Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday, August 7, 2015

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

We need each other, Friend.

We just returned from our annual Congreso in Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico, a “suburb” of Mexico City. It’s always a great time, but this year seemed especially powerful. The theme of the conference was “The Power of the Local Church.” We have been doing these conferences since 2003. Many of the pastors who come are students/graduates of our bible school program, Instituto de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe. Others have been impacted by these conferences over the years and are eager to hear more. The first obvious difference in this year’s meeting was in the selection of speakers. Each year, I teach a bible school class in the mornings, followed by a guest speaker in the afternoon and evening. This year we taught our course on church government, “Shepherding the Flock of God.” The hunger for the Word of God was remarkable. We averaged about 50 folks every morning, determined to grow in their capacity for ministry. We saw and heard from ministers from our own camp who have grown up in the Word with us, a new generation of powerful ministers rising up and taking their place in the Kingdom.

The thoughts that dominated the meetings were:

1. The Holy Spirit is the power that equips the local church. We can lean on the power of the Spirit to do signs and wonders among us (Pastor Milian, Neza)

2. Every local church has a specific reason to exist. We usually refer to it as a vision. Pastor, get with God until you hear Him concerning your church. (Pastor Bonilla, Neza)

3. The Spirit of God is in us to guide us. He will speak to us in the darkest hours, giving us new plans for overcoming the enemy. (Pastor Rutilo, Guerrero)

4. The Holy Spirit lives in all of us, not just the preachers, to give us power for ministry. (Pastor Perez, Neza)

The evening meetings, and the church services on Sunday, were full of the presence of God. He seemed to be moving through everyone in the room. It was tangible. The overriding theme: We need each other. Each of us has something that can contribute to the victory of others. Every time we get together we can and should expect God to use us for the profit of all.

Scripture Reading: It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 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 3:5-6 NLT)

Somebody Said: Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man. – Dwight L. Moody

The Saturday night service had many tremendous testimonies, but the moment that stuck in my mind was this: A lady with a head covering came forward. She said this was her first time in meetings like this and she thought it was grand. She said she had been to many “religious” conventions, but, “I’ve never seen anything like the love in this place, the love the leadership have for each other. It’s real.” Indeed it is. What a joy!

Pastor Virgil Stokes


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