Written by District Superintendent Errol Rempel
Our President, Dave Hearn, is criss-crossing our nation making his appeal to our churches to embrace a vision of the Alliance as a ‘Christ-centred, Spirit-empowered, Mission-focused’ movement of churches. The dream he calls us to is of a movement of churches that are alive to God through repentance and obedience, that are experiencing and encountering him as opposed to merely talking about him, and that is pointing others towards Christ out of overflow from a vital connection to him.
Dave reports what some of us are sensing: a growing desire among many people in our churches for the Lord to show himself powerfully present among us by doing the things that only he can do. Some are weary of the oppressiveness of their sin; others are hungry to transcend the expected and to encounter Jesus in new and compelling ways. Many are praying about these realities with a sense of renewed urgency.
I was so encouraged to receive an email from one of our pastors last month, a portion of which I’ve included below (with his permission and encouragement):
“One very notable incident was in a cell leadership training a few Saturdays ago. [Pastor A] ran a two full day training beginning with 12 people who are leading cells. This is a standard foundational course we want everyone in [Church B] to go through within 2 years. At the conclusion of the day the group gathered in a circle to pray, and then the Holy Spirit manifested himself in a very tangible way. There was this indescribable sense of love in the room, and one of the participants collapsed to reveal he was oppressed by hidden, habitual sins. Soon demonic spirits manifested in this brother as well, later to be driven out as [Pastor A] led the group in prayer. This was completely unscripted; people were all in awe as many are young believers. [Pastor A] was also in awe, but everyone knew their lives were never the same again as this was not of flesh and blood and the training made sense in a new light.”
How wonderful for the Spirit of Jesus to manifest himself as both the love and power of God, breaking chains, ushering in precious freedom, overcoming the enemy, and strengthening the faith of all present! I’m praying events like these are ‘firstfruits’ pointing towards a new season of empowered vision for our family of churches!