbridge, by Charles Ringma

Called to Community, by Dorothy Mathieson and Tim McCowan

Covenant Community, by Shayne Bennett

The Spirit in the Church, by Adrian Commadeur

House Churches, by Ian Freestone

Church in the Home, by Spencer Colliver

The Home Church, by Colin Warren

China’s House Churches, by Barbara Nield

Renewal in a College Community, by Brian Edgar

Spirit Wave, by Darren Trinder

Book & DVD Review: Viva Christo Rey!

Renewal Journal 3: Community – PDF

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EDITORIAL

Pray always

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Every revival is born in prayer, in seeking the Lord earnestly together. Every revival is sustained in prayer, as people continue to seek God and bring others into praying, believing, obeying communities of God’s people.

Young George Whitefield, converted at 21 in 1735 wrote in his journal in 1737:

We began to set apart an hour every evening, to intercede with the Great Head of the Church to carry on the work begun… Once we spent a whole night in prayer and praise: and many a time, at midnight and at one in the morning, after I have been wearied almost to death in preaching, writing and conversation, and going from place to place, God imparted new life to my soul, and enabled me to intercede with Him for an hour-and-a-half and two hours together… I cannot think it presumption to suppose that partly, at least, in answer to prayers then put up by His dear children, the Word for some years past, has run and been glorified, not only in England, but in many other parts of the world. [George Whitefield’s Journals (1960:91)]

The Spirit of the Lord was poured out on one of those praying groups in January 1739. Within two months the crowds which gathered to hear George Whitefiled preach at Kingswood near Bristol had grown from 200 to 20,000 as God’s Spirit moved upon them. John Wesley began his famous open air preaching with those crowds and continued that for fifty years.

Pray always

I recently visited Elcho Island, east of Darwin, with a team of 15 for their annual Thanksgiving Weekend on the anniversary of the revival there in 1979. God’s Spirit moved most strongly that weekend, I believe, when we waited on the Lord together, with Aboriginal leaders responding sensitively to the Spirit’s leading. We worshipped and prayed. Small clusters of people prayed for those who sought prayer, and God touched them gently and strongly.

The small communities there impressed me. Many people pray constantly, for hours a day, still. In some of those remote places the presence of the Lord is strong. The fires of the Spirit burn.

We can all do that – in our home groups, house churches, and meetings. We can wait on the Lord in worship and prayer and respond to his Spirit among us.

May revival fires be blown by the wind of the Spirit across this great south land of the Holy Spirit, igniting thousands of communities of the King.

God’s Spirit now moves like gusts of wind blowing and like waves breaking over us. It can be turbulent.

Many people report that their lives have been profoundly disturbed lately. Props and false securities are being shaken. False foundations crumble revealing what is built on the Rock.

This issue of the Renewal Journal explores some of the emerging developments as human structures are shaken and eternal issues emerge. In radical small communities people are learning to be the church, to pray in faith, to use spiritual gifts, to serve one another, to reach out in love. Increasingly, small groups are becoming the church in the home and the work place for many people. Some are linked with congregations. Some are house churches.

Communities of the King multiply. God is raising up a new breed of people committed to him and to one another, loving and serving in the power of the Spirit.

The articles in this issue of the Journal describe that. Charles Ringma, Dorothy Harris and Tim McCowan call us to discipleship in community life. Shayne Bennett and Adrian Commadeur report on charismatic communities among Catholics. Ian Freestone, Spencer Colliver and Col Warren outline emerging patterns of house churches and Barbara Nield examines the amazing growth in China’s house churches. Brian Edgar tells of renewal in a Bible College community and Darren Trinder reports on Spirit waves in Christian Outreach Centres across Australia.

Spirit waves

God moves in many ways, including the multiplying of these emerging small communities of committed people. Thousands are praying as never before. Reports continue to come of God’s Spirit stirring.

All across this land the Spirit of God is leading people to wait on the Lord in worship, prayer and faith, then minister in the Spirit’s power. This journal strongly encourages that.

A lady in Belmont, Victoria wrote, ‘We thoroughly enjoy reading the Renewal Journal and have started a prayer group for revival.’

A husband and wife in Newtown in Victoria were blessed by the Journal and as a result they started a prayer group for renewal in their Reformed Church.

A young man in Brisbane bought extra copies of the Renewal Journal to distribute to his leaders’ group at his church and has urged them to spend more time seeking the Lord together.

This Renewal Journal strongly encourages prayer – personally, in groups and families, and in networks of praying people.

 

© Renewal Journal #3: Community 1994, 2nd edition 2011

Reproduction is allowed with the copyright intact with the text.

Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)

RJ Vol 1 (1-5) 1Also in Renewal Journals, Bound Volume 1 (Issues 1-5)

Renewal Journal Vol 1 (1-5) – PDF

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GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Worship

RENEWAL JOURNAL 6:  WORSHIP

Renewal Journal 6: Worship – PDF

All Renewal Journal Topics:

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,
3 Community,   4 Healing,   
5 Signs & Wonders,   
6  Worship,   
7  Blessing,
   8  Awakening,  
9  Mission,   10  Evangelism,
11  Discipleship,
   12  Harvest,   
13  Ministry,
   14  Anointing,   
15  Wineskins,   
16  Vision,   
17  Unity,
   18  Servant Leadership,  
19  Church,   20 Life

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CONTENTS: 6 Worship

Renewal Journal 6: WorshipWorship: Intimacy with God, by John & Carol Wimber

Beyond Self-Centred Worship, by Geoff Bullock

Worship: to Soothe or Disturb? by Dorothy Mathieson

Worship: Touching Body and Soul, by Robert Tann

Healing through Worship, by Robert Colman

Charismatic Worship and Ministry, by Stephen Bryar &

Renewal in the Church, by Stan Everitt

Worship God in Dance, by Lucinda Coleman

Revival Worship, by Geoff Waugh

Book Reviews:
Winds of Change: The Experience of Church in a Changing Australia by Peter Kaldor (ed);
Views from the Pews by Peter Kaldor (ed); 
Jesus the Baptiser with the Holy Spirit
by Allan Norling

Renewal Journal 6: Worship – PDF

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EDITORIAL

WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH

The phone rang as I sat to type this page. A man from Norfolk Island who had attended a ‘Catch the Fire’ renewal service held at Tingalpa Uniting Church in Brisbane phoned me to say how he was delighted with the meeting.  He said “The worship at that meeting rode the wind like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).

I had the privilege of speaking there, and found (as seems common now) that stories today of God’s current acts continually illustrate comments from Acts 3:19-21 where Peter called for repentance so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. They still do.

The church was full at that meeting, so after extended times of worship and teaching we stacked the chairs at the sides, leaving room for our prayer team from the Renewal Fellowship to pray for all who desired it. Many did. I prayed for minsters and their wives. The Lord seemed to touch many deeply, as he is doing all over the world. The host minister said later that he could not rise from the floor. While there the Lord spoke clearly into his heart, telling him he was loved just as he was, not for what he did, for he is a child of God.

We continued to worship late into the night with songs of love and compassion, including some spontaneous love songs. The pianist played harmonies as I read from Daniel 7 and Revelation 7 about the majesty and glory of the Lord. That prophetic music not only magnified the reading and exalted the Lord, but ministered powerfully into people’s lives.

The man from Norfolk Island attends the Uniting Church there, where this kind of worship and ministry has been happening recently this year. They had not seen that since the days the island was founded by the Pitcairn people. The church on Norfolk Island began in such revival. People were regularly overwhelmed by the Spirit then as they cried out to God in their need.

Increasing numbers of people now report on these fresh touches of God and the deep refreshing from the Spirit of the Lord.

Is it revival? Most say, not yet. But it may be the beginnings of revival. Church leaders in Argentina now see revival with thousands upon thousands being saved and filled with the Spirit. They say that many churches had these times of renewal and refreshing for five years with increasing intensity until revival broke upon them.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the Baptist prince of preachers who lived through revival in London in the late 1850s, called it a time of ‘glorious disorder’. Revival is unpredictable. Often disturbing. Like Isaiah in the temple (Isaiah 6) we find ourselves overwhelmed, convicted, aware we are unclean, undone, and needing to be made right with God. Just a small touch of the glory of God is unnerving, and obviously beyond anything we can comprehend or control.

However, we can respond. With repentance. With humility. With unity. With prayer. With love for God and one another. With worship.

New dimensions of worship

Many of us are living through further dimensions of worship now. Some of us began experiencing corporate worship in a structured one hour church service. Sometimes the Spirit seemed to move upon us and the singing would take off, the preaching was inspired, and people responded at the altar call for prayer and counselling. That still happens.

Then we began experiencing more of the Lord’s grace (charisma) and power. We longed for fuller, freer worship. People began composing new songs of worship, praise and response, including Scripture in song. Those songs quickly spread worldwide. As with hymns of earlier revivals, the best remain in widespread use. Others fade away. Only a few of Charles Wesley’s 6,000 hymns still remain, but they are great!

Now in further touches of the Spirit we find some of the new songs and old hymns helpful, but limiting. Increasingly we worship with spontaneity. Harmonies and melodies and spontaneous songs blend with the best of the new songs and old hymns in creative expressions of worship.

This year I was able to worship in many places including the Philippines, Ghana, Toronto, Anaheim, and in meetings in Australia from Perth to Brisbane. Often powerful spontaneity found expression in extended worship. Many times we worship in harmonies and Spirit songs for extended periods.

All the revivals I’ve read about experienced this. We will see much more yet.

This issue of the Renewal Journal explores many dimensions of worship. John & Carol Wimber describe intimacy with God. Geoff Bullock reminds us of our mission. Dorothy Mathieson gives prophetic challenge. Robert Tann and Robert Colman explore healing in worship. Lucinda Coleman surveys the history of dance in worship. Stephen Bryar and Stan Everitt comment on the significance of renewal. I reflect on worship in revival.

Worship God (Revelation 22:9). That command in the last chapter of the Bible points the way ahead for us now, and forever.

© Renewal Journal 6: Worship, 1995, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

Now available in updated book form (2nd edition 2011)

Renewal Journal 6: Worship

Renewal Journal 6: Worship – PDF

Worship: Intimacy with God, by John & Carol Wimber

Beyond Self-Centred Worship, by Geoff Bullock

Worship: to Soothe or Disturb? by Dorothy Mathieson

Worship: Touching Body and Soul, by Robert Tann

Healing through Worship, by Robert Colman

Charismatic Worship and Ministry, by Stephen Bryar and

Renewal in the Church, by Stan Everitt

Worship God in Dance, by Lucinda Coleman

Revival Worship, by Geoff Waugh

Contents of all Renewal Journals

See Renewal Journal 6: Worship on Amazon and Kindle and The Book Depository
Also in Renewal Journals bound volume 2 (Issues 6-10)

Renewal Journals Vol 2, Nos 6-10

Renewal Journals Vol 2: Nos 6-10

Renewal Journal Vol 2 (6-10) – PDF

Amazon – Renewal Journal 6: Worship

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Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Blogs

Renewal Journal

Blogs Contents

General Blogs Index

 

See also Topics Index

Answered Prayer

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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FREE SUBSCRIPTION: for new Blogs & free offers

Free PDF Books on the Main Page

Share any Blog to inform and bless others – see links below

Mama Luka

 This Blogs Index 3: Devotional includes testimonies and Blogs on Prayer and Bible passages.  See also Inspiration on the Top Bar for more.

 

 

Testimonies

Johan van BruggenActs 3 acted out in faith in PNG

 
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cfan1He woke up totally healed

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Mama Luka“Before they call I will answer”
Helen Roseveare in Africa
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02 St ValentineSt Valentine
 
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  Dawkins RobbyGangsters in the Doorway
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Also:
Interrupted by God
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Prayer

 Unite PicGlobal Prayer Resource Network
Join Christians praying at 11:55am daily.

 

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IB prayer passionLet’s Pray
Ideas for studies
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 National Prayer StrategyThe 10 Domains
for prayer and mission
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General Devotional Blogs

10 CommandsGod’s Positive Will
A Christian Perspective on the 10 Commandments
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Easter Friday lambChristian Passover Service

The Last Supper

A retelling of the Lord’s Supper

 

bloodmoons_wallpaperBlood Moons 2014-2015

Passover and Sukkot

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 shopping

Your Smart Phone as a Spiritual Resource

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A You can Publish for FreeYou can Publish for Free:
Share Good News

A small book to help you

Available on Amazon & Kindle
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0 0 Bible birdsShare Good News

Resources for sharing

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E King Size BedGiving ideas

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Links to revival resources

Renewal Journal and Geoff Waugh on Facebook – regular updates

Authors of Renewal Journal articles

Revival Library – revival-library.org

Revival summaries – notes

Answered Prayer

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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FREE SUBSCRIPTION: for new Blogs & free offers

Free PDF Books on the Main Page

Share any Blog to inform and bless others – see links below

Back to Main Page