Our visit encouraged him and birthed some things in him, but it also left its mark on my wife and me. I have not been able to shake it. In a day when many churches are toning down on the move of the Spirit, structuring their services in such a way where it leaves no time and space for the Holy Spirit to work, and following the latest Madison Avenue tactics and cultural church trends, it was refreshing to hear the testimony of a brother who is moving in the opposite direction.
There are always certain birthmarks of a real move of God in a church or a city. Here are the ones we witnessed in the testimony of this unnamed brother and the work he is doing.
1. He is not following the money. God has led him to be high intensity on the power and glory of God and low profile on money emphasis. Of course, we are not opposed to receiving offerings, but in his particular case he is not receiving conventional 10-15 minute offerings that are attached to a tithing/offering message. Instead he leaves a basket in a corner where people can give if they choose to.
I used to think this method was a form of shame, that most people wouldn't give, and it would cheat the people out of a blessing. But because of the day's extreme emphasis on finances and the diminishing level of trust in Christian leadership, this brother has chosen to allow people to give out of the move of God that is touching them instead of a forced agenda. It is working for him.
Money doesn't control him. He stays detached from the system of unbelief. Some men recently tried to manipulate him with a large tithe and he sent them on their way, refusing to let them use money as a form of manipulation to control him. How refreshing that is in today's church culture!
2. He is following the glory. This work is marked by a passion for the glory of God. Many miracles, signs and wonders are taking place. Instead of the focus being on the wealthy and those who can give, it is on the poor and those who cannot give. The example of this is seen in at least two places in Scripture: the parable of the great supper (Luke 14:16-24) and the cleansing of the temple (Matt. 21:12-14). Instead of the traditional ministry philosophy where the members of the church serve the pastor and his vision, the pastor and the vision serve the people and empower them to fulfill their calling and destiny. There are rules, boundaries, and protocol but love is the law that prevails.
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