Every time we run this Growing the Church event I am struck by a sense of tremendous privilege as we help pastors and other church leaders discover the ‘dance steps’ of co-operating with the Holy Spirit.
And in the process we are impacting the local churches that they serve, bringing them further into the purposes of Jesus so that they can advance His Kingdom as they are empowered and guided by the Spirit.
In May 2013, fifteen people took part in the event, representing congregations from Florida to Minnesota, and grew in their theological understanding and personal experience of the Holy Spirit at work.
It was a smaller group than usual, and this enabled us to have some valuable additional discussions about how we could also offer an Equipping Stream which would deepen the impact and effectiveness of this material. (We will be giving more information about Equipping Streams over the coming months.)
Once again this event was an opportunity to involve others in delivering the teaching. Brad and I were joined in this work by Phil Noordmans, Peyton Johnson and Denny Finnegan, and Rod Pinder led the morning prayers as well as co-leading a small group.
This is an important part of our efforts to nurture a growing pool of teachers who can faithfully deliver the teaching and facilitate the small group discussions in a way that achieves the purposes of the event.
Those who were new to PRMI’s ministry commented on the mutually-submitted leadership that they saw as we tried to discern and follow the Spirit’s anointing and leading throughout the event.
It is a helpful reminder that we are doing more than merely teaching theology: we are embodying it in the way that we lead (something that is true for all of our events). This is why the time spent debriefing after the Holy Spirit had moved among us was so important as it demonstrated our accountability and also helped people learn more about discerning kairos moments, welcoming the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and clothing faith in obedient actions.
Writing about the book Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit, the national Moderator of the United Reformed Church in the UK said:
“In my view, this is recommended reading for all church leaders and would urge you to get a copy and use as a discussion in your ministers’ group and church elders’ meetings.”