Coronavirus and Churches

Coronavirus and Churches

The pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19) now affects gatherings of people worldwide. Churches are adapting to this challenge.

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Standing in Faith against Coronavirus

PROPHECY
PRAYER
DECLARATIONS
HEALING PRAYER
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Practical Ideas and Resources for Churches during COVID 19

PASTORAL AND CONNECTION CARE
COMMUNITY HELP
DISCIPLESHIP
EVANGELISM
PRAYER

Riverlife Baptist Church

Here is relevant information from Riverlife Baptist Church, one of the larger churches in Brisbane, Australia. You may be able to use or adapt this for your church congregation.

You have probably been following along with the developing news and growing concerns of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a church family, we do not want to partner with any fear but simply practice good hygiene and safety to minimize the risk to our community. Please read the following carefully.

Your Role:
As in any cold or flu season, I want to encourage you to stay home from Sunday gatherings or other church-related events throughout the week if you, your family members or roommates are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms (fever, persistent cough, headache, chills or unexplained rash). Please seek medical attention if you are experiencing these symptoms.

If you have recently travelled to any high-risk countries (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Hong Kong or Japan as currently identified by the World Health Organisation and Australian Government Department of Health), please follow the recommended guidelines here and stay home for a couple of Sundays (14 days).

If you are planning on attending regular activities, please ensure you wash your hands with soap, make use of hand sanitizer stations, cough into your sleeve, sneeze into a tissue and put any tissues or waste in the bins provided. Simple, but very helpful!

We post the sermon to our weekly messages podcast here and the video feed on our website here and encourage you to access the teaching from home if you are unable to join us in person. You might also like to take advantage of our Spotify playlists here for some worship playlists we have collated.

Our Role:
We are also taking extra precautions to keep our building sanitary for everyone who will worship with us in person this weekend and in the coming weeks and have also reviewed some of our ministry guidelines to include the following:

  • We are stocked up on hand soap and hand sanitizer (located at several stations).
  • We are sanitizing surfaces between gatherings (including Kids Check-in Kiosks).
  • Volunteers, as always, please follow cleanliness and safety procedures in our Children’s Ministry and be even more diligent during this time.
  • Our friendly Host Teams and Greeters will be welcoming you with a smile and a wave this week rather than a handshake.
  • Our Ministry Teams (both in service and at special events including Encounter) will adjust prayer ministry protocols to be mindful of personal space and close contact.

In faith, we continue to uphold those directly affected by this virus in prayer and ask that God would release wisdom to our leaders, strategies to our health professionals and healing to those experiencing symptoms.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at church@riverlifechurch.org.au.

Blessings,
John Robertson
Senior Pastor 

 

Advice from Queensland Baptists

Dear Pastors and Churches,

With the surge in the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID – 19) around the world, experts say that the likelihood of it spreading to Australia and within our communities is inevitable.

The World Health Organisation has now declared the outbreak of COVID – 19 to be a pandemic, and the Australia Government has been taking necessary steps to prepare for this, with the Department of Health providing regular updates in relation to planning for and responding to COVID – 19.

We need to be thinking about prevention and preparation strategies now that a pandemic has been announced.   So, what can we do as the QB Movement to be prepared to respond and keep our church community safe?

Firstly, and until further notice, churches and congregation members should continue to go about normal daily life, church, work or study as normal.  Church and congregation members should however already be promoting and following best personal hygiene practices.

Personal Hygiene

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. This includes:
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet. Wash for at least 20 seconds and dry with paper towel or a hand dryer.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze – if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow. Dispose of tissues and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • If unwell, avoid contact with others (touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact).
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

Prevention Ideas for Churches

  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol and have these available throughout the church.
  • Encourage people to wash their hands and post reminder signs throughout the church and amenity areas.  Useful posters can be found at
    www.health.gov.au – COVID – 19 Posters
  • Useful fact sheets can be downloaded from  www.health.gov.au – COVID – 19 – Find the Facts and translated versions are available from
    www.health.gov.au COVID – 19 – Translated Resources
  • Shaking hands is optional! Give permission for fist bumps or a hand wave to replace hugs and hand shaking.
  • Place boxes of tissues in easily accessible areas e.g. church reception/information tables.
  • Wipe down surfaces touched by churchgoers such as door handles and railings after each service.
  • Limit potluck meals and other nonessential large gatherings.
  • Consider hosting conference calls or video chats as alternatives for face-to-face meetings
  • Request that people displaying flu like symptoms stay at home and seek medical attention.
  • Review Communion practices/procedures to take precautions to limit the spread of infection via potential cross contamination

Preparation Ideas for Churches

  • Preview your church’s emergency response plans and communication plans in the context of a pandemic.
  • Church leaders should consider appointing a second in charge (2IC) who can run the church efficiently in his/her absence.
  • Remind your congregation that accurate information is essential, and that it is important to use trusted sources such as State and National Health Departments.
  • Churches should also prepare to support vulnerable people in their community especially the elderly and people with a disability.
  • Promote that all people should seek medical care if they require it.
  • Encourage church staff and congregation members to review their family emergency plans and take time to prepare now. For more information go to www.qld.gov.au – Emergency Plan
  • Create plans to enable church staff to work remotely/from home if that becomes a necessity. More information on this is available from www.fairwork.gov.au -COVOD – 19
  • Many affected countries have suspended their church services, and some bigger churches are streaming their Sunday services live. Facebook Live or using pre-recorded videos for sermons are effective options.

Other adaptions could include following the Jewish tradition of a treasury or offering box at the entrance, and communion available on designated tables.

 

How the Early Church handled epidemics

This free mini-eBook is available from Joel News:
https://www.joelnews.org/

A quote from that eBook:

Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, wrote about the plague in the Roman Empire:
How suitable, how necessary it is that this pestilence, which seems horrible and deadly, searches out the justice of each and everyone and examines the minds of the human race;
whether the well care for the sick,
whether relatives dutifully love their kinsmen as they should,
whether masters show compassion for their ailing slaves,
whether physicians do not desert the afflicted.

Plagues in the Roman Empire, and currently in many countries, also became times of evangelism and revival.

See more information about revival such as the Moravian Revival among refugees which sparked the Evangelical Awakening in Europe and America.

    
Berthelsdorf Church, near Herrnhut in Germany, the home of the Moravian revival.
Link: Power from on High – the Moravian Revival

See also

China: How Christians Respond the the Coronavirus Outbreak

Italy:_Light in a Doctor’s Darkest Night

Coronavirus brings Unprecedented Openness to the Gospel

Standing in Faith against Coronavirus

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

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Standing on our knees’ in Kharkov

 

 

This church lets the homeless sleep on the pews

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

– Luke 9:58-59a

This church lets 225 homeless sleep on the pews

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

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

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

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

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

[More work for the cleaners – God bless them]

Source: The Gubbio Project

Click to play this video of The Gubbio Project

March 21, 2018

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Is the Bible Sexist?

Is the Bible sexist?

Dr. Amy Orr-Ewing‘s powerful answer to this question may surprise you as she breaks down verses in the Bible you may never have noticed before.

This article by Dr Amy Orr-Ewing is condensed from this video of her message – YouTube Link

Any Orr-Ewing

In the Bible we see a vision for equality between men and women, both male and female bearing together the image of God.

And the story of the Bible plays that out in amazing ways.  Even in the Old Testament, you see a woman like Miriam leading a whole nation in worship.  You see a woman like Deborah leading a nation politically, making judgments, making decisions, and even leading her country to war.

You see that women didn’t require a man to be a kind of mediator between them and God. They could pray directly to God. They didn’t need a husband or a father to have a relationship with God. Now sometimes people say, “Yeah, but come on, in Genesis alright, women and men both bear the image of God, but doesn’t the Bible call women sort of “helpers”.  Isn’t that word there in Genesis?”

The word that is translated there “helper” is the word ezer and it’s not a term of domination or subjugation because God uses that name ezer to describe himself in his relationship to us as human beings. God is our ezer. He is our helper. It’s a powerful, strong, amazing, not sexist image.

And then we come to the New Testament. We see that Jesus directly resists the sexism that he sees and observes around him. There’s a story in John’s gospel in chapter four where a woman is talking to Jesus and the male disciples come and they see this. They see Jesus one on one with the woman. It says they’re amazed, they’re horrified, they’re staggered. What? To see him just talking one on one to a woman. Jesus considered women to be worthy of theological instruction.

It was a woman called Martha who was the recipient of one of the most amazing doctrinal statements of the New Testament: “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live and they will never die.”  Jesus just brought that to Martha.

And then you see this amazing pattern emerge as you read the New Testament where women sort of have this front row seat, and the extraordinary role of witnessing the core elements of the Christian faith. It’s Mary who is the primary witness to the incarnation, the virgin birth. It’s the women at the cross who are the primary witnesses to the crucifixion, to the atonement, to the cross of Jesus. The men have all disappeared apart from John. It’s women who were there witnessing the cross and then, of course, it is women who were first at the resurrection.

When you read the New Testament you see in the early church that women like Phoebe led the church in Rome. Women like Junia were considered to be outstanding by Paul among the apostles.

There are three verses which some people use to say that women should be subjugated.

In 1 Corinthians it talks about women being silent in church. Now how do we understand that? If you read the whole letter you see that in the same letter, the same author tells women how to prophecy when they prophesy in church, which meant speak publicly, and it says to have your head covered. That meant just modesty in those days. Don’t be showing off your body or your hair while you prophesy. So clearly, it didn’t mean women should never speak and be silent. It’s speaking to a specific group of women who were disrupting the services.

Another verse talks about men being the head of women. The Greek word is kephale and sometimes that has been taken to mean dominance or subjugation, but if you read the verse in context you see that God is the head of Christ. So if it means hierarchy, that doesn’t make sense of the Trinity. So whatever that kephale word means in terms of a relationship between a man and a woman in a marriage, it doesn’t mean domination. In fact, as we read anything about God’s kingdom, it is primarily about service, about love, about laying down our lives for one another.

Then there’s another verse in 1 Timothy 2 that talks about women not teaching, not being permitted to teach or have authority. Now remember, we’ve already been taught by women like Martha, by women like Mary. We’ve already seen that women like Priscilla taught. We know that Phoebe taught.  She was in authority in the Roman church.

Paul was writing that letter of 1 Timothy to the leader of the Ephesian church, Timothy. And the context there was the worship of the goddess Artemis where women dominated and subjugated men in that culture and it seems that as those women got converted it had crept into the Ephesian church. So Paul is helping Timothy to correct that specific pastoral situation. And most likely those women were saying, “Well Paul says that everyone has sinned in Adam, that we all sinned in Adam.” They just heard about this guy Adam who caused the world to sin and then the second Adam, Jesus, and Paul is saying, “Timothy, you need to explain to them that Eve was involved.” She actually sinned first.

Dorothy SayersI want to finish with a quote from one of my favourite apologists, Dorothy L. Sayers.

She writes this about Jesus:

“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man – there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature.”

― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

 

This article by Dr Amy Orr-Ewing is condensed from this video of her message – YouTube Link

 

E

Added to:

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Journey into Ministry and Mission: Autobiography of Geoff Waugh

0 0 A Journey Mission

0 0 A Journey Mission All

Journey into Ministry and Mission
Renewal and Revival

Autobiography of Geoff Waugh

Journey into Ministry and Mission PDF

Other PDF Books available on the Main Page
Best PDF View:   Two Page Scrolling

riverlife-goingdeeper
Podcast link: 21st-century revivals – Riverlife Church: Geoff & grandson Dante talk with staff about revivals they’ve seen

Amazon Links – Look inside

Review on Amazon:

I have read many similar stories, but this one exceeds them all. 

I read the online edition and was blown away by the response of the Solomon Islanders to the power of the Holy Spirit. It was amazing, or should I say God-planned. Geoff has done well to not only be in so many places and seeing God at work, but also writing a book about it all.  It’s as if it has all happened in a world apart, but the events in Brisbane show that it could happen in Australia also.  ~ Barbara Vickridge (Perth, Australia)

See Highlights from Journey into Ministry and Mission

See Prologue:  God’s Surprises

All books available in print and colour paperback and as eBooks and PDF

Link to Amazon and Kindle – Basic Edition – FREE eBook this weekend

Look inside

Link to Amazon and Kindle – Gift Editon

Look inside

Biographical stories from

Australia, Africa, Brazil, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka,

Myanmar/Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines,

China, PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji

Contents

Highlights – revival stories

Chapter   1 – Papua New Guinea (1965-1970)                              

Chapter   2 – Papua New Guinea Schools (1965-1968)

Chapter   3 – Papua New Guinea Bible Schools (1968-1970)

Chapter   4 – Australia (From 1970)

Chapter   5 – Australia: Elcho Island (1994)

Chapter   6 – Papua New Guinea (1994)

Chapter   7 – Solomon Islands: Tabaka (1994)

Chapter   8 – Philippines (1994, 1995)

Chapter   9 – Ghana, Canada: Toronto (1995)

Chapter 10 – Solomon Islands: Simbo (1996)

Chapter 11 – Nepal, India: New Delhi, Sri Lanka (1996)

Chapter 12 – Nepal, India: Darjeeling, Sri Lanka (1998)

Chapter 13 – Nepal, India: Darjeeling (2000)

Chapter 14 – USA: Pensacola (2002)

Chapter 15 – Vanuatu, Australia (2002)

Chapter 16 – Vanuatu, Solomon Islands (2003)

Chapter 17 – Vanuatu: Tanna & Pentecost (2004)

Chapter 18 – Nepal (2004, 2014)

Chapter 19 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2004)

Chapter 20 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)

Chapter 21 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)

Chapter 22 – Kenya, Fiji (2005)

Chapter 23 – Fiji – KBC and COC Team (2006, 2007)

Chapter 24 – Vanuatu, Solomon Islands (2006)

Chapter 25 – Solomon Islands (2007)

Chapter 26 – Kenya (2007)

Chapter 27 – China, USA (2007, 2008)

Chapter 28 – Brazil (2008)

Chapter 29 – Fiji (2008, 2009)

Chapter 30 – Myanmar (2009-11-12-18)

Chapter 31 – Malaysia (2010)

Chapter 32 – Thailand (2011)

Chapter 33 – Germany, Israel (2013)

Chapter 34 – Nepal, Thailand (2014)

Chapter 35 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2010-2018) 

Amazon Links – Journey into Mission

 

See also


Jesus’ Last Promise – Blog and Video – Pentecost
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you


God’s Promise – Blog and Video – I will pour out my Spirit
Seeing God’s Spirit poured out in over 20 countries

Journey into Ministry and Mission – PDF

Journey into MInistry and Mission is condensed from 2 books:

Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival

A Looking to Jesus All

Journey into Renewal and RevivalPDF

and  Journey into Mission

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Journey into Mission – PDF

Related Biographical Books

GOD’S SURPRISES
Snapshots of God’s surprises during our short-term mission trips
A summary of Journey into Mission
God’s Surprises – PDF

 

0 A Pentecost on Pentecost Gift

Pentecost on Pentecost

Journey into Mission includes

the 15 chapters of this book

Pentecost on Pentecost

plus more stories from

Australia, Africa, Nepal, India,

Sri Lanka, Myanmar/Burma,

Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines

and China.

Pentecost on Pentecost – PDF

Don Hill gives more details in his chapters in his book

Travelling with Geoff

A Travelling with Geoff

Travelling with Geoff – PDF

Journey into Mission is expanded from Chapters 4 (Mission) and 8 (Revival) in Geoff’s Book Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival.

A Looking to Jesus All

Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival – PDF

Light on the Mountains is an expanded version of Chapters 1-3 and 6 (PNG) in Journey into Mission.

Light on the Mountains

Light on the Mountains – PDF

Share any Blog to inform and bless others

Gift Edition and eBook in colour

Paperback in print – Kindle in colour

 

 

Amazon Review on Book 1: Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival

Geoff Waugh’s life and ministry have influenced people all around the world. The story of his life and ministry will be of interest not only to those who know him – you will find yourself reflecting on your own journey with Jesus. Here is a personal journey with reflections that will enrich the lives of all readers. As he `looked to Jesus’ along the way he was opened up to many exciting new ventures in Australia and into countries where revival and renewal is vibrant, changing many lives. Although a biography, many others are involved. His reflections fit naturally, showing how his personal journey has relevance for others.  (John Olley)

 Amazon Review on Book 2: Journey into Mission

I have read many similar stories, but this one exceeds them all. 

I read the online edition and was blown away by the response of the Solomon Islanders to the power of the Holy Spirit. It was amazing, or should I say God-planned. Geoff has done well to not only be in so many places and seeing God at work, but also writing a book about it all.  It’s as if it has all happened in a world apart, but the events in Brisbane show that it could happen in Australia also.  (Barbara Vickridge)

CONTENTS

Book 1: Journey into Renewal and Revival

Introduction: Waugh stories – an overview

1. Beginnings: state of origin – growing up in NSW, Australia

2. Schools: green board jungle – learning and teaching

3. Ministry: to lead is to serve – theological college and pastorates

4. Mission: trails and trials – pioneering teaching in Papua New Guinea

5. Family: Waughs and rumours of Waughs – Family life in PNG and Australia

6. Search and Research: begin with A B C – exploring Israel and studies

7. Renewal: begin with doh rey me – charismatic renewal in Australia

8. Revival: begin with 1 2 3 – teaching revival leaders in many countries

Conclusion: begin with you and me – looking ahead

Book 2: Journey into Mission

See Highlights from Journey into Mission

Highlights – revival stories

Amazon Links – Journey into Ministry and Mission

Gift Edition in colour

Paperback in print – Kindle in colour

Amazon Links – Journey into Mission

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

Revival Reports

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These Revival Reports are summarised in Journey into Mission

A lot of key passages and exciting developments get lost in the details of this book so I have highlighted passages in this book which bring some of those key revival passages together.

From Chapter 5 – Australia: Elcho Island (1994)

In that same evening the word just spread like the flames of fire and reached the whole community in Galiwin’ku.  Gelung and I couldn’t sleep at all that night because people were just coming for the ministry, bringing the sick to be prayed for, for healing. Others came to bring their problems.  Even a husband and wife came to bring their marriage problem, so the Lord touched them and healed their marriage.   

Next morning the Galiwin’ku Community once again became the new community.  The love of Jesus was being shared and many expressions of forgiveness were taking place in the families and in the tribes.  Wherever I went I could hear people singing and humming Christian choruses and hymns!  Before then I would have expected to hear only fighting and swearing and many other troublesome things that would hurt your feelings and make you feel sad.   

Many unplanned and unexpected things happened every time we went from camp to camp to meet with the people.  The fellowship was held every night and more and more people gave their lives to Christ, and it went on and on until sometimes the fellowship meeting would end around about midnight.  There was more singing, testimony, and ministry going on.  People did not feel tired in the morning, but still went to work.   

From Chapter 9 – Philippines (1995)

During the class seminars, my students reported on various signs and wonders that they had experienced in their churches.  Many of them expected God to do the same things now as he did in the New Testament, but not all! “We don’t seem to have miracles in our church,” said one student, a part-time Baptist pastor and police inspector. “You could interview a pastor from a church that does,” I suggested.

So he interviewed a Pentecostal pastor about miraculous answers to prayer in their church.  That student reported to the class how the Pentecostal church sent a team of young people to the local mental hospital for monthly meetings where they sang and witnessed and prayed for people.  Over 40 patients attended their first meeting there, and they prayed for 26 personally, laying hands on them.  A month later, when they returned for their next meeting, all those 26 patients had been discharged and sent home.

From Chapter 9 – Ghana (1995)

When we arrived in the mountain town of Suhum, it was dark. The torrential rain had cut off the electricity supply. The rain eased off a bit, so we gathered in the market square and prayed to God to guide us and to take over. Soon the rain ceased. The electricity came on. The host team began excitedly shouting that it was a miracle. “We will talk about this for years” they exclaimed with gleaming eyes. We had clear days all that week, although it was in the monsoon.

My interpreter that night didn’t know a lot of English. I think he preached his own sermon based on some phrases of mine he understood or guessed, and apparently he did well. When we invited people to respond and give their lives to Christ, they came from the surrounding darkness into the light. Some wandered over from the pub, smelling of beer. They kept the ministry team busy praying and arranging follow up with the local churches.

At that point I left the work to the locals who understood one another. I just moved around laying hands on people’s heads and praying for them, as did many others. People reported various touches of God in their lives. Some were healed. Later in the week an elderly man excitedly told how he had come to the meeting almost blind but now he could see.

Each day we held morning worship and teaching sessions for Christians in a church, hot under an iron roof on those clear, tropical sunny days.  During the second morning I vividly ‘saw’ golden light fill the church and swallow up or remove blackness.  At that point the African Christians became very noisy, vigorously celebrating and shouting praises to God.  A fresh anointing seemed to fall on them just then.

From Chapter 9 – Toronto, Canada (1995)

Over 100,000 a year flocked there from all over the world for well over a decade. The wide diversity of people from different denominations and countries there impressed me.  Love and respect for others filled the atmosphere and testimonies.  We joined the crowds of over 1500 each morning and night, enjoyed the low-key sensitive worship (knowing very few of their songs), appreciated the balanced teaching, and received personal prayer.

Both of us appreciated the gracious, caring way people prayed for us, and others.  No rush.  No hype.  No pressure.  Whether we stood, or sat in a chair, or rested on the carpeted floor, those praying for us did so quietly with prayers prompted by the Holy Spirit.  Those praying laid a hand on us gently, as led, and trusted the Lord to touch us.  He did.  Warmth and love permeated us.  We returned to our hotel after the meetings aware of increased peace and deeper assurance of the Lord’s love and grace.

After returning to Brisbane I noticed that people I prayed for received strong touches from the Lord, most resting in the Spirit on the floor.  We needed people to be ready to catch those who fell, to avoid them getting hurt (then needing extra healing prayer!).  Some of them had visions of the Lord blessing them and others.

From Chapter 13 – Nepal (2000)

By Raju:

After praying on the bridge we approached the Chinese officials to get a permission to enter Tibet.  The first official refused but the second one nodded approvingly, taking the four Australian passports from my hand as security, and let us go free of charge!  This could happen only by the supernatural intervention of our Almighty God, Hallelujah!  We had good prayer inside Tibet, especially on those individual shopkeepers whom I would grab and pray on without any resistance from them!

On 21 April all the eight of Australians and I had a trip to Gochadda in west Nepal and held a three days conference over there at Easter.  While driving toward the destination I shared the Word with the driver of the private bus and during the inauguration of the conference he approached the altar and accepted Christ as his personal Saviour.  On the same day a Christian brother whose hand was partially crippled for six years was touched by the Holy Spirit and healed absolutely.  He was shaking in his whole body and raising his hands, even the crippled one already healed, praising the Lord with all his strength, he glorified the Lord for his greatness, Hallelujah!

Out of about 200 participants in the conference by the grace of God 100 of them were baptized in the Holy Spirit praising the Lord, singing, falling, crying, and many other actions as the Holy Spirit would prompt them to act.  About ten of them testified that they had never experienced such a presence of the power and love of God.  Some others testified being lifted to heavenly realms by the power of the Holy Spirit, being surrounded by the angels of the Lord in a great peace, joy, and love toward each other and being melted in the power of his presence.  Many re-committed their lives to the Lord for ministry by any means through his revelation.

On the second day of the conference the trend continued as the people seemingly would fall down, repent, minister to each other in the love of Christ, enjoy the mighty touch of the Holy Spirit, singing, prophesying, weeping, laughing, hugging, and all the beauty of the Holy Spirit was manifested throughout the congregation by his grace and love.  One woman of age 65 testified that she never had danced in her life in any occasion even in secret, but the Lord had told her that she should now dance to him and she was dancing praising him with all her strength.  For hours this outpouring continued and the pastors of the churches were one by one testifying that they had never experienced such a presence and power of God in their whole Christian life and ministry.

Some 60 evangelists from Gorkha, Dhanding, Chitwan, Butwal declared that they were renewed in their spirits by the refreshing of the Holy Spirit and they are now going to serve the Lord in the field wherever the Holy Spirit will lead them to be fully fledged in His service.  In the last day of the conference while praying together with the congregation and committing them in his hands, many prophesied that the Lord was assuring them of great changes in their ministry, life and the area.  While the power of God was at work in our midst three children of 6-7 years old fell down weeping, screaming and testifying about a huge hand coming on them and touching their stomachs and healing them instantly.  After the prayer all the participants got into the joy of the Holy Spirit and started dancing to the Lord, singing and praising Him for His goodness.

Before leaving Gochadda while we were having snacks in the pastor’s house a woman of high Brahmin caste came by the direction of the Lord to the place, claiming that she was prompted by a voice in her ear to go to the Christians and ask for prayer for healing of her chronic stomach pain and problems, and that is why she was there.  We prayed for her and she was instantly healed and we shared the Gospel, but she stopped us saying, “I need to accept Christ as my Saviour so don’t waste time!” She accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour being lifted in spirit, and even the body as she said she didn’t feel anymore burden in her body, and spirit, Hallelujah!

On 25 April we held another conference in Nazarene Church pastored by Rinzi Lama in Kathmandu.  Ten churches unitedly participated in the two days gathering where about 100 people participated.  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit continued in this conference refreshing many in their spirits and bringing much re-commitment.  Some cases of healing were testified.  …

On 27 April we held a one day conference in Hosanna Church where the touch of the Holy Spirit was tremendous and people blessed by the Holy Spirit and his might were manifesting his power and presence in the place.  While people were worshipping and praising the Lord, a prophecy came and the Lord said, “What happened to the vision given to you six years ago?  You have forgotten to pray about it but I have not forgotten what I have promised to you through the vision!” I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that I had seen a vision where I was taken over the highest mountains in this country with a few of my foreign friends and some of our evangelists and as we put our step on the top of the mountain it started shaking and melting and my friends and the evangelists started disappearing, then I cried out, “Lord where are my friends?”  And He said open your eyes and see, and I saw all my friends and the evangelists were scattered all over the mountains and they were coming towards me with multitudes of people behind them.  I started weeping and with a feeling which words cannot explain I was thanking the Lord for His goodness, I was laughing in the Spirit for the repetition of the vision which I could see again.  Hallelujah!

From Chapter 14 – USA: Pensacola

I liked the spontaneous bits best.  Before Friday night’s revival service some people in the singing group of over 50 people on stage began singing free harmonies without music while they waited for the sound system to work, and we all joined in.  It sounded like angels harmonizing in continual worship.  Wonderful.  No need for words!

Later, during the service Lindel Cooley, their worship leader, led spontaneously from the keyboard without other instruments, singing the chorus of an old hymn from his youth (and mine) – ‘Love lifted me’.  All the oldies joined in, and then it went on to a verse sung from memory.  It moved me deeply, from my own boyhood memories, especially as I had just then been asking the Lord for a personal touch from him.

A visitor preached, calling for faith and action.  Their prayer team prayed for many hundreds at the ‘altar call’ – short and sharp, but relevant and challenging. The man who prayed briefly for me spoke about national and international ministries the Lord would open for me.

From Chapter 15 – Vanuatu (2002)

By Romulo:  “The speaker was the Upper Room Church pastor, Jotham Napat who is also the Director of Meteorology 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, 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 those areas. The Lord was on the road of destiny with many people that night.” 

Unusual lightning hovered around the sky 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.

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 nightclub scene. Both changed dramatically. Many of their friends said it would not last. It did last and led them into ministry and mission.

From Chapter 16 – Vanuatu (2003)

Significant events associated with the coming of the Gospel to South Pentecost included a martyr killed and a paramount chief’s wife returning from death.

Thomas Tumtum had been an indentured worker on cane farms in Queensland, Australia. Converted there, he 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 into the village. Ancient tradition dictated that anyone breaking tabu must be killed, so they were going to kill Thomas, but his friend Lulkon asked Thomas to tell them to kill him instead so that Thomas could evangelize 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. Thomas became a pioneer of the church in South Pentecost, establishing Churches of Christ there.

Paramount Chief Morris Bule died at 111 on 1st July, 2016, the son of the highest rank paramount chief on Pentecost Island. After a wife of Chief Morris’s father died and was prepared for burial, the calico cloths around her began to move. She had returned from death and they took the grave cloths of her. She sat up and told them all to leave their pagan ways and follow the Christian way. Then she lay down and died.

Chief Morris’s son, Paramount Chief Peter, had an uncle who returned from Queensland as a Christian in the early 1900s. When he was old, after many years telling them about the Gospel, one day he called all his relatives to him, shook hands in farewell with everyone, and lay down and died immediately.

From Chapter 16 – Solomon Islands (2003)

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 5pm for hours of praise, worship and testimonies. A police officer reported reduced crimes, and said former rebels were attending daily worship and prayer meetings.

Revival continued 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 quit crime and drunkenness, and promoted good behaviour and co-operation.

2 Christians who once kept their Christianity inside churches and meetings talked more freely about their lifestyle in the community and amongst friends.

3 Revival groups, especially youth, enjoyed working together in unity and community, including a stronger emphasis on helping others in the community.

4 Families were strengthened in the revival. Parents spent more time with their youth and children to encourage and help them, often leading them in Bible reading and family prayers.

5 Many new gifts and ministries were used by more people than before, including revelations and healing. Even children received revelations or words of knowledge about hidden magic artefacts or ginger plants related to spirit power and removed them.

6 Churches grew. Many church buildings in the Marovo Lagoon were pulled down and replaced with much large buildings to fit in the crowds. Offerings and community support increased.

7 Unity. Increasingly Christians united in reconciliation for revival meetings, prayer and service to the community. …

Children received revelations about their parent’s secret sins or the location of hidden magic artefacts or stolen property. Many children had visions of Jesus during the revival meetings.  Often he would be smiling when they were worshipping and loving him, or he would show sadness when they were naughty or unkind. …

At Seghe the children and youth loved to meet every afternoon in the church near the Bible College there.  The man leading these meetings had been a rascal involved in the ethnic tensions but was converted in the revival. A policeman from Seghe told me that since the revival began crime has dropped.  Many former young criminals were converted and joined the youth worshipping God each afternoon.  Revival continued to spread throughout the region. …  

We taught in morning sessions about revival and answered questions. One mother, for example, asked about the meaning of her young son’s vision of Jesus standing with one foot in heaven and one foot on the earth. What a beautiful, powerful picture of Jesus’ claim that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him (Matthew28:8), seen in a child’s vision.

From Chapter 17 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2004)

By Matthias:  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.

From Chapter 19 – Vanuatu Pentecost (2004)

By Don:  The night’s worship led by the law students started off as usual with singing, then spontaneously turned into a joyful party. Then Joanna Kenilorea gave a testimony about a very sad event in her family that brought the Keniloreas back to God. She was especially eloquent in her address and when finished, Geoff found that it had been so powerful that he had no more to add that night and made an immediate altar call for prayer. Almost as one, 300 high school students, teachers and others present rose from their seats and moved out into the aisle to the front of the hall. There were a couple of slow starters, but when it became apparent that Geoff could not possibly pray for each individually, even these moved up to the back of the crowd until everybody in that room had come forward. Geoff in all his years of ministry and association with renewal ministries and revival (and that was the subject of his doctorate) had never experienced anything like it. The most remarkable thing for Helen and me was we were there and part of it in such a remote and previously unknown part of our world! It was surely a night to remember.

From Chapter 21 – Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)

Many of the older people attending these intensive teaching sessions had been involved in local revivals through many years. They understood the principles involved such as repentance, reconciliation, unity, personal and group prayer that was earnest and full of faith, and using various gifts of the Spirit. They were most familiar with words of wisdom and knowledge, discerning spirits (especially from local witchcraft), revelations, healings and deliverance.

I learned much from them, especially about the spirit world and humbly seeking God for revelation and direction. We westerners tend to jump in and organize things without really waiting patiently on God for his revelation and direction. Many westerners, including missionaries, find waiting frustrating or annoying, but local people find it normal and natural. Wait on God and move when he shows you the way. For example, you can seek the Lord about who will speak, what to say, and how to respond. We westerners often use schedules and programs instead.

“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)

From Chapter 22 – Kenya (2005)

Before the Kibera slum church moved into their corrugated iron shed they met in a community hall.  I taught leaders there, and spoke at their Sunday service with about 30 people.  We gave them real bread for communion, not just symbolic cubes.  The Spirit led me to give them all the bread we had, just t loaves (not five barley buns as the boy had in Scripture).

“Can I take some home to my family?” asked one young man.  That’s a hard question to answer in front of 30 hungry people.

“It’s yours. You can take some of your own communion bread home if you want to,” I answered.

Everyone then took a large handful of communion bread, and most put some in their pockets to take home later.  We shared real glasses of grape juice in plastic glasses, thanking the Lord for his body and blood given for us. After my return to Australia I heard that the bread apparently multiplied, as those who took some home had enough for their families to eat. Some of them were still eating it two weeks later.

From Chapter 22 – Fiji (2005)

By Jerry:  While we were praying and worshipping, the Lord told me for the first ever time to take the salt water and the land and give it back to God. And I told this brother that when we offered it to God the rain is going to fall just to confirm that God hears and accepts it according to His leading. 

I told him in advance while the Lord was putting it in my heart to do it… this is the first ever time and I always heard about it when people are being led… now it has happened to me… I could not even believe it. 

As soon as he brought the water and I brought the soil to signify the sacrifice, I felt the mighty presence of God with us and was like numb… and the sun was really shining up in the sky with very little clouds.  This rain fell slowly upon us…. I still could not believe… my cousin was astonished and could not believe it… it happened according to the way the Lord told me and I told him.  It was like a made up story. 

It was the blessings of God and I told the Lord that I am waiting for His own time to rebuild the walls of my village… but the Lord already told me that He wants and has chosen me to rebuild the wall of my village like Nehemiah.

From Chapter 23 – Fiji (2006) re Tanna Island

The Director of the Department of Meteorology in Vanuatu was in Fiji for a conference and I met him there again.  He is also a pastor (Pastor Jotham) at Upper Room church in Port Vila where many of the law students attended. 

In May 2006 he had been on mission in Tanna Island where the Lord moved strongly on young people, especially in worship and prayer.  Children and youth were anointed to write and sing new songs in the local dialects.  Some children asked the pastors to ordain them as missionaries – which was new for everyone.  After prayer about it, they did. 

Those children are strong evangelists already, telling Bible stories in pagan villages.  One 9 year old boy did that, and people began giving their lives to God in his pagan village, so he became their ‘pastor’, assisted by older Christians from other villages. 

From Chapter 24 – Vanuatu (2006)

At sharing time in the Upper Room service, a nurse, Leah Waqa, told how she had been recently on duty when parents brought in their young daughter who had been badly hit in a car accident, and showed no signs of life – the heart monitor registered zero.

Leah was in the dispensary giving out medicines when she heard about the girl and she suddenly felt unusual boldness, so went to the girl and prayed for her, commanding her to live, in Jesus’ name.  She prayed for almost an hour, mostly in tongues, and after an hour the monitor started beeping and the girl recovered.

The revival team, including the two of us from Australia, trekked for a week into mountain villages.  We literally obeyed Luke 10 – most going with no extra shirt, no sandals, and no money.  The trek began with a five-hour climb across the island to the village of Ranwas on ridges by the sea on the eastern side.  Mathias led worship, and strong moves of the Spirit touched everyone.  We prayed for people many times in each meeting.  At one point I spat on the dirt floor, making mud to show what Jesus did once.  Merilyn Wari, wife of the President of the Churches of Christ, then jumped up asking for prayer for her eyes, using the mud.  Later she testified that the Lord told her to do that, and then she found she could read her small pocket Bible without glasses.  So she read to us all.  Meetings continued like that each night. …

Revival meetings erupted at Ponra.  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 wanted mud packs also at Ponra!

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, DVDs, videos, movies, magazines, and worldliness.  Their lives were so clean and holy.  Just pure love for the Lord, especially among the young.  Youth often lead in revival.

The sound of angels singing filled the air about 3am.  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.  Pure, awesome and majestic. 

From Chapter 24 – Solomon Islands (2006)

Revival in the Guadalcanal Mountains had begun at the Bubunuhu Christian Community High School on Monday, July 10, 2006, on their first night back from holidays.  They were filled with the Spirit and began using many spiritual gifts they had not had before.  Then 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, healings, tongues, and revelations (such as knowing where adults hid magic artefacts). 

The National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) in the north-west of the Solomon Islands at Choiseul Island, two hours flight from Honiara, brought over 1,000 youth together from all over the Solomon Islands. 

By Grant:  “Most of a thousand youth came forward.  Some ran to the altar, some crying!  There was an amazing outpouring of the Spirit. 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 myself in Choiseul.  God did an amazing thing that night with the young people and I really believe that he is raising up some of them to be mighty leaders in revival.”

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

The delegation from Kariki islands further west, returned home 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.

From Chapter 25 – Solomon Islands (2007)

We held revival meetings 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 night revival meetings, with worship led by the students, filled an eventful week in September 2007.  That was the first time the seminary held such a week, and again we prayed for so many at each meeting, students and village people.  Meetings included two village revival services in the lagoon. At the first, an afternoon meeting in the framework of a large new church building, everyone came for prayer, all 100, and 30 reported on pain leaving as we prayed for healings. Then we had a long evening meeting at Patutiva village, where revival started in Easter 2003 across the Lagoon from Seghe. That meeting went from 7pm to 1.30am with about 1,000 people!  We prayed personally for hundreds after the meeting ‘closed’ at 11pm. Students told me they could hear the worship and preaching on the PA across the lagoon 1k away in the still night air, so those in bed listened that way! …

The week at Taro was the fullest of the whole trip, the most tiring, and also the most powerful so far.  Worship was amazing.  They brought all the United Church ministers together for the week from all surrounding islands where revival is spreading and was accelerated after the youth convention near here in Choiseul the previous December, where the tsunami hit in April. Many lay people also filled the church each morning – about 200.

Night rallies at the soccer field included the amplifiers reaching people in their houses as well.   Each night I spoke and Mathias also spoke, especially challenging the youth.  We prayed for hundreds, while the youth lead worship at the end of each meeting. The ministers helped but they preferred to just assist us, and people seemed to want us to pray for them.  I involved the ministers in praying for people also. There was a lot of conviction and reconciliation going on. 

It’s fascinating that we so often see powerful moves of God’s Spirit when all the churches and Christians unite together in worship and ministry.  God blesses unity of heart and action, especially among God’s people.  It always involves repentance and reconciliation. 

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 my English, even those who did not speak English, so they did not need an interpreter.  Another miracle. 

Saturday night was billed as a big meeting at Patuvita across the channel. This is where the revival started with children of the lagoon at Easter 2003. Geoff had previously visited this church in September 2003. The old church building has been pulled down and the foundations were being pegged out on an open ridge high above the lagoon for the new one, which will probably hold up to 1000 as the revival swells the numbers.

Again students led the worship. Most of the adults were traditional, but there were forty or so in revival ministry teams who pray for the sick, cast out spirits and evangelise. We joined the meeting by 8pm and finished at 1.30am!

Worship went for an hour. Geoff then preached for nearly an hour. In his words –

Very lively stuff. Only tiny kids went to sleep – 50 of them on pandanus leaf mats at the front. Then we prayed for people – and prayed, and prayed, and prayed and prayed, on and on and on and on! I involved the ministers (after praying for them and leaders first), and the students – and still people came for prayer – by the hundreds.

We prayed for leaders who wanted prayer first, then for their ministry teams, then for youth leaders and the youth, and then for anyone else who wanted prayer, and at about midnight Mark called all the children for prayer, so the parents woke them up and carried the babies. I guess I prayed for 30 sleeping kids in mother’s arms and for their mothers and fathers as well.

Then after midnight when the meeting “finished” about 200 remained for personal prayer, one by one. So I involved 4 students with me, and that was great on-the-job training as well as praying. We prayed about everything imaginable, including many barren wives, men whose wives were un-cooperative, women whose husbands weren’t interested, and healings galore – certainly many more than 100 healings. In every case, those with whom we prayed said that the pain was totally gone.

I doubt if I’ve ever seen so many healings, happening so quickly. At 1.30am there were still 30 people waiting for prayer, so I got desperate, and prayed for them all at once. I told them just to put their hands on the parts of their body needing healings, and I prayed for them all at once, while the students and some ministers still there laid hands on them, and I also moved quickly around to lay hands on each one.

They were all happy, and again reported healings. I wish I’d thought of that at midnight! But at least a few hundred had a chance to talk with us and be specific about their needs.

From Chapter 27 – China (2007)

I loved it there among such humble, hungry, receptive, grateful, gentle, and faith-filled believers. I was often in tears just being there, appreciating their heartfelt zeal in everything. I have rarely been so impressed anywhere. No concerts. No acting. No hype. Just bare essentials. What a big and wonderful family we belong to, and our Father is so proud of his family there, I’m sure.

I had the great honour of speaking at a house church. People arrived in ones or twos over an hour or so, and stayed for many hours. Then they left quietly in ones or twos again, just personal visitors to that host family. Food on the small kitchen table welcomed everyone, some of it brought by the visitors.

About 30 of us crowded into a simple room with very few chairs. Most sat on the thin mat coverings. They sang their own heartfelt worship songs in their own language and style, pouring out love to the Lord, sometimes with tears. The leader played a very basic guitar in a very basic way.

Everyone listened intently to the message, and gladly asked questions, all of it interpreted. There was no need for an altar call or invitation to receive prayer. Everyone wanted personal prayer. Our prayer team of three or four people prayed with each person for specific needs such as healing and with personal prophecies. That flowed strongly. I knew none of that group, but received ‘pictures’ or words of encouragement for each one, as did the others.

While prayer continued, some began slipping quietly away. Others had supper. Others stayed to worship quietly. It was a quiet night because they did not want to disturb neighbours or attract attention.

Most people in that group were new believers with no Christian background at all. They identified easily with the house churches of the New Testament, the persecution, and the miracles, because they experienced all that as well. Many unbelievers become Christians because someone prayed for their healing and the Lord healed them.

From Chapter 28 – Fiji (2008, 2009)

By Romulo (2008):  “Inter-tertiary went very well at Suva Grammar School that was hosted by Fiji School of Medicine Christian Fellowship (CF).  It was an awesome two nights of fellowship with God and with one another.  The Pacific Students for Christ combined worship was a huge blessings for those that attended the two nights of worship.  Pastor Geoff spoke on Obedience to the Holy Spirit – this being a spark to revival and power.

“Students came in droves for prayers and the worship lit up the Grammar School skies with tears, repentance, anointing and empowerment.  The worship by Fiji School of Medicine students brought us closer to intimate worship with the King.  It was a Pacific gathering and each and every person there was truly blessed as young people sought a closer intimate relationship with the King. We were blessed beyond words.  Thank you all for the prayers, the thoughts and the giving.”

Roneil, a Fijian Indian, added, “It was all so amazing, so amazing that words can’t describe it.  For me, it was obvious that the glory of God just descended upon the people during the Inter-tertiary CF.  I’ve never seen an altar call that lasted for way more than an hour.  I myself just couldn’t get enough of it.  It was and still is so amazing.  God’s anointing is just so powerful.  Hallelujah to Him Who Was, Who Is and Who is to Come.”

By Romulo (2009):  Two of the memorable highlights were the washing of leaders’ feet at RCCG Samabula and the worship service on Wednesday at RCCG Kiuva village.  In fact I remember picking up the pastors on Sunday morning, and seeing Pastor Geoff carrying towels. I said to myself, ‘This is going to be fun.’  And fun it was.

God was teaching the church the principles of servanthood, demonstrated not just by words but by actions.  It was a moving experience as Pastor Geoff on his knees started washing feet, drying them with a towel and speaking into the lives of leaders.  Powerful also was the fact that Pastor Geoff’s leading was to wash the feet of leaders.

That Sunday former PM Rabuka, who heard of the Pastor’s visit, came to church for prayer.  Of course, the leading for Pastor Geoff to pray for leaders meant Rabuka would get his feet washed too.  One of the acts that will be embedded forever in my mind was seeing Rabuka sit on the floor, remove his coat and wash the feet of Pastor Geoff and KY Tan.  He then dried their feet with his ‘favourite’ Fiji rugby coat (he played in their national rugby team).  I was blown away by this act of humility, as demonstrated by Christ on his final night with the disciples before his arrest and execution.

On Wednesday night, (their last night in Suva), we were at Kiuva village in Tailevu.  The powerful and angelic worship of young people and kids in Tailevu made the atmosphere one of power with a tangible presence of the Lord in the place.  We saw a glimpse of revival and the power of God at work in such a simple setting.  I was blessed to witness for myself the prevalent hunger in the body as lives connected with God.  In all, it is purely refreshing being in the presence of God and being touched and filled by the Holy Spirit.

 Contents – Chapters of  Journey into Mission

Chapters of my smaller book, Pentecost on Pentecost and in the South Pacific, are included here in brackets.

Chapter   1 – Papua New Guinea (1965-1970)
Chapter   2 – Papua New Guinea Schools (1965-1968)
Chapter   3 – Papua New Guinea Bible Schools (1968-1970)
Chapter   4 – Australia (From 1970)
Chapter   5 – [1] Australia: Elcho Island (1994)
Chapter   6 – [2] Papua New Guinea (1994)
Chapter   7 – [3] Solomon Islands: Tabaka (1994)
Chapter   8 – Philippines (1994, 1995)
Chapter   9 – Ghana, Canada: Toronto (1995)
Chapter 10 – Solomon Islands: Simbo (1996)
Chapter 11 – Nepal, India: New Delhi, Sri Lanka (1996)
Chapter 12 – Nepal, India: Darjeeling, Sri Lanka (1998)
Chapter 13 – Nepal, India: Darjeeling (2000)
Chapter 14 – USA: Pensacola (2002)
Chapter 15 – [4] Vanuatu, Australia (2002)
Chapter 16 – [5] Vanuatu, Solomon Islands (2003)
Chapter 17 – [6] Vanuatu: Tanna & Pentecost (2004)
Chapter 18 – Nepal (2004, 2014)
Chapter 19 – [7] Vanuatu: Pentecost ( 2004)
Chapter 20 – [8] Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)
Chapter 21 – [9] Vanuatu: Pentecost (2005)
Chapter 22 – [10] Kenya, Fiji (2005)
Chapter 23 – [11] Fiji – KBC and COC Team (2006, 2007)
Chapter 24 – [12] Vanuatu, Solomon Islands (2006)
Chapter 25 – [13] Solomon Islands (2007)
Chapter 26 – Kenya (2007)
Chapter 27 – China, USA (2007, 2008)
Chapter 28 – [14] Fiji (2008, 2009)
Chapter 29 – Myanmar (2009-11-12-18)
Chapter 30 – Malaysia (2010)
Chapter 31 – Thailand (2011)
Chapter 32 – Germany, Israel (2013)
Chapter 33 – Nepal, Thailand (2014)
Chapter 34 – [15] Vanuatu: Pentecost (2010-2017)

Amazon Links – Journey into Mission

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Sri Lanka, Myanmar/Burma,
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BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

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BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Renewal Leadership, by John McElroy

Renewal Leadership

John McElroy

John McElroy

The Rev Dr John McElroy wrote as senior pastor of Churchlands Christian Fellowship in Perth, Australia.

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

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

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Renewal Leadership, by John McElroy

__________________________________________________

We must be cautious in the selection of leaders.

Our unity, especially in leadership, sparks revival.

The church must stay true to Jesus and obey him.

__________________________________________________

When I first heard some colleagues talk about the 1990’s as a ‘decade of revival’ I wondered if it was just more wishful thinking aimed at getting Australian churches to take evangelism seriously.

It is increasingly apparent, now, that we live in a ‘kairos’ moment – God’s time for us.  Good and evil grow side by side at what appears to be an accelerating rate.

In these times of economic and social upheaval we have the potential of an almost unprecedented audience for God’s action. Our fellow Australians are seeking spiritual answers to life’s questions. Many do so for the first time. Others are seeking a place to belong and want healing from the wounds of life.

At a time of such obvious need and searching we agonize to observe some congregations experiencing decline and, in a few cases, apparent death. Yet, regardless of outward appearances, wherever God’s people gather in worship there is always potential for renewal.

God has a plan for the church. In the past God kept his promise. Even though it would appear whole generations lost a true knowledge of God, he sovereignly renewed his kingdom again when he found willing hearts. Today, God is looking for pure and willing hearts among those who would aspire to leadership in the church.

In preparation for revival and harvest, God is raising up leaders whose visionary zeal is matched by their integrity. Our Master is concerned not only about whether we reach the goal, but how we achieve it. Leaders today are wise to remember that the end does not justify any and every means of getting there. On earth, Christian leaders are servants of a God whose nature is integrity, justice, love and mercy. Our Lord wants his ambassadors to reflect his nature and character in the midst of providing leadership.

For some time I have noted that methods and standards vary greatly in the selection and guidance of church leaders. Within my denomination, I have often been called upon to give advice or rectify situations which are attributable to poor leadership decisions.

My intent is not to reiterate what others have written on issues facing renewal leadership. I would like, however, to underline three issues which I feel must be considered by those who desire to be leaders in renewal. These issues have come out of my experience as pastor and as convenor of the Christian Ministries Network of Western Australia.

Caution in leadership selection

Leadership is a key issue in renewal and revival. The apostle Paul warned against being hasty in the laying on of hands for leadership (1 Timothy 5:22). While this Scripture is often quoted, the importance of its implementation is often underestimated, much to the detriment of the church. Once a person has been placed in a position of leadership that person carries an authority and influence within the Body of Christ which either promotes or hinders its mission.

I have not yet discovered one elder, staff person or leader who, at the time of being selected, was fully mature in the Lord. That is normal. Jesus picked the disciples on the basis of their potential, not their perfection. Chapter three of 1 Timothy provides an essential list of considerations for spiritual leadership. In addition to this list, I often ask the following six questions concerning potential leaders:

1. Have they undergone a period of settling in and observation?

When new people decide to make our Fellowship their spiritual home, we invite them to undertake a minimum three to six months settling in and getting to know us. During this time we ask that they join a weekly home group but refrain from signing up for, or becoming involved in, any of the ministries of the church. During this period our leaders observe their character, gifts, and apparent maturity in the Lord. This brief time of waiting clarifies not only their suitability for ministry but whether the needs and vision of the individual fit our capabilities.

2. Have they dealt with sin or strongholds operative in their lives?

In other words, are they free of habitual sin or do they require ministry, healing, or counselling which will set them free from ungodly thoughts or behaviour? Do they give evidence of anger, unforgiveness, rejection, lust, pride, hurt, gossip, or any of the acts of the flesh noted in Galatians 5:1921? The presence of sin or strongholds does not indicate a person’s ultimate unsuitability for leadership, but it does indicate: not yet!

3. Do they show evidence of having gone to the cross?

Does the nature of Jesus, particularly humility, seem to be evident and growing? Going to the cross speaks of dying to the flesh and human cleverness in our attitudes and lifestyles. Such people will show traits of circumspectness, submissiveness, wisdom, compassion, transparency, patience and prayerfulness. They are humble, teachable, willing to be accountable, and allow others to speak into their lives.

4. Do they have a growing intimacy with God?

In John 15:5 Jesus said, ‘Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.’ To abide in Jesus speaks of an intimate relationship of prayer and communion; of two best friends who anticipate one another’s moods, mannerisms and responses. Abiding is the process of becoming like the company we keep. The result of intimacy is to bear certain recognizable fruit: the fruit of the Spirit, an ability to discern the Lord’s voice, and a growth in our understanding of God’s nature and the way he brings his will to pass.

5. Are they free of selfish ambition or worldly cleverness?

Selfish ambition is essentially the desire for recognition, power, and control. Worldly cleverness is the means of fulfilling ambition: intellectualism, deceit, power games, manipulation, partiality, and control. Some seek church leadership with hopes of lordship rather than service. Others have a mistaken notion that what made them successful in the business world translates identically to the church.

Our own enthusiasm can never substitute for godly wisdom in decision making, as stated in Psalm 127:1,
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.

Those suited to spiritual leadership acknowledge sooner rather than later that prayer, waiting on the Lord’s timing, and following his plan are the only ways to build God’s house.

6. Do they have the same spirit and vision as your team?

Are potential leaders on the right train? Are they willing to work in submission to the pastor and leaders of the local church? Do they hold views which mesh with ours, or are they at odds with our established vision, ethos, and mission?

For some reason, growing churches attract ambitious people aspiring to leadership who lack the discernment to choose the church God has actually selected for them. You must therefore look out for ‘cruisomatics’ flying from church to church looking for the perfect roost. Beware of those practising a ‘gift of correction’ or ministries which they proclaim will ‘get your church on the right track.’ These are the lone rangers, free spirits, and ultimately the self-inflicted wounded whose unrepentant hearts cause untold grief.

When selecting potential leaders it is always wise to narrow the front door, so to speak, by being cautious and getting as many facts as possible on the table. Good things come to those who wait and ask God’s discernment in the selection of leaders. I, and many others, have learned the hard way. It is much easier to refrain from placing a person in leadership than to admit a mistake and have to remove them later.

Unity results in synergy

Unity, especially among leaders, gives impetus to revival. It results in a Holy Spirit induced synergy.  The Macquarie Dictionary defines synergism as ‘the joint action of two substances… which increase each other’s effectiveness when taken together.’ While synergism is most commonly thought of in the context of chemistry or metallurgy, it also applies to the church. When two churches and their leaders pray together, relationships bond, cooperation results and the net impact is greater than their previous effect as two separate entities.

The chances of revival taking place within a church, area, or city increase when there is unity within the leadership. John Wimber has noted that one of the signs of impending revival would be a call to unity. This call to unity is not an exercise of theological compromise or ecclesiastical carpentry but comes as the Body of Christ is touched by repentance, healing, and holiness.

Pat Robertson, in his book The Secret Kingdom, writes of eight principles arising from the teachings of Jesus which govern all of life. He calls these eight principles ‘the laws of the kingdom’. One of these principles, which Robertson calls ‘the law of unity’, presents both a challenge and promise to Christian leaders in Australia.

Essentially, the law of unity states that within the Trinity there has always been agreement and harmony. Consequently, unity and harmony in Christ’s Body are crucial to the unleashing of God’s incredible power among us. Great creativity and power for accomplishing God’s purposes are released where there is harmony.

A practical outworking of the law of unity is seen in Matthew 18:1920 where Jesus said, ‘Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’

Here our Lord calls for agreement based on unity. Since Jesus was among them when they gathered to consider an issue, Jesus’ disciples would be expected to agree with him. As the central focus and inspiration of their fellowship, Jesus would bring his disciples to harmony if they genuinely laid aside their own preconceptions and centred on him.

The biblical accounts of life in the New Testament church further illustrate the power of unity. As the believers continued to seek the Lord together in prayer (Acts 1:14) the Holy Spirit added to their number and confirmed the gospel with signs and wonders (Acts 5:1216).

Networks

Early in 1990 I became aware of the existence of Christian networks of encouragement in Australia, England, the United States, and South Africa. These networks focus on unity through prayer and building relationships among leaders. I had the privilege of visiting networks in South Africa and in the U.S.A.

While the setting and composition of each network varied greatly, they had five traits in common:

1. They were built on relationships between church leaders.

2. Those involved had been renewed by the work of the Holy Spirit and believed the Spirit was raising up a strong church to take the land.

3. Those involved came from a wide variety of church backgrounds.

4. All shared a Bodywide vision, putting aside competition and empire building in favour of building up and encouraging the wider Body of Christ.

5. They showed evidence of the spirit of Joshua and Caleb, having the courage to dream and plan great exploits for God.

Inspired by what I saw, I returned to Perth and began to pray about God’s plan for networks of encouragement in Australia. Aware of similar moves under way in the eastern states initiated by the Rev Dan Armstrong and Kairos Ministries, I felt a need to bring leaders together across Western Australia. After inviting some colleagues (many of whom had worked together in organizing Vineyard Conferences) to join in prayer, the Christian Ministries Network WA was formed in 1990.

Recently I have observed a marked increase in the number of interdenominational prayer meetings and in fellowship activities aimed at building relationships between evangelical and charismatic leaders in Western Australia. Politicians, judges and heads of some Bible Colleges are among those beginning to come together for prayer and fellowship. There appears to be a warming of the spiritual atmosphere over the state, similar to the Greenhouse effect.

As the impetus towards unity increases and relationships are built, I am noticing a decrease in competitiveness. Leaders desire increasing cooperation. Pastors talk about such subjects as discovering God’s plan for taking our cities, networking with the wider Body of Christ, establishing the church of the city, and discovering and sharing each congregation’s redemptive gift. I have concluded that unity is bringing a synergy to the Body of Christ in Western Australia.

For further reading on developing strategies for bringing revival to our communities I recommend two excellent books, Taking our Cities for God by John Dawson (Creation House, 1989) and The House of the Lord (Creation House, 1991).

Revival foundations: Jesus and obedience

I believe that one of the reasons why God withholds revival is that he knows our nets are insufficiently strong or mature to contain the catch. Historically, revivals have lasted for about a generation for this reason. Eventually the nets broke down. In the coming revival I believe God wants us to pay attention to the foundation on which we build our nets.

In 1 Corinthians 3:11, the Apostle Paul reminds us that ‘no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.’

We do well to remember this. Many Christians and congregations are unsure of the implications of Jesus as the foundation. We have inadvertently confused Jesus with our doctrines, liturgies, denominational trappings, and social activism. These are forms or expressions of faith and may be valid, but they are not the one and only foundation: Jesus Christ himself.

Many Christians have built their identities and loyalties on the other building materials Paul alludes to in subsequent verses, not on a personal relationship with and loyalty to Jesus. These alternative building materials may look and feel substantial. In the final analysis, however, they do not stand the test.

What does it mean to build on the foundation of Jesus? It means being cemented into him. It involves being more Christlike as his disciples and obeying all he commands (Matthew 28:1820). To build on the foundation of Jesus is to build a church which is nourished in the love of Jesus and gives love in response (1 John 4:19). This kind of church will take the land.

John Dawson emphasizes that, ‘It is not primarily out of compassion for humanity that we share our faith or pray for the lost; it is, first of all, love for God’ (Taking our Cities for God, page 209). Love is the greatest power the world has ever known. As more of God’s love and light flood the world, darkness will be overcome.

This leads us to the vital question: What brings revival to a land? Revival is essentially a ‘soft spot’ in the heart of God, an act of God’s grace and mercy. God sovereignly determines when and where revival will happen. Yet within the scope of God’s sovereignty we can make a response. We see it in God’s word to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14,

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Perhaps the first act of humility required of us is to ask ourselves: What is our goal in evangelism? Are we seeking to make people ‘churched’ as members of a particular denomination with a loyalty to our ethos and traditions? Or are we making disciples of Jesus? Will the fish we catch be appropriately ‘cleaned,’ that is discipled to become like Jesus and serve him? How do we help new disciples go back into the harvest field to bring others into his glorious light?

In Ezekiel 34:4 we find the tasks of God’s shepherds. They strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bind up the injured, bring back the strays, and search for the lost. When I consider each of these five traits I find there the sum total of what God appears to be training his church to engage in. Here is the culmination of what I understand to be power evangelism, personal evangelism, and making disciples who carry on the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Only Jesus Christ has the authority to draw everyone to himself. Only at his name will every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Only as the sheep hear the Good Shepherd’s voice and sense his touch as ministered through his obedient servants will they be drawn to him in revival.

There are, no doubt, many issues crucial to effective leadership in renewal. These three, however, are foundational to fostering revival. We must be more cautious in the selection of leaders. Our unity, especially in leadership, will result in a Holy Spirit induced synergism which sparks revival in the land. The church must stay true to the right foundation of Jesus and obey him.

________________________

(c) Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth (1993, 2011), pages 43-51.
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright intact with the text.

Now available in updated book form (republished 2011)

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

Renewal Journal 2: Church Growth – Editorial

Church Growth through Prayer, by Andrew Evans

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

Evangelism brings Renewal, by Cindy Pattishall-Baker

New Life for an Older Church, by Dean Brookes

Renewal Leadership, by John McElroy

Reflections on Renewal, by Ralph Wicks

Local Revivals in Australia, by Stuart Piggin

Asia’s Maturing Church, by David Wang

Astounding Church Growth, by Geoff Waugh

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

Renewal Journal Vol 1 (1-5) – PDF

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

Contents of all Renewal Journals

Revival Blogs Links:

See also Revivals Index

See also Revival Blogs

See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

Link to all Renewal Journals

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Living in the Spirit: Contents and Photos

Living in the Spirit
The Holy Spirit & the Christian Life

Living in the Spirit – PDF

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I find the study material to be balanced in theological emphasis and exceptionally well organized and presented. (Bishop Owen Dowling)

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5 out of 5 stars Great study book

This book is not only good for personal use but also GREAT for group study, even good for a Sunday School class.  (Allen R Lancaster)

Information: Originally published as an 80-page book in 1987, and reprinted in 1990 and 1991, this personal or group study book is now enlarged to 127 pages, and greatly improved. Some new sections have been added, and each chapter now begins with a powerful example of that chapter’s theme.

Thousands of copies of the earlier version have been used for personal and group study, including its use as a small group study book. Many home groups, cell groups or student study groups have found this survey of living in the Spirit both informative and inspiring. It invites a response from the reader, whether read alone or studying in a group. It offers fresh and challenging perspectives on living in the blessing, power, and anointing of the Holy Spirit, who always exalts Jesus as Lord.

Blog: Details and Contents

Link: Appendix 1: Voices from History

Contents

INTRODUCTION: New Perspectives

0 0 Amazon 0 Team joey

 South Pacific mission team in Australia

 TOPIC 1: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

1. Father, Son and Holy Spirit
God is One
The Father’s heart shows God’s love
Jesus reveals God’s love
The Spirit imparts God’s love

READINGS: God is One

  1. Mark12:28‑34 (the great commandment)
  2. Matthew 28:18‑20 (the great commission)
  3. Acts 1:1‑8 (the great compulsion)
  4. Galatians 4:1‑7 (the Spirit of God’s Son)
  5. Romans 8:9‑10 (the Spirit of Christ)
  6. Luke 4:16‑21 (the Spirit of the Lord)
  7. 2 Corinthians 13:14 (the Trinitarian benediction)

0 0 Amazon 1 Jerry Mele

 Mele palm at place of martyrdom on Pentecost Island

 

TOPIC 2: Born of the Spirit

2. Born of the Spirit
The Spirit creates
The Spirit re-creates
God acts
We respond

READINGS: The wind blows

  1. Titus 3:1‑7 (the Spirit renews)
  2. Genesis 1:1‑3; 2:4‑9 (the Spirit creates)
  3. Joel 2:28‑32 (the Spirit for all)
  4. Isaiah 11:1‑9 (a new kingdom)
  5. Ezekie1 37:1‑14 (a new people)
  6. Jeremiah 31:31‑34 (a new covenant)
  7. John 3:1‑8 (a new birth)

Church at Pentecost Island near place of martyrdom

 

 TOPIC 3: Filled with the Spirit

3. Filled with the Spirit
The Spirit in God’s people
The Spirit in Jesus
The Spirit in the early church
The Spirit in us

READINGS: Baptised in the Spirit

  1. John 1: 29‑34 (the Spirit and Jesus)
  2. Acts 1:1‑9 (the Spirit promised)
  3. Acts 2:1‑4, 38‑39 (the Spirit in Jerusalem)
  4. Acts 8:4‑17 (the Spirit in Samaria)
  5. Acts 9:1‑19 (the Spirit in Damascus)
  6. Acts 10:30‑33, 44‑48 (the Spirit in Caesarea)
  7. Acts 19:1‑7 (the Spirit in Ephesus)

0 0 Amazon 3 Rolanson OwenLeaders praying for one another in Pentecost Island

 

TOPIC 4: Fruit of the Spirit

4. Fruit of the Spirit
The fruit of the Spirit in us personally
The fruit of the Spirit in us communally
Growth in the Spirit personally
Growth in the Spirit communally

READINGS: Christ-like character

  1. Galatians5:16‑26 (fruit of the Spirit)
  2. John 15:1‑10 (bearing much fruit)
  3. John 14:15‑26 (the Spirit teaches)
  4. John 16:7‑15 (the Spirit guides)
  5. 2 Timothy 3:14‑17 (the Spirit inspires)
  6. Romans 8:26‑27 (the Spirit prays)
  7. John 4:21‑24 (the Spirit in worship)

0 0 Amazon 4 Team P&D

International mission team in Brisbane

TOPIC 5: Gifts of the Spirit

5. Gifts of the Spirit
Power for mission
Gifts for mission
Unity for mission
Love for mission

READINGS: Tools for the job

  1. John 14:8‑14 (doing greater things)
  2. 1 Peter 4:7‑11 (gifts and ministry)
  3. Romans 12:1-8 (gifts and service)
  4. Ephesians 4:11-16 (gifts and unity)
  5. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (gifts and diversity)
  6. 1 Corinthians 12:27-31(gifts and authority)
  7. 1 Corinthians 13 (gifts and love).

0 0 Amazon 5 Katoobma

 South Pacific mission team at the Three Sisters, Katoomba, Australia

TOPIC 6: Ministry in the Spirit

6. Ministry in the Spirit
Body ministry
Mutual ministry
Wholeness ministry
Freedom ministry

READINGS: We all minister

  1. 1 Corinthians 12 (body ministry)
  2. 1 Corinthians 14 (mutual ministry)
  3. Isaiah 2:1-5 (vision for wholeness)
  4. Micah 4:1‑5 (prophecy of wholeness)
  5. Luke 5:17-26 (power for wholeness)
  6. Luke 13:34-35 (yearning for wholeness)
  7. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (prayer for wholeness)

0 0 Amazon 6 CH pray    South Pacific ministry team visits churches in Australia

TOPIC 7: Led by the Spirit

7. Led by the Spirit
The Spirit leads us
The Spirit leads gently
The Spirit leads personally
The Spirit leads corporately

READINGS: Hoist your sail

  1. Genesis 24:1‑67 (led to find a wife)
  2. Exodus 13:17‑22 (led to freedom from slavery)
  3. Matthew 4:1‑11 (led to face trial)
  4. Acts 13:1‑3 (led to send missionaries)
  5. Acts 16:1‑10 (led to go westward)
  6. Romans 8:12‑17 (led to live as God’s children)
  7. Galatians 5:16‑26 (led to life in the Spirit)

0 0 Amazon 7 Vanuatu pray

 Vanuatu mission team prays together in Brisbane

 

TOPIC 8:   The Spirit of the Lord

8. The Spirit of the Lord
The Spirit of the Lord in Israel
The Spirit of the Lord in Jesus
The kingdom of God
The king: Jesus Christ is Lord

READINGS: God is Spirit

  1. John 4:24 (God is Spirit)
  2. Isaiah 11:1-2 (the Spirit gives wisdom)
  3. Micah 3:8 (the Spirit gives power)
  4. Ezekiel 37:1‑14 (the Spirit gives visions)
  5. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (the Spirit gives freedom)
  6. Isaiah 61:1‑3 (the Spirit gives mission)
  7. Luke 4:18‑19 (the Spirit gives anointing)

0 0 Amazon 8 Shofar

 Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

 

Photographs in this book show international revival teams from the South Pacific, living in the Spirit together, involved in mission in the islands, in Australia and beyond.

These studies combine theological and biblical reflection with practical application. Many people have found these studies to be helpful and liberating.

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Blogs and videos about recent revival movements:


God’s Surprises – Blog
God’s Surprises – PDF
Biographical stories of current revivals in over 20 countries


Jesus’ Last Promise – Blog and Video – Pentecost
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you


God’s Promise – Blog and Video – I will pour out my Spirit
Seeing God’s Spirit poured out in over 20 countries

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GENERAL BLOGS MENU

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)

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Signs and Wonders: Study Guide

Signs & Wonders

Signs and Wonders

 Study Guide

Signs and Wonders Study Guide – PDF

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

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

For information about current courses, contact the Principal,

Citipointe Ministry College, PO Box 2111, Mansfield, Qld 4122, Australia. Email: cmc@citipointechurch.com or study@chc.edu.au 

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Signs and Wonders

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Compiled by Geoff Waugh and Cecilia Estillore Oliver

Cover photo: © ‘Inagako In Fall’, Japan, by Chris Asche – used with permission.

Welcome to this Study Guide on Signs and Wonders.

Signs and wonders occur throughout the Old and New Testaments. They express the magnificent creativity and sovereignty of the Lord, described in the Bible. They are also expressions of the power, goodness, mercy, grace, compassion, and love of the Lord, and show the nature of our omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God.

Signs and wonders point to the One and True Living God, and also demonstrate that this Living God is a Personal God who is very interested in people, both individually and corporately. This same God described in the Bible is very much alive and active today just as he was then.

Our hope is that through this subject you will encounter God and be transformed in this encounter. We pray that you will be challenged and stirred up to move in faith and obedience to God who can empower you with his Holy Spirit to do what Jesus did and even greater works (John 14:12). As you learn to move in God’s power and in ways that are naturally supernatural and supernaturally natural, may you become more Christ-like in your personal life, ministry, and vocation in this world. And may you be an instrument in advancing the Kingdom of God on earth as you become filled with passion and clothed with power from on high.

We especially thank Cecilia Estillore Oliver, a medical doctor and B.Min. graduate, for her work in helping to compile and write this Study Guide.  Cecilia prepared and compiled the information in this Study Guide from materials gathered and arranged by Geoff Waugh for the degree programs of Citipointe Ministry College, the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia, and made available here with permission of the college.  This book reproduces the content of that former Study Guide, adapted here for general use.

Contents

This Signs and Wonders study guide includes

Biblical Foundations:

Old Testament

Jesus’ Ministry

The Epistles

The Cross – see blog

Theological Foundations:

The Supernatural

Worldview

The Kingdom of God

Spiritual Gifts

Ministry Foundations:

Church History

Case Studies

Practices and Pitfalls

Integrated Ministry

Much of the material is developed and adapted from the course at Fuller Theological Seminary conducted by John Wimber in 1984, titled MC510: Signs and Wonders and Church Growth, used with permission.

Class Testimony

Reproduced from the Signs and Wonders Study Guide Appendix

A student we prayed for one morning in class went to her doctor that afternoon for a final check before having a growth removed from her womb. That afternoon her doctor could find no trace of the growth after checking with three ultrasound machines, so he cancelled the scheduled operation.

“My class at college laid hands on me and prayed for me,” she explained to her doctor. “I believe God healed me, and that’s why you can’t find the growth any more.”

“I don’t know if God healed you,” he responded. “But I do know that you don’t need an operation.”

Our class studied this Signs and Wonders subject. We usually began each class with prayer, and that day our prayer included praying for specific needs such as that woman’s health. One of those praying in class was Cecilia, a medical doctor. She prayed with strong faith, joining us in laying hands on the ‘patient’ student, knowing that God heals through prayer as well as through medicine. What rich resources we have for ministry – right there in the group.

See an article (a former subject assignment) by that student Cecilia.

I love hearing medical people pray for healing. They have medical skills as well as faith in God. A nurse in one of our week night meetings prayed for another lady who had severe back pain.

“L4, be healed in Jesus’ name,” the nurse commanded as she prayed with her hand on the woman’s back. It takes medical knowledge plus the revelation of a ‘word of knowledge’ to be able to pray like that. All pain immediately left the lady being prayed for. Apparently the problem was in the Lumbar 4 (L4) section of her spine.

Many people are not healed so quickly. Perhaps most are not healed so quickly in our materialistic Western society. There are many reasons for that, including our Western scepticism, lack of compassion or faith, and our sinfulness such as jealousy, competition or failing to forgive others freely as God has forgiven us.

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

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

A Learning Together in MinistryThis testimony is also included in the Introduction to

Learning Together in Ministry

Mutual Education: from compteition to co-operation

Learning Together in Ministry – PDF

See also Renewal Journal 5: Signs and Wonders

Words, Signs and Deeds, by Brian Hathaway

Uproar in the Church, by Derek Prince

A Season of New Beginnings, by John Wimber

Preparing for Revival Fire, by Jerry Steingard

How to Minister Like Jesus, by Bart Doornweerd

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

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

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

Contents

 

Introduction

1   Aims and Objectives

Affective, Behavioural, Cognitive

2  Implications for Ministry

a. Climate

b. Planning

c. Meeting Needs

d. Objectives

e. Learning Plans

f. Learning Activities

g. Evaluation

Conclusion

Appendix: Resources

Endorsement

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

Body Ministry and Open Ministry Education come in its 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 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.

Reproduced from Body Ministry: The Body of Christ Alive in His Spirit and The Body of Christ, Part 2: Ministry Education

From the Introduction

A student we prayed for one morning in class went to her doctor that afternoon for a final check before having a growth removed from her womb. That afternoon her doctor could find no trace of the growth after checking with three ultrasound machines, so he cancelled the scheduled operation.

“My class at college laid hands on me and prayed for me,” she explained to her doctor. “I believe God healed me, and that’s why you can’t find the growth any more.”

“I don’t know if God healed you,” he responded. “But I do know that you don’t need an operation.”

Our class studied Christian ministry in the power of the Spirit. We usually began each class with prayer, and that day our prayer included praying for specific needs such as that woman’s health. One of those praying in class was Cecilia, a medical doctor. She prayed with strong faith, joining us in laying hands on the ‘patient’ student, knowing that God heals through prayer as well as through medicine. What rich resources we have for ministry – right there in the group.

See an article (a former subject assignment) by Cecilia.

Dr Cecilia Estillore Oliver prayed in the class group.
Dr Cecilia Estillore Oliver prayed in the class group.

I love hearing medical people pray for healing. They have medical skills as well as faith in God. A nurse in one of our week night meetings prayed for another lady who had severe back pain. “L4, be healed in Jesus’ name,” the nurse commanded as she lay her hand on the woman’s back. It takes medical knowledge plus the revelation of a ‘word of knowledge’ to be able to pray like that. All pain immediately left the lady being prayer for. Apparently the problem was in the Lumbar 4 (L4) section of her spine.

Many people are not healed so quickly. Perhaps most are not healed so quickly in our materialistic Western society. There are many reasons for that, including our Western scepticism, lack of compassion or faith, and our sinfulness such as jealousy, competition or failing to forgive others freely as God has forgiven us.

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

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

Before commenting on open ministry education I want to give you two examples of ordinary people learning to do more.

Vanuatu

The heathen village of Bunlap on the east coast of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu is famous as the spiritual centre for pagan witchcraft and curses. I went there with my ‘student’ Grant Shaw in 2006 on a five hour trek across to Ranwas village and then via Bunlap on a seven hour trek to Ponra village where we saw the power of God at every meeting and I heard angels singing in the night, like the church was full although no people were there.

Previously, Grant had prayed for the paramount chief’s son whose groin was healed at Pangi village on the west coast, so we offered to go to Bunlap and pray for the sick. A couple of days later we heard that the chief had invited us to come and pray – the first white people to ever be invited to pray for people there.

Then in 2012 Grant’s cousin Andrew Chee and I were swimming off the jetty near Pangi when one of the chief’s sons from Bunlap and his friends wandered onto the jetty. Two of those young men had pain so Andrew prayed for them and the pain left. The chief’s son told us they would be there when we came to Bunlap the following Saturday to pray for sick people again.

People were even more welcoming this time at Bunlap. We prayed for dozens of people, and their pain left. We talked about the kingdom of God and how Jesus saves and heals. Some of the people told us that they believed and when the chief allowed it they would be part of a church there. The paramount chief once burned a Bible given to him by a revival team from Christian villages. Now he is willing for a church to be built on the ground where he burned the Bible.

Hallelujah – what a testimony to God’s grace and glory. For the first time ever that paramount chief asked for prayer. He wanted healing from head pain. Andrew placed his hands on the sides of the chief’s head and we prayed for him in Jesus’ name. The pain left. Then another chief there prepared lunch for us so the pastors in the team and Andrew and I ate in his house – again that was the first time ever for white people on mission there to be hosted by a chief. Like Jesus’ disciples, we returned rejoicing that afflicting spirits were cast out, people were healed in Jesus’ name, some believed in Jesus, and they now plan to have a church there. Our host chief told the local Christians that they can bring their guitars and have meetings in the chief’s house anytime. Andrew encouraged village leaders to pray with him for people’s healings, just as he had learned from leaders in his church. Soon those village leaders and others were praying more strongly in faith. This photo shows the paramount chief (front left) and some of the team including Andrew (2nd from right in back).

Mision team prayed for a paramount chief in Vanuatu
Mision team prayed for a paramount chief in Vanuatu

Papua New Guinea

Johan van Bruggen, a missionary at the Lutheran Evangelist Training Centre at Kambaidam near Kainantu in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, wrote in November 1990:

This is what happened about two months ago. A new church building was going to be officially opened in a village in the Kainantu area. Two of our last year’s graduates took part in the celebrations by acting the story in Acts 3: Peter and John going to the temple and healing the cripple. Their cripple was a real one ‑ a young man, Mark, who had his leg smashed in a car accident. The doctors had wanted to amputate it, but he did not want to lose his useless leg. He used two crutches to move around the village. He could not stand at all on that one leg. He was lying at the door of the new church when our Peter and John (real names: Steven and Pao) wanted to enter.

The Bible story was exactly followed: “I have got no money, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Well, they acted this out before hundreds of people, among them the president of the Goroka Church District and many pastors and elders. Peter (Steven) grabbed the cripple (Mark) by the hand and pulled him up. And he walked! He threw his crutches away and loudly praised the Lord! Isn’t that something? What a faith!

Their testimony was given at a meeting of elders when Kambaidam was discussed. Mark was a most happy fellow who stood and walked firmly on his two legs. He also had been involved in criminal activities, but in this meeting he unashamedly confessed his faith in the Lord Jesus.

Later I talked with them. Steven (Peter) told me that the Lord had put this on his heart during a week‑long period of praying. “I had no doubt that the Lord was going to heal Mark, and I was so excited when we finally got to play‑act!” And Mark? He told me that when Steven told him to get up he just felt the power of God descend upon him and at the same time he had a tingling sensation in his crippled leg: “I just felt the blood rushing through my leg, bringing new life!” Mark is now involved in evangelistic outreach and his testimony has a great impact.

Johan van Bruggen
Johan van Bruggen

See also  1988 – August: Kambaidam, Papua New Guinea (Johan van Brugen) in Revivals Index

These reports are reproduced from South Pacific Revivals and Flashpoints of Revivals.

A Body Ministry 1

 

See also Body Ministry

This book has selections

from Body Ministry

This educational book is reproduced and expanded from chapter 5 of

The Body of Christ, Part 2: Ministry Education and

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

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A SG Holy Spirit in Ministry

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