When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. Acts 8:6 NIV
Can we transform our cities simply by attracting a crowd of people to a building once a week to hear a well-prepared, inspiring talk from a professional minister? Of course we can’t! But that seems to be the focus of most pastors, including myself. Notice the crowds in Samaria were listening to Philip give an inspiring talk, but they only paid close attention because of the miraculous signs that also happened at the gatherings.
I am convinced that we must pray for the miraculous if we want to see real transformation in our cities and in our country. I really believe in teaching correct theology and explaining Scripture in creative and compelling ways. But our preaching is not enough. God’s power must be on display if we want to win over skeptics, atheists and agnostics. I don’t mind intellectual debates, but it is much easier to tell someone about Jesus after they have been miraculously healed of some disease.
I know many people believe God’s power is not available to us today as it was in the day of Philip, but I do. The number of stories told by Jesus, Paul and Peter that involve the intervention of heaven into the affairs of men on the earth are too numerous to ignore. The original recipe of church involved the spice of the miraculous and I am ready to add it back to the mixing bowl.
Let’s be sensible and let’s follow sound doctrine. Let’s commit to being “weird free” and not allow our behavior to distract people from their gaze on Jesus. Let’s aggressively pray for people to be healed and set free from bondages.
I believe America today is not much different than Samaria, Corinth or Ephesus. They needed the Gospel and we need the Gospel. I am convinced that people will listen closely to us as they did Philip if we will speak the plain truth in compelling ways and allow the miraculous to happen among us. Let’s pray for people to both hear the Gospel and to see the Gospel.
November 2, 2009 at 10:51 am
Just to say, that I would have never probably heard about New Life Church if Richard Dawkins did not have this documentary on BBC and then the scandal with the pastor he interviewed back then, Ted Haggard, who got embroiled in sexual immorality. Reading about the church I was surprised that nearly 8 thousand people decided to stick with it. I was thinking” The next pastor should be very balanced, a man born for the job who does not seek a celebrity status or just an empty fame, nor is he bombastic in his talk but down to earth and practically serving the people of the church and making them understand how to tap the resourcefulness of Christ and therefore be more happy and successful in life”. After watching several of your sermons I am convinced that the church found the right man. Congratulations!
November 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm
Sometimes I think that if only God would show us miracles, that more people would turn away from things of this world and follow him. But then again on the other hand, are we so skeptical that we can’t see miracles? Does God have to put up a sign with flashing arrows pointing to it?
I remember after that plane went down in the Hudson river, one of the passengers claimed it was a miracle that everybody survived. I don’t want to take anything away from the pilot. You’ve got to admit that was nothing less than a miracle.
In regards to church, I don’t really “see” anything at NLC, it’s what I get out of it. I get a much needed boost. I walk away after service with my questions answered and ready to face the week.
I get this because of your leadership – you present simple solutions to problems. It really isn’t that difficult to follow Christ.
November 14, 2009 at 5:26 am
At our Revival Town meetings, I’ve been pressing in for signs and wonders to follow those of us who Burn.
During one meeting, the Lord told me that there is no greater wonder than for someone lost to find the Lord….a new creation, from darkness to light!!