What does a Spirit-filled Church look like?
Last Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, was an awesome day! I have been getting feedback on how the Holy Spirit was moving in people’s lives at both the 8 and 10 am services. Thanks for all the stories!
Personally, I woke up last Sunday with an overwhelming anticipation of what God was going to do. As I went through the day I felt God’s Holy Spirit – at the 8am service, 10am service and at the baptism. The editor of “Sai Kung Buzz” was there to report on the baptism (You can click here to read the article). After the baptism, he came up to me and said there was something spiritual about this whole experience.
At Resurrection Church, we look forward to Pentecost Sunday because we expect to encounter the Holy Spirit. A week before Pentecost Sunday, people were already talking about looking forward to this year’s Pentecost Sunday. My question is this. Why do we wait for a year to encounter the Holy Spirit? For the early church, Pentecost was only the beginning of a regular encounter with the Holy Spirit. Each Sunday we should come to church anticipating this encounter. If we all did that, every Sunday would be a Pentecost Sunday.
So, what does it mean to be a Spirit-filled Church?
- There is an openness and anticipation for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our worship services and gatherings. In the period leading up to Pentecost, the early disciples waited with an eagerness for the promised Holy Spirit. Jesus had taught them about this Spirit and they were anticipating his arrival. A Spirit-filled church is continually praying and seeking for more of the Holy Spirit’s presence in its services.
- There is an intense desire for the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. In the book of Acts, we see this intense desire for the Holy Spirit active in the life of the church. They were continually filled with the Holy Spirit as they sought to remain faithful to the work God had called them to fulfil. A Spirit-filled church has a strong passion for the Holy Spirit’s work in their midst.
- There is a determination to remove any obstacles to what the Holy Spirit wants to do in the church community. The early church faced many challenges that often shook their courage and determination, however, they chose not to let these challenges distract them. They often came together to pray for God’s Spirit to fill them with boldness. A Spirit-filled church strives to remove fear, traditions, persecution, division, conflicts and negativity so that they can receive power and courage from the Holy Spirit.
- There is a recognition and willingness to allow the spiritual gifts to operate fully within the church community. The early church recognized the spiritual gifts at work within the body and people used their gifts to edify and build up the church community. There was no hierarchy of gifts, but rather, recognition that different people were called to fulfill different roles within the church. A Spirit-filled church seeks to fit people into the life of the church according to their spiritual gifts.
- There is a recognition that the Holy Spirit “blows” where he chooses. Consequently, space is given for the Holy Spirit to move in unusual and unexpected ways rather than maintaining institutional structures and preservation. The early church was continually seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit who led them often in strange and unpredictable ways. A Spirit-filled church always leaves room in their services and meetings for the Holy Spirit to provide leadership and direction.
My prayer is that these 5 points would play a very strong part in the life of your church and my church so that we can truly be a Spirit-filled church and that every Sunday would be a Pentecost Sunday in our worship gatherings.