The Holy Spirit God’s Provision For Mission Today. Searching for the big picture in the last 300 years?
The Holy Spirit is the Executor of the Godhead………. • When Jesus ascended after His death He left his last will and testament with His disciples...Matt 28 : 18-20. • The Holy Spirit became the executor of this testament. • Jesus was not foolish leaving His mission in the hands of 12 disciples. He trusted the Holy Spirit. • Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit would come and guide, coach, teach, comfort, lead and empower the disciples to accomplish His mission. • This was the Father’s plan…..Jesus obeyed in every detail…..the Holy Spirit obeyed in every detail too!
The Holy Spirit directed the Church to be planted in Cities. • The Urban Church Planting Mission started in Jerusalem, spread to Antioch in Syria, then to the Cities of Asia and then onto Rome. • The Church quickly became multi-cultural and had to respond to the many cultures of the Mediterranean region, as well as African and European.
The Holy Spirit in urban mission- A quick review Guiding principles: *Mission shapes the Church * Context shapes the Mission Method.
Jesus’ Mission with His disciples. • At the start of Jesus ministry He made clear His prophetic mission; • “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor, He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, and set free those who are oppressed; To proclaim the favourable year of the Lord”. Luke 4:18-19
Jesus’ Mission for His Church. For us to obey Jesus commission for the His Church thru’ the power of the Holy Spirit. • “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew. 28:18-20
Our modern mission context. • Post Christendom - Christendom Rejected • Post Modern - Modernity Rejected • Diverse, pluralist with few commonalities • Relocated / transient - ‘Exilic’ • Spiritually curious, hungry & searching • Suspicious and often hostile • Seeking a peaceful one-world religion • Officially disinterested / hostile to Christianity.
It looks so simple ! The Mission Objectives being pursued + Conditions and demands of context = Shape and Mode of Church But couldn’t this apply to any human endeavour?
Does God do it differently? • Is it all good strategy and human kindness? • What role does God play? • How does God empower His Mission? • How does God work through His people? • Is God’s power essential to His work? Are we Christians or Deists?
Where is God in history? • Looking on from a distance? • Closed system • Deism - believes in God but has no relationship with God • Dissolved and incorporated • Indistinguishable from system • Eastern- Hinduism – ultimately inclusive of all concepts of God • Separate and sustaining • Creator standing outside creation, able to intervene. • Judeo-Christian – able to be involved with God
Is there something else? “For the kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power”1 Corinthians 4:20 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.” Mark 9:1
God’s work must be done In God’s way With God’s power We need to repent of the way we have mis-represented the All-powerful (Omnipotent) God. As His servants we have been disobedient, and complacent with an almost powerless Church community. How will we do God’s work?
Where is God’s power today? • What has God been doing? • Where has the Power been at work? • How is the Holy Spirit working? Let’s take a closer look at the Twentieth Century Some reflections
1901, A fresh outpouring. Bethel Bible College, Topeka, Kansas, USA • Charles Parham and others, seeking holiness • Opens Bethel Bible School with 40 students, a faith community seeking God’s provision through prayer and service. • Prayer was central with a 24 hour prayer tower vigil. • 3 days before 1-1-1901 Parham asked students to study baptism in Holy Spirit, especially in Acts and search for objective, biblical evidence where by a person could know for certain they had in fact received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. On New Year’s Eve he returned.
What did he find? Parham Wrote: • “To my astonishment they all had the same story, that while there were different things that occurred when the Pentecostal Blessing fell, the indisputable proof on each occasion was that they spoke with other tongues.”
And then? • In the watch night service (1900-1901) later that evening, the Holy Spirit manifested Himself with unusual intensity. At about 11:00 p.m., Agnes Ozman (1870-1937), asked Parham to pray for her that she might receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit as observed in their study.
What happened? Parham wrote: • “Humbly in the name of Jesus, I laid my hand upon her head and prayed. I had scarcely repeated three dozen sentences when a glory fell upon her, a halo seemed to surround her head and face, and she began speaking in the Chinese language and was unable to speak in English for three days”
Significance ? • This was a spiritual breakthrough. • The Bible would never be read the same way again. • The Holy Spirit was coming in from the cold. • It established for these first ‘Classical Pentecostals’ speaking in tongues as the Biblical evidence for baptism in the Holy Spirit. This experience provided the desired ‘objective’ proof. • New idea? In 4th Century Augustine and Chrysostom had reached same conclusion. • Others sought to receive from Parham and revivals spread.
Seeking a personal Pentecost • Normal activities at Bethel were suspended all went to an upper room and waited on the Lord for their personal Pentecost. • By January 3rd, 1901 all students and Parham had received a powerful Pentecostal Blessing. • Parham’s own description: “There came a slight twist in my throat, a glory fell over me, and I began to worship God in the Swedish tongue, which was later changed to other languages and continued so until the morning.” • In the following days sincere and curious seekers came, some also received a Pentecostal blessing and took the witness out. • By Summer the buildings were sold and school closed. • A spark had been lit .
An example from India, 1905 Pandita Ramabai (1858-1920) a well educated woman born of an upper caste, had become a Christian in the latter part of the 19th c. An astute scholar, she was recognised by the Sanskrit scholars of Calcutta University who had conferred on her the distinguished titles of Sarawatti and Pandita. She mastered 7 languages and translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Marathi, her mother tongue. She authored The high Caste Hindu Woman and A Life of Christ, as well as numerous tracts distributed throughout India. During a severe famine in her region of India she opened a home for girls and in this endeavour was totally dependent on God for provision, and prayer was her lifeline.
An example from India, 1905 In January 1905 Ramabai began to speak about the need to seek God for revival. Before long, 550 people, mostly women and girls, were meeting twice daily, praying for revival and for the endowment of power. On June 30, Ramabai was teaching the girls from John 8 when suddenly the Holy Spirit fell as in the Book of Acts. Everyone in the room began to weep and pray aloud. The revival had begun. Ramabai suspended regular school activities, giving the Holy Spirit free reign in their midst. At the outset, confession of sin and repentance dominated, but then came glad singing, wonderful praise and joy-filled dancing. Some experienced visions and supernatural dreams. Many experienced baptism in the Holy Spirit accompanied by speaking in tongues.
Another ripple in 1906 312 Asuza Street Mission, Los Angeles, USA. • William Seymour spent much of his time behind the pulpit with his head inside the top shoe box of which the pulpit had been made, praying. • One participants description: “Someone might be speaking. Suddenly the Spirit would fall upon the congregation. God himself would give the altar call. Men would fall all over the house, like the slain in battle, or rush for the altar enmasse to seek God. … We simply prayed the Holy Ghost did the rest.” • A fire was being kindled.
Asuza Street, & the urban poor! • At last there was a church where black and white could worship together. • Blacks were mostly poor, although some poor whites where present as well. • Pentecostal experience was marginalized in society. • To gain respectability Pentecostals gradually lost their appeal to the poor as the dominant wealthier racist white class took control.
How to frame these events? A First Wave of Pentecost for the 20th Century • It featured: • Racial Diversity. Black and white praised God together. Colour was washed in the blood • Gender Diversity. Women preachers. Gal. 3 v 28 • Tongues as evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit • Through the first decades of the 20th century • Similar outpourings were documented around the world: Europe, India, China, Africa, South America etc. A new outpouring seemingly orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.
Another example from Kunming • H. A. Baker ran an orphanage in Kunming South West China in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. The story is in his book “Visions Beyond the Veil”. • James Baker the son of H.A.Baker tells the story of a Holy Spirit visitation where children from 3-10 years old saw visions of heaven, and Angels, spoke in tongues, and told adults in the streets their sins, whereupon many of the adults repented.
The Welsh Revival & the poor. • In the early 1900’s the Spirit of God moved in Wales and Liverpool in the Midlands of England • The poor and lower working class embraced the revival first and many alcoholic coal miners were set free of their addiction, stopped swearing, and sang hymns melodiously • Crime rates fell to almost nothing • The Police participated in Church choirs • Pubs were the highest group in business bankruptcies during this period
A First Wave: 1901 - 1960. By the third generation after Bethel, Mumbai, India, Kunming, China, and Asuza Street, in the USA, Wales and England, and many other places the place of Pentecost had become confused. Spiritual Treasure was emerging in Clay Pots?
Three views of the modern Pentecost? • To the Pentecostals the evidence was the gifts and signs of the Holy Spirit, and in particular speaking in tongues. • To outsiders the evidence was that finally there was a church with the power that could break down the divisions between rich and poor, black and white, upper class and lower class. • To City Authorities the evidence was a reduction in crime Postscript: Sadly, this new found reconciliation in society’s long-standing divisions, and community tensions did not last long in the Pentecostal Church.
Conclusion about the first wave? • When the Holy Spirit was moving unusually and powerfully among the people, traditional social divisions were healed. • As the Holy Spirit’s power receded the social effect receded. • Pentecostal outpourings moved many poor into the middle class and they largely forgot their roots. The poor were attracted to the power of Pentecost. • A few movements were started by poor Pentecostals to the poor during the early stages of the First Wave.
Most outpourings are accompanied by unusual signs that result in abnormal behaviour according to the status quo of the middle and upper classes. To participate in these outpourings is humbling for the middle and upper classes. The power of God manifested in the outpourings meets the needs (especially healing) of the poor. Pentecostal outpourings are more appealing to the poor than the other classes. Humility of heart leading to obedience to the Spirit is the goal of the Spirit’s work in Revival. Personal comment from research into outpourings of the Holy Spirit
A Second Wave: 1960-1983. The Holy Spirit moved through the existing Churches. ALL OF THEM.
Pentecost in the Traditional denominations. Episcopalians - Anglicans • In November 1959, Dennis Bennett, (1917-1992) Rector of St. Mark’s Episcopalian Church, Van Nuys, California had received a Pentecostal Baptism in the Holy Spirit. • TIME magazine told the story in April 1960. • The Episcopal Church was not welcoming. Bennett was sent to St. Lukes ‘in the desert’ and made it bloom. - Institutional disapproval. • By 1963 there were 2000 charismatic Episcopalians in Ca. (Source: Christianity Today)
Some welcomed a new Pentecost Roman Catholics • On October 11, 1962 80-old Pope John XXIII solemnly opened Vatican II, the 21st Ecumenical Council and prayed: • "Divine Spirit renew your wonders in this our age as in a new Pentecost, and grant that your Church praying perseveringly and insistently with one heart and mind together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and guided by Blessed Peter, may increase the reign of the Divine Savior, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen."
Roman Catholic experience: • Vatican II allowed for dialog with others. • Roman Catholics open to joint prayer with other Christians. • Cardinal Seunens championed role of charismatic gifts in the life of Church. • This led to open and positive attitude by the Vatican Council.
Roman Catholic experience: • An event happened at Duquesne University Pittsburgh, Feb. 17-19, 1967 at a Professor’s Retreat • As these Catholic seekers prayed through to Pentecost many things familiar to classical Pentecostals began to take place. Some laughed uncontrollably “in the Spirit,” while one young man rolled around the floor in ecstasy. Shouting praises to the Lord, weeping and speaking in tongues characterised this beginning of the movement in the Catholic Church. • From here it spread. By 1970 A Catholic Conference at Notre Dame attracted 30,000.
Second Wave, Both blessings and problems: • Pouring New Wine into Old Skins? • USA high water mark 1977, 152,000 Pentecostal / Charismatics met at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City. R.C.s, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, denominational Pentecostals, Baptists, Methodists and Messianic Jews. A tremendous celebration. • They had problems upon returning to their local parish. • The issue of authority between Institutional and Charismatic ministry arose. Whom should yield to whom? • Personal point of entry - Parish Prayer Groups 1978.
The Second Wave, A summary: • According to Peter Wagner, then professor of Church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary. • The ‘second wave of the Spirit’ had been particularly influential in the more liberal denominations. • The fire of the Holy Spirit swept through Roman Catholic South America and evangelical movements flourished when opposition confronted Roman Catholics touched by the fire. • In South America urban poor movements were birthed by Pentecostal Churches in countries such as Brazil and Chile. Large numbers of Catholics became Pentecostals.
What happened here in your country? • Were there examples of first wave outpourings of the Holy Spirit here? • Did these movements impact the poor? • How was the second wave received by your denomination? • What is your view of tongues as a sign of the Holy Spirit?
Second Wave, An abiding question: • Why did God do this? • "There will be a new springtime for the Church If people will welcome the promptings of the Holy Spirit, The 21st Century will usher in a new evangelization; and, a tidal wave of conversions will sweep the earth." Pope John Paul II speaking about the Charismatic Renewal Movement.
A continuation of the pattern of the end of the last two centuries? • In the late 1700’s William Carey and a new European Evangelical Missionary movement was birthed in prayer – mobilization took place in the early 1800’s • In the late 1800’s a prayer movement preceded the Pentecostal outpourings of the early 1900’s. Another wave of evangelical missions followed. • Will the unprecedented prayer movement of the late 1900’s yield fresh mission movements to the poor and needy as Pope John Paul II predicted?
An introverted outpouring? • This second wave seemed to focus mainly on the renewal of the existing traditional churches • There was little new evangelism of non-believers • The impact was largely renewal of existing nominal Church members • The old wineskins (Church structures) were having problems containing the new wine • There were new missionary movements birthed
A Third Wave 1983- ??? • John Wimber; (1934-1997) “A fat man trying to get to heaven” • Wimber emerged as spokesperson for Third Wave and founded Association of Vineyard Churches. • His meetings were characterised by unusual manifestations of the Holy Spirit similar to early Pentecostals. Prophecy, tongues, being ‘slain’, shaking, swooning as if seemingly drunk. • Third Wavers tended to stay within their denominations. • Had a different theological explanation seeing Baptism in Holy Spirit as part of conversion-initiation process not a second blessing.
Third Wave / Wimber’s legacy: • He taught us how to see God at work. • Interpret and discern what God is doing in the room. • How are people being touched by God? • Prayer Ministry changed from Second Wave to the Third • Less Touch • Less Talk • More time in God’s presence listening to the Spirit • Wimber made a prophetic visit to England in 1983. Ministered in five key churches. Each was to become a significant Church in following decade and to the present. • An American the English could learn from without pain. • He moved everyone on from the initial brashness yet kept moving forward into God and into mission.
Third Wave A summary, so far. . . • According to Peter Wagner, former Professor of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary. • The ‘Third Wave’ has been particularly influential on the more conservative evangelical denominations. • The Alpha Course came out of this Third Wave and may be recognised as a fruitful and significant outcome. • New Churches were now being planted in pagan England and elsewhere, (some Anglican) may be seen as fruit. • Meshing in with First and Second Wave the Third Wave sought and ministered a basic spiritual experience of God. In consequence of this by 2000 over 25% of the World’s Christians are Charismatic-Pentecostals. What will the 21st Century bring?
A Fourth Wave ? Is it too early to say? Will the Urban poor be impacted this time? There will be more !
A Fourth Wave ? • Will a new wineskin be used in this 4th Wave? • Will the Church move from being an institution to a community of Spirit-filled believers? • Will compassion for the poor, blind, demon-possessed and unjustly treated be realised as Jesus intended in His mission statement – Luke 4 verses 17-20? • Will these new 4th Wave communities see the power of God at work?
Re-check our mission maths The Mission Objectives Being Pursued + Conditions and Demands of Context = Shape and Mode of Church + Holy Spirit’s Empowerment ___________________________________________________________________ = Fruitfulness as Jesus intended.
What does this mean for You? • What does this mean for mission among the poor ? • What are the implications for the members of the EncarnaçãoAlliance?
The Fruitful Church among the urban poor needs; • 1. The power of God’s Holy Spirit not for self-gratification but for the fulfilment of Jesus mission to the poor and needy • 2. Vessels (People) capable and available of being continually filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and living in obedience to Christ • 3. The humility and compassion of the Spirit in carrying out its mission while living among the poor • 4. Structural flexibility allowing people to engage and pursue mission to the urban poor as Holy Spirit empowered communities of His servants.
Acknowledgements: The producer of this power point presentation is deeply indebted to; • H A Baker, Visions Beyond the Veil. Taiwan. • Dennis J Balcombe, Revival Church, HK. • David Garrison, Church Planting Movements. WIGTake. India. • Viv Grigg, Urban Leadership Foundation. NZ. • Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom. Oxford University Press. • Eric H F Law, The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb. Chalice Press. • Manuel Ortiz, One New People. IVP. • Lamin Sanneh, Whose Religion is Christianity? Eerdmans. UK. • P.G Vargis, Indian Evangelical Team. India. • The Vatican Council, Pope John Paul II, Rome. • George Verwer, Operation Mobilization. UK. • C. Peter Wagner, Monarch Publications. UK. • John Wimber, Vineyard Fellowships. USA • George Yancey, One Body, One Spirit. IVP.USA. • K.P.Yohannan, Revolution in World Misions.GFA Books. India.