It is easy to get discouraged about the state of the Church these days.
At the same time I am constantly hearing reports from people involved in PRMI’s ministries that there are wonderful moves of the Holy Spirit taking place and that there is great hunger.
People are saying things like, “This is the best Dunamis we have ever attended… God did more than ever before.”
Janet Yusi shared from her experience at the Listening Evangelism Dunamis:
“The Listening Evangelism Dunamis ‘gave me permission’ to let go of guilt in not bringing a string of people to Jesus, notches-in-the-belt style. It affirmed my lifestyle of listening to HS and to the person, then responding with a story of what God did for me in that situation or a question to move the person forward. The well-articulated helps in thinking through, ‘What does that (e.g. ‘being saved’) look like?’ caused me to grow in intentionality… The ‘stronghold’ lesson caused me to recognize my falling into cultural norms and led me to pray w/ more awareness. The event helped me get closer to the ‘mind of Christ.’”
Doug McMurry sent me a note when he was just back from teaching the Prayer Dunamis in Edmonton, Canada,
“Wow! One of the most significant experiences of prayer leadership I can remember. The whole group of 50+ came to Morning Prayer each morning at 7. That faithfulness in prayer must surely explain why this event was so full of God’s presence. Wonderfully mature leaders, too, and a unified leadership team.”
Doug then describes an amazing time of intensive travailing prayer that occurred for the First Nations.
And a couple of weeks ago I received the following from David Westra and Gina Dick, CRC pastors in Michigan.
Churches in this area are expressing an increasing hunger for the Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit teaching. Gina and I are getting repeated requests for the teaching, as well as to testify about its impact on our church/ministry. These include:
- Last week Saturday, we taught a group of fifty people (mostly CRC) from a number of different churches. In four hours, we gave an overview of the whole Growing The Church initiative.* Spent the first hour teaching The Holy Spirit grows the Church in a Divine-Human dance of cooperation and the Two Foundations. Followed that by praying through the foundations, and specifically praying for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.After break and before the second hour, we worshipped and the Holy Spirit fell in power. Followed this by teaching on Kairos moments and debriefing how the Lord had been moving, giving guidance, and the faith it took to step in and obey. Huge teaching moment, and then we spent the second hour teaching through the Seven Dynamics, and Obstacles to the Dance. Followed this by praying to receive specific gifts from the Spirit.At the end of the morning, the testimony of how people had been met by the Lord, refreshed, grown in faith, and how appreciative they were for the material was flowing like a river. The president of Calvin Theological Seminary’s board was present, and he too was deeply appreciative.
- Last week, we received an invitation to attend a fall meeting of Classis Holland’s gathering of pastors, elders, deacons (about 250 people) and to spend two one-hour sectionals introducing people to the ministry of PRMI and giving testimony to how the Lord is using this teaching to bless Gold Avenue Church.
- Yesterday, we received an invitation to teach a group of campus ministers Growing Campus Ministry in the Power of the Holy Spirit at a retreat this fall.
It’s got to be encouraging for you to see the fruit of your labors! It certainly is encouraging for us to see the church growing—and such a privilege/blessing to be included in what the Lord is doing. We’ll say more about this later, but Gina and I are talking/praying about how we/PRMI might help these churches/individuals take next steps and grow in the dance of cooperation.
Blessings, Rev. Dave Westra with The Rev. Gina Dick.
* Based on the Book that the Rev. Paul Stokes, Rev. Cindy Strickler and I wrote entitled, Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit: The Seven Dynamics of Cooperating with the Holy Spirit, Zondervan. You can purchase a copy HERE.
Why is this happening? I think there are two reasons:
The first is that in the midst of all the bad news of the growing reach of evil especially in Radical Islam as well as the continued destruction of the spiritual foundations of Western culture through Liberal Progressivism, the Holy Spirit really is moving powerfully in the world.
In fact as the culture becomes less supportive and indeed out and out hostile to the Christian Faith, and liberal denominations are actually persecuting those who are standing firm in the biblical faith, this is God’s great opportunity to send a renewing wave of the Holy Spirit upon the Church in the West. We are being driven to prayer and to a great hunger for more of Jesus as the only way of life and hope.
The second aspect of this is that there is a growing maturity of those in PRMI like Dave and Gina who are providing leadership. For the last 25 years this ministry has focused on not just praying for Christians to be filled with the Holy Spirit but has put in place a rigorous equipping process called the Dunamis Project. This combination of systematic teaching as well as practice is intended to help grow people in the dynamic of cooperating with the Holy Spirit to grow the Church of Jesus Christ and to advance the Kingdom of God. Thousands of people in North America and UK have been through this equipping with 10’s of thousands going through the course in Asia and Latin America. There are many who are growing and stepping into leadership and now are taking part in equipping others.
I give thanks for all this fruit and it is very exciting to watch this grow and the Kingdom of God making advances. At the same time, I am urgently concerned that growth and advances of the Kingdom of God are not keeping pace with the growing evil of Radical Islam in the world and the desperate need to evangelize the Muslim world and to re-evangelize the Western world. Pray for a quickening of the pace of equipping Holy Spirit-empowered leaders whom God is raising up for the Church and the world. Please pray and also give and participate in this great move of the Holy Spirit that is already taking place.
Thank you for your role in this great work. To God be the Glory!!!