Blessing

RENEWAL JOURNAL 7:  BLESSING

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

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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.

 

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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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Community

Renewal Journal 3: COMMUNITY

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!

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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

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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

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

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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

 

 

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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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Unity

Renewal Journal 17: Unity

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:  17  Unity

Snapshots of Glory, by George Otis Jr.

Lessons from Revivals, by Richard Riss

Spiritual Warfare, by Cecilia Estillore Oliver

Unity not Uniformity, by Geoff Waugh

Reviews: Transformations DVDs; Informed Intercession, by George Otis Jr.

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Editorial

All one in Christ Jesus

 

The Spirit of the Lord is speaking loudly and clearly to the church now about unity – not uniformity.

Unity is biblical – Jesus demands it.  We have no option on that.  We are one, and are to demonstrate that oneness by our love for one another.  Jesus commanded that on his last night with his disciples before he died (John 14-17).

Uniformity is unbiblical.  We are meant to be different – different gifts but the same Spirit, different services but the same Lord, different ministries but the same God (1 Cor. 12:4-6).

We make an awful mistake if we want others to think as we do – because our thinking is too small at the best of times, and always distorted or limited.  Another awful mistake is to want others to worship or work in the same way we do.  The Spirit gives a great variety of gifts and ministries.

All over the world the Lord is raising up movements of unity across churches.  This demands humility, repentance and forgiveness.  Ministers are often the last to come on board because they are trained in their own tradition, and may be critical of other traditions.  Often, the people in the congregation are more excited about unity than ministers!

This issue of the Renewal Journal celebrates unity, not uniformity.  George Otis gives astounding accounts of visible unity among very different churches – different in theology and practice, but one in the Spirit.  They demonstrate that to whole cities and regions.

Richard Riss reminds us of key lessons from revivals, where again there has been great unity amid wide diversity.

Donald McGavran, a pioneer in church growth writing, broke new ground in the seventies by insisting that churches need to take the power of the Spirit seriously, and expect God to heal – to do what he says he does.  It’s worth careful consideration.  We will never understand life’s mysteries, but that’s no excuse to run from Scripture.  God is God, and wants to do ‘exceeding abundantly’ above everything we can ask or even think about (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Cecelia Estillore, a medical doctor, tackles head on the mystery of the spiritual dimensions of warfare with practical application in ministry, especially healing and deliverance.  I give examples of this from Africa and from South America, adapted from Chapter 4 in my book Body Ministry.

Global reports continue to be astounding.  No one can keep up with the outpouring of the Spirit in the world today.  Evil abounds, but grace abounds so much more – and usually that abounding grace does not make it into the newspapers!

©  Renewal Journal #17: Unity (2001, 2012)  renewaljournal.com

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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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Volume 1: Issues 1-5

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3 Community

4 Healing

5 Signs & Wonders  

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20 Life

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Reviews

Rev Dr Lewis Born wrote:

Renewal is no longer a matter of speculation.  It will be recorded as one of the most significant faith history phenomena of all time.  The Global Village factor makes this revival the most comprehensive international social and religious phenomena ever known.

To those who remain untouched or unexposed to renewal theology and events may I suggest that Geoff Waugh’s editorship of the Renewal Journal is a good step towards being more informed and possibly persuaded to the point of being involved, even to being a corrector of its course.

Future students of both social and church history will be surprised, both at the facts and at those who slept through them. Professor Walter Hollenweger (Missiology, Birmingham) has stated, ‘a movement which represents more or at least as many members as all other Protestant denominations taken together can no longer be considered a fringe topic in church history, missiology and systematic theology.’

Among those who still sleep are members, clergy and leaders of orthodoxy who see themselves as defenders of the faith against this threat of enthusiasm and ‘unnecessary extremes’ to traditional faith, practice and theology.  Tradition and orthodoxy need to be re-defined.  If New Testament Christianity is the orthodox, then what claims to be twentieth century orthodoxy may be labelled by future theological historians as in fact deviant.

No doubt some of the renewal theological emphasis runs into error, if not enthusiastic heresy.  Some of its worship forms and practice are too subjective and unbalanced for my limited taste.  There are many charlatans.  But who would claim that contemporary ‘orthodox’ faith and practice were free of phonies and heresy?

Contemporary renewal is one of the most significant events in the history of Christianity.  Don’t do a ‘Rip Van Winkle’.

Rev Prof Dr James Haire wrote:

Dr Geoff Waugh, an expert in Renewal Studies over many years, has begun editing an important Australian Journal which is unique in that it gathers together renewal material from the many church groups throughout Australia and overseas.

The first issue was published in the summer of 1993 and has articles ranging from an historical view of revival movements throughout history by Geoff Waugh himself to more specific accounts or revival experiences in Arnhem Land among the Aboriginal people of Australia by Dr Djiniyini Gondarra.

There are also significant articles by Stuart Robinson, J Edwin Orr, and material from John Greenfield.  In this issue all of them are centred on the theme of revival. In addition, there is material on Renewal Studies in Australia and reviews of recent books on Pentecostal and Charismatic movements.

The Journal is breaking important new ground by linking renewal with ecumenical fellowship primarily throughout Australia. For that reason it is quite a new contribution in this area.

I warmly commend this fresh and ground-breaking enterprise.  It looks as if it will play an important part in the Christian Church throughout this country.

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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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Discipleship

Renewal Journal 11: Discipleship

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: 11 Discipleship

Transforming Revivals, by Geoff Waugh

Standing in the Rain: Argentine Revival, by Brian Medway

Amazed by Miracles, by Rodney Howard-Brown

A Touch of Glory, by Linell Cooley

The “Diana Prophecy,” by Robert McQuillan

Mentoring, by Peter Earle

Can the Leopard Change his Spots? by Charles Taylor

The Gathering of the Nations, by Paula Sandford

Book Review: Taking our Cities for God, by John Dawson

Renewal Journal 11: Discipleship – PDF

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Editorial

Make Disciples

 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

We know the Great Commission well.  The closing verses of Matthew give Jesus’ commission to his followers during a resurrection appearance on a mountain in Galilee.  Usually we hear it used, and have used it ourselves, as an evangelistic mission mandate.  It is that, and much more.

The focus is not merely on the task, but on the reason for the task – the reason for the “therefore”.  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” Jesus announced.  “Go, therefore, and make disciples.”  This commission concerning discipleship stems directly from who Jesus is as Lord of all.  We are commanded to make people his disciples.

Not make converts – though conversion is integral to the task.

Not make decisions – though life-changing decisions are involved in the task.

Not make church members – though incorporation in the church is essential to the task.

But make disciples.

Jesus’ disciples are to make disciples from all people groups – ta ethna from all the ethnic groups – from all the nations.  They are his disciples, baptized into him, and obedient to him.

Jesus’ discipleship commission does not focus on information but on formation; not on teaching knowledge but on teaching obedience: “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Naturally that involves knowing what he taught them but the great commission, the final command, is to obey.  That’s breathtaking!

What did he command them to do?  Love God totally.  Love others.  Repent.  Forgive.  Serve.  Pray.  Believe.  Heal the sick.  Cast out demons.  Proclaim the astounding good news of the kingdom of God.  The reign of God has broken into this world, shaking everything, transforming everything.

The great commission is the strongest evidence against a cessationist theory – that what Jesus did and what his disciples did was only for the establishment of the church or only for the first century.  Jesus’ final instruction to his disciples is that what he did and what they did must not cease, but must be passed on to all generations – to the end of the age.

Impossible?  Certainly it is impossible through our own resources:  “Without me you can do nothing.”  Hence, the incredible final promise “Lo!  I am with you always – to the end of the age.”

Disciples of Jesus

Discipleship, then, is the total process of making disciples of Jesus who are obedient to their living Lord.

That involves evangelism, mission, and equipping those new disciples for obedient mission.  This issue of the Renewal Journal looks at a few of those tasks: evangelism, mission, making disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus.

I reproduce reports on transformation in the South Pacific in the 21st century.

Brian Medway applies lessons learned from revival in Argentina to the Australian scene.

Rodney Howard-Browne talks about God doing what he said he would do.  Lindell Cooley describes the impact of revival on his own discipleship and that of others.

Robert McQuillan surveys fresh moves of God’s Spirit across England.

Peter Earle examines mentoring as it relates to discipleship.

Charles Taylor reflects on the meaning of discipleship.

Paula Sandford reports on a gathering from among the nations – the ethnic groups – seeking to obey the Spirit in one body.  Stephen Milstead provides an overview of John Dawson=s approach to discipling cities, an approach well illustrated in Argentina today as indicated in the first article in this issue.

Nothing is so radical as making disciples of Jesus.  Jesus and his early disciples proclaimed and demonstrated the reign of God in all of life.  The kingdom of God has broken into this fallen world through Jesus, God’s Son, the Anointed One.  His life, death, and resurrection change everything.  The first are last and the last are first.  The least are the greatest and the greatest are the servants of all.

This issue of the Renewal Journal only begins to explore such radical changes.  The great commission still confronts us all with the implications of Jesus’ authority in heaven and on earth – his total Lordship.

As you read, pray with us the prayer Jesus taught us, including, “Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

What can be more radical than that?

(c) 2011, 2n edition.  Reproduction allowed with copyright included in text.

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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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Awakening

RENEWAL JOURNAL 8: Awakening

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: 8 Awakening

8 Awakening

Speaking God’s Word, by David Yonggi Cho

The Power to Heal the Past, by C Peter Wagner

Worldwide Awakening, by Richard Riss

The “No Name” Revival, by Brian Medway

Review: Fire from Heaven, by Harvey Cox

Renewal Journal 8: Awakening – PDF

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Editorial

God’s Visitation

We live in a day of God’s visitation.  It has become a worldwide awakening.  Amid much persecution and difficulty, the church grows in astounding ways especially in China, Korea, Africa, Latin America and North India.  Now western countries report renewal and revival in many places.

Jesus wept because so many in his time missed the day of their visitation (Luke 19:41-44).  May we not miss our day of visitation.  As with all previous awakenings (including the early church and major revivals) it is disturbing, controversial and unpredictable.

This issue of the Renewal Journal touches on a few issues and examples of the current awakening.  David Yonggi Cho of Korea tells about moving in spiritual authority by speaking the word God gives.  Peter Wagner describes powerful spiritual weapons now being used by the church, especially in corporate repentance.  Richard Riss provides a comprehensive survey of the present awakening in its varied expressions.  Brian Medway of Canberra discusses the “no-name” revival now spreading through the earth, which also fits the Australian zeal for equality. 

Outpouring of God’s glory

The outpourings of God’s Spirit continue, not only with increasing and astounding signs and wonders in the >third world= but increasingly in the West.  Even the news media have taken notice.  Unprecedented unity among leaders in renewal and revival has emerged in many places, including Australia.  Ministers pray together.  Prayer groups seeking revival multiply.  Churches co-operate to win, nurture and equip people.  Repentance, humility and forgiveness increase.  Renewal and refreshing seem to be spilling over into touches of revival.

“Renewal has changed us forever,” notes Philip Le Dune, associate pastor of Sunderland Christian Centre in the north east of England.  “When God pinned a local gangster to the floor of the church one evening, only God knew that he and his wife were soon to be employed by the church as youth workers.  Jim & Marie now hold daily meetings with the people from the local community who are increasingly coming to see SCC as “theirs” (SCC Email Bulletin, 20 August 1996).

All the centres of renewal heading into revival include persistent and widespread prayer, co-operation between churches, humility, repentance, and the overwhelming impact of the Spirit of God including controversial signs and wonders.  Mixed in with it all is human frailty and strong opposition, as in the early church. 

Toronto in Canada, Melbourne in Florida, Pasadena in California, Holy Trinity Brompton in London, Sunderland in north-east England, and now Pensacola in Florida became household names in renewal and revival.

26,000 conversions in the first year

Reports of revival at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, north-west Florida, drew increasing crowds from around the world.  They recorded 26,000 conversions in its first year.  Many people are ignited there and take fires of revival home.  So revival spreads.

Some of the leaders at Pensacola, including Lindel Cooley the worship leader, had received a deep impact of the Spirit in their lives.  Before the current outpouring of God=s Spirit burst on them, the church had been continually praying for revival, and their worship services had extended in depth and length.

“When church would be over,” reported Cathy Wood, “you know how they play music as you exit – well that didn’t work now…  We would try to walk out but we’d get a few pews away and stop again.  The worship wouldn’t stop so we could go home.  Many times Lindel would have to wave his hands at us and say go home!  It would be 10:00 or 11:00 and church started at 6:OO.  Wow … I love remembering!  Then on Father’s Day [18 June 1995], Steve Hill a missionary to Argentina with the Assemblies of God came to give testimony of how God refreshed his life in London at a meeting and after that service … all heaven came down and has remained….  As thousands continue to come we know the Lord is not finished….  Over 1/2 million in combined attendance.  Wherever the Lord is, we know the devil is looking in, so we pray for discernment whenever the flesh arrives; but at the same time … many of the things we have done in the Spirit now such as shaking, falling, jerking, were things we didn’t really believe in either.  Now that God has touched us … we don’t know what’s next and we don’t want to be God police and stop someone who is manifesting a true touch of God. …  Many thousands have been saved – over 30 thousand counting the backsliders” (Email from Cathy Wood, 31 July 1996).

2 Chronicles 7:14 still applies!  We can humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and repent.  God promises to hear, forgive, and heal the land.

© Renewal Journal 8: Awakening, 1997, 2nd edition 2011

Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

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

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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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