The Scriptural Call to be a “Powerful Church”
The “power church” is a way of having a church service where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are expected to and often do manifest. While this type of service is seen quite often overseas, in America the “power church” service tends to be more the exception than the rule.
Poor Theology Used to Justify Our Lack of Faith
The Lord demonstrated His power throughout the Bible. The power is the Lord’s way of saying “I am here.”
So why do missionaries and evangelists endeavor to reach the unreached people groups with everything but the power of God? So many methods have been explored and tried but few have been successful. So why continue to use these unfruitful means and not wait upon the Lord for a manifestation of His presence and power?
Could it be because of a lack of control? Or is it because of spiritual laziness? Nevertheless, poor theology is invoked to prove these unfruitful methods and shy away from the “power church.” One such theological point made is that the canonized scriptures replaced the gifts (1st Corinthians 13:10). This is poor theology because it is taken out of context with the rest of scripture. “Perfection” means complete or mature and throughout scripture it is the Church that will be brought to maturity.
Another common theological mistake involves the interpretation of the book of Acts. Some say the book of Acts was simply a historical book, not a theological book. Quite the contrary. According to Joe Sazyc, pastor of First Assembly in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, “scholarship today recognizes that the narrative books of the Bible (those that record stories) are in fact very theological.” Luke, guided by the Holy Spirit, is presenting a model of how the Church ought to be.
Nevertheless we must question the lack of fruit gleaned from evangelical methods utilizing these poor theological methods which lack faith in God and His miracles power. Tommy Barnett, pastor of one of the largest churches in the United States, asks the following question in his book, Multiplication, to us the Church – “Does my faith produce signs and wonders that lead the unsaved to Jesus?” Is the power of God the very thing that is needed in the American Church in order to produce much fruit once again? Let’s look at some proper theology and see what direction the scripture gives.
Proper Theology Speaks of a Church Full of Power
What proper theology does show us are the examples of Jesus (operating in His human nature) and the early Church walking in the power of God as the gospel message was spread throughout the world. We see that powerful signs would follow (actually come along side when we look at the Greek) the preaching of God’s Word (Mark 16:15-17). We are told that it is not by (our) power nor by (our) might but by (God’s) Spirit that God will manifest Himself to a lost world (Zechariah 4:6). And finally we are told to wait until we receive the power of God before we take this message to an unreached people (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8).
Just because we don’t believe something or have not experienced something make that something any less true.
Seeking is a Biblical Principle
So what does this all mean and what are we to do? What are we to do then? Prayer, fasting, worship, consecration, and waiting seem to be the formula to becoming the powerful Church the prophets of old envisioned. A powerful Church is made up of Christians, filled with God’s Spirit.
Common to all of this is a people who will seek out their God and wait on Him to reveal Himself. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that the Lord is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
Ultimately, good theology is based around seeking out God. Stanley M. Horton in his book, Systematic Theology, believes theology “must be derived from the revelation of God in the Bible, for in no other way could it be a reliable testimony to those who are searching after truth.” Thus we must not get comfortable with our “pet” theologies but diligently seek after the King of kings, and the Lord of lords through the scriptures and through prayer.
Seeking requires a humbleness of the seeker’s heart. In 2nd Chronicles 7:14-15, the Word of the Lord says “If My if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”
We serve a covenant keeping God and our part of this relational covenant with the Lord is to seek. It is through this seeking that the Church will begin to, once again, walk in the miracles power of God.
We are called to not only have “power church” services but to be a powerful Church. Rick Joyner in his book, The Final Quest, states this prophetic message from the Lord – “I am about to entrust much more of the powers of the age to come to My church.” So “Church – people of the Most High,” let us become that powerful Church the Lord has called us to be!