Problems Associated with the Institutionalisation of Ministry, by Warren Holyoak

Problems Associated with the Institutionalisation of Ministry

by Warren Holyoak

Warren Holyoak (right) & The Point Elders

Warren Holyoak wrote as a Churches of Christ minister in Queensland working with a team of leaders in The Point Church at Wellington Point, Brisbane.  This article was presented as a paper given at the Contemporary Issues in Ministry Conference, 2002, at Christian Heritage College, Brisbane, Australia.

 

Renewal Journal 19: Church PDF

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
Problems Associated with the Institutionalization of Ministry, by Warren Holyoak:
https://renewaljournal.com/2012/05/20/problems-associated-with-the-institutionalisation-of-ministry-by-warren-holyoak/

An article in Renewal Journal 19: Church:

 


Introduction

Institutions are the product of the human drive to organise cooperative activity.  I want to emphasise their human nature.  This is not to say that God does not approve of institutions.  Prior to Jesus’ coming God instituted the temple worship and sacrificial system of Israel.  Jesus came to build his church.  God has sought to order and regulate joint activities of his people.  But even joint activities initiated by God have historically taken on, and to some extent been transformed by, the distinctly human qualities of institutionalisation.  Traditions, hierarchies, even buildings and a sense of place in society are human marks of an institution.  So are ambition, power, control, pride and tendencies toward self-promotion and survival.  It is these human qualities of institutions that have historically subverted God’s purposes and, in my view, generally make them incompatible with pure Christianity.

The detailed regulation of institutions that God promoted under the Old Covenant were not provided to help them operate effectively, but to serve a prophetic or typological function as they pointed forward to the coming of Christ.  The church that Jesus came to build was far less defined in human institutional terms.  Whereas, for example, the religious institutions of the Jews and Samaritans argued over the correct place of worship, Jesus told the Samaritan woman who raised the issue that, “a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:20-24).  This expressed a shift in emphasis from externals to the hearts of worshippers.  Consequently, we learn far more about the early church from their behaviour than by instruction.  Even when Paul sought more orderly meetings of the church in Corinth, his directions were more than anything else practical, and his intent was that their meetings be spiritually beneficial (refer to 1 Corinthians 10:23-34; 14:6-40).  Anthony[1] and others have interpreted the lack of direction to mean that we are free to devise whatever church organisational structure we feel will best facilitate its ministry and outreach.  My view, however, is that not only does God seem to be far more interested in the organic functioning of the church than its institutional trappings, but that any institutional trappings we bring to the church are more likely to hinder than help.

The organisational feature of the church given most attention in the New Testament is that of individual roles.  In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul likens the contribution made by each member to the complementary functioning of body parts in a growing, healthy human being (Eph. 4:15-16).  In context, the two necessary things that are identified are unity and leadership (Eph. 4:1-14).  These are recurring themes throughout the New Testament.  For each individual to function as they should in the church they need mature leadership and a spirit of unity.  The text in Ephesians shows how leadership contributes to unity by promoting growth in every member toward a Christ-like maturity.  It is therefore no surprise that leadership is the organisational feature given the next most attention in the New Testament.

John C. Maxwell[2] has been the most published of many recent authors who have focussed on church leadership.  They have offered many useful insights, but in my view too often their ideal church leader looks very similar to the ideal corporate or institutional leader.  The most apparent difference is reference to servant leadership in the church, but its practical impact seems to be more on the attitude of the leader than on the nature of the role.  If the church functions much like any other institution, this would be appropriate.  My point is, however, that the role of church leaders is very different to that of institutional leaders because the church is unlike any human institution.

Christ is the leader of the church.  The organisational function of the church is to help each member be like its leader.  According to Paul, that involves preparation for works of service, unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and maturation (Eph. 4:12-13).  Human leaders, therefore, are essentially facilitators of the growth process.  They are also participants in this process – but just further down the road.  This is most evident in the qualities Paul nominates as “musts” for church overseers and deacons to Timothy and Titus (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9).  I have more to say about this, but will do so as I consider what I believe are some of the problems associated with the institutionalisation of church ministry.

There are three problems I believe institutionalisation has brought to the church:
Hierarchical structures;
Inappropriate distinctions; and
Inappropriate roles.

Hierarchical Structures

Notwithstanding all the recent efforts to “flatten” the organisational structures of secular institutions, they remain essentially hierarchical[3].  Titles are carefully crafted to reflect rank as well as role, and salary differentials are greater than they have ever been.  There seems no other way to manage human institutions, particularly large ones.  If we want things done properly in the church, then we are naturally inclined to apply the best cultural model we know.  We might even be encouraged by its apparent success in better organising churches that are generally notorious for inertia, inefficient decision-making and a lack of what our culture calls “professionalism”.

But the New Testament emphasis is that churches be orderly rather than professional; effective rather than efficient; and led by the Spirit rather than by human agendas.  Spiritual maturation is an uneven individual process that defies planning or timetables.  Certainly, management is necessary, but the New Testament designation of management roles is more descriptive than titular.  Initially, leadership was in the hands of the “apostles”, a general word used to describe “one set forth”[4] (as used of Jesus (Heb. 3:10; Barnabas (Acts 14:4, 14); Andronicus and Junias (Rom. 16:7); Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25); Silas and Timothy (1 Thess. 2:6), but which also seems to have been used to specifically refer to the twelve (Acts 1:24-26) and Paul (1 Cor. 9:1-2; Gal. 1:1) because they had seen the Lord and been specially commissioned by Him).  New churches were established by “evangelists” (bringers of good news), who were typically itinerant preachers of the gospel.  Once churches became established, local leadership seems to have passed to “bishops” (or “overseers”) and “deacons” (or “ministers” or “servants”)[5].  Once again these designations were descriptive rather than titular.

It did not take long, however, for Christians to start thinking about these role descriptors in a titular sense.  Steinbron[6] blames Constantine’s Romanisation of the church in the fourth century, but as early as the second century, Ignatius[7] describes a distinction between “bishop” and “elder” in the church in Antioch and elsewhere.  “Elder” (or “presbyter”) was initially just another descriptive noun emphasising the maturity of overseers – the terms are used interchangeably in passages such as Titus 1:5-9.  But each church had a plurality of elders[8] and it is evident that cultural influences soon promoted a more titular usage to distinguish between the presiding “bishop” and the other “elders”.  When bishops from a number of churches subsequently met, the title of “archbishop” for the presiding bishop was the logical next step.

The same role is also referred to in the New Testament as that of “pastor” or ‘shepherd”[9].  This describes the style of this leadership role.  Its usage in a more titular way came much later, probably because the secular role of a shepherd was well known and had little status.  More recently the preferred form “pastor” has come into vogue, but is typically used in a distinctive way that distinguishes the role from that of “elder” or “overseer”.  In many evangelical churches, “pastor” is a title reserved for professional leaders whereas “elder” refers to the lay leadership.  For example, in many Baptist churches, the eldership consists of mature local members who exercise oversight, but who also appoint a trained “pastor” to shepherd the flock.  This parallels the institutional model of a board of directors who appoint managers to run the operation.

So from the one role that was variously described in the New Testament, we now have each descriptor used in a titular way to define and distinguish a variety of roles.  This has accompanied (both aided and abetted) the institutionalisation of the church and its ministry.

A similar thing has happened to the role of servant.  All Christians should serve one another and this is the descriptive meaning of the word “deacon”[10], or “minister”.  The qualifications set out by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 also use this descriptor for a position of authority.  The role seems to have been one of coordination to ensure that the physical needs of the church were met.  Much like the seven appointed to administer the daily distribution of food to needy widows (Acts 6) and free the apostles to concentrate on the spiritual needs of the church, the function of “deacons” complements the spiritual leadership of shepherds.  But once again institutionalisation has adapted and made distinctions between the various renderings of the same word.  “Servant” has not suited the status we attach to a title, but “deacon” and “minister” are widely used.  Most typically, “deacon” is used of lay workers whereas “minister” is used of professional workers.

The larger the institution, the more hierarchical distinctions we want to make of roles within it, and so the more titles we will need.  Inevitably, it has been necessary to go beyond Biblical descriptors.  “Reverend”, “Canon”, “Primate”, “Pope”, and other variants have evolved.  Each has developed a cultural status because culture recognises and respects the status of institutional hierarchies.  But what has this done to the church?

Inappropriate Distinctions

Hierarchical distinctions are not compatible with the mutual interdependency intended for church function as illustrated by the body model of Ephesians 4.  Titles themselves discriminate in inappropriate ways.  Not only can they be used to praise or flatter (cf. John 12:43; Job 32:21-22), but they call too much attention to our status at the expense of God’s, as Jesus warned:

But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi’, for you have only one Master and you are              all brothers.  And do not call anyone on earth ‘father’, for you have one Father,          and he is in heaven.  Nor are you to be called ‘teacher’, for you have one Teacher, the Christ (Matthew 23:8-10).

Ministry in the New Testament churches was an expectation of each and every Christian (Eph. 4:16; 1 Cor. 12:12-31).  While “the worker deserves his wages” (1 Tim. 5:18), the same context generally encourages Christians to avoid burdening the church by working for a living and providing for their family (1 Tim. 5:3-16).  Giving was primarily directed at needy Christians.  Financial support for ministry seems to have been largely occasional and circumstantial.  This was certainly the case for Paul who sometimes received financial support from churches and sometimes worked as a tentmaker to support himself.  The “workers” in view in 1 Timothy 5 were elders, “especially those who work is preaching and teaching” (1 Tim. 5:17), who are said to be “worthy of double honour”.

Institutionalisation of churches has led to more formal employment structures.  The clergy – laity distinction is one broad outcome.  Even where this distinction is actively minimised, more subtle issues can be identified, some with profound implications for the life and functioning of the church.

The most obvious of these is for the burden of church work to be placed upon the paid worker(s).  They, after all, have the time and the institutional mindset wants to make them responsible and measure their performance by results.  This is a far cry from Paul’s model outlined in Ephesians 4, as Colson points out, “Contrary to popular impressions today, the pastor is not paid to do our work (service) for us … [They] are to equip the saints – that’s us – to serve”[11].  “This is why the church’s primary focus must always be on developing the character of its people.”[12]

Furthermore, churches become organisationally, if not clerically, dependent, even though such a structure is incapable or really meeting there needs.  In other words, without the institutional structure in place, including roles filled by paid workers, the church cannot function.  Towns believes that this is the unavoidable end of what has been described as the sociological cycle of church growth.  “Most denominations become cold, from making the organization the goal of existence, rather than fulfilling a biblical purpose.”[13]  The role of members becomes akin to supporting their local football team.  They help finance it, they cheer it on, but they only participate vicariously through the ministry team.

Biblical leaders were natural leaders by virtue of their personal character and God-given abilities, not because of their qualifications.  Institutionalisation of the church has brought with it a demand for professionalism that gives greater weight to appropriate academic qualifications than to personal qualities.  There is nothing wrong with academic training in theology or ministry, indeed there is much to commend it.  Teaching is an important part of leadership, and it should be well informed.  Hosea lamented, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).  But it forms only one aspect of good leadership.  Although it is not the most important one, it tends to be the main pre-requisite for paid workers these days.  This can inadvertently create an implied authority based on qualifications that leads to an ungodly respect for persons (because of their qualifications rather than their personal qualities) and a tendency to follow the man (much like the Corinthians (1 Cor. 1-3)) rather than God.

So the development of a “hireling” mentality in church ministry can seriously undermine the intended functioning of churches.  John records Jesus’ comparison between the good shepherd and the hired hand in John 10:7-18.  Similarly, church leadership needs to be exercised by those who know and are known by the members, those who will remain when the professional worker has long gone.  How often do we hear of professional workers who have effectively adopted a ‘hit and run’ approach, devastating the congregation they hardly got to know, and then blaming their lack of spirituality or zeal?

Worst of all, institutionalisation promotes centralised organisational structures.  While they promise organisational efficiency, they inevitably lose touch with their membership.  The Biblical model of more autonomous local structures can, however, better monitor and adapt to the needs and progress of the group they are a part of.  It is interesting that this has recently been recognised by many denominations that have transformed their centralised structures from exercising control, to providing support services for more autonomous congregations.

Inappropriate Roles

I have already described how institutionalisation has tended to concentrate ministry in the hands of paid workers – the “clergy”.  These church leaders end up doing most of the work themselves rather than enabling all members to participate.  Consequently there is no mutual ministry and no one ends up functioning in their proper role.

Church leadership is more like the role of a parent than of an institutional executive.  Its function is to look out for and develop its people.  Oversight of the spiritual welfare and development of each member is the primary leadership role.  In an established church this should be undertaken by a plurality of overseers, call them elders, pastors, shepherds, presbyters or bishops – “They keep watch over you as men who must give an account” (Heb. 13:17).  They should be men known to the local church because they have been a part of it and are committed to it.  It is simply not a role that can be effectively delegated to a hired professional.  Similarly, the secondary leadership role relating to the coordination of activities that meet the physical needs of the congregation, should also be undertaken by people known to the congregation and who know their needs, call them deacons, deaconesses, ministers or servants.

Church members whose spiritual and physical needs have been met and who have been prepared for works of service suited to their giftedness are then free and ready to do their work – the work of the church.  The leaders may also participate in this work, but alongside rather than over everyone else.

Another area of concern is that of congregational decision-making.  Church leaders are not to lord it over the congregation (1 Peter 5:3), but simply lead the process of decision-making.  This is evident, for example, in the decision-making process of the council at Jerusalem, despite the presence of the apostles as well as the elders of the Jerusalem church.  After leaders had discussed the issues at hand, the text records, “Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided …” (Acts 15:22).  Leadership of the decision-making process demands humility to recognise the role is no more than one of servant-hood and facilitation, combining a knowledge of God’s will and sensitivity to the needs and thinking of the members.  Its not that the church is a democratic institution, but it is a participative body.

Conclusion 

I have sought to identify just a few contemporary issues that I believe can be traced to the institutionalisation of church ministry with a view to challenging those in paid ministry to reconsider and/or clarify their role.

Institutionalisation tends to discriminate and isolate, whereas the biblical model for the church is inclusive and intimate.  Ministry is the role of every member, and depends on giftedness and preparation.  Leadership is a ministry of spiritual oversight and preparation.  It is a honourable ministry, but it should never lose sight of the fact that “those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (1 Cor. 12:22).

When leadership is close to the membership and sensitive to their needs, it is most likely to be seen as relevant and is most likely to promote vitality among them.  Church leaders should never lose sight of God’s purpose for the organisational expression of the church – that of encouragement and preparation for works of service.  The organisation itself is only the means to these ends.  When the organisation becomes an end in itself, the inevitable product is institutionalisation and denominationalisation.  Ministry then becomes bureaucratic, isolated, and ultimately ineffective.  And the church ceases to function as it was intended.

Bibliography

Anthony, Michael J.  The Effective Church Board.   Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House. 1993.

Barna, George. Leaders on Leadership.  Ventura, California: Regal Books. 1997.

Colson, Charles.  The Body.   Dallas, Texas:  Word Publications. 1992.

Conner, Kevin J.  The Church in the New Testament.   Blackburn South, Victoria: K.J.C. Publications. 1989.

Ferguson, Everett. Early Christians Speak.  Austin, Texas: Sweet Publishing Company. 1971.

Maxwell, John C. Developing the Leader Within You.  Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson. 1993.

Maxwell, John C. Developing the Leaders Around You.  Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson. 1995.

Steinbron, M.J. The Lay Driven Church.  Ventura, California: Regal Books. 1997.

Towns, Elmer L.  America’s Fastest Growing Churches.   Nashville: Impact Books. 1972.

Vine, W.E. An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.  Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company. 1940.

NB.   All Biblical quotations are cited from the NIV.


[1] M.J. Anthony, The Effective Church Board.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1993), pp.101-102.

[2] His books include “Developing the Leader Within You” and “Developing the Leaders Around You” published by Thomas Nelson (Nashville, Tennessee) in 1993 and 1995.

[3] In fact, most of the ‘flattening’ has practically had more to do with cutting costs by reducing middle management than any fundamental reform of hierarchical management structures.

[4] W.E. Vine, An expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H Revel Company, 1940), Vol.II, p.44.

[5] Everett Ferguson, Early Christians Speak. (Austin, Texas: Sweet Publishing Company, 1971), p. 171.

[6] M.J. Steinbron, The Lay Driven Church.  (Ventura, California: Regal Books, 1997), p.49.

[7] Quoted in Everett Ferguson, Early Christians Speak. (Austin, Texas: Sweet Publishing Company, 1971), pp. 168-9.

[8] Kevin J. Conner, The Church in the New Testament. (Blackburn South, Victoria: K.J.C. Publications, 1989), p.200.

[9] Note the interchangeability of descriptive terms in 1 Peter 5:1-4.

[10] Vine, op. cit., Vol.1, pp.272-3.

[11] Charles Colson, The Body. (Dallas, Texas: Word Publications, 1992), p.389.

[12] Ibid.  p.408.

[13] Elmer L. Towns, America’s Fastest Growing Churches. (Nashville: Impact Books, 1972), p.181.

©  Renewal Journal #19: Church (2002, 2012)  renewaljournal.com
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included in the text.

Renewal Journals – contents of all issues

Book Depository –  free postage worldwide
Book Depository – Bound Volumes (5 in each) – free postage

Amazon –  Renewal Journal 19: Church
Amazon – all journals and books – Look inside

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
Also: 24/7 Worship & Prayer

Contents: Renewal Journal 19: Church

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

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

Logo Square - PNG
Click here to be notified of new Blogs

FREE SUBSCRIPTION: for new Blogs & free offers

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
Problems Associated with the Institutionalization of Ministry, by Warren Holyoak:
https://renewaljournal.com/2012/05/20/problems-associated-with-the-institutionalisation-of-ministry-by-warren-holyoak/

An article in Renewal Journal 19: Church:
Renewal Journal 19: Church
PDF

Also in Renewal Journals Vol 4: Issues 16-20
Renewal Journal Vol 4 (16-20) – PDF

 

 

Redeeming the Arts: Visionaries of the Future, by Sandra J. Godde

Redeeming the Arts: Visionaries of the Future

by Sandra J. Godde


Sandra Godde is the Founder and Director of “Excelsia Dance” based in Brisbane, Australia.  “Excelsia Dance” is comprised of a Dance School and a Dance Company that seeks to bring heaven to earth and to become a prophetic voice to the nations.

 

Renewal Journal 19: Church PDF

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
Redeeming the Arts: visionaries of the future, by Sandra Godde:
https://renewaljournal.com/2012/05/20/redeeming-the-arts-visionaries-of-the-future-by-sandra-j-godde/

An article in Renewal Journal 19: Church:

 

Overview:
I        The Challenge
II        A Call to Action
III      The Prophetic Task
IV       Strategies for War: A Battle Plan
V       Barriers to Overcome as Artists who seek God’s Glory
VI       The Final Battle for the Arts

I  The Challenge

Where is Christ’s voice in the arts and culture?  Who is bringing the Word of the Lord to this generation?  Where are the Christian artists, visionaries, film-makers, musicians, actors, dancers, and television producers?

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again?  It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men” (Matt 5:13, see also Mark 9:50).  Beloved, it is time to know the majesty, the sovereignty, the creativity and the power of our awesome God.

We are in great need of leaders who have a vision for the kingdom of God, a vision that inspires the creation of images and artistic works that will lead people toward Jesus Christ.  Jesus tells us, “You are the light of the world” (Matt 5:14, see also verse 15,16).  The level of peace, joy, compassion, or justice in our world depends very much on whether God’s people are showing it to the world.  All of the arts have tremendous subliminal power to affect cultures and shape history.

The church has, for the most part, underestimated and misunderstood the importance of the arts as a medium for the Spirit of God to usher in his kingdom.  It is God’s ultimate purpose to bring all kingdoms (even the performing arts arena) under his rulership.  Scripture tells us “You have put all things in subjection under his feet.  For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him.  But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him” (Heb 2:8).  And God promises us that he will reign over all things in the future: “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he will reign forever and ever” (Rev 11: 15b).

Artistic expression is a part of life.  Art in all its forms is pervasive and an essential element of our environment.  The works of significant artists are powerful and influential.  They often guide and instruct the culture in which they are birthed.  Artistic works can weaken or destroy the civilisation in which they were created.

The arts can enlarge or trivialise the imagination.  Therefore the arts are not neutral; they impact us, and we need to be aware of what they are doing.  Art inescapably affects us.  Even unworthy forms are always making their impact on society.  So what are we, as believers, going to do about this fact?  Our place as Christians in this world is meant to be an active one that affects our generation.

We are in a battle for the hearts and minds of people on a global level.  We are being bombarded on every front, especially through the media, with images and ideas that are anti-God.  Have you ever asked yourself why Harry Potter and endless movies about the supernatural are allowed to take such a stronghold?  Has the false theology of religiosity deterred the artist and the visionary from the midst of contemporary Christian culture, leaving big holes for the enemy to stake his territory?  Have we made the mistake of defining ourselves only through negatives?  What do we stand for?  Are we providing a true creative alternative to the culture of our day?

II. A Call to Action

God has called us to redefine the enemies’ boundaries.  “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8b).  We are to be on the offensive in establishing God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

Song, dance, drama and the visual arts are capable of being some of the greatest offensive weapons we have in the body of Christ.  In a highly audiovisual generation that is becoming increasingly multimedia oriented in its language, God desires to pour out his divine creativity to captivate the imaginations of this generation.  He needs willing and devoted vessels to do so.  Worshipping warriors are required for the job.  Prophetic evangelism is the way of the future.

We have a responsibility to participate in the affairs of humanity in a positive way, to the glory of our Father.  The world should be aware of our presence in the earth (Matt 5: 16) and reap benefits from our very existence as Christ’s ambassadors on earth.  The promise to Abraham was that he would become a great and mighty nation and in him all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Gen 18:18).

So we must ask ourselves, how are we serving our generation and leading the way to life and godliness through Jesus Christ?  We must understand that there is a spiritual element to all human affairs and history.  When God’s people are apathetic and do not intercede or stand up for what is right, evil is allowed to gain control of a society.

As Christians we are to be concerned about the fundamental issues of life and the moral and physical condition of our society.  What was going on in the spiritual realm during the tragic events of September 11, 2001?  What was God saying in the aftermath when many stopped to listen?  What is the Lord saying today – to you, your family, your community, and your nation?  Beloved, we need to know something of the heart of God regarding these issues if we seek to be relevant to those around us.

III  The Prophetic Task

The prophetic task of the arts is to break the silence and speak the truth.  It is to let the world know that Christ is alive and he is not silent.  So, what does God require of us?  Micah 6:8 tells us “….  to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God”.  By our obedience we can help establish justice.  By our boldness and our devotion to Christ we can unveil injustice and oppression and expose social, political and religious evils.

We can preach repentance to win people back into right relationships with God, and with one another.  We can speak of his endless love and mercy.  The prophetic task also involves energising God’s people by offering them God’s version of reality:  His perspective is the ultimate reality.

We can only know this by His Spirit and through prayer and the study of His Word.  We can show God’s possibilities through faith; offer God’s hope in hopeless situations; and encourage people to walk in new levels of obedience and abundant life.  By following the ways of God there is indeed the possibility of real justice, love, acceptance, forgiveness and healing.  There is a great need to restore God’s people to fullness of life and implant a living hope within them that will withstand all the storms of this life.

The means of mass communication is expanding and what is transmitted through the air waves is vying for your attention.  We need to continually pray that God would raise up an army of creative artists and visionaries to lead the way back to the Lord and to conquer and outwit the enemy in his plan to steal the hearts and minds of this generation.  We have a mandate to be the voice of God and speak his truth to our own generation.  Our message must embody what God is doing now and proclaim what God is saying to this generation.  His love endures forever and His character is utterly consistent but He is also creative and unpredictable in the way He reveals Himself.  We need to be constantly in prayer to know the heart and mind of God and to be able to know and implement His strategies.

The arts can indeed be on the front-line in global evangelism, winning hearts and minds to Jesus Christ.  The enemy of our souls understands the importance of creativity and uses it to compel mankind to rebel against God.  Are we going to allow millions of  young people to fall under the spell of the Dark Prince?  How can we prevent this?  We need a vision of the infinitely, superior, awesome Creator who sings a much sweeter and deeper and purer song to captivate our hearts and our souls.

Beloved, has not God promised his children power to transform their society by calling into question the world’s ideas and philosophies (Rom 12:2)?  We have been given spiritual weaponry to bring down every thought and idea that exalts itself above the knowledge of God.  We need a vision of the awesome, loveliness of Christ; the earth shattering power of a holy God; and the universal power of the cross of calvary.  Where there is no vision, the people perish (Prov 29: 18).

The eternal plan of God is the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth (Eph 1 :9-10).  In the times to come, creativity and boldness will exemplify the front-line in the battle for mankind.  And it will be the people who know their God that shall be strong and do great exploits to the glory of God (Daniel 11 :32b).  The reward of the harvest will not be for those that sleep or doubt or criticise but for those who turn to God with a glowing faith and allow Him to be all in all.

IV  Strategies for War: A Battle Plan

Our objective is to take the gospel to all people throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations.  We must constantly refocus our attention to make sure we are on track.  We are to win people to Christ and help them become obedient to all that God has commanded.  Battles are won when we concentrate our efforts rather than dissipate our energies in too many directions.  So seek God for your place in His plan and then be careful to obey all that He shows you.  Remember that God has a body of believers and we are all to play a significant part in His overall plan.

Security involves knowing about your enemy and having continual protection against him.  It also means having a final line of defence past which the enemy cannot penetrate.  For us, this is the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.  I believe there are very specific powers and principalities that have controlled the performing arts arena for a long time, and we need to identify what these are and advance forward to conquer these ruling authorities and dislodge them from the high places of power.

We can’t afford to waste time and energy fighting the wrong enemy, for example, criticizing and competing with one another.  It’s time to know the real enemy and expose him, for our fight is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers in the spiritual realm (Eph 6:12).

V  Barriers to Overcome as Artists who seek God’s Glory

The following ideas are taken from Scott MacLeod’s book entitled Snakes in the Lobby in which he documents a vision the Lord revealed to him regarding the state of the Christian Music Industry and the powers that were seeking to weaken their witness to the world.  I believe they apply equally to the whole performing arts arena.  Let’s now look at the enemies of our soul with the purpose of identifying and uprooting that which is holding us back from being all that God intended for us to be as artists.  In order to reflect the glory of our Father we need to be cleansed, purified, and yielded to God so we can mirror His eternal nature.

Scott MacLeod’s vision entailed a lobby full of Christian artists talking and networking with each other and also showed a plethora of snakes which represented different powers or spirits that were present, drawing people away from a pure devotion to Christ.

The largest snake was SELF PROMOTION.  This snake inspired his victims with a hunger to be bigger and bigger.  His influence seemed to be ubiquitous.  This could be otherwise stated as SELF INTEREST, an excessive longing to be known and recognised by others.  It is the main barrier between us and God’s kingdom.  It is the striving to establish our own kingdom instead of building God’s kingdom.  I believe that to overcome this very deep, magnetic pull that we all struggle with, requires a very deep and real knowledge of God’s love for us personally.  When we understand who he is and how infinitely superior he is to us, we can rest in his love for it is more than sufficient for us, and we are content to be hid in the beloved, and then we concentrate fully on building his kingdom, having been fully convinced of his worthiness and greatness.  Our own need is met in him.

The second snake to appear was LUST.  This was the charmer, the chameleon, changing colours and appearance according to the desires of those under its power.  This snake had a hypnotic quality, drawing in its victims by deceptive flattery with the promise of gaining attention and power for themselves by drawing upon his power.  Again, this snake appeals to the self-conceit in all of us and must be resisted by reckoning ourselves dead to self and self interest.

The next two snakes were intertwined with each other and they were PRIDE and INSECURITY.  These spirits are characteristically found together and cause their victims to vacillate between the two.

One minute they are puffed up with pride and self importance and the next they are wallowing around in the dust with a woeful self-image.  Both extremes are ungodly and lack humility.  These spirits of pride and insecurity bring misery to those ensnared by them and unfortunately it is hard to break loose from them because pride won’t allow the victim to admit any kind of weakness, insecurity, or feeling of failure.  Humility and contriteness of heart is the key to deliverance from these strongholds.  Humbling yourself before Almighty God will allow you to receive a healthy self-image based on God’s Word and a reverential fear and respect for The Lord of Hosts.

The next snake to appear was THE FEAR OF PEOPLE.  This spirit caused its victims to only be concerned about who was who and how they were being perceived by others.  It is a very nervous and agitated spirit that ensnares the one it holds in its power.  It is a spirit of bondage that leads to death as the fear of man prevents us from rightly fearing God.  It often causes its victims to be paralysed with fear.  The remedy to the fear of man is to fear God – to have a revelation of the holiness of God that causes you to reverence him.

On the roof of the lobby was yet another snake called JEALOUSY.  This is the spirit of envy that causes its victim to bum up inside with fury and covetousness.  It attacks the high places because it wants these high places for itself.  It spurs one on with a competitive spirit which is contrary to the spirit of Christ.

There were other smaller snakes hovering around the periphery of the room.  They were bitterness, criticism, unforgiveness, self-pity, and self-righteousness.  All these spirits cause spiritual blindness and make us helpless and vulnerable to the enemy’s attack.  This vision was revealed to show us how we all unknowingly can fall under the powers of the Great Serpent.

The most respectable snake to appear was the SPIRIT OF RELIGION.  This snake had a thirst for power and control and included many of the other qualities of pride, insecurity, lust, jealously, self-promotion, fear of man etc.  They were all hidden in this big white snake.  It is the spirit of self-righteousness and religious pride, an insidious and deceptive power that creeps into the church from time to time.  Unchecked this spirit will lead to a spirit of murder.  It causes people to do evil or tolerate it, and all along believe they are doing right and even doing God’s service.

Later the SPIRIT OF DEATH made an appearance and caused its victims to be overcome with despair and hopelessness.  It causes people to give up, to lose faith, and can result in suicide or other self-destructive behaviour.  It can only be overcome with the blood of Jesus and his resurrection power.

Now, we are all probably familiar with these spirits because they have sought to overcome us all at various times.  God, in His mercy, reveals these things to us that we might understand and know the poverty of our own spirits and turn to him with utter dependence and reverence.  Our gracious Lord reveals these things in our own hearts first, so we can uncover all that is contrary to faith and walk in his light which is the truth that will set us free.  God’s conviction comes so as we can choose him and be free from our sin, our self-life, and this world.  Being cleansed by his blood and appropriating the power of the cross delivers us from all this wickedness and anti-God sentiments that try to control us.

Humility is something we are required to cultivate.  Don’t ask God to humble you – humble yourself under His mighty hand.  Humility leads to grace and grace leads to real love and compassion for others who are still spiritually blind.  The true light of God’s piercing Holy Spirit renders all other powers inoperative.  These snakes are not afraid of you when you are hiding in your own darkness and deception but when you confess the sin in your heart and turn from it, God’s holy presence takes over possession of your soul and sin cannot survive in that environment.  Then, you are equipped and prepared to face the outside enemies.

Serpents don’t engage with you in battle when they see you are properly clothed in the armour of God.  They are scared of the blood of Jesus and the Word of God spoken with faith.  Your faith and fearlessness is terror to them because they know of their condemnation by the righteous judge.

Therefore, to walk in the authority needed to resist evil, one must be fully surrendered to God.

Let love and truth conquer you first before you venture out to conquer spiritual territory for the cause of Christ.  You cannot do it on your own.  You cannot do it without Him.  Learn to allow God to live in you and make his abode in you.  Learn to love as the Father loves.  Can you love your enemies yet?  Can you bless those who curse you?  Can you forgive those who have offended you?  Are you careful to preserve the bonds of fellowship within the body of Christ?  Don’t attempt to do the work of God without the power of God.  Let Christ have his way deep in your soul, transforming your character into His likeness, and equipping you with power from on high.

VI  The Final Battle for the Arts

The present reality is that the prince of darkness is operating like the Pied Piper in the performing arts realm.  He is the power behind a large portion of the music and video industry seeking to shape people’s perception of reality according to his anti-God sentiments and his hatred for the saints of God.  There are many ensnared by the hypnotic trance of this prince that was once the covering worship angel of God.  But now Lucifer has become Satan and his perverted gifts have brought him down to earth with a fury.  His goal is to obliterate anything precious to Almighty God who has become his arch enemy.

Many follow God’s enemy, singing the songs and doing the dances of Babylon.  The ways of the world are opposite to the ways of God.  If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you (1 John 2:15).  Even many of the sons and daughters of God have chased after the creativity of the world and are now under the curse of the prince of the power of the air.  They have become the tail and not the head.  They have stolen glory for themselves and not given glory to God.  They have used their gifts for their own gain, worshipping and serving worldly things like prestige, popularity, money, music and dance.  They have coveted the praises of people instead of the approval of God.  They have had divided hearts.  They have left their first love.  And God is grieved.

God is looking for worshippers in spirit and truth.  His eyes roam the whole earth looking for hearts that are perfect toward him.  The Pied Piper is hungry to keep his spiritual territory because he knows the tremendous power of music and the arts.

Beloved, the Lord is calling us to “come out of her”.  The Lord is calling His artists to come out of Babylon, “the ways of this world”, and tap into the infinite, creativity of the true and living God.

The Lord is calling all those who have ears to hear to stand before the presence of the Living God, and drink in his revelation and wisdom and inspiration to take the Word of the Lord and feed it to the people, lest they perish under the spell of the Dark Prince.  God is looking for people to be his voice.  Are you willing?  I believe we have to understand what it means to fear God, to walk in his wisdom, to hear his voice, and to speak it boldly and without fear.

The Holy Spirit is wanting to inspire his people with songs and dances of deliverance, healing, and comfort.  When we tap into the inspiration that comes from heaven through prayer, our creative works bring life, and connect people spirit to spirit.  People can then taste and see that the Lord is good.

All of creation groans for the sons and daughters of God to arise and take their proper authority in the earth by allowing the Lordship of Christ to rule their lives and take over their wills.  True worship involves all of our beings and all of our faculties.  It is a matter of Lordship – unashamedly declaring Christ as Lord of all.  We are transformed as we worship.  The Holy Spirit of God brings genuine love in our hearts for others and a sense of community and harmony with one another.

When we seek God for our creativity and inspiration, he charges us with new energy; when we wait upon the Lord, he renews our strength and causes us to rise up on the wings of an eagle.  The song and movement of praise and rejoicing in heaven is contagious.  There is no fear, no self-consciousness, no inhibitions or bondage.  Praise frees us.

Spiritual strongholds are demolished, walls of hostility and division fall, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness cannot breathe in the atmosphere of heaven and praise.  God restores our soul.  We begin to laugh and dance and sing like carefree children again.  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Cor 3:17).

God is calling forth an army of worshipping warriors who have first conquered the battle in their own hearts and unequivocally given the reigns of their lives to Christ and are ready and willing to follow the Master’s bidding.  Soldiers must be obedient.  They must be trained, disciplined, and ready to follow commands.  The call comes forward from heaven “Let my people go” so they might worship me in spirit and truth.

We must disentangle ourselves from this world, from self, and from sin and be wholly aligned with the purposes of the Most High God.  Then a powerful and unified army of holy warriors will emerge all over this earth to cover it with the Word of God and the good news of the gospel.  Then he will Come!  Christ will return.  But not before his gospel is spread all over the earth.

Music and art are primary ways of communicating within our culture.  Art is a language that transcends barriers of age, religion, sex, politics, etc., and reaches to the heart.  It is a language that uses images, symbols, colour and sound to evoke universal responses from our psyche.  We cannot afford to dismiss this means of communication.  Our enemy certainly has not.

The anointed arts are one of the most powerful evangelism tools the Lord has given us.  May his artists, filled with the inspiration of heaven, the power of the Spirit, and the glory of God resting in their characters, carry the message of the gospel and the presence of our Lord to every corner of this earth.  Who will stand and volunteer for the job?

Reference:  MacLeod, Scott.  1998.  Snakes in ihe Lobby. Morning Star Publications, Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.

© Sandra Godde, 2002.
189 Gaskell Street
Eight Mile Plains, Brisbane  QLD  4113
Australia.
Ph: 07 3841 4773
International:  617 3841 4773
E-Mail: heaven7@bigpond.net.au

©  Renewal Journal #19: Church (2002, 2012)  renewaljournal.com
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included in the text.

Renewal Journals – contents of all issues

Book Depository – free postage worldwide
Book Depository – Bound Volumes (5 in each) – free postage

Amazon –  Renewal Journal 19: Church
Amazon – all journals and books – Look inside

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
Also: 24/7 Worship & Prayer

Contents: Renewal Journal 19: Church

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

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

Logo Square - PNG
Click here to be notified of new Blogs

FREE SUBSCRIPTION: for new Blogs & free offers

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
Redeeming the Arts: visionaries of the future, by Sandra Godde:
https://renewaljournal.com/2012/05/20/redeeming-the-arts-visionaries-of-the-future-by-sandra-j-godde/

An article in Renewal Journal 19: Church:
Renewal Journal 19: Church
PDF

Also in Renewal Journals Vol 4: Issues 16-20
Renewal Journal Vol 4 (16-20) – PDF

 

Servant Leadership

Renewal Journal 18: Servant Leadership

Renewal Journal 18: Servant Leadership – PDF

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
Renewal Journal 18: Servant Leadership:
https://renewaljournal.com/2012/05/20/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

The Book Depository – free worldwide airmail

Amazon & Kindle

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:
Jesus on Leadership by Gene Wilkes
In the Spirit We’re Equal by Susan Hyatt
Firestorm of the Lord by Stuart Piggin
Early Evangelical Revivals in Australia by Robert Evans 

Renewal Journal 18: Servant Leadership – PDF

READ SAMPLE

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.

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

Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included in the text.

Renewal Journals – contents of all issues
Book Depository – free postage worldwide
Book Depository – Bound Volumes (5 in each) – free postage
Amazon – Renewal Journal 18: Servant Leadership
Amazon – all journals and books – Look inside

Back to Renewal Journals

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
Also: 24/7 Worship & Prayer

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

Logo Square - PNG
Click here to be notified of new Blogs

FREE SUBSCRIPTION: for new Blogs & free offers

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
An article in Renewal Journal 18: Servant Leadership:
https://renewaljournal.com/2012/05/20/servant-leadership/
Renewal Journal 18: Servant Leadership
– PDF

Also in Renewal Journals Vol 4: Issues 16-20
Renewal Journal Vol 4 (16-20) – PDF

 

Body Ministry, by Geoff Waugh

Body Ministry

The Body of Christ Alive in His Spirit

Body Ministry – PDF

Amazon link

READ SAMPLE

body

 

Book Trailer

Free postage worldwide from The Book Depository

 Also on Amazon and on Kindle

Free App for computers, tablets, smartphones – read immediately

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 recognized 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 recognize 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 realize 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 have 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

READ SAMPLE

The Body of Christ 2: Ministry Education

The Body of Christ: Part 2 – Ministry Education

READ SAMPLE

*

See also:

A Learning Together in MinistryLearning Together

in Ministry

Learning Together in Ministry – PDF

READ SAMPLE

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.

Amazon – “Look inside”, details, reviews

The Book Depository – free shipping worldwide – click “notify me”

*

Free PDF Books on the Welcome page
Share with others  –  Blessed to bless.
FREE SUBSCRIPTION: for new Blogs & free offers

Blogs Index 1: Revivals (Briefer than Revivals Index)

Blogs Index 2: Mission (International Stories)

Blogs Index 3: Miracles (Supernatural Events)

Blogs Index 4: Devotional (Including Testimonies)

 Blogs Index 5: Church (Christianity in action)

Blogs Index 6: Chapters (Blogs from books)

Blogs Index 7: Images (photos and albums)

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Spirit told us what to do, by Carl Lawrence

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.

*********************************

Reproduced from  Renewal Journal 12: Harvest

Renewal Journal 12: Harvest – PDF

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
The Spirit told us what to do:
https://renewaljournal.com/2011/08/13/the-spirit-told-us-what-to-do-by-carl-lawrence/

Also, free PDF books are on the Main Page.

*********************************

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

This article is a chapter in Great Revival Stories

 

A Great Revival Stories All1Blog Great Revival Stories

 

The Book Depository – free postage worldwide

 

Amazon – “Look inside” Great Revival Stories

Reproduced from  Renewal Journal 12: Harvest

Book Depository – Renewal Journal 12: Harvest

free postage worldwide

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

The Lion of Judah (2) The Reign of Jesus

and in (7) The Lion of Judah in one volume.

*

Back to Renewal Journals

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

Contents: Renewal Journal 12: Harvest

The Spirit told us what to do, by Carl Lawrence

Argentine Revival, by Guido Kuwas

Baltimore Revival, by Elizabeth Moll Stalcup

Smithton Revival, by Joel Kilpatrick

Mobile Revival, by Joel Kilpatrick

Australian Reports – Aboriginal Revivals

Global Reports

Book Review: 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity, by Eddie Hyatt

Renewal Journal 12: Harvest – PDF

Renewal Journals – contents of all issues

Amazon and Kindle – all issues

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

Times of Refreshing  by Greg Beech

Times of Refreshing

by Greg Beech

 

The Rev Greg Beech wrote as the minister of Randwick Baptist Church in Sydney.  He is CEO of Homes of Hope International.

 

Renewal Journal 7: Blessing – PDF

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
Times of Refreshing, by Greg Beech:
https://renewaljournal.com/2011/05/23/times-of-refreshing-bygreg-beech/

An Article in Renewal Journal 7: Blessing
https://renewaljournal.com/2014/12/02/blessing/

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

___________________________

a significant work of God

is sweeping the church today

___________________________

Many Christians are talking about a significant work of God that is sweeping the church today which has become known as the Toronto Blessing.

Hundreds of churches around Australia have already been touched, blessed and changed.  Christians are testifying to significant life change, wonderful fruit and a new zeal for God.  People are laughing, crying, falling down, experiencing strange body movements.  Many who have exhibited these phenomena have never had such experiences before nor, by their own testimony, did they expect to.  Services are lasting for hours longer than usual.  Many pastors are rejoicing as they observe the spiritual fruit.

At Randwick Baptist Church (hereafter R.B.C.), some of these phenomena have been present in lesser degrees for about nine years. They occurred spontaneously and without prompting or discussion.

At the same time the critics have been quick to respond.  Several have published claims that what they believe is the Toronto Blessing is in fact demonic.  Another church has arrived at the conclusion that this is a work of hypnotism.  Yet others claim it is just a passing fad for the deluded.

The secular media have been intrigued.  Newspaper, radio and T.V. have all visited church services to see for themselves.  The response of the secular media has been mainly positive.  We need to be aware however that the media often seeks sensationalism rather than an accurate portrayal of what is happening.

What are we to make of this extraordinary outpouring?  What place should the phenomena have in ourchurch?  How can we test it to ensure that it is a true work of God?  How should meetings be administered where such phenomena occur?  Furthermore, what is the fruit of all these things?  It is important that we follow the biblical injunction to test all things, and seek to establish biblical foundations for what we see happening.

The current refreshing is not some kind of new ‘latest and greatest’ programme which has been introduced to revitalize church services.  The ‘refreshing’ is not something that pastors introduce to see if new life can be breathed into their church.  We believe what we are witnessing is a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit.  It was with considerable amazement that we stood back and watched God pour out His Spirit in November 1994 at R.B.C.  We found it difficult to come to terms with the sheer power and intensity of God’s work.

For over a year we have pastored this movement, prayed for discernment, discussed, theologized, debated with our critics, searched the Scriptures, and carefully watched and examined the fruit.  We are convinced this is a true work of God.  However, we acknowledge that any work of God which involves a human element, will  encounter sinful tendencies, perhaps demonic attack, and therefore must be carefully dealt with.

There are a number of ‘streams’ of refreshment and renewal that God is using around the world. For example, God is using the Toronto Airport Vineyard to refresh his church.  We have been greatly blessed by them although we ask that people assess R.B.C. based on what we teach and practice, not on what another church does.  Each stream of the movement needs to be assessed on its own merits.  The conclusions and positions we have reached, both in theology and practice, may well be rejected by other churches. We do not believe that ours is the only orthodox position.

The aim of this article is to explain and define what we see God doing in our own experience and to provide a framework to assess other movements worldwide.

Some of the material has been drawn from, expanded and redrafted from an earlier work by Bill Jackson (‘What in the World is Happening to us?’ A biblical perspective by Bill Jackson).

The outpouring at R.B.C.

Late 1993 and the first seven or eight months of 1994 had been a considerable time of change for R.B.C. involving difficult decisions, change of staff, relational tensions, loss of some members, and a rethink of the church’s vision. The ‘ship’ of the church had slowed and was making a careful, yet sure change, in direction.

Throughout the year there was much soul searching and grappling with tough questions. Old foundations were reaffirmed while new foundations were carefully put in place. In what was often a painful process the church sought to come to grips with developing its relational life. An adjoining property was sold, a fresh vision statement adopted and contracts were signed for the completion of building extensions.  It involved considerable flux.  Churches need to go through times when they carefully evaluate what they are doing.

The outcome of this process was a greater sense of unity in the church, a growing commitment to corporate prayer, and a desire to get on with the work of the Kingdom.

In hindsight, we realise that some of the things we went through were necessary for God to be able to come and move freely among us.  Change is never easy and refining is often painful at the time.  We are filled with gratitude as we reflect upon how God was working during this time.

By November an examination of our leadership structure had begun and many questions still needed to be answered. Considerable discussion took place on what we would do with our evening service.  How could we best reach our community?  Yet we were experiencing considerable faith that God was establishing his plans and purposes in our midst.  The Leadership were confident that we were tracking in the right direction.

Factors leading up to the outpouring at R.B.C. include :

* A gradual renewal of the church’s prayer life with new prayer meetings and a number of people joining the ‘prayer watch’.

A four month teaching series on the Holy Spirit was undertaken on Sunday evenings.

* A stronger sense of ‘grace’ in the church.

* A sense of expectation. We had been feeling spiritually dry for sometime. We believed in the work of the Spirit but were not seeing much power. A sense of a new day dawning.

* A couple in the church visited Toronto and were dramatically touched by the Holy Spirit. Upon arriving home on 1st November they prayed for some of us.  We were powerfully ministered to. They also brought back from Toronto some resources, in particular three videos.  Watching one of these I was touched with joy by the Holy Spirit.

* Sunday, 6th November, was a remarkable day for a number of reasons.  In the early morning prayer meeting there was a sense of expectation.  At the worship service an American Pastor, Roy Kendall and his family, (who pastor a church in Jerusalem) led a wonderful time of praise.  Roy spoke on the subject of praise including a word about spiritual dryness, and thirst for God.  He gave me a dry Jericho Lily which while totally dry (and it can stay that way for decades), when touched by a shower of rain releases its seed that germinates in desert conditions in as little as an hour.  For some reason he felt this was an important symbol for R.B.C.  A number of people received ministry after that service but it wasn’t until the evening service that we saw power being poured out.  Chris Acland preached on Isaiah 55, Steve and Cathy testified on their experience in Toronto, and afterwards we saw some of the signs that have since increased in intensity and breadth.

* We recognise and wish to emphasise that the outpouring was not so much a result of anything we did but was a sovereign movement of God.  The outpouring seems to have transferred from the Toronto Airport Vineyard, and is being transferred to churches around the world.  We have been thrilled to learn of other churches in Sydney also being touched.

* While we had prayed for the outpouring of the Spirit, it still caught us by surprise!  The sheer intensity and broad sweep of the Spirit’s work has been staggering.

* Once the outpouring had begun we were reminded of several prophetic words given to us.  Brent Rue had prophesied in October 1990 that a large wave of the Holy Spirit would crash over us.  This wave would be following by waves of converts.

* Glen Sheppard prophesied on 6th October, 1985 at R.B.C.  He believed God spoke to him:  ‘You are sitting in the midst of a people who can shake a nation.’  Glenn prayed:  ‘I thank you Lord that these young folk are standing on the brink of moving into something that is beyond anything they can conceive of.  I see the breath of holy revival for a nation.’  Glenn saw a fountainhead in the church that would flow out and touch the nations.

* Karen Richardson from the Vineyard-Birmingham, Alabama, wrote to us in February 1993:

“IT’S HARVEST TIME!  I see big combines, many big combines out in the field, gathering in.  The Lord says, ‘It is harvest time.  Go out and gather that which has been prepared.  The crop is ready.  The fruit is ripe and ready for picking.’  I see a huge barrel of water, fresh, clean, pure water being poured over that field, the Holy Spirit, cleansing, purifying and perfecting.  In the past you’ve laboured, and you’ve thought, ‘We have laboured in vain.’  The Lord says, ‘No, your labour was not in vain.  And soon, yes very soon, you shall see the reward being manifested.  It shall come forth.  For truly I, your Lord, am the Lord of the harvest.  And this harvest will be different for you, different from the past.  For this harvest is in season.  And there shall be joy – great joy in the Lord.  And songs to the Lord will break forth in this church in a new way.  My Spirit is moving upon this people, this place.  And you are going to be surprised, pleasantly surprised at the new giftings, the new talents, that I am bringing to this place.  A fresh anointing.  A sweet anointing.  You’ll even see some dear faces returning back to you.  They will be there to help with the new harvest!@

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen  (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Testimonies by others

Leaders around the world now report on fresh touched from God.

Ellie Mumford  (South West London Vineyard)

I have a greater love for Jesus than I have ever known;  a greater excitement about the Kingdom than I had ever thought possible;  a greater sense that these are glorious, glorious days to be alive.  I’m thrilled about the Scriptures ….. I haven’t had this appetite for ministry for years.  Jesus is restoring his joy, and his laughter is medicine to the soul.@

John Mosier   (Pastor of Christ the King Church in Brighton, UK)

We know that there is always flesh and spirit in these things and for some suggestible people there will be an experience but little change.  We are hearing many testimonies however of a sense of an encounter with God, an increase in prayer and Bible reading, a boldness in witnessing.  We’ve seen our Sunday evening congregation double@  (Alpha, May, 1995).

Phil Rees  (South Street Baptist Church, Greenwich, UK)

The Lord takes over – you can hardly believe it.  There have been tears of repentance and a release of tension.  There’s a growth of holiness and dwelling close to God.  The last seven weeks have been the best in my Christian life.@

Dave Holden  (Pastor of Sidcup Community Church)

When we pray for them they laugh or weep.  In the following days they talk of a sense of God’s presence, their marriages being different, ethical changes in their lives.  We have discovered a new lease of life.  Our prayer meetings have quadrupled.@

Peter Grearley  (Covenant Ministries, UK)

People have been falling over, laughing uncontrollably, rolling around drunk, and crying deeply.  We have been unable to end some meetings because the people don’t want to stop praising God or leave his presence.  As we worshipped last Sunday, Agnes Morris was instantly healed of a twenty-year back problem.  She had been unable to bend properly and is now a living testimony to God’s healing power.@

Glimpses of revival

It is important to remember what God has done in the past.  We don’t want to live in the past, or be so consumed by the past that we are no use in the present.  We do, however, want to draw inspiration from what God has done time and time again in different ways, in the past.  The current outpouring is not revival although some of the manifestations and testimonies are typical of what occurs in revivals.

Jonathan Edwards – 1737

‘As I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner has for commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that was for me extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man, and His wonderful, great, full, pure and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension.  This grace that appeared so calm and sweet, appeared also  great above the heavens.  The Person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thoughts and conceptions, which continued as near as I can judge, about one hour; such as to keep me a greater part of the time in a flood tears and weeping aloud.  I felt an ardency of soul to be, what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated;   to lie in the dust and to be full of Christ alone; to love Him with a holy and pure love; to trust in Him; to live upon Him; to serve Him and to be perfectly sanctified and made pure, with a Divine and Heavenly purity.’

‘I can see him in my mind’s eye in his pulpit, reading his sermon shortsightedly as he peered at the manuscript by candle light.  He must have been charged with passion.  But his reedy, high-pitched voice would hardly qualify him as a dynamic preacher.  It was the power of God, not erudition or eloquence, that gripped church members that night.  The building rang with echoing cries of terrified listeners, men and women clutching the pillars of the building with all their strength, terrified that the floors would split and their feet go slipping and sliding into hell.’

John Wesley – 1st January, 1739

‘Mr. Hall, Hinching, Ingham, Whitefield, Hutching and my brother Charles were present at our love feast in Fetter Lane with about 60 of our brethren.  About 3 in the morning as we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us, in so much that many cried out for exulting joy and felt to the ground.  As soon as we were recovered  a little from the awe and amazement of the presence his Majesty, we broke out with one voice, ‘We praise Thee O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.’

George Whitefield, 5th November, 1740

‘Mr. Gilbert Tennant preached first and I then began to pray and to give an exhortation.  In about sixminutes one person cried out, ‘He’s come! He’s come!’ and could scarcely sustain the manifestation of Jesus to his soul.  But having heard the crying of others for the like favour I was obliged to stop and I prayed over them as I saw the agonies and the distress increase.  At length we sang a hymn and then retired to the house, where the man that received Christ continued praising and speaking of Him until near midnight.  My own soul was so full that I retired and wept before the Lord, and had a deep sense of my own vileness; and the sovereignty  and greatness of God’s everlasting love. Most of the people spent the remainder of the night in prayer and praising God.  It was a night much to be remembered.’

Daniel Rowland – Wales, March 1743

The preaching of Daniel Rowland in Wales in 1743 is described by Howel Harris; ‘They fall almost as dead by the power of the Word and continue weeping for joy, having found the Messiah; some mourning under a sense of their vileness, and some in the pangs of new birth!…….The power at the conclusion of his sermon was such that multitudes continued weeping and crying out for the Saviour and could not possibly forebear.’

Christmas Evans  – Wales, early 19th Century

In every place he preached, multitudes would weep as he proclaimed the power of the cross of Jesus, and would be converted to Christ.  Under Evan’s preaching the cross of the Lord Jesus took on incredible power and importance, which is its rightful place. 

Ulster, Ireland – 1859

One of the chief characteristics of this revival was the ‘slaying’ of people.  People would fall to the ground on the streets or in the fields and would lie there motionless for hours.  When they recovered, they sensed that God had visited them, and they would worship him and praise him with great fervour and excitement.  Crowds were attracted to observe this incredible phenomenon.  Many people were won to Christ as they believed that this was the work of God.  God doesn’t always work in the ways we expect, and very often works contrary to accepted scientific practice! 

Charleston – 1858

In 1858, John Girardeau was leading his normal evening church service in  Charleston,  North Carolina, when, ‘He received the sensation as if a bolt of electricity had struck his head and diffused itself through his whole body.  For a little while he stood speechless under the strange physical feeling.  Then he said, ‘The Holy Spirit has come; we will begin preaching tomorrow evening.’  He closed the service with a hymn, dismissed the congregation, and came down from the pulpit; but no one left the house.  The whole congregation had quietly resumed their seats.  The Holy Spirit did not only come to him, he had also taken possession of the hearts of the people.  Immediately he began exhorting them to accept the Gospel.  They began to sob softly, like the falling of rain, then, with deeper emotion, to weep bitterly, or to rejoice loudly, accordingly to their circumstances.  It was midnight before he could dismiss his congregation.  The meeting went on night and day for eight weeks. 

Charles Finney – mid 19th Century

Finney described his overwhelming experience of God as ‘waves of liquid love’.  In once service in Northampton Massachusetts, such was the anointing on Finney’s message that the whole congregation of about 500 people rose up and cried out ‘Oh God we are not worthy to stand in your presence. Save us or destroy us’  Many Christians feared to enter a church with unconfessed sin in their hearts unless, in front of the congregation their sin would be revealed.

D. L. Moody – late 19th Century

‘I began to cry as never before for a greater blessing from God.  The hunger increased.  I really thought that I did not want to live any longer.  I kept on crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit.  Well, one day in the city of New York – Oh! what a day, I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it.  It is almost too sacred an experience to name.  Paul had experience of which he never spoke for 14 years.  I can only say God revealed himself to me and I had such an experience of his love that I had to ask him to stay his hand.’

Evan Roberts – Leader of the Welsh Revival, 1904-5

In 1904 Roberts wrote, ‘After many had prayed, I felt some living energy or force entering my bosom, restraining my breath, my legs trembling terribly; this living energy increased and increased as one after another prayed.  Feeling strongly and deeply warmed, I burst forth in prayer.

David Davies – Wales, 1904

David Davies, a minister in the town of Swansea, South Wales was a very poor speaker.  When revival hit Swansea, David Davies became a transformed preacher.  Gone was the hesitancy and stuttering, instead he spoke with the most amazing authority and power.   Following his messages, hundreds of men and women were converted to Christ.  Davies exercised an incredible ministry in the power and demonstration of the Spirit.  When the revival simmered down the following year, the strange thing was that David Davies reverted to his previous hesitant style of preaching. 

The Welsh Revival – 1904-5

When the fire of God fell on the people one of the first evidences that God was at work was a new desire for people to pray.  Prayer meetings lasted from ten in the morning until midnight.  There was preaching, singing, testimony, prayer and reading the Bible aloud.  Coal miners, thousands of feet below the earth, would gather together during their food breaks, not to eat, but to pray and read the Scriptures aloud.  Some would even gather at the pinhead an hour before work in order to sing and pray.  Often the revived Christians had fallen in love afresh with their Saviour.  They delighted to talk with him, to spend time with the Lord, to listen to His voice and to speak of His glory.

Edinburgh – 1905

In 1905, the pastor of the  Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh visited Wales and told the story of God’s great work in Wales to his own congregation.  An incredible movement of the Spirit erupted.  ‘It was at a late prayer meeting, held in the evening at 9.30, that the fire of God fell.  There was nothing, humanly speaking, to account for what happened.  Suddenly, upon one and another came an overwhelming sense of the reality and awfulness of his presence and of eternal things.  Life, death, and eternity suddenly seemed laid bare.  Prayer and weeping began, and gained in intensity every moment.  As on the day of the laying the foundation of the second temple, ‘The people could not discern the noise of the shouts of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people’ (Ezra 3:13).  One was overwhelmed before the sudden bursting of the bounds.  Could it be real?  We looked up and asked for clear direction, and all we knew of God was, ‘Do nothing’.  Friends who were gathered sang on their knees.  Each seemed to sing, each seemed to pray, oblivious of one another.  Then the prayer broke out again, waves and waves of prayer; and the mid-night hour was reached.  The hours had passed like minutes.   It is useless being a spectator looking on, or praying for it, in order to catch its spirit and breath.  It is necessary to be in it, praying in it, part of it, caught by the same power, swept by the same wind.  One who was present says; ‘I cannot tell you what Christ was to me last night. My heart was full to overflowing.  If ever my Lord was near to me, it was last night.’

Malawi – 1910

We find a similar description of a church meeting in Malawi in 1910.  ‘An elder began to pray confessing before all the sin of having cherished the spirit of revenge for an evil done him.  Then another began to pray, and another and another, till two or three were praying together in a quiet voice, weeping and confessing, each one unconscious of the other.  Suddenly there came a sound of ‘a rushing wind’.  It was the thrilling sound of 2500 people praying audibly, no one apparently conscious of the other.  I could think of no better image to describe the noise than the rushing of wind through the trees.  We were listening to the same sound as filled that upper room at Pentecost.  Not noisy or discordant, it filled us with a great awe.’

Scotland – 1949

The famous Duncan Campbell described a meeting on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland during 1949.  ‘The lad rose to his feet and in his prayer made reference to the fourth chapter of Revelation, which he had been reading that morning; ‘O God, I seem to be gazing through the open door.  I see the Lamb in the midst of the Throne, with the keys of death and of hell at his girdle.’  He began to sob, then lifting his eyes toward heaven, cried: ‘Oh God, there is power there, let it loose!’  With the force of a hurricane the Spirit of God swept into the building and the flood gates of heaven opened.  The church resembled a battle field.  On one side many were prostrated over the seats weeping and sighing; on the other side some were affected by throwing  their arms in the air in a rigid posture.  God had come.’

Phenomena accompanying revival

While the current outpouring is not revival, we are seeing things that often accompany revival.  Consider what God has done in the past.

1.  Dislike of enthusiasm is to quench the Spirit.  Those familiar with the history of the church, and in particular the history of revivals, will know this charge of enthusiasm is one always brought against people most active in a period of revival@  (Martin Lloyd Jones).

2.  Lady Huntington wrote to Whitefield regarding the cases of crying out and falling down at the meetings,and advised him not to remove them, as had been done, for it seemed to bring a damper on the meeting.  She wrote, >You are making a mistake. Don’t be wiser than God.  Let them cry out;  it will do a great deal more good than your preaching@  (Wallis 1956:75).

This is not to say that we do not insist on the regular exposition of Scripture but make the point that the evidences of God’s power among us are also instructive.

3.  Wesley’s Journal, July 1739, commenting on developments in Whitefield’s meetings:  Afor no sooner had he begun … to invite all sinners to believe in Christ, than four persons sunk down close to him, almost in the same moment.  One of them lay without either sense or motion.  A second trembled exceedingly.  The third had strong convulsions all over his body, but made no noise, unless by groans.  The fourth, equally convulsed, called upon God, with strong cries and tears.  From this time, I trust, we shall allallow God to carry on His own work in the way that pleaseth Him@  (Wallis 1956:75).

4.  Barton Stone in 1801 on the Kentucky revival:  AThere on the edge of the prairie … multitudes came together …  The scene was new and passing strange.  It baffled description.  Many, very many, fell down as men slain in battle, and continued for hours together in an apparently breathless and motionless state, sometimes for a few moments receiving and exhibiting symptoms of life by a deep groan or piercing shriek, or a prayer for mercy fervently uttered@  (Pratney 1994:103).

5.  Sober professors who had been communicants for many years now were lying prostrate on the ground crying out in such language as this:  >Oh how I would have despised any person a few days ago who would have acted as I am doing now’@  (James McGready).

6.  “At one time I saw at least five hundred swept down in a moment as if a battery of a thousand guns had opened upon them, and then immediately followed shrieks and shouts that rent the very heavens@ –  James Finley, a convert who became a Methodist minister, on the Cane Ridge Revival, Kentucky in 1800  (Pratney 1994:104).

7.  As though hit by a bolt of lightning, the entire company was knocked from their chairs to the floor.  Seven began to speak in diverse kinds of tongues and to magnify God.  The shouts were so fervent and so loud that a crowd gathered outside wondering ‘what meaneth this?’  Soon it was noised over the city that God was pouring out His Spirit” – Carl Brumback, on the 1905 Azusa Street revival (Riss 1988:53).

8.  There is a dimension of openness to the Holy Spirit which allows Him the sovereign right to intervene and override the rational guidance system, to go beyond the written revelation (by prophecy) if He chooses, which must be preserved or else we will fail to do justice both to Scripture and to our common experience  (Lovelace p 269).

May God keep us open to the surprising impact of the Holy Spirit in our time in history.

References

Pratney, Winkie  (1994)  Revival.  Lafayette: Huntington House.

Riss, Richard  (1988)  A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America.  Peabody: Hendrickson.

Wallis, Arthur.  (1956)  In the Day of Thy Power.  London: Christian Literature Crusade.

© Renewal Journal 7: Blessing, 1996, 2nd edition 2011
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included.

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

Renewal Journal 7: Blessing
Renewal Journal 7: Blessing –
PDF

Renewal  Journal 7: Blessing – Editorial

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

Also in Renewal Journals bound volume 2 (Issues 6-10)

Renewal Journals Vol 2, Nos 6-10

Renewal Journals Vol 2: Nos 6-10

Renewal Journal Vol 2 (6-10) – PDF

Amazon – Renewal Journal 7: Blessing

Amazon – all journals and books

See Renewal Journal 7: Blessing on Amazon and Kindle and The Book Depository

Link to all Renewal Journals

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

Free PDF books on the Main Page

 FREE SUBSCRIPTION: for new Blogs & free offers

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
Times of Refreshing, by Greg Beech:
https://renewaljournal.com/2011/05/23/times-of-refreshing-bygreg-beech/

An Article in Renewal Journal 7: Blessing
https://renewaljournal.com/2014/12/02/blessing/
Renewal Journal 7: Blessing –
PDF
Also in Renewal Journals Vol 2: Issues 6-10
Renewal Journal Vol 2 (6-10) – PDF

Revival in the 21st Century

Revival in the 21st Century

 

Geoff Waugh

 

Geoff Waugh reports on recent and current revival movements in the South Pacific nations of Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, as examples of radical and effective discipleship.

 

Revival in the South Pacific

Discipleship happens in many ways.  One of the most effective ways is for us to participate together in ministry and mission.  We learn together.  We learn from one another.  We learn, especially, from our friends in other cultures.  Often they follow Scripture more closely than we do, less encumbered by western rationalism, materialism and secular worldviews.

This report gives examples of such discipleship.  These revivals originated in Pacific cultures, not from missionaries, but from Pacific islanders.  They acknowledge the involvement of spirits in life’s events, including the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome other powers.  They live and think communally, not individually as we tend to do.

These revivals demonstrate that we can learn vital lessons about discipleship as followers of Jesus from children, youth, and ‘uneducated’ village people.  Their childlike (not childish), strong faith, their humble and teachable attitudes, and their application of Scripture to life can challenge and instruct us.

Transforming revival continues to spread exponentially.  The Sentinel Group (www.glowtorch.org) DVDs report on community transformation around the world, especially in Transformations I and II, and Fiji reports in Let the Seas Resound. This brief update describes recent revivals in the South Pacific islands, representative of revivals multiplying in the twenty-first century.

 

Vanuatu

Law School students at their Christian Fellowship (CF) in University of the South Pacific developed a powerfully discipling community through their CF, which led to effective evangelism, mission to many nations, and involvement in revival movements.  Peer discipling with committed leaders encouraged personal growth and enabled powerful ministry.

The Lord moved in a surprising way at the Christian Fellowship (CF) in the School of Law in Port Vila, Vanuatu on Saturday night, April 6, the weekend after Easter 2002.

The university’s CF held an outreach meeting on the lawn and steps of the grassy university square near the main lecture buildings, school administration and library.  God moved strongly there that night.

Romulo Nayacalevu, then President of the Law School CF reported:

The speaker was the Upper Room Church pastor, Jotham Napat who is also the director of Meteorology here in Vanuatu.  The night was filled with the awesome power of the Lord and we had the Upper Room church ministry who provided music with their instruments.  With our typical Pacific Island setting of bush and nature all around us, we had dances, drama, and testified in an open environment, letting the wind carry the message of salvation to the bushes and the darkened areas.  That worked because most of those that came to the altar call were people hiding or listening in these areas.  The Lord was on the road of destiny with many people that night.

Unusual lightning hovered around in the sky that night, and as soon as the prayer teams had finished praying with those who rushed forward at the altar call, the tropical rain pelted down on that open field area.

God poured out his Spirit on many lives that night, including Jerry Waqainabete and Simon Kofe.  Both of them played rugby in the popular university teams and enjoyed drinking and the night club scene.  Both changed dramatically.  Many of their friends said it would not last.  It did.

Later, Jerry became prayer convenor at the CF and Simon its president.  Most of the CF leaders attended the lively, Spirit-led Upper Room church in Port Vila, where pastors Joseph and Sala Roberts, Jotham Napat and others encouraged and nurtured them.

The University of the South Pacific, based in Suva Fiji, has its School of Law in Vanuatu (because of the unique combination of French, English and local laws in Vanuatu, previously called New Hebrides).  Students come from the many nations of the South Pacific Islands to study law at Vanuatu, many being children of chiefs and government leaders.

The very active CF at the School of Law regularly organised outreaches in the town and at the university.  About one third of the 120 students in the four year law course attended the weekly CF meeting on Friday nights.  A core group prayed together regularly, including daily prayer at 6 a.m., and organised evangelism events.  Many were filled with the Spirit and began to experience spiritual gifts in their lives in new ways.

A team of eleven from their CF visited Australia for a month in November-December 2002 involved in outreach and revival meetings in many denominations and as well as in visiting home prayer groups.  They drove 6,000 kilometres in a 12-seater van, including a trip from Brisbane to Sydney and back to visit Hillsong.

The team prayed for hundreds of people in various churches and home groups.  They led worship at the daily 6 am prayer group at Kenmore Baptist Church, with Calvin Ziru on guitar.  That followed their own 5 am daily prayer meeting in the house provided miraculously for them.

Philip and Dhamika George from Sri Lanka bought that rental house with no money and made it freely available.  They had recently befriended a back packer stranger who advised them to buy a rental property because Brisbane house prices then began to increase rapidly in value.  They had no spare money but their new friend loaned them a deposit of $10,000, interest free, to get a bank loan and buy the house.  They sold the house two years later for $80,000 profit, returned the deposit loan, and used the profits for Kingdom purposes especially in mission.

The law students from the CF grew strong in faith.  Jerry, one of the students from Fiji, returned home for Christmas vacation after the visit to Australia, and prayed for over 70 sick people in his village, seeing many miraculous healings.  His transformed life challenged the village because he had been converted at CF after a wild time as a youth in the village.   The following December vacation, 2004, Jerry led revival in his village.  He prayed early every morning in the Methodist Church.  Eventually some children and then some of the youth joined him early each morning.  By 2005 he had 50 young people involved, evangelising, praying for the sick, casting out spirits, and encouraging revival.  By 2009 Jerry was a lawyer and pastor of a church in Suva and had planted a new church in his village as well.

Simon, returned to his island of Tuvalu, also transformed at university through CF.  He witnessed to his relatives and friends all through the vacation in December-January, bringing many of them to the Lord.  He led a team of youth involved in Youth Alive meetings, and prayed with the leaders each morning from 4 a.m.  Simon became President of the Christian Fellowship at the Law School from October 2003 for a year.

Pentecost Island

In May 2003 a team from the CF flew to Pentecost Island in Vanuatu for a weekend of outreach meetings on South Pentecost.  The national Vanuatu Churches of Christ Bible College, at Banmatmat, stands near the site of the first Christian martyrdom there.

Tomas Tumtum had been an indentured worker on cane farms in Queensland, Australia.  He was converted there and returned around 1901 to his village on South Pentecost with a new young disciple from a neighbouring island.  They arrived when the village was tabu (taboo) because a baby had died a few days earlier, so no one was allowed near the village.  Ancient tradition dictated that anyone breaking tabu must be killed, so they were going to kill Tomas, but his disciple Lulkon asked Tomas to tell them to kill him instead so that Tomas could evangelise his own people.  Just before he was clubbed to death at a sacred mele palm tree, he read John 3:16, then closed his eyes and prayed for them.

Tomas became the pioneer of the church in South Pentecost, establishing Churches of Christ there.

God opened a wide door Pentecost Island (1 Cor 16:8-9).  The weekend with the CF team brought new unity among the competing village churches.  The Sunday night service went from 6-11 pm, although it had been ‘closed’ three times after 10 pm, with a closing prayer, then later on a closing song, and then later on a closing announcement.   People just kept singing and coming for prayer.

Another team of four students from the law school CF returned to South Pentecost in June 2003 for 12 days of meetings in many villages.  Again, the Spirit of God moved strongly.  Leaders repented publicly of divisions and criticisms.  Then youth began repenting of backsliding or unbelief.  A great-grand-daughter of the pioneer Tomas Tumtum gave her life to God in the village near his grave at the Bible College.

Evening rallies were held in four villages of South Pentecost each evening from 6 pm for 12 days, with teaching sessions on the Holy Spirit held in the main village church of Salap each morning for a week.  The team experienced a strong leading of the Spirit in the worship, drama, action songs with Pacific dance movements, and preaching and praying for people.

Mathias, a young man who repented deeply with over 15 minutes of tearful sobbing, is now the main worship leader in revival meetings.  When he was leading and speaking at a revival meeting at the national Bible College, a huge supernatural fire blazed in the hills directly opposite the Bible College chapel in 2005, but no bush was burned.

Pentecost Bible College

By 2004, the Churches of Christ national Bible College at Banmatmat on Pentecost Island became a centre for revival.  Pastor Lewis Wari and his wife Marilyn hosted these gatherings at the Bible College, and later on Lewis spoke at many island churches as the President of the Churches of Christ.  Lewis had been a leader in strong revival movements on South Pentecost as a young pastor from 1988.

Don and Helen Hill, Geoff’s friends from Brisbane participated in some visits, Don repairing the electrical writing and supplying needed portable generators and lawn mowers and Helen recording the revival teaching sessions on DVD for internal distribution.

Leaders’ seminars and youth conventions at the Bible College focused on revival.  The college hosted regular courses and seminars on revival for a month at a time, each day beginning with prayer together from 6 a.m., and even earlier from 4.30 a.m. in the youth convention in December, 2004, as God’s Spirit moved on the youth leaders in that area.

Morning sessions continued from 8 a.m. to noon, with teaching and ministry.  As the Spirit moved on the group, they continued to repent and seek God for further anointing and impartation of the Spirit in their lives.  Afternoon sessions featured sharing and testimonies of what God is doing.  Each evening became a revival meeting at the Bible College with worship, sharing, preaching, and powerful times of ministry to everyone seeking prayer.

Every weekend the team from the college led revival meetings in village churches.  Many of these went late as the Spirit moved on the people with deep repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and prayer for healing and empowering.

Another law student team from Port Vila, led by Seini Puamau, Vice President of the CF, had a strong impact at the High School on South Pentecost Island with responses at all meetings.  Almost the whole residential school of 300 responded for prayer at the final service on Sunday night 17 October, 2004, after a powerful testimony from Joanna Kenilorea.  The High School principal, Silas Buli, has prayed for years from 4 am each morning for the school and nation with some of his staff.

The church arranged for more revival teaching at their national Bible College for church leaders.  Teams from the college held mission meetings simultaneously in seven different villages.  Every village saw strong responses, including a team that held their meeting in the chief’s meeting house of their village, and the first to respond was a fellow from the ‘custom’ traditional heathen village called Bunlap.

Those Bible College sessions seemed like preparation for revival.  Every session led into ministry.  Repentance went deep.  Prayer began early in the mornings, and went late into the nights.

Chief Willie Bebe, host of most revival teams, asked for a team to come to pray over his home and tourist bungalows.  Infestation by magic concerned him.  So a prophetic and deliverance team of about six prayed there.  Mathias reported this way:

The deliverance ministry group left the college by boat and when they arrived at the Bungalows they prayed together.  After they prayed together they divided into two groups.

 

There is one person in each of these two groups that has a gift from the Lord that the Holy Spirit reveals where the witchcraft powers are, such as bones from dead babies or stones.  These witchcraft powers are always found in the ground outside the houses or sometimes in the houses.  So when the Holy Spirit reveals to that person the right spot where the witchcraft power is, then they have to dig it up with a spade.

 

When they dug it out from the soil they prayed over it and bound the power of that witchcraft in the name of Jesus.  Then they claimed the blood of Jesus in that place.

 

Something very important when joining the deliverance group is that everyone in the group must be fully committed to the Lord and must be strong in their faith because sometimes the witchcraft power can affect the ones that are not really committed and do not have faith.

 

After they finished the deliverance ministry they came together again and just gave praise to the Lord in singing and prayer.  Then they closed with a Benediction.

Village evangelism teams from South Pentecost continue to witness in the villages, and visit other islands.  Six people from these teams came to Brisbane and were then part of 15 from Pentecost Island on mission in the Solomon Islands in 2006.

Pentecost on Pentecost

Grant Shaw accompanied Geoff Waugh to Pentecost Island in Vanuatu in September-October 2006.  Grant grew up with missionary parents, saw many persecutions and miracles, and had his dad recounting amazing, miraculous answers to prayer as a daily routine. They often needed to pray for miracles, and miracles happened.  From 14 years old Grant participated in mission teams travelling internationally in Asia. Then he attended a youth camp at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship which has had revival since 1994.  He then worked there as an associate youth pastor for 18 months before studying at Bible College in Brisbane. So he is used to revival – all his life!  In Vanuatu he was getting clear words of knowledge, and seeing people healed daily in meetings and in the villages. That inspired and challenged everyone.

In Port Vila Grant and Geoff attended the Sunday service at Upper Room.  That night pastors Joseph and Jotham were away in Tanna Island on mission so the remaining leaders felt God sent these two visitors to preach that night!  Great warning!  It was fantastic, with strong worship and waves of prayer ministry for healing and anointing.

Raised from the dead

At sharing time in the Upper Room service Leah, a nurse, told how she had been on duty that week when parents brought in their young daughter who had been badly hit in a car accident, and showed no signs of life – the monitor registered zero – no pulse.  Leah felt unusual boldness, so commanded the girl to live, and prayed for her for an hour – mostly in tongues – and after an hour the monitor started beeping and the girl recovered.

The mission trip continued on South Pentecost once more, based in the village of Panlimsi where Mathias was then the young pastor.  The Spirit moved strongly in all the meetings. Repentance.  Reconciliations.  Confessions.  Anointing.  Healings every day.  The healings included Pastor Rolanson’s young son able to hear clearly after partially deaf from birth.  Rolanson leads evangelism teams, and helped lead this mission.

South Pentecost attracts tourists with its land diving – men jumping from high towers with vines attached to their ankles.  Grant prayed for a jumper who had hurt his neck, and the neck crackled back into place.  An elderly man no longer needed a walking stick to come up the hill to the meetings.  Grant prayed for a son of the paramount chief of South Pentecost from Bunlap, a heathen village.  He was healed from a painful groin and he invited the team to come to his village to pray for the sick.  No white people had been invited there to minister previously.

The team, including the two Australians, trekked for a week into mountain villages.  They literally obeyed Luke 10 – most going with no extra shirt, no sandals, and no money.  The trek began with a 5 hour walk across the island to Ranwas on the eastern side.  Mathias led worship, with strong moves of the Spirit touching everyone.  At one point the preacher spat on the dirt floor, making mud to show what Jesus did once.  Marilyn Wari, wife of the President of the Churches of Christ in Vanuatu, then jumped up asking for prayer for her eyes.  Later she testified that the Lord told her to do that, and then she found she could read her small Bible without glasses.

Glory in a remote village

The team trekked through the ‘custom’ heathen village (where the paramount chief’s sons lived), and prayed for more sick people.  Some had pain leave immediately, and people there became more open to the gospel.  Then the team trekked for 7 hours to Ponra, a remote village further north on the east coast.

Revival meetings erupted there!  The Spirit just took over.  Visions.  Revelations.  Reconciliations.  Healings.  People drunk in the Spirit.  Many resting on the floor getting blessed in various ways.  When they heard about healing through ‘mud in the eye’ at Ranwas some came straight out asking for mud packs also!

One of the girls in the team had a vision of the village children there paddling in a pure sea, crystal clear. They were like that – so pure.  Not polluted at all by TV, videos, movies, magazines, worldliness.  Their lives were so clean and holy.  Just pure love for the Lord, especially among the young.

Angels singing filled the air about 3 am.  It sounded as though the village church was packed.  The harmonies in high descant declared “For You are great and You do wondrous things.  You are God alone” and then harmonies, without words until words again for “I will praise You O Lord my God with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name for evermore” with long, long harmonies on “forever more.”  Just worship.

The team stayed two extra days there – everyone received prayer, and many people surrendered to the Lord both morning and night.  Everyone repented, as the Spirit moved on everyone.

Grant’s legs, cut and sore from the long trek, saved the team from the long trek back.  The villagers arranged a boat ride back around the island from the east to the west for the team’s return. Revival meetings continued back at the host village, Panlimsi, led mainly in worship by Mathias, with Pastor Rolanson organising things.  Also at two other villages the Spirit moved powerfully as the team ministered, with much reconciliation and dancing in worship.

Some people in the host village heard angels singing there also.  At first they too thought it was the church full of people but the harmonies were more wonderful than we can sing.

The two Australians returned full of joy on the one hour flight to Vila after a strong final worship service at the host village on the last Sunday morning, and reported to the Upper Room Church in Port Vila on Sunday evening.  Again the Spirit moved so strongly the pastor didn’t need to use his message. More words of knowledge.  More healings.  More anointing in the Spirit, and many resting in the Spirit, soaking in grace.

The Upper Room church continues to move in the Spirit and has seen strong touches of God in the islands, especially Tanna Island.  They planted churches there in ‘custom’ villages, invited by the chiefs because the chiefs have seen their people healed and transformed.

During missions there in 2006, many young boys asked to be ‘ordained’ as evangelists in the power of the Spirit.  They returned to their villages and many of those young boys established churches as they spoke, told Bible stories, and sang original songs inspired by the Spirit.

Solomon Islands

 

As revival spreads in the Solomon Islands, it also generates peer discipling, supported by mentors.  Many leaders of revival are very young, and they appreciate mentoring as they seek to move in the anointing and power of the Spirit.  Local pastors have not provided effective mentoring because they tend to follow traditional evangelical church patterns, and may oppose revival phenomena such as prophecies, revelations, removing tribal fetishes and witchcraft artefacts.

 

Discipleship in these islands has involved understanding New Testament patterns of church life and applying them in revival movements.

The Lord poured out his Spirit in fresh and surprising ways in New Georgia in the Western District of the Solomon Islands in 2003, and touched many churches in the capital Honiara with strong moves of the Holy Spirit.  God’s Spirit moved powerfully especially on youth and children.  This included many conversions, many filled with the Spirit, many having visions and revelations.

In spite of, and perhaps because of, the ethnic tension (civil war) for two years with rebels armed with guns causing widespread problems and the economy failing with wages of many police, teachers and administrators unpaid, the Holy Spirit moved strongly in the Solomon Islands.

An anointed pastor from PNG spoke at an Easter Camp in 2003 attended by many youth leaders from the Western Solomons.  Those leaders returned on fire.  The weekend following Easter, from the end of April, 2003, youth and children in the huge, scenic Marovo Lagoon area were filled with the Spirit, with many lives transformed.  Revival began with the Spirit moving on youth and children in village churches.  They had extended worship in revival songs, many visions and revelations and lives being changed with strong love for the Lord.  Children and youth began meeting daily from 5 pm for hours of praise, worship and testimonies.  A police officer reported reduced crimes and that former rebels attending daily worship and prayer meetings.

Revival continues to spread throughout the region.  Revival movements brought moral change and built stronger communities in villages in the Solomon Islands, including these lasting developments:

1. Higher moral standards.  People involved in the revival have quit crime and drunkeness, and now promote good behaviour and co-operation.
2. Christians who once kept their Christianity inside churches and meetings now talk more freely about their lifestyle in the community and among friends.
3. Revival groups, especially youth, enjoy working together in unity and community, including a stronger emphasis on helping others in the community.
4. Families are strengthened in the revival.  Parents spend more time with their youth and children to encourage and help them, often leading them in Bible readings and family prayers now.
5. Many new gifts and ministries are being used by more people that before, including revelations and healing.  Even children receive revelations or words of knowledge about hidden magic artefacts or ginger plants related to spirit power, and remove them.
6. Churches are growing.  Many church buildings in the Marovo Lagoon have been pulled down to be replaced by much bigger buildings to fit in the crowds.  Offerings and community support have increased.
7. Unity.  Increasingly Christians unite in reconciliation for revival meetings, prayer and service to the community.

Western Solomon Islands

A team of law students from the University of the South Pacific CF in Port Vila, Vanuatu, visited Honiara and the Western Solomon Islands in mid 2003.  Sir Peter and Lady Margaret Kenilorea hosted the team in Honiara.  Sir Peter was the first Prime Minster of the independent Solomon Islands, and then Speaker in the Parliament.

Dr Ronald Ziru, then administrator of the United Church Hospital in Munda in the western islands hosted the team there, which included his son Calvin.  The team had to follow Jesus’ instructions about taking nothing extra on mission because the airline left all their checked luggage behind in Port Vila!  They found it at Honiara after their return from the western islands.

The team first experienced the revival on an island near Munda.  They took the outboard motor canoe with Rev Fred Alizeru from Munda.  Two weeks previously, early in July, revival started there with the Spirit poured out on children and youth, so they just want to worship and pray for hours.  They meet every night from around 5.30 pm and wanted to go late every night!  The team encouraged the children to see school as a mission field, to pray with their friends there, and learn well so they could serve God better.

At Seghe and in the Marovo Lagoon the revival spread since Easter.  Some adults became involved, also repenting and seeking more of the Holy Spirit.  Many outpourings and gifts of the Spirit have emerged, including the following:

Transformed lives – Many youths that the police used to check on because of alcohol and drug abuse became sober and on fire for God attending daily worship and prayer meetings.  A man who rarely went to church led the youth singing group at Seghe.  Adults publicly reconciled after years of old rifts or strife.

Long worship – This included prophetic words or actions and visions.  About 200 youth and children led worship at both Sunday services with 1,000 attending in Patutiva village where the revival began.  They sang revival songs and choruses accompanied by their youth band.

Visions – Children saw visions of Jesus (smiling at worship, weeping at hard hearts), angels, hell (with relatives sitting close to a lake of fire, so the children warned them).  Some saw Jesus with a foot in heaven and a foot on earth, like Mt 28:18 – “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”  One boy preached (prophesied) for 1½ hours, Spirit-led.

Revelations – especially ‘words of knowledge’ about hidden things, including magic artefacts and good luck charms.  Children show parents where they hid these things!  If other adults did that there would be anger and feuds, but they accept it from their children.  One boy told police that a man accused of stealing a chain saw (and sacked) was innocent as he claimed, and gave them the name of the culprit, by word of knowledge.  The accused man returned to work.

Spiritual Gifts – teaching sessions discussed traditional and revival worship, deliverance, discernment of spirits, gifts of the Spirit, understanding and interpreting visions, tongues, healing, Spirit-led worship and preaching, and leadership in revival.  Many young people became leaders moving strongly in many spiritual gifts.

These effects continued to spread throughout the Solomon Islands.

Solomons Mission

A different team of 22 visited the Solomon Islands for a month, in November-December 2006, most coming from Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, on their first international mission.  The rest came from Brisbane – an international group of Bible College students (from Holland, England, Korea, and Grant Shaw who grew up in China) plus Jesse Padayachee, an Indian healing evangelist originally from South Africa, now in Brisbane, who joined the team for the last week.  Jerry Waqainabete and his wife Pam (nee Kenilorea), participated in Honiara.  Rev Gideon Tuke, a United Church minister, organized the visit.

In the Solomon Islands the revival team of 15 from Vanuatu and 6 from Brisbane visited villages in the Guadalcanal Mountains, three hours drive and seven hours trekking from Honiara, and held revival meetings in November 2006 especially to encourage revival leaders.   They walked up mountain tracks to where revival is spreading, especially among youth.  Now those young people have teams going to the villages to sing, testify, and pray for people.  Many gifts of the Spirit are new to them.  The team prayed for the sick and for anointing and filling with the Spirit.  They prayed both in the meetings and in the villages.

Revival in Guadalcanal Mountains

Revival in the Guadalcanal Mountains started at the Bubunuhu Christian Community High School on July 10, 2006, on their first night back from holidays.  They took teams of students to the villages to sing, testify, and pray for people, especially youth.  Many gifts of the Spirit were new to them – prophecies, revelations (e.g., about where magic stuff is hidden) healings, and tongues.

South Seas Evangelical Church (SSEC) pastors Joab Anea (chaplain at the high school) and Jonny Chuicu (chaplain at the Taylor Rural and Vocational Training Centre) led revival teams.  Joab reported on this revival.

We held our prayer in the evening.  The Spirit of the Lord came upon all of us like a mighty wind on us.  Students fell on the ground.  I prayed over them and we were all praying for each other.  The students had many gifts and saw visions.  The students who received spiritual gifts found that the Lord showed them the hidden magic.  So we prayed about them and also destroyed them with the power of God the Holy Spirit.  The students who joined in that night were speaking and crying in the presence of God and repenting.

 

We also heard God calling us to bring revival to the nearby local churches.   The Lord rescues and released many people in this time of revival.  This was the first time the Lord moved mightily in us.

Pastor Jonny Chuicu teaches Biblical Studies and discipleship at the Taylor Rural and Vocational Training Centre.  He teaches about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and is using the book: Understanding Our Need of Revival, by Ian Malins.

 

Some of the people (who are all students) have gifts of praying and intercession, worship, healing, preaching, and teaching.

Choiseul Island

Gideon, Grant and Geoff participated for five days in the National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) in the north-west at Choiseul Island – 2 hours flight from Honiara.  Around 1500 youth gathered from across the nation, many arriving by outboard motor canoes.  The group coming from Simbo Island in two canoes ran into trouble when their outboard motors failed.  Two of their young men swam from noon for nine hours in rough seas to reach land and get help for their stranded friends.

 

The Friday night convention meeting saw a huge response as Grant challenged them to be fully committed to God.  Most of the youth came out immediately so there were hundreds to pray for.  The anointed worship team led the crowd in “He touched me” for nearly half an hour as prayer continued for them, including many wanting healing.

Here is Grant’s description of that youth crusade night:

We were invited to speak for their huge night rally.  Geoff began and God moved on the young people in a special way.  Then he handed it over to me at about half way and I gave some words of knowledge for healing.  They came forward and we prayed for them most of them fell under the Spirit’s power and all of them testified that all the pain left their body.  After that I continued to speak for a bit and then gave an altar call for any youth who choose to give their lives fully to Jesus, no turning back!

 

Most of a thousand youth came forward, some ran to the altar, some crying!  There was an amazing outpouring of the Spirit and because there were so many people Geoff and I split up and started laying hands on as many people as we could.  People were falling under the power everywhere (some testified later to having visions).  There were bodies all over the field (some people landing on top of each other).  Then I did a general healing prayer and asked them to put their hand on the place where they had pain.  After we prayed people began to come forward sharing testimonies of how the pain had left their bodies and they were completely healed!  The meeting stretched on late into the night with more healing and many more people getting deep touches.

 

It was one of the most amazing nights.  I was deeply touched and feel like I have left a part of my self in Choiseul.  God did an amazing thing that night with the young people and I really believe that he is raising some of them up to be mighty leaders in Revival.

 

A young man healed that night returned to his nearby village and prayed for his sick mother and brother.  Both were healed immediately.  He told about that the next morning at the convention, adding that he had never done that before.

The delegation from Karika, in the Shortland Islands further west, returned the following Monday.  The next night they led a meeting where the Spirit of God moved in revival.  Many were filled with the Spirit, had visions, were healed, and discovered many spiritual gifts including discerning spirits and tongues.  That revival has continued, and spread.

Revival Movements

Many revival movements continue to spread in the Solomon Islands.  Visiting teams have participated and encouraged leaders.

Honiara, the capital has seen many touches of revival.  A week of evening revival meetings in Wesley United Church in the capital Honiara spontaneously erupted in September 2007.  That was the first time they had had such a week of revival meetings, including joining with youth of other churches.  Calvin Ziru, their youth leader had been worship leader in the law student team hosted in Brisbane in 2002.  He was then legal advisor to the parliament in the Solomons, ideally placed to lead combined churches youth revival meetings and also the parliamentary Christian fellowship.

Seghe lies at the south east point of New Georgia in stunning scenery.  Revival meetings have been held at the Theological Seminary at Seghe in the fantastic Marovo Lagoon – 70 kilometres with hundreds of tropical bush laden islands north and west of New Georgia Island.  Morning teaching sessions, personal prayers in the afternoons (and some rest) and night revival meetings, with worship led by the student team, filled an eventful week in September 2007.  That was the first time the seminary held such a week.  Meetings included two village revival services in the lagoon, including Patutiva village, where revival started in Easter 2003.  That meeting went from 7 p.m. to 1.30 a.m. with about 1,000 people!  Hundreds received personal prayer after the meeting ‘closed’ at 11 pm.

Simbo. A tsunami ravaged Gizo and Simbo islands in April 2007.  It smashed all the Simbo canoes, except Gideon’s and his brother’s which were then on the ocean on the two hour trip from Simbo to Gizo.  Tapurae village has hosted many revival meetings.  It was wiped out by the tsunami, so the villagers relocated to higher ground.  Strong moves of the Spirit continue on Simbo.  The village relocated from Tapurae has a revival prayer team of 30, and no one from that village needed medical help from the clinic in three years since they started praying constantly for the sick, laying on hands and casting out spirits.

Gizo, the provincial capital of the Western Region is the Solomons’ second largest town.  Its unique airstrip fills a small island near the town, with its pressed coral runway covering the whole length of the island.  Visitors take a canoe or launch across to town.  The central United Church hosted revival meetings in October 2007.   The Premier of the region asked penetrating questions and joined those who came out for prayer.  He testified that he was immediately healed from stress related head pain and tension.

Taro. The regional centre for Choiseul province in the west Solomons hosted an amazing week of unprecedented unity among all the churches, the United Church, SDAs, Catholics and Anglicans.  The meetings included 30 leaders from Karika in the Shortland Islands region, further west.  Revival started in Karika the day after leaders returned from the National Christian Youth Convention in Choiseul Island the previous December.

The premier and regional officials attended a meeting at the regional parliament house, which included praying with people afterwards.  So did the director for medical services and his staff at a meeting at the hospital.  Others gathered at the Catholic Church for a meeting and personal prayer there.  Each night combined churches revival meetings were held on the soccer field, with huge responses for prayer nightly.  Pastor Mathias from Vanuatu shared in speaking and led worship in the prayer groups.

The Lord opened the way for strong ministry with revival and national leaders in all these places.  Revival, reconciliation and transformation accelerate now.  God is doing far more than most people are asking or even thinking about in these islands (Eph 3:20-21).  In all these places people made strong commitments to the Lord, and healings were quick and deep.

Both in Vanuatu and in the Solomon Islands the people said that they could all understand the speaker’s English, even those who did not speak English, so they did not need an interpreter.

Transforming Revival

 

An unusual pattern of discipleship has emerged in whole villages in the South Pacific during the 12st Century.  Applying the principles of 2 Chronicles 7:14, complete village communities have experienced not only revival but ecological and social transformation.  Mentors and leaders from among their own people have led them into radical repentance, reconciliation, and communal commitment to Jesus as Lord in all of life.

The following stories of community transformation from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu come from pages 58-70 of A Manual for Healing the Land by Vuniani Nakanyaca and Walo Ani, 3rd edition, 2009, published by Toowoomba City Church, Australia, reproduced by permission.  Reports by Harry Tura from Vanuatu are added here.

Fiji

The twenty-first century has already seen many village communities transformed.  Rev Ratu Vunaiani Nakauyaca describes community transformation in Fiji.  The most powerful events in this ongoing revival are the direct results of repen­tance, reconciliation and unity,

One of the first instances of this oc­curred in 2002, when Chief Mataitoga of Sabeto village (between Nadi and Lautoka) had a dream from the Lord.  The village had a lot of social problems as well as enmity and divisions.  As a result of the dream, he called his people together to pray and fast to seek God for answers and healing.  Over a period of two weeks, many of the clans spent time with the Chief to sort out their differences.  They had meetings every night and God brought about rec­onciliation and unity in the church and village, many relationships being healed.

There had only been one church in the area until the Pentecostal revival of the 1960s which spread across the cities and towns and into the rural areas dur­ing that period.  Because of the rejection of the Pentecostal experi­ence by some people, many villages had two churches, one Methodist and one Pentecostal.  This caused division be­tween friends and family, with many people not communicating and carrying bitterness and resentment for decades.

When Ratu Mataitoga directed his people to come together as one, there was a move of the Holy Spirit with real repen­tance and forgiveness, and unity in the village was restored.  The long term results of this action were only revealed with the passing of time.  Productivity of the soil increased and long absent fish varieties returned to the reef.  Mangroves that had died and disappeared have begun to grow again.  The mangroves are very important for the ecology, providing shelter and breeding grounds for all kinds of fish, crabs, etc. all of which were part of the staple diet of these villages.

Healing the Land

The Healing the Land (HTL) Process, as it is now officially recognized, was really started on the initiative of Pastor Vuniani Nakauyaca.  For him it was a personal journey that resulted from an accumulation of various events.

The Pacific Prayer movement had a desire to see that prayer, repentance and reconciliation were carried out where nec­essary on location – where missionaries had been killed or where tribal conflict had taken place.  These were all based on a bottom up or grass roots approach to bring healing and reconciliation.

Vuniani had visited Argentina and seen the beneficial results of reconciliation with the British over the Faulklands war.  He also visited Guatemala to see the Al­molonga transformation (see Transformation Series DVD/Video).  This was a singularly dramatic community change.  Jails and public bars closed, land fertility in­creased and crop production levels had to be seen to be believed.

What he saw brought a deeper desire in his heart to see this happen in Fiji, to give room for God to bring about com­munity and national transformation in similar ways to what he had seen over­seas.  He saw the need to appropriately respond to the circumstances and use the spiritual tools available to see the nation transformed.

Nuku Village

After returning to Fiji, he called some people together to seek God for solutions.  They felt they should begin at Nuku, and this took place 1-10 April, 2003.  Nuku is about 65 kilometres north of Suva, on the main island of Viti Levu.

The inhabitants of Nuku had been suf­fering feuds, infertility, mental illness and social problems for decades.  The water of the stream that flowed through the village had been polluted since a day 42 years previously, the water and banks being filled with slime.  At that time, children were swimming in the stream when the water suddenly turned white and they all ran for their lives.  Fish died and grass died.  Vuniani, as a child, was swimming in the river when this happened, so he knew the background story.  It was believed that the polluted water caused blind­ness, infertility, madness and even death.

Vuniani and the team went up to Nuku to activate the Process.  The key Scripture they went with was 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.

They had two weeks of prayer meetings, the Methodist, Assemblies of God and Seventh Day Adventist churches being represented.  They spent time studying Bible refer­ences on defilement and Healing the Land.  This lead them to repent and con­fess their sins and the sins of their fore­fathers, in the same way as Nehemiah did.  These included killing and cannibalism, idolatry, witchcraft, bloodshed, immorality

They went to the high places in the area to cleanse them of the sinful acts that had taken place there.  The elders con­fessed sins of their forefathers.  Rec­onciliation first took place within fami­lies, then clans and finally within the tribe.  The chief of the area led a corporate prayer of repentance with the whole tribe.

On the third day of the Process, some women came running and shouting into the village, announcing that the water in the stream had become pure again.  It is still pure today.

Nuku village had been heavily populated, but because of feuds and disputes, peo­ple were chased out or just left and went to live in other villages.  Deputations were sent out to these to apologise for the past offences.  A matanigasau (traditional apology) was sent to two villages, inviting the people to return if they wished.

The whole community now count them­selves as very blessed.  The productivity of the land has increased.  The stream water is pure and since that time shrimps and fish have returned to the waters.  The fertility of the banks and agriculture has radically improved.  Some people have even reported that the water has demonstrated healing properties.

Nabitu Village, East of Nausori, Viti Levu

What occurred in this village was very much a follow on from what was hap­pening around the country at the time.  There was a split in the tribe and there were a lot of unresolved issues.  During a business meeting in the local church, which was situated right in the middle of the village, a fist fight broke out.  There was always a heaviness in the vil­lage, like a hovering dark cloud.  This affected people negatively and there were not a lot of jobs available.

On the advice of chiefs, the people came together on their own initiative for a time of corporate repentance.  A lay preacher in the Methodist Church facilitated the Process.  There was instantly a change in the atmosphere.  The heaviness that had been there had lifted and everyone could feel it.  The division in the church was healed.

The lesson learned from there is that satan’s hold over people and places is tenuous to say the least.  It only takes one man to lead many into forgiveness and healing.  Satan has to leave, along with the oppression and curses.

Vunibau (Serua Island) in the mouth of Navua River

The HTL Process in this place was scheduled over a 14 day period.  During the Process the mixture of elements was poured out onto the sand on the beach.  Later that day, an elderly lady and her son went fishing on the beach.  They cast the net out but when they tried to haul it back in, it seemed to be stuck.  They thought that perhaps it had been caught on a stump or rock, but they found that the net was actually so full of fish that they could not pull it in.

They started walking back to the village to tell everyone, and the lady was fol­lowing her son walking along the beach.  Wherever his footprints were in the sand a red liquid appeared.  As she walked in his footsteps she was healed of migraine, knee ailments and severe back pain, all of which she had suffered for many years. This healing has been per­manent.  As soon as they returned to the village she told the whole community what had happened.

All the people rushed down to the beach to see this phenomenon, including the HTL team that was still there at the time.  To their amazement, right on the spot where the elements had been poured onto the sand, there was blood coming out of the sand and flowing into the sea.  A backslidden Catholic man gave his life to the Lord on the spot.  Photos were taken.  Vuniani was called from Suva (about an hour away) and he also witnessed the blood coming out of the sand.  This actually happened twice.

It was understood to be a confirming sign from the Lord that He was at work in the reconciliation and healing Process.  1 John 5:6-7, “There are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit, the water and the blood.” This was similar to the miracle of the healing of the waters in Nuku, which was also recognized as a sign of God’s clean­sing and healing that was taking place amongst the people.  God is authenti­cating what He is doing.

At Vunibau many other signs quickly followed.  Large fish returned to their fishing grounds.  On one occasion, con­siderable quantities of prawns came ashore so that people could just pick them up.  Crabs and lobsters have also returned, and they have been able to sell the large lobsters for up to $25-$30 each.

After this sign of the blood, Pastor Vuniani recalled the scripture in Acts 2:19 where the Lord had spoken through the prophet Joel that “I will grant wonders (signs) in the sky above, and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire and vapour (pillars) of smoke” (NASB).  He wondered what would come next after the sign of the blood and felt that the next sign would be fire.

Nataliera, Nailevu North

In Nataliera village there were four churches.  There was no communication between their mem­bers, affecting even closely related families within the village.  Traditional witchcraft was still being practised and there were about eight sorcerers there.  In addition, there had been many more deaths than would be normal.

After forgiveness and reconciliation, the members of these four churches would meet every Wednesday for prayer and fasting.  On the first Sunday of every month, the four congregations would combine for one large gathering.  An Eco Lodge, previously closed, is now prospering after the HTL Process.

For many years the fishing on the reef had become lean.  Large fish were very scarce and for many years the catch had only ever comprised “bait fish” – the very small ones.  Much of the coral reef was dead and what was left seemed to be dying.  After reconciliation, on two separate occasions fire was seen to fall from the sky onto the reef.  After this, large fish returned in abundance.  The coral is now regenerating and new growth can be seen in abundance.

When stormy weather strikes and the boats can’t go out, the women pray and large fish swim in close to the shore and become trapped in a small pond so that the women are able to just wade in and catch them.  When women from neighbouring villages heard of this, they tried praying for the same provision, but without the same result.

Draubuta, Navosa highlands, north of Sigatoka

Vuniani’s son, Savanaca, was working with two teams in the highlands.  While they were there, pillars of smoke descended on the villages.  This was seen by many neighbouring villagers who described it as thick bloodstained smoke.  This sign was seen at almost exactly the same time as fire was seen to fall on the reef at Nataliera.

In this area there were many marijuana plantations.  The Nadroga council had been trying to prevent the plantings.  During the HTL Process, a deputation of marijuana growers approached the team and asked what the Government would do for them if they destroyed their crops. They had a list of demands which they presented to the team.

The marijuana crop was large, and esti­mated to be worth about $11 million.  There were 9 growers involved.  The team leaders told the farmers that it was their choice, that they should obey God and trust Him for their livelihood, without any promises from anyone to do any­thing for them.  If they could not, then they should not participate in the Healing Process.

By the time the Process had finished, the people had destroyed the crop as part of the reconciliation Process.  After the HTL ministry, a total of 13,864 plants were uprooted and burnt by the growers themselves.  There were 6,000 seedlings as well.

These are a few of the many miraculous events that have occurred in Fiji since 2001.  Every week, more such events are happening as the forgiveness, reconcilia­tion and HTL processes are being experienced.

Papua New Guinea

Rev Walo Ani and his wife Namana describe community transformation through Healing the Land in Papua New Guinea.

Karawa Village

It was a very exciting week in August 2006 where we saw the Lord move mightily in the lives of the village elders, chiefs, church leaders and the people.  A group of dedicated young people’s prayer ministry team started praying and fasting from 1st of July for the HTL Process. We witnessed repentance, forgiveness and reconciliations between family and clan members, and between individuals.

The Lord went ahead and prepared the hearts of people in every home as we visited.  They were ready to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness from each other and reconcile.  In some homes, members of families gave their hearts to the Lord.  Visitation of homes took two days.  On the third morning, after the dedication of the elements of salt, oil and water, the village elders and chiefs publicly repented as they identified with sins of their forebears; and each of them publicly gave their clans to the Lord.

Three dinghies and a big canoe with people all went in different directions up several rivers and along the nearby coast to anoint specific places for cleansing that were defiled through deaths and killings in the past.

That night there was a time of public confession and renouncement of things that were a hindrance in the lives of the people around a huge bonfire.  It was a solemn night; the presence of the Lord was so powerful that people were coming forward and burning their witchcraft and charms publicly.  No one could hold back, even the deacons and church elders, village elders, women and young people were all coming forward.  Young people started confessing their sins and renouncing and burning drugs, cigarettes and things that were hindering their lives from following Christ.

A young man, who had murdered another young man about 11 years ago, came forward and publicly confessed his sin and asked for forgiveness from the family of the murdered man.  That was a big thing; there was a pause and we waited and prayed for someone from the other side to respond.  Only the Lord could do this.  The younger brother of the man who was killed came out finally, and offered forgiveness.  We could hear crying among the people; it was a moving moment where God just took control.  Mothers, brothers and members of both extended families became reconciled in front of the whole village.  We could sense the release upon both families and village.  It was an awesome time; the meeting went on into the early hours of the next morning.  At the end of all this at about 2am the pastor stood up and said the prayer to invite Jesus into the community.

The village is not the same; you can sense the release and freedom of Christ in the lives of the people.  The Holy Spirit is still moving in people’s lives and they are coming to their pastor for prayer.  Recently, a young man surrendered two guns to the pastor.  News of what God has done and is still doing has spread to neighbouring villages.  God birthed a new thing in our area and I believe that many more villages will see the transforming power of God because they are hungry and desperate to see change in their communities.

Update, February 2007

Walo did three nights of HTL follow up in Karawa village and reported that the meetings in the village were packed.  He spoke on the bow and arrow concept – reliable bows enable reliable arrows to hit the mark (reliable parents are like the bows).  The people were asked to bring their bows and arrows.  They brought their bows but interestingly no one had any arrows.  That was really a challenge and eye opener to everyone.  The HTL prayer team have taken on board the bow and arrow concept and they are going to do house to house visitation to explain this concept.  Three widowers and several widows were rededicated to the Lord. They were anointed with oil and prayed that untimely death will not occur in the village any more.

Walo reported that there were a lot of testimonies arising 7 months after the HTL Process.  Two water wells which had a salty taste were anointed with oil and now have good fresh water in them.  One of the rivers that was anointed and prayed for now has fresh water instead of salty water half way up the river.

Alukuni, one of the villages which experienced their pigs being stolen by the Karawa young people over the years testified that since HTL in Karawa none of their pigs had been stolen so far.  Righteousness is rising up in the village.

The king tides in January to March usually caused floods in the middle of Karawa village dividing the village in two.  After the HTL Process last August, the 2007 king tides have not caused any flooding.  Praise the Lord!

A barren woman conceived after one of the visitation teams dealt with the generational curses holding her in bondage for sixteen years.  Nine months after the Karawa HTL Process she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Simon.

There is abundance of fruit and garden food and two harvests of fruit on the orange trees have been observed so far.

A hunger for prayer has risen among the young people.  Straight after HTL Process young people from one of the clans started a prayer group which is still going on.  Two other clans started prayer groups after a lot of struggle to get going over the years.  The HTL team was the main support behind “Kids Games” which were held December 2006 in the neighbouring village of Keapara.

The studies were on Joseph and when they came to the section on forgiveness the Lord moved in a powerful way and revival started among the children.  They stood and asked for forgiveness from their parents.  There was crying and reconciliation between children and parents.  The Lord is arresting the hearts of the young, the old and the children and there is no holding back.

One Year Thanksgiving, October 2007

Karawa is still experiencing the blessings of God with abundance of crabs, fish and garden produce.  The economic life of the village is growing stronger.  There have also been some challenges.  A week before we arrived there had been a murder of one of the Karawa men who was living in his wife’s village nearby.  He went missing for three days on his fishing trip.  All the Karawa people prayed during this time and search parties went out to look for him.  On the third day they found his body and thanked God, as in the past people missing on fishing trips were never found.  The testimony from this is the Lord kept all the Karawa young men calm although the urge to take the law into their own hands was there.  They testified that if it had not been for the transforming work of the Lord in their lives since the HTL Process, they would have caused trouble in the nearby village.

One of the things prayed for was good education for their children, especially the smaller ones who do elementary schooling and did not have proper classrooms.  Nine months after the HTL Process, Karawa which was the second last on the list of applications for school funding, was brought up to second priority and their application was approved.  A semi-trailer loaded with building materials for two classrooms worth K75,000 (Kina, about AU$35,000) arrived in the village.  The classrooms have now been built and the children are using them.  Only the Lord could have done this.

Makirupu Village

Makirupu is about 2 hours drive east of Port Moresby, with a population of about 600.  The United Church was the established church there and CRC and AOG have also planted churches there in recent years which caused a lot of offences between families.

In March 2007, we had eight days for the HTL Process, two teaching sessions in the mornings and one at night.  From 2‑5.30pm for four days the prayer team did house to house visitation of all of the 126 homes in the village.  The HTL team of seven and the prayer team all fasted and prayed for those eight days.  The teaching was done in the language people understood very well.  The Lord moved in a mighty way convicting people of land disputes, immorality and fornication, fear of witch­craft and sorcery (fear was at its peak when the HTL Process began), lies, gambling, stealing, marriage problems, witchcraft, sorcery and charms and many other issues.  Miracles of healing started from day one; people who were deaf began to hear, their ears were healed.

From research I had done we discovered that the mission land was defiled by three previous pastors who had minis­tered in the village and who had committed adultery and fornication in the last 30 years, the last one about 18 months ago.  This involved the last pastor and a young girl in the church behind the pulpit areas in the church building.  That pastor was suspended from ministry.  There was a court case between the family of the young girl, (who defended her saying she was innocent) and the deacons of the church.  There was actual physical fighting as well.  This case involved the whole village; almost all the young people left the church.  Because of this, the life and attendance of the services were affected.  The life of the church was slowly dying away.  This issue was never resolved properly; it was like a dark shadow hanging over the whole village.  Our first focus of prayer would be the cleansing of the mission land.

On the second night of prayer this evil manifested itself in a snake that lay across the doorway of the current pastor’s house.  The prayer team killed it on the spot.  The next morning I spoke on Roots and Foundations and how curses come into communities and defile the land and people.  That night we had a time of identification repentance and the current pastor came forward and repented on behalf of the three former pastors of adultery and fornication.  Something happened in the heavenlies.  A deacon came forward and repented on behalf of the deacons, followed by a women’s leader all repenting of the same sin and their involvement in it.  More people came out and confessed.  The presence of the Lord was very heavy in the church.  I asked if there was anyone to repent on behalf of the young people and the young girl who had committed fornication and adultery with the last pastor came for­ward, trembling and crying, confessing, repenting and asking for forgiveness from God and the whole village.  The people were amazed at what God was doing.  Only He could do that.  The girl who had denied outright what she had done 18 months ago was arrested by God’s presence and could not hide any more.  A Sunday School representative came forward and repented and asked for forgiveness.  A former deacon could not hold back.  He came forward and confessed that he had been the messen­ger boy for the pastor and the girl and he said sorry to the Lord for denying Him.

Because of this incident 18 months ago, all the young people had left the church but when the air was cleared, the next day all the young people came and the church building was full to capacity.  The fear of the Lord entered the hearts of the people.  That same night the anointing elements were mixed and the mission land was anointed, cleansed and rededicated to God.  It was an awesome time.  The AOG pastor also asked for forgiveness from the United Church for leaving the church and causing division.  He and his wife and all his church members were part of the prayer warrior team right from day one of the Process.  A couple of days later the CRC members started joining us and by the end of the Process all three churches were united to see change in the community. The prayer warrior team grew from 7 to 40.  Praise God!

The next day news of what had hap­pened had reached everyone in the village and the nearby villages and more people came for the meetings.  They were hungry to hear the Word of the Lord.  The next few days people were seeing signs and wonders, something they had never experienced before.  Revival had started and the fear of God came upon the people.  Also on the third day the village chief invited Jesus into the community.

On the last day the whole village gath­ered at the spot where the village was started some five or six generations ago.  Anointing oil was mixed and all the chiefs and village elders were anointed and reinstated.  After that, groups of people and prayer team took oil to certain places defiled because of blood­shed in the past on garden land.  They anointed these places while deacons took oil to the boundaries of the village and the beach and dedicated the land back to God.

After lunch everyone came back to the village and started a bonfire.  Church deacons and leaders were the first ones to come forward with confessions of adultery, immorality and witchcraft.  Families with land disputes came out and reconciled with people they had taken to court.  Young people came out with charms and magic and burnt them in the fire.  A mother came out with her ten year old daughter and confessed she had handed down her sorcery and magic to her and said she was sorry, asking for forgiveness from God.  Both were prayed for.  Husbands and wives reconciled, artefacts of magic and idolatry were burnt.  God was doing His cleaning up in the lives of the people.

The next day we had a time of celebra­tion and you could see the release and freedom in people’s lives, singing was coming from their hearts and joy was bubbling over.  The Lord had again touched peo­ple’s hearts and His presence was so evident that the people did not want to stop celebrat­ing, although it was getting dark and there was no light.

The land and the people are being healed.  The day after the Process a cou­ple of men went crabbing and caught bigger and more crabs than usual.  A week later a lady went to her garden to find that the bad weed which had been a prob­lem to most gardens had started to wither and die.  She went back to the village and told everyone.  The fear that had gripped the hearts of the people had also been broken in prayer and now women are going to their gardens on their own – something they could not do before.  A few days after the HTL Process, men began to go fishing and to their surprise they were catching more and bigger fish than before.

There has been a case of instant healing of a patient with a stroke after the AOG pastor and his wife shared with her fam­ily about Roots and Foundations and how curses come into lives.  The whole family confessed, repented and recon­ciled with each other.  The pastor’s wife had some of the oil that was mixed in the village the week before and began anointing the lady while they prayed.  To their surprise, she was healed instantly.  She began to speak and eat on her own.  The pastor said he had never experi­enced anything like this before.  The presence of the Lord was so great they all started worshipping Him and time was not an issue any more.  Praise God for this miracle!

During the Process, the pastors of the AOG, the United Church and an Elder of the CRC church, standing on behalf of the pastor, all repented of all the offences and misunderstandings between them in the past.  So now the three churches have decided to have a combined service once a month in the middle of the village.  The young people from all three churches are already having combined prayer meetings and they are in the process of building a big shelter in the middle of the village for the combined church services.

Update 6 months after the HTL Process

A couple of months after the HTL Process a security firm from the city turned up in the village and recruited all the young men who had been stealing and causing problems.  These young men had been stealing pigs and other things and then reselling them in the city.  One of them could not fit into city life so he went back to the village.  He stole a pig and when his family found out they chased him out of the village.  He went to stay with relatives in another village and in the process found the Lord there!

The villagers reported there has not been any stealing since the men were employed.  There has also been increase in their garden produce, fruit and nut trees.  The people are able to see their own produce come to maturity and sell it, whereas in the past it would have been stolen.

Makirupu and one of the nearby villages are known for getting floods during heavy rains.  One month before we got there, it had been raining heavily but the Lord has kept the floods away.  This is an answer to the people’s prayers.  However, the other village got the floods and we got to see some of the houses still surrounded by flood waters when we were there.  It surely is amazing!

 

Kalo Village

Reconciliation Process – Protocol discussion with the chiefs of Poti Clan, February 2007.

Kalo is the village where about 126 years ago in 1881, four Cook Island missionaries and their families were killed.  The killings were led by the chief of one of the clans.  Walo had three meetings with the clan leaders and the history was told and confirmed.  Since the killings this particular clan has been under a curse and the whole village is also affected by it.  The leaders and the people of this clan know that they are under a curse and they are desperate to be freed from it.  There have been unexplained deaths, not many of their children go beyond high school; those that go to work in towns don’t last long and they lose their jobs.

The outcome of the talks is that the leaders of this clan called all their families together, from far and near to come and start the repentance and reconciliation Process.  This was supported by the pastor and all the Church and clan leaders of Kalo.  It was a moving occasion and the leaders agreed to proceed with the HTL Process and a bigger reconciliation event with the relatives of the Cook Island missionaries present in the near future.

Every year at their Church anniversary the Kalo people used put on the play of the landing of the Cook Island missionaries and their killings but straight after putting on this play, someone always dies.  They cannot explain it and they don’t put it on any more.  After talks with Walo, they have decided to do the play again but this time including a time of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation after the play.  Please pray that God will visit the Kalo people at this time!

Vanuatu

Pastors Walo Ani and Harry Tura report on transforming revival in Vanuatu.

Hog Harbour, Espirito Santo

The island was named Espiritu Santo because that is the island where over 400 years ago in May 1606 Ferdinand de Quiros named the lands from there to the South Pole the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit.

After hearing about the Healing The Land stories of Fiji, Pastor Tali from Hog Harbour Presbyterian Church invited the Luganville Ministers Fraternal to run a week of HTL meetings in Hog Harbour village.

In April 2006 the Fraternal, under the leadership of Pastor Raynold Bori, conducted protocol discus­sions with the Hog Harbour community leaders and explained to them what the Process involves.  In May 2006 six pastors from Luganville did the HTL Process and God’s presence came on the people that week.

Here are some of the stories of Healing the Land in a village of 800 people:

  • Married couples were reconciled.
  • Schools of big fish came to the shores during the reconciliation.
  • A three year old conflict, bloodshed and tribal fighting that could not be stopped by the Police, ended and reconciliation was made.
  • The presence of the Lord came down on the village.
  • In June of 2006, 12 pastors from the Luganville Fraternal were invited by the Litzlitz village on Malekula Island to do the HTL Process there.  These Pastors spent three weeks teaching and doing the Process during which many instances of recon­ciliation and corporate repentance were witnessed.  Village Chiefs and the people committed their community to God.

One year later the President of Vanuatu re-covenanted the Nation to God on the island of Espiritu Santo.

Pastor Harry Tura,  the pastor of Bombua Apostolic Church in Luganville the main town on Espiritu Santo Island, also reported on transformation in Vanuatu.

I wish to indicate to you what God is doing now in Vanuatu these days as answers to your prayers, and ask that you continue to pray for us.

Litzlitz Village, Malekula Island

I went to Litzlitz village community on the island of Malekula on Sunday 4 June, 2006, and the Transformation activities started on the same day.  The study activities and the process of healing the land closed on the following Sunday 11 June.  The presence of the Lord was so real and manifested and many miracles were seen such a people healed, dried brooks turned to running streams of water, fish and other sea creatures came back to the sea shores in great number and even the garden crops came alive again and produced great harvests.

Miracles happened three days after the HTL Process:

  • The poison fish that usually killed or made people sick became edible and tasty again.
  • The snails that were destroying gardens all died suddenly and didn’t return.
  • As a sign of God’s transforming work a coconut tree in the village which naturally bore orange coco­nuts started bearing bunches of green coconuts side by side with the red ones.
  • A spring gushed out from a dried river bed and the river started flowing again after the anointing oil was poured on it when people prayed and repented of all the sins of defilement over the area.
  • A kindergarten was established in the village one week after the HTL Process took place.
  • Crops are now blessed and growing well in their gardens.

Vilakalak Village, West Ambae Island

On Tuesday June 20, 2006, I flew to Ambae Island to join the important celebration of the Apostolic Church Inauguration Day, June 22.  After the celebration I held a one-week Transformation studies and activities of healing the land at Vilakalak village community.  It began on Sunday June 25 and closed on Saturday July 1, 2006.  A lot of things had been transformed such as people’s lives had been changed as they accepted Christ and were filled with the Holy Spirit for effective ministries of the Gospel of Christ.  The Shekinah glory came down to the very spot where we did the process of healing the land during the night of July 1.  That great light (Shekinah glory) came down.  People described it as a living person with tremendous and powerful light shining over the whole of the village community, confirming the Lord’s presence at that specific village community area.  On the following day people started to testify that a lot of fish and shell fish were beginning to occupy the reefs and they felt a different touch of a changed atmosphere in the village community.  I flew back to Santo after the healing of the lands on Tuesday July 4.

The lands and garden crops then started to produce for great harvests and coconut crabs and island crabs came back in great abundance for people’s daily meals these days.  The people were very surprised at the look of the big sizes of coconut crabs harvested in that area.  I went there a month later to see it.  You can’t believe it that the two big claws or arms were like my wrist when I compared them with my left wrist.  That proved that the God we serve is so real and He is the owner of all the creatures.

We started the Transformation studies and activities at my church beginning on Monday July 17 and closed on Sunday July 23, 2006.  After the Transformation studies and activities had completed, we did the final process of healing the land on Sunday July 23.  As usual the Shekinah glory of the Lord’s presence appeared the following night of Monday, July 24.  The people were amazed at the scene.  That confirmed that God is at work at that specific area.  A lot of changes are taking place at our church base and its environment – the land, the sea, and the atmosphere above us.  People experience the same blessings as the others had been through.

On Sunday August 13, 2006, I took a flight to West Ambae again because the Walaha village community had requested me to carry out the Transformation studies and activities and healing of the lands at their area.  The Transformation studies started on Monday August 14.  Again the presence of the Lord came down (Shekinah glory) on the whole village community early on Wednesday night and they all witnessed the scene the following day.  They were very excited and began praising God all over the place. I took a flight back to Santo on Tuesday August 22.

The revival is now taking place at that particular community and lives are totally changed and people turned out to be experiencing a mighty difference of atmosphere and have been transformed to people of praise and worship.  All sorts of fish are coming back to the reef and garden crops came green and are now beginning to produce a great abundance of harvest at the end of this year by the look of it now.  This is all the hand of the Lord who does the work which is based on the transformation key verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14, which reads: “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.”

Lovanualikoutu, West Ambae

Walo Ani and a team also conducted the HTL Process in Vanuatu.

In 2004 Walo was invited by a pastor in West Ambae to do the HTL Process there.  It wasn’t until May 2007 that a small team consisting of Pastor Walo Ani, Deryck and Nancy Thomas of Toowoomba Queensland and Tom Hakwa from Lovanualikoutu village (who then worked for Telekom Vanuatu in Port Vila) flew to West Ambae to do the HTL Process.  The protocol was done by Tom some months before the team’s arrival and a prayer team was already praying and fasting a month before the actual event took place.  Deryck and Nancy coordinated the home visitation teams and saw many miracles of people restored to the Lord and witchcraft destroyed.  The Chief said the sinner’s prayer on behalf of the community one night and they all surrendered their lives to the Lord as he invited Jesus into the village.

In the morning of the last day one of the teams was trying to pray down a stronghold in the bush when a bone fell through a hollow tree, taking them by surprise.  They all jumped back but then stepped forward and dealt with it once and for all.  Many taboo (sacred) places were demolished and items of witchcraft and idolatry were burnt in a bonfire as reconciliations flowed till after midnight.

Also on that morning a team of people swam out to sea with the anointing oil to worship there and dedicate the sea and reef back to God.  The day after the team’s departure from the village a pastor who went out spear fishing saw a large migration of fish.  He in fact reportedly speared two fish together at one stage.  When he reported this to the Chief there was dancing and rejoicing under the cocoa trees where the Chief and some young people had been working.

During the reconciliation when the Chief began to speak, a light shower fell from the sky. There were no clouds but only a sky full of millions of stars. Surely God was in this Process!  The prayer team continues to see visions and witness miracles of more reconciliation and repentance.  Harvests from sea and land have begun to be more abundant than ever before witnessed.

Healing the Land Process

Essential requirements for Healing the Land, used by HTL teams, include these practical steps, as explained in A Manual for Healing the Land.

1. The Protocol.

Discuss protocol, select a “man of peace” to lead, form a council of elders, a community leader invites Jesus into the community, assess the needs of the community, and recognise and work with the men or women of peace.

2. Teaching on Healing the Land

Six days of teaching concerning commitment to the land, dealing with sin the church, and dealing with hidden agendas in the community.  This involves teaching about the land belonging to God, fallen stewardship, defilements of the land (idolatry, immorality, broken promises, and bloodshed), bow and arrow concept (Psalm 127), roots and foundations of curses, salt of the earth, forgiveness and healing, healing and transformation from Jesus, inheritance and consecration, obedience to the word of the Lord for the community, men and women of peace, and unity in the Body of Christ.

3. Activities of the HTL Process

Have Protocol discussion, form a council of elders, sinners prayer and invitation of Jesus, research and assess and profile the community, teach the Word of God, lead into corporate repentance, allow repentance and forgiveness and reconciliation to flow, develop a prayer team for the village, cover the village in prayer and fasting, organise teams for home visitation, prepare the anointing oil, final day activities (may involve oil, water, and salt), anoint and reinstate community chiefs and village leaders, public worship after anointing the land, and public repentance, reconciliation and burning of witchcraft items.

4. Celebration

Celebration may be in dancing, feasting, singing and in taking the Lord’s Supper together as the climax of the week.

5. Allow God to Continue the Process of HTL

Prayer teams stay active, a mid-week united prayer service sustains transformation, share testimonies, share with others usually in teams.

6. Follow-up Ideas

These include recognising those who made new commitments to God (as in baptisms or prayer for them), and on-going review each three months, with a thanksgiving event a year later to celebrate the goodness of God on the land and the community.

7. Warnings!

Four strong powers always at work are lies, fear, shame and secrecy.  Possible attacks include people speaking discouraging things against transformation – usually from outside, opposition by the devil, criticism by other Christian leaders, complacency, unbelief, and lack of prayer to sustain the transformation.

People interested in the Healing the Land manual may contact Toowoomba City Church for further information.  See www.tcchurch.com.au or email tccemail@tcchurch.com.au .

The reports of transforming revival confirm that God’s purposes for us include far more than personal, family, or church renewal and revival.  They also include community transformation, including social and ecological renewal and revival.

These accounts of transforming revival continue to multiply in the twenty-first century, calling us all to deeper repentance, reconciliation, renewal and revival.

Return to main page

Church on Fire

Church on Fire

Church on Fire

Church on Fire – PDF

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
Church on Fire:
https://renewaljournal.com/2010/12/26/church-on-fire/

More PDF books are on the Main Page

Free postage on The Book Depository

See details, contents, photos and reviews on Amazon and Kindle

Australian reports and testimonies, 176 pages. (1991, 2010)

Reports and testimonies from leaders in most denominations, describing renewal in Australian churches in the late twentieth century, including two chapters on revival among Australian Aborigines.

“In Australia, the Spirit of God is a work, renewing, refreshing, invigorating, disturbing…
Church on Fire is the story of that spiritual renewal.
People from many Christian traditions share their experiences, their enthusiasm and their conviction that the Spirit is at work in the chuches, renewing them with life and growth, and calling them to faithful witness in today’s world.”

~ Joint Board of Christian Education, Melbourne

Contents: [Chapters in Bold type are links to Blogs]

Introduction: Renewal

Aboriginal Revival

1. Pentecost in Arnhem Land – Dr Djiniyini Gondarra (Uniting)

2. Fire of God among Aborigines – Rev John Blacket (Uniting)

Personal Renewal

3. Pilgrimage in renewal – Bishop/Brother John-Charles Vockler (Anglican)

4. A testimony of renewal – Bishop Owen Dowling (Anglican)

5. The disquieting presence of the Spirit – Dr Charles Ringma (AOG)

6. A different view – Dr Dorothy Harris (Baptist)

7. Ingredients for unity – Rev Gregory Blaxland (Anglican)

8. New dimensions – Rev David Todd (Presbyterian)

9. Renewal in the Holy Spirit – Dr Barry Manuel (Baptist)

10. Love song – Rev Ruth Lord (Uniting)

Church Renewal: examples

11. Renewal in a country parish – Rev Barry Schofield (Anglican)

12. Renewal in a diocese – Bishop John Lewis (Anglican)

13. Renewal in a city prayer meeting – Fr Vincent Hobbs (Catholic)

14. Renewal in a regional centre – Pastors Brian Francis; David Blackmore (Churches of Christ)

15. Renewal in a small assembly – Elder Bob Dakers (Brethren)

16. Renewal in a large congregation – Dr Geoff Waugh (Baptist)

Church Renewal: observations

17. Building with God – Dr Barry Chant (Christian Revival Crusade)

18. The cost of renewal – Bishop Hamish Jamieson (Anglican)

19. Charismatic renewal in the Roman Catholic Church – Fr Tom White (Catholic)

20. An Orthodox comment on renewal – Fr Lazarus Moore (Orthodox)

21. A Lutheran perspective – Glen Heidenreich (Lutheran)

22. Charismatic renewal: myths and realities – Dr Rowland Croucher (Baptist)

23. Charismatic renewal: pastoral issues – Rev Arthur Jackson (Uniting)

24. Ministering in renewal – Rev Don Drury (Uniting)

25. God’s new work – Rev Don Evans (Uniting)

26. Future directions for charismatic renewal – Dr Peter Moonie (Uniting)

27. Get your surfboard ready – Rev Dan Armstrong (Uniting)

Conclusion: Revival

Free postage worldwide on The Book Depository

See details, contents, photos and reviews of reival books on Amazon & Kindle.

* 
Share this to Facebook, Twitter, Google & Linkedin on links below.
Share with others  –  Blessed to bless.

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

Free PDF books on the Main Page

 FREE SUBSCRIPTION: for new Blogs & free offers

Share good news  –  Share this page freely
Copy and share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
Church on Fire:
https://renewaljournal.com/2010/12/26/church-on-fire/

Church on Fire