In the last 12 months we have seen changes like never before - the very shaking of every thing to the very foundation - in Politics, in the Economy and in the Social Realm. But the Church does not even realize that this same shaking going on has also affected her deeply and a new movement has been emerging and will soon fully emerge with a new name. How can we all especially those of us in covenant in the Vineyard International Christian Ministries and our associates embrace these changes and come to terms that The Charismatic Movement and many other major Denominations as we know them have ended. Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA) now known in many quarters at The Episcopal Church (TEC) have shifted from a God believing Anglican Church to gods believing Anglican Church - where whatever you can believe is welcomed and whatever lifestyle you want to pursue is sanctified. As long as what you do does not physically hurt anyone else, it is nobody's business and therefore moral and acceptable. The same goes to even those Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches where this type of moral platitude maybe condemned from the pulpit but is secretly practiced from the pulpit to the pew until exposed to the press.
Here are 12 Things that the Holy Ghost has convicted me on:
The cloud is moving and has shifted. We can no longer do Church as usual or even attempt to pitch our tents around the patterns and revivals of the past. Beginning with this Year of Fruitfulness, for us to advance and become fruitful, methods or ways of doing Church that are no longer fruitful must be discarded.
What must we immediately discard:
1. Excesses, extremes and flaky doctrines.
2. One-man show that often gender into entertainment flowered with great Organ and Yelling hype.
3. The Prosperity Circus of the Past Years.
4. The deceptive hype of the past especially in fund-raising and in healing services.
What must we immediately embrace:
1. Embrace the power of the Holy Spirit like never before as we place high premium on evangelism, small-group discipleship, social justice and world missions.
2. Become extravagant in giving to outreach.
3. Become relational, not event-driven.
4. Demand character from leaders rather than simply celebrating a man or woman's spiritual anointing.
5. Become connected in a healthy, relational way to other churches in a non- denominational or restrictive sense while refusing all labels.
6. Really become free to pray, dream and be creative about how we should reach the children, high school students, business leaders, drug addicts, immigrants, homeless people, twenty-something's and church dropouts in this communities where the Lord has planted us.
7. We must join God in tearing down the walls that divide us whether they be racial, tribal, denominational, gender and political or anything else. They must be done away with if the Church of God will take her Kingdom Place on this Earth - no matter what goes on in the world or in any other realm.
8. Embrace today's technological revolution in all its ramifications as tools of global and market-place evangelism.
In sum, we must not fight the changes God wants to bring in our lives. As you hold on to His unchangeable love, allow God to push the reset button. Then buckle your seat belt and hold on. We are in for the ride of our lives throughout this Year of Fruitfulness even the Year 2009!