As this new movement of the Spirit grows, sparked by the spiritual renewal of believers, people’s faith experience and expression will be substantially altered. For instance, believers will not have an institution such as the local church to use as a crutch or excuse for wimpy faith. In this movement each believer consents to be personally responsible for his or her spiritual state – whether that’s growth or stagnation. Complaints about the pastor, church staff, programs, or other obstacles disappear from the conversation of believers: the onus is now on the believer to put up or shut up. The failure to develop a robust spiritual life becomes the responsibility of the person God intended: you!
This shifting responsibility will affect all dimensions of spirituality: Besides personal growth, believers will bear the obligation for performing acts of community service, promoting the Gospel of the Kingdom among family, friends, and social contacts, growing their family in faith maturity, worshipping God regularly, developing intimacy with God, understanding and applying the content of the Scriptures, representing the Kingdom in all walks of life, investing every resource they manage for holy outcomes, and being connected to a community of God-loving people. No more waiting for others to do the job; every person caught up in this revolutionary move of the Holy Spirit must handle the duty to be the Church with dedication and excellence.
This transition also means that believers will have a much wider base of options to choose from. The field of possibilities will no longer be restricted to what a congregation proposes, or what their denomination’s agencies suggest. A global infrastructure of revolutionary activities and alternatives will emerge, making plentiful choices accessible. Because this move of the Spirit will naturally encourage people gifted in specific areas to produce ministry that exploits those gifts, the range and quality of option will expand the influence of the Church and every believer.
Expect young people to be taken more seriously as spiritual beings and even leaders in this new move. Revolutionaries have the duty to raise their family to be the Church. Instead of passing off their children and young adults to others in the hope that someone will do something that bears some fruit, believers will accept God’s challenge to raise each young one to become a spiritual champion. The breadth of the revolution will make ample assistance available to satisfy that obligation without allowing these parents to abdicate their duty.
In the end, the revolution transforms believers so that they can transform the world. Their perception of faith becomes more real and personal. Their relationship with God becomes more natural and intimate. The Bible becomes a true book of life-giving wisdom, indispensable for right and holy living. The very life of the believer becomes a means of worship and outreach. And, tent-making – the practice of working at a non-religious job as a means of paying the bills while facilitating one’s desire to be a genuine representative of Christ in the world – moves from a quirky, first-century idea to a defining, personal lifestyle.
Next time – the impact of the new move of the Spirit on the Christian Community….