Sunday, May 16, 2010

What Does Your Church Look Like?

Pastor Bill Terry spoke at our church and he told us a story. In 1991, he was a pastor in a small town in Georgia. When he wanted so much more out of the ministry he entered full time, what was happening were 2 songs, a sermon, and a poem. But in 1991, in a traditional church (so traditional that it didn't look Pentecostal), there was a prophecy and he encountered God. And when he was praying about what to say to our church, God told him to dig up the manuscript of that prophecy. He did, and out popped 11 characteristics of the future churches in the IPHC, and these 11 things, said Pastor Bill, is what our (HICC) church looks like. And I liked them so I'm sharing them, but it's not verbatim. Have you tried taking verbatim notes to a Pentecostal preacher's sermon???

1. You are seen by others as a people secure in God's affirmation. You know who you are and you know that you belong to God.

2. You have an identity marked by happiness. You are happy in the work that God put you in.

3. You are known as a church that encourages and serves the whole church and all tribes.

4. You are characterized as a church that raises up leadership for a vision as big as the whole world.

5. You are a house of prayer to all the nations.

6. You are a church seen as poor in spirit, humble, and grateful for God's mercy.

7. You are a people that condemns no man and have a spirit of adoption of the lonely. You are not defined by standards, but defined by a spirit of adoption. <--I really like that: Spirit of Adoption.

8. You are a container, an extended family in the kingdom, of many cultures and national allies.

9. You are characterized as a people of liberty; liberty to create, without fear, forms of worship and ministry.

10. You are a church of radical generosity, called to pioneer again and again calls to do bigger things than your resources allow you to do.

11. Your leaders are known in heaven and earth as people who follow God's cloud. They are a people reporting stories of divine direction, boy and girls sitting on the lap of God and reporting, "This is what God wants us to do."

Isaiah 44:3 "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants."

Other things Pastor Bill Terry said that cracked me up:

After Pastor Bill asked those who agreed to something that I can't remember to stand up in agreement and praise the Lord: "Would you crazy Pentecostals please sit down."

To Bro. Bong, worship leader, at the end of the sermon: "Can you play something we can party to?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I pray to God these come true. This is all resting on the finished works and not "work based." This is what has been in my heart for a year...

At first I was really really doubtful especially the part about not condemning because c'mon now, I've been called many names...

But I had to shut it off and just believe the best... that God can work in and in any situation.