I was having a conversation yesterday with some of our ministry team. Our topic turned to the move of the Spirit and the way we allow Him to order our services. It reminded me of when we opened our doors in February of 2004. I was casting about for a slogan to put in a newspaper ad. We had a mandate from God, “Open a fountain of my healing power in this place.” We had a paradigm for ministry ‘Repairing broken people, preparing willing people, celebrating the goodness of our God.” What I needed was a slogan that expressed who we are and what one might expect in our services. I hesitate to blame God for all my bright ideas, but I think this was what He gave me: The Word and the Spirit, Keepin’ it Real… Over the years, we have seen bizarre excess in the name of being “spiritual,” and we have also been in services that were dead as doornails under the banner of order and “sound doctrine.” Our church is from the Word of faith crowd: we are Holy Spirit people, and we want to avoid pretence and religious sham. We want the Word and the Spirit. It is who we are. So what does “Keepin’ it Real” mean for us as a church? We strive to maintain:
1. A Post-reformation knowledge of specific revelation in Scripture. We value and teach the Word of God for principle, practice, and pattern. 2 Timothy 3:15 NLT You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
2. A New Testament confidence in salvation through Christ alone, because I know the Spirit lives in me. Salvation is doctrinally based, but has an experiential element: a know-so salvation. 2 Corinthians 1:22 BBE And it is he who has put his stamp on us, even the Spirit, as the sign in our hearts of the coming glory.
3. A New Testament experience of the supernatural where the Holy Spirit is recognized, welcomed, and manifested. He said to desire spiritual gifts, and we do. We are not ashamed of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:25 NKJV And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
4. A New Testament sense of community, of common faith, common challenges, and common purpose. The church is a family and we are all in it together. Acts 4:32 NLT All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.
Scripture Reading: He has enabled us to be ministers of His new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6 NLT)
Somebody Said: Our principles are the springs of our actions. Our actions, the springs of our happiness or misery. Too much care, therefore, cannot be taken in forming our principles. Red Skelton
The principles that guide us matter. I Love the Word of God. I love the Holy Spirit. We must have both in order to have a Bible kind of church: Not just Bible doctrine, but Bible experience.