My Perspective on Empowered21 and What I Shared About the Marketplace in London

I have the privilege of sitting on the Global Council of Empowered21 (E21). It's a group that grew out of the Azusa Street Centennial in 2006. It is said more than 660 million people around the world have been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

It is a very diverse group with many denominations and cultures. The thing they have in common is the belief in the power of the Holy Spirit through the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Spirit are for today.

There was a feeling that there should be some leadership worldwide that would perhaps help get this message out to a new generation that is sometimes turned off by terms like Pentecostal, charismatic, Full Gospel or whatever people have used in the past. They decided to use the word empowered with the idea that we're empowered by the Spirit of God.

Leaders of Empowered 21 such as Dr. Billy Wilson and others articulated this great vision: that every person on Earth would have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033.

In the natural, that's impossible. But I am inspired by a vision that big because we have a great God.

The E21 mission is to help shape the future of the global Spirit-empowered movement throughout the world by focusing on critical issues facing the movement and connecting generations for intergenerational blessing and impartation.

Other purposes are:

  • To unite the global Spirit-filled movement intergenerationally for the purpose of seeking a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the 21st century
  • To focus the energy and resources of the Spirit-empowered global church on the harvest and challenges before the church
  • To provide a platform for addressing the crucial issues facing the 21st-century Spirit-empowered church
  • To discover contemporary methods, vocabulary, spiritual grace and relational favor needed for engaging every generation and for Spirit-empowered living; and to witness greater convergence and collaboration of Spirit-empowered ministries around the world

For someone like me, this was a critical conference to attend. I was honored that they asked me to give an E-talk one afternoon on "Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit," which intrigued me because they asked me to discuss how it relates to the marketplace.

I shared the platform with two powerful preachers: Bishop Kenneth Ulmer of Los Angeles, California, and Pastor Lawrence Khong of Singapore. They preached inspiring messages about the power of the Holy Spirit, but only I related it to the workplace.

I recorded a podcast about my message, but I summarize it here:

I'm passionate about the Holy Spirit, and I've devoted my life to serving what many are calling the Spirit-empowered church.

I told the crowd that I lead a media company focused on ministering to the body of Christ and spreading the gospel. We are organized as a secular company. We pay taxes. But our real purpose is to minister to others through the media.

We're both a business and a ministry. I like to say we are 100 percent business and 100 percent ministry. That's not a contradiction because Jesus was 100 percent man and 100 percent God.

Yet as a believer baptized in the Holy Spirit, I must walk in the Spirit every day, not only in my personal life outside the office, but in my business life as well.

Here is how the Spirit leads me in the marketplace every day and how He can lead you too.

First, if the Spirit leads us, it will be obvious to others in how we treat each other, how we treat our work and how we seek Him.

And if the Spirit leads us, won't everyone notice His presence in how we do what we do?

A Spirit-led leader in the marketplace has his or her mind set on things above. He will declare openly, "There is nothing on earth I desire besides You" (Ps. 73:25, MEV).

It's not hard to stay in the flesh. It's hard to pursue peace and joy as primary kingdom sustenance (Rom. 14:17).

If I'm Spirit-led, shouldn't the gifts of the Spirit be operating in my life in the workplace too? The gifts aren't only for church. What about discerning of spirits? As a marketplace leader, I must discern what is of God and what isn't.

Then there's faith. The Holy Spirit gives each of us a measure of faith. I need faith to grow my business.

In fact, my organization and Charisma magazine would not exist if it weren't for faith. I had no money or experience. But I had a dream, and I believed God. My dream should have failed many times, but I kept believing God.

I spoke about how Kenneth Copeland influenced me early in my career. He told me faith is like a tool that a believer can use like a carpenter uses a hammer or a plumber uses a wrench.

I closed with this thought: "Life is tough. Business is tough. Many things want to bring us down. As Spirit-filled believers, we have a secret weapon—the power of the Holy Spirit! Why wouldn't we want to use it to overcome the enemy, to be empowered, to have power to live the Christian life before everyone in our lives, and to succeed in the marketplace?"

I was honored to be on the same platform at E21 with some of the best preachers the Pentecostal movement can offer. Host Pastor Bishop Francis, Dr. George Wood, Nicky Gumbel, Peter Wentz, Sam Rodriguez and Dr. Billy Wilson all delivered powerful messages. 

Listen here to the podcast I recorded to hear more detail on this recent great event in London.

As a member of the global congress, I've had the privilege of attending several of these meetings. Of course, Charisma magazine reports on them because this global movement of the Spirit-empowered church is who we serve—it's what we report on, and it's the reason we exist. I feel honored to be a part of this great movement and what God is doing in the world today.

Have you been inspired by what Empower21 is doing? You may want to make plans to attend the next regional meeting in Singapore in 2017 during the week of Pentecost. {eoa}

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