This church lets the homeless sleep on the pews

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He then said: “Follow me.”

– Luke 9:58-59a

This church lets 225 homeless sleep on the pews

Lack of sleep is one of the most critical health issues for the homeless. An average of 225 homeless people seek safety and rest on the pews in the sanctuary of St. Boniface church in San Francisco every day, thanks to The Gubbio Project.

The Gubbio Project was co-founded in 2004 by community activists Shelly Roder and Father Louis Vitale as a non-denominational project of St. Boniface Neighborhood Center located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood in response to the increasing numbers of homeless men and women in need of refuge from the streets.

“No questions are asked when our guests walk into the churches; in an effort to remove all barriers to entry, there are no sign-in sheets or intake forms. No one is ever turned away; all are welcomed, respected and treated with dignity,” the project’s website states.

While the church uses the front 1/3 of the sanctuary for church-goers to celebrate daily mass at 12:15 p.m., the Gubbio Project uses the back 2/3 of the sanctuary. “This sends a powerful message to our unhoused neighbors – they are in essence part of the community, not to be kicked out when those with homes come in to worship,” the non-profit organization says. “It also sends a message to those attending mass – the community includes the tired, the poor, those with mental health issues and those who are wet, cold and dirty.”

In addition to a place to rest, the church offers warm blankets, socks, hygiene kits, and massage services.

[More work for the cleaners – God bless them]

Source: The Gubbio Project

Click to play this video of The Gubbio Project

March 21, 2018

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

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

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

 

 

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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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Church

Renewal Journal 19: Church

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

The Voice of the Church in the 21st Century, by Ray Overend

Redeeming the Arts: visionaries of the future, by Sandra Godde

Counselling Christianly, by Ann Crawford

Redeeming a Positive Biblical View of Sexuality, by John Meteyard and Irene Alexander

The Mystics and Contemporary Psychology, by Irene Alexander

Problems Associated with the Institutionalization of Ministry, by Warren Holyoak

Book Reviews:
Jesus, Author & Finisher by Brian Mulheran
South Pacific Revivals by Geoff Waugh

Renewal Journal 19: Church – PDF

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Editorial

Church Now

Church in the 21st century is changing.  Previously the rate of change has been gradual, spanning many generations.  Now change is rapid in all areas of society, including the social expressions of “church.” 

Charismatic renewal and revival continue to powerfully transform church and community life.  Home groups, cell groups, interest groups, and mission groups proliferate.  They can thrive without budgets, salaries, or church buildings. 

China and Africa lead the world in radical expressions of being the church – often without church buildings, salaries, and traditional services.  Latin America provides increasing examples of community transformation and Christians celebrate together in fiestas and all night united prayer and worship festivities.  Local governments often underwrite the cost of these celebrations because of the enormous impact for good they have on the whole community. 

This issue of the Renewal Journal explores some growing edge challenges emerging now in being “church” in the new millennium. 

Ray Overend finds fresh hope for “The Voice of the Church in the 21st Century” because secular university culture is beginning to change and throw bright light on the very foundations of Christianity, and on just why the Church has lost spiritual authority in the world. 

Sandra J. Godde, Founder and Director of Excelsia Dance Company, calls for Christians in the Arts to give the church a prophetic voice in her publication, “Redeeming the Arts: visionaries of the future.” 

Ann Crawford examines the presuppositions and processes that distinguish Christian counselling from other forms of counselling in her article, “Counselling Christianly: implications for pastors and church-based counselling professionals.” 

John Meteyard and Irene Alexander engage in “Redeeming a Positive Biblical View of Sexuality,” showing how human sexuality and spirituality are very close to another, both dealing with intimate relationship, deep desire, and being known for who we truly are.  They outline theological principles for a positive and integrationist perspective for human sexual experience and expression. 

Irene Alexander explores the relationship of “The Mystics and Contemporary Psychology” to show how the mystics experienced God’s reality in the depths of their being and have often passed on profound truths that can enable us to be close to God.  

Warren Holyoak examines “Problems Associated with the Institutionalisation of Ministry” particularly the difficulties imposed by hierarchical structures, inappropriate distinctions, and inappropriate roles in leadership and ministry. 

Most of these articles were presented and discussed at the 2002 Contemporary Issues in Ministry conference held at the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia. 

The Renewal Journal Publications in the 21st century include inspirational books on renewal and revival on www.renewaljurnal.com.  The books continue to explore stories of renewal and revival.  Here is another. 

Miracles in PNG 

Matt Ransom tells of the beginnings of a new ministry for Fr Charlie Kape.

I have to tell you of the amazing story of Fr Charlie Kape, a Papua New Guinea Catholic Priest.

In Feb. 1998 he visited our church, St Thomas the Apostle Canberra, to take part in a school of evangelization. At the same time a number of revival meetings with being held with Randy Clark and his team. Fr Charlie got absolutely blasted as a result of Randy’s ministry and went back to PNG full of God’s FIRE.

The day Fr Charlie returned, he was at a meeting and he prayed with a woman with a broken arm. Her arm was instantly healed. The next day he was asked to go and visit a man with tuberculosis, he was bedridden. He too was instantly healed.

As a consequence crowds began to seek him out, and again many were healed.

At one meeting, Fr Charlie was in an area where he didn’t know the language. So he spoke in tongues. All the people understood him speaking to them eloquently about Jesus Christ.

Early in 1999, he organized the procession of a cross around his part of the country, to evangelize people. It ended at Port Moresby, the capital (and ravaged by violence and poverty). The procession travelled through an area where any cars that travel are held up, and many killed. The young men who conducted these crimes were touched by the worship, the cross and the message of Jesus. As a consequence, 50 turned to the Lord, handed over their guns and weapon, and stopped their violence. There have been no holdups in that area since. The police superintendent went to visit the young men, burned up their criminal records and invited the young men to become police cadets. 30 said yes!!!!

Fr Charlie has also suffered many attacks. In June of 1999, he was attacked by a group of young men. One attempted to pierce him with a sword and another bashed him with a sword. He ended up in hospital and showed us the scars in his head.

He has a lot of support from his Catholic church and is training up his people. But he needs our prayers.

Finally, Fr Charlie told us how at one powerful meeting of 3000 people, at one stage, he felt to extend his hand toward the people. As he did so, power came from him. People just fell over under the power of the Holy Spirit, and many were healed (he didn’t even lay hands on them). Praise God.

©  Renewal Journal #19: Church (2002, 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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Servant Leadership

 

Renewal Journal 18: Servant Leadership

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:  18  Servant Leadership

The Kingdom Within, by Irene Alexander

Church Models: Integration or Assimilation? by Jeannie Mok

Women in Ministry, by Sue Fairley

Women and Religions, by Susan Hyatt

Disciple-Makers, by Mark Setch

Ministry Confronts Secularisation, by Sam Hey

Book Reviews:
In the Spirit We’re Equal by Susan Hyatt,
Firestorm of the Lord by Stuart Piggin,
Early Evangelical Revivals in Australia by Robert Evans 

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Editorial

Servant Leadership

The great Christian revolutions come not by the discovery of something that was not known before.  They happen when somebody takes radically something that was always there –

H. Richard Neibuhr

Challenges facing the church, its leadership and each of us, have always been there – in Scripture, in Jesus’ call and commands, and in the Spirit’s persistent regenerating and renewing of people and communities.

One of the great challenges facing Christians is how we understand and exercise leadership.  We all lead.  It may be in the home, with our children or youth, in the community, and in the church.  Leadership in the church is not just from the platform or pulpit.  We’re all involved, and can all take initiatives such as contacting people by phone, over coffee, in home groups or in a huge range of activities such as taking food to the sick or bereaved.

Jesus demonstrated and insisted on servant leadership.  To lead is to serve.  We lead by serving.  Kingdom leadership is fundamentally different from leadership in society.  Jesus emphasised this when James and John wanted recognition or prominence (Mark 10:35-45).  How do we demonstrate kingdom leadership here and now?

The timely, significant articles in this issue of the Renewal Journal explore some of these challenges in contemporary ministry facing us in the church.  The articles were presented and discussed as papers in 2001 at the first annual Contemporary Ministry Issues Conference hosted by the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College at Citipointe International Christian Outreach Centre, Mansfield, Brisbane.

You are invited to offer papers for future annual Contemporary Ministry Issues Conferences.  We’d be glad to hear from you.

This conference demonstrated many responses to current challenges.  Keen to interact, teachers, students and visitors packed the seminar lounge at Rivers Café, an integral part of Citipointe Christian Outreach Centre at Mansfield.  All the conference speakers are involved in leadership and ministry, not stuck in libraries.  Most of them are so ministry and people-focused that their research is constantly tested in the lively interface of practice and theory.

Irene Brown examines the transforming power of the kingdom within: the kingdom of God is within you.  We can be liberated from the prevailing bondage to Christian law, and made free to really love and serve one another.  Jesus insisted on that as the true mark of his followers: “By this shall everyone know that you are my disciples, if you have love for another.”  Irene emphasizes that approach in her Christian counselling courses.

Jeannie Mok challenges churches in multi-cultural Australia to embrace our changing context with courage and sensitivity.  Our ethnocentric pride or prejudice can increase barriers between people when the churches should lead the way as radical bridge-building communities of compassion and equality.  Jeannie co-pastors the multi-ethnic International City Church in Brisbane and is principal of the Asian Pacific Institute which offers a range of multicultural courses.  These include the pioneering Pentecostal external studies from Manchester University in England to masters level.

Sue Fairley tackles some sacred cows enshrined in our church traditions.  The place of women in ministry and leadership raises temperatures all over the world.  Tradition easily suppresses fresh movements of the Spirit who calls and liberates women as well as men to be leaders, missionaries, pioneers, and equal partners in ministry.  Many traditions need to be challenged, and Sue does so in her ministry as Principal of Trinity Theological College in the Uniting Church in Queensland.  Her article may surprise you!

Susan Hyatt reports on a significant international conference on women and religions.  She emphasizes a return to a biblical pattern of equality in ministry and service in her writings and speaking, including ministry with her husband in seminars and publications.  Susan’s report provides further insights into the place of women in Pentecostal and charismatic ministry in addition to those quoted by Sue Fairley in her article.

Mark Setch, senior pastor of a progressive Uniting Church in Brisbane, applies his doctoral research on leadership to ministry.  He takes seriously Jesus’ command to make disciples – not just make church members, pew sitters, or meeting attenders.  Mark is also pro-active in united prayer and ministry among pastors and churches in the Redcliffe area of Brisbane where some leaders pray together regularly, some churches now gather for combined services, and some pastors exchange pulpits.

Sam Hey has been researching and teaching about biblical renewal and revival movements which confront the secularising pressures on all Christian institutions.  He applauds Harvey Cox’s conversion from The Secular City thinking of the sixties to the Fire from Heaven thinking of the nineties!  A longer version of Sam’s article is available in the Contemporary Ministry Issues Conference Papers, 2001 ($20 including postage).  There he gives a slice of his current Ph.D. research with 80 footnotes.  Here we reduced that paper considerably, with only 30 footnotes!

Global Reports continue to highlight current developments in revival worldwide and the Book Reviews cover three author-published books which all contain detailed discussions of their renewal and revival themes.

This issue of the Renewal Journal provides inspiring, informative articles which we pray will help you understand and embrace what the Spirit is saying to the contemporary church.

©  Renewal Journal #18: Servant Leadership (2001, 2012)  renewaljournal.com

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Body Ministry, by Geoff Waugh

Body Ministry

The Body of Christ Alive in His Spirit

Body Ministry – PDF

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Body Ministry – over 20 years of research updated to the 21st century.

This 250 page book (2011, 2015) is updated and compiled from two books:

The Body of Christ, Part 1: Body Ministry,  and

The Body of Christ, Part 2: Ministry Education.

Articles and books reproduced and adapted from this book:

 

Unity, not Uniformity (Renewal Journal 17: Unity) – selection from Chapter 4: Spiritual Gifts

Vision for Ministry (Renewal Journal 16: Vision) – selection from the Preface

Learning Together in Ministry – a book expanded from Chapter 15 – Mutual Education: From competition to co-operation.

From the Foreword by Rev Prof Dr James Haire

In this very helpful and timely book, the Rev Dr Geoff Waugh takes up the implications of these issues and applies them to ministry within and beyond the church, the Body of Christ.   As the framework above indicates, Dr Waugh’s analysis, evaluation and application of the theology of the living Body of Christ inevitably is no less than truly revolutionary, as is his analysis, evaluation and application of the theology of the living Spirit’s work.

Dr Waugh has had a long and distinguished mission career, especially in education, in addressing the central Christian issues outlined above.   It has been my honour and my privilege to have served alongside him for eight years (1987–1994) in Trinity Theological College, in the Brisbane College of Theology, and in the School of Theology of Griffith University, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.   He has been a dear and valued friend, and especially one who day-by-day in his life has lived out what he taught.   Moreover, he has had vast experience in his long teaching ministry, not only in Australia, but throughout the South Pacific, Asia, and in Africa.

His work is thus very important reading indeed for us all.

From the Preface to Part 1: Body Ministry,

 

by Rev Dr Col Warren

by Rev. Dr Colin Warren, Former Principal of Alcorn College, Senior Pastor of Rangeville Uniting Church before retirement and founder of Freedom Life Centre, Toowoomba.

In this brief Preface, I acknowledge that Geoff has had a very big impact on my life, both by the witness of his own life and by the quality of his teaching.  I pray that you and your church will be greatly blessed as you read and put into practice these basic biblical principles to reach and bless the people who are searching for the living Christ but often  do not know what it is they are searching for.

Geoff and I have worked with students and on mission enterprises together over many years.  His writing has come from years of practical experience and a vast amount of prayerful study.  He has pioneered a work the results of which only eternity will reveal.  He has never sought recognition for his tireless and faithful service in honouring the Lord, in continuing to teach and to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.  He writes out of varied  experiences.

He was the inaugural Principal of the Baptist Bible College in Papua New Guinea (1965-1970).  He has taught at Alcorn College and Trinity Theological College (1977-1994) and at Christian Heritage College School of Ministries (from 1995).  He is the author of many books, mostly in Christian Education with the Uniting Church, but also on Renewal and Revival.

In this important work, Geoff explores the ministry of the whole body of Christ when Holy Spirit gifts are recognised and are encouraged to be exercised.  Then the artificial division between clergy and laity or pastor and non-pastor is removed.  At the same time there is the recognition of Holy Spirit endowed leadership gifting such as that between Paul and Timothy.  This means that Kingdom authority is expressed through Divine headship.  His emphasis on body ministry thus becomes a reality.

Geoff illustrates this clearly with his Case study Number 2 on page 34. There the church no longer consists of passive pew sitters but participants in fulfilling the command of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach repentance, heal the sick and cast out demon spirits, having the certain knowledge that He is with them as He promised “to the end of the age”.

Geoff points out that if the church is to live and grow in today’s world, it must recognise the need to emphasize relationships and adapt to change. This change will include such simple things as the way men and women both old and young dress, and allow others the freedom to dress differently as they attend places of worship in a non judgmental atmosphere.

There is, too, the need to realise the reality that many are affected by a global sense of fear of nuclear destruction and of accelerated and constant change and uncertainty.  The church can provide an atmosphere of security through rediscovering the unchanging gospel in a changing world.

Denominations that once were able to be exclusive and hold their numbers in rigid theological disciplines, have been invaded via cassettes, CD’s, DVD’s, and the internet that have widened the thinking horizons of their often theologically bound members, resulting in communication at spiritual levels not possible previously.

Geoff points out that if we are going to fulfil the Great Commission, we must first live the life of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.  It is only then that we can do the work of fulfilling Christ’s command to go.

I commend Body Ministry for you to read.  All Christians will benefit greatly from reading this insightful book.

From the Preface to Part 2: Ministry Education,

 

by Rev Dr Lewis Born

By Rev Dr Lewis Born, former Moderator of the Queensland Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia and Director of the Department of Christian Education.

Body Ministry and Open Ministry Education come at the right time for adult education, gospel communication, and the growth of the church.

Open Education promises to become the most commonly used adult educational methodology of the new millennium.  The demand is likely to increase.  This indicates that the work of Geoff Waugh is a significant contribution to the current educational enterprise.  It is particularly valuable to Christian Educators.  The author’s orientation is theological and his target audience is the faith community, its nurture, growth and outreach.

To this point in time the educative process has been inhibited by dependence on structured courses, the classroom and qualified teachers.  Accelerated technology, as Mr Waugh observes, has made modern resources commonly available to individuals, churches and schools in every village community.  By this medium Open Education for the first time in history is able to offer high quality education from the world’s best teachers to people in their own lounge, church or local group meeting place.

All this coinciding with the renewal movement has stimulated interest in theological learning to an unprecedented degree in the history of Christendom. The incredible numerical religious revival in the illiterate Asian and Latin church has been stimulated and served by modern technology.

This gives Open Ministry Education and therefore Mr Waugh’s work a global relevance, which he has applied in the Australian context.

As a fellow Australian I am appreciative.  My appreciation is greatly enhanced by a deep respect and affection for the author.  He is a competent teacher, an excellent communicator, an informed, disciplined renewalist and an experienced extension educator.

All these qualities combine to commend the author and his work.

Amazon Review:

 

Spirit-led ministry for the body of Christ

Author Geoff Waugh has been generous by providing several books encompassing body ministry. Each has a different flavor but all draw you closer to the concept of what today’s ministry needs to entail. Whether in church or in home groups all must center, he states, on relationships and using the varying gifts of the body to build up God’s kingdom. Just like Jesus taught on kingdom living we too need to break out of comfortable tradition, dissolve the gap between clergy and laity, and not conform to the world but be an agent of transformation to the world.

Servant leaders, Waugh believes, are called and anointed to equip others for ministry. It is not about position, hierarchy, or authority but a question of function and service. As the order of service is dictated by the Spirit’s outpouring, there are new songs in worship that can emerge as well as inspirational insights to edify the body.

The contrast given between traditional leading and 21 st century servant leadership is very informative. It allows pastors and leaders to evaluate the way things are done and help them lead in supportive ways.

The media and educational access via technology has allowed information at our fingertips and Waugh shares how the purpose of education has changed and what adult learners most appreciate today. This resource will be of benefit to all ministry leaders and teachers. I recommend it for positive change and for allowing the Holy Spirit, the Great Teacher, to have full reign.

 

Book Structure

Part 1:  Body Ministry

I. Body Ministry                        with                      II. Body Organization

1. Kingdom Authority                  with                      6. Divine Headship

2. Obedient Mission                    with                     7. Body Membership

3. Mutual Ministry                        with                     8. Servant Leadership

4. Spiritual Gifts                          with                     9. Body Life

5. Body Evangelism                    with                   10. Expanding Networks

Part 2:  Ministry Education

11.  Open Education: From narrow to wide

12.  Unlimited Education: From centralized to de-centralized

13.  Continuing Education: From classrooms to life

14.  Adult Education: From pedagogy to self-directed learning

15.  Mutual Education: From competition to co-operation

16.  Theological Education: From closed to open

17.  Contextual Education: From general to specific

18.  Ministry Education: From pre-service to in-service

Contents

 Foreword: Prof Dr James Haire

 

Prologue:  Change Changed      

 Part 1: Body Ministry

 Preface to Part 1, Body Ministry: Rev Dr Colin Warren                         

 Section I.  Body Ministry:  From few to many

Chapter 1.  Kingdom Authority:  From meetings to ministry

1. Church and Kingdom

2. Signs of the Kingdom

Chapter 2.  Obedient Mission:  From making decisions to making disciples

1. Empowering

2. Discipling

Chapter 3.  Mutual MinistryFrom spectators to participants

1. Clergy

2. Laity

Chapter 4.  Spiritual Gifts:  From limited to unlimited

1. Unity

2. Diversity

 

Chapter 5.  Body EvangelismFrom programs to growing churches

1. Program Evangelism

2. Power Evangelism

 

Section II.  Body Organization:  From some to all 

Chapter 6.  Divine Headship:  From figurehead to functional head

1. The Written Word

2. The Living Word

Chapter 7.  Body Membership:  From firm to flexible structures

1. The Organism

2. The Organization

Chapter 8.  Servant Leadership:  From management to equipping

1. Servanthood

2. Equipping for ministry

Chapter 9.  Body Life:  From passive to active

1. Concern for People

2. Concern for Task

Chapter 10.  Expanding Networks:  From maintenance to mission

1. Congregational Structures

2. Mission Structures

Case Study:  China miracle     

 

Part 2: Ministry Education

Preface to Part 2, Ministry Education: Rev Dr Lewis Born 

 

Introduction: Ministry Education in the Body of Christ:

From traditional to open ministry education

Chapter 11.  Open Education:  From narrow to wide

1. Open Ministry Education

2. Distance Education

Chapter 12.  Unlimited Education:  From centralized to decentralized

1. Advantages

2. Problems and Solutions

Chapter 13.  Continuing Education:  From classrooms to life

1. Increasing Change

2. Increasing Choice

Chapter 14.  Adult Education:  From pedagogy to self-directed learning

1. Principles

2. Foundations

 

Chapter 15.  Mutual Education:  From competition to co-operation

1. Aims and objectives

2. Implications

 

Chapter 16.  Theological Education:  From closed to open

Bases for Change in Theological Education

 

Chapter 17.  Contextual Education:  From general to specific

1. Theology in Context

2. Ministry in Context

Chapter 18.  Ministry Education:  From pre-service to in-service

1. Body Ministry

2. Servant Leadership

Epilogue:  The Unchanging Christ

Body Ministry is compiled, updated and expanded from these two books:

The Body of Christ: Part 1 – Body Ministry

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The Body of Christ 2: Ministry Education

The Body of Christ: Part 2 – Ministry Education

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A Learning Together in MinistryLearning Together

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Learning Together in Ministry – PDF

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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.

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The Spirit told us what to do, by Carl Lawrence

Two young women set off to plant churches without plans or training because “Jesus said to ‘go.'”
After we prayed, the Holy Spirit would tell us exactly what to do.
We would keep praying and he would tell us what to do,
and we would do it.
Then we prayed and then he would tell us what to do.
We would do it and keep praying.

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Reproduced from  Renewal Journal 12: Harvest

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The Spirit told us what to do

Several high-ranking church leaders from Europe visited a pastor in Hong Kong. The pastor took them to visit some of the Three-Self churches. They found them inspiring, and uniquely Chinese, but they wondered aloud if perhaps they weren’t seeing the real church.

On the final day of their visit, the pastor hoped to show them what they wanted to see. He knew they would not really be satisfied unless they met a real church planter. As it turned out, they saw something incredibly beyond what they ever expected to find in China.

At their last stop, the pastor discovered that two young women had just returned from their mission station for a short visit, so he asked them to come to the hotel late, to meet the visiting church leaders.

These young ladies had both become Christians as teenagers while listening to radio broadcasts, and they each had immediately felt the call to be a missionary. The pastor had met with them and attempted to teach them how to witness right where they were.

“No,” they insisted, “the Bible you gave us says Jesus said to go to into all the world. We want to ‘go.'”

“But,” the pastor argued, “you have only been Christians for six months, and you are so young.”

They replied, “Pastor, we have read everything Jesus said and nowhere does he ask people how old they are. We want to go.”

Smiling, the pastor asked them, “But can you give me an exegesis of the five classical appearances of the Great Commission in the New Testament?” Their disappointed faces made him feel ashamed. “Very well. We need some workers on Hainan Island.”

“Hainan Island, we have never heard of it.”

The pastor said, “It is an island off the mainland. The people there are fishermen. It is very rough. There are no Christians there. For young ladies it might be very dangerous.”

Excitedly they responded, “How soon can we go?”

“Well, I have to go back to Hong Kong and make arrangements. There will be . . . “

They interrupted him, “Oh no, no, we must not wait. Our Lord said ‘go,’ not sit around and plan. We will go to this place – what did you call it?”

“Hainan. Hainan Island.”

They looked at each other, “Hainan, yes Hainan. That is where the Lord wants us to go.”

They had been there for two years and were now back for a short period of time to try to get Bibles and other literature for their new churches. The pastor had not seen them since the day they insisted that they ‘go now’!

After the arrangements were made, he went to the lobby at the appointed time and waited for the ladies to arrive. He watched the bellboys in their crisp, tailored uniforms, and the tourists who attempted to be casual in their designer clothes. Then he spotted the two young women. Oh no, he thought as they walked in.

Their black pyjamas and broad-brimmed fishermen hats stood in stark contrast to the appearance of the sophisticated hotel receptionist making her way towards them.

The pastor moved quickly to intercede. “It’s all right, they are here to see me.” Several people stood staring as he greeted them as politely as possible without drawing too much attention. “Come, we will go to my room to meet some people from Europe.”

Once in the room, the two European church officials graciously greeted them. He proceeded to ask the young ladies questions, interpreting for his guests as he went along.

“Pastor, ask them how many churches they have established on Hainan.”

The women put their heads down and answered, “Oh Pastor, we have only been there two years . . . yes, two years. Not many. Not very many.” Their voices were apologetic.

“How many?”

“Oh, not many, not many. We have only been there a short time. The people were not very friendly. . . Sometimes they became very vicious. Yes, sometimes they told us they were going to drown us in the ocean . . . several men threatened us . . . . Oh my, and because we were so young, even some of the other ladies did not like us. Yes some even called us terrible names . . . so not many churches . . . no, not many. . . .”

The pastor interrupted and slowly repeated the words, “How many? How many?”

There was a moment of silence, then one of the women looked up with embarrassment and anguish, as though confessing to a crime, “Only . . . thirteen. “

The pastor looked astonished and interpreted for the guests, “Thirteen.”

One of the guests repeated the number, “Only thirteen, only – my goodness. I haven’t planted that many churches in my lifetime.”

One of the pastor’s assistants interrupted, “No, Pastor, she did not say thirteen. She said thirty.”

The pastor looked at the two young women and asked, “Thirty?”

“Oh, yes, not many, we have done very poorly. Only thirty . . . .”

The two guests could only mutter, “Thirty churches in two years . . . my word. . . .”

Again the women began to apologize when the pastor interrupted to ask another question, “How many people are in the churches?”

“How many? . . . Oh, not many. . . . ” Again both heads went down, apologizing for their failure. “Not many. “

The process repeated itself until, again, the pastor looked like he was ready to shake them and practically yelled, “How many?”

“Only two hundred and twenty people. Not many, no . . . not many. “

Quickly multiplying in his head, the pastor said, “Two hundred and twenty in thirty churches?”

“Oh, no, in only one, but that one is a very small church, very small. There are bigger ones. . . .”

As the pastor interrupted he heard the numbers repeated by his guests: “Two hundred and twenty is small? Dear Lord, I wish I had some that large.”

“Ask them how many are in the big churches.”

The process began, but with a more reverent inquiry: “And how many in the big churches? You know, the biggest one?”

“Oh, not many . . . .”

“I know, ‘not many.’ But, please, ladies, how many?”

“Oh, less than five thousand. Only four thousand nine hundred . . . . Yes, less than five thousand. We have just started.”

From behind the pastor came the sound of weeping: “Dear Lord, forgive us.”

“What did they do? How did they do it? Ask them what they did?”

When asked, they looked astonished. “What did we do? Why nothing. Yes, we did nothing, nothing.”

“You did nothing? You have thirty churches – the smallest with two hundred and twenty people, the largest with almost five thousand new Christians! And you did nothing?”

“No, nothing. We just prayed.”

“I know you prayed, but what else did you do?”

“After we prayed, the Holy Spirit would tell us exactly what to do. We would keep praying and he would tell us what to do, and we would do it. Then we prayed and then he would tell us what to do.  We would do it and keep praying.”

“Dear Lord, they just prayed . . . and the Holy Spirit told them exactly what to do and they prayed. . . . “

The pastor laid his hands on the shoulders of the two sisters. Behind him his two guests, on their knees weeping, joined as they ‘just prayed’.

Dawn Report, August 1998. Source: Church Planting Canada, the Church Planting arm of Vision Canada. Originally published by Carl Lawrence, The Coming Influence of China. Gresham: Vision House Publishing Inc, 1996, pages 186-192. 1

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A 2 Reign of JesusA 7 LionThis article is also an Appendix in

The Lion of Judah (2) The Reign of Jesus

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