Renewal Journal 13: Ministry
Book Reviews: Fire in the Outback, by John Blacket; The Making of a Leader, by J R Clinton
Editorial: Anointed Ministry
Our ministry is the ministry of Jesus – in us and through us. He said, “You will do greater things than these, because I go to my Father” (John 14:12).
The “greater things” include the ministry of the risen, glorified Jesus in and through us, millions of us, by the presence and power of his Holy Spirit.
The Gospels have only two references to the word “church” – both in Matthew, and both giving Jesus’ comments on ministry in his church and how he will build it.
Peter’s bold confession that Jesus is the Messiah – the Christ – the Anointed One – the Son of God – sounded like blasphemy then. For many people, such as Muslims, it still does. A great prophet, yes. A great teacher, yes. A great leader, yes. But the Messiah – the Son of the living God?
C. S. Lewis brilliantly points out that Jesus does not leave open for us the option of regarding him as only a great prophet, teacher or leader. He is unique – God’s only Son – fully human but fully divine also.
That declaration, made in the fertile northern hills of Galilee, marks a turning point in the gospel story. From that time on, Jesus began his final journey to Jerusalem and his gruesome death. He kept explaining to his disciples the meaning of that revolutionary declaration, but they could not understand, especially as it involved his execution.
Acknowledging the inspired truth of that bold declaration, Jesus reminded his followers that the basis or rock-solid foundation of his church was that very reality. He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus Christ is Lord.
He is building his church and even hell’s gates cannot withstand the onslaught of his church, empowered by his Spirit. We live in that reality right now. Jesus has given his church the authority to bind and loose – an amazing claim (Matthew 16:13-19).
The second use of ‘church’ by Jesus in Matthew’s gospel makes that same claim. Where disputes arise, Jesus requires the church to address the problem if it cannot be solved personally or in a small group. Again, he pointed out the church has authority to bind and loose (Matthew 18:15-20). In that passage we have Jesus’ promise to be personally present where even two or three gather in his name in unity.
Gradually we are rediscovering the truth of those claims. Gradually we are learning to live together in unity and in love. Gradually we are learning to use the authority given to the church – not to condemn (John 3:17) but to free people.
Jesus’ ministry is ours also. He is building his church and is doing a truly marvellous job of it. He involves us in his ministry, by the power, unction and enabling of his Spirit.
This issue of the Renewal Journal tells a little more of that story of how Jesus is building his church today through anointed, powerful ministry.
Walter Hollenweger takes a scholar’s look at the astounding growth of Jesus’ church in the power of his Spirit with 500 million now involved in the Pentecostal/charismatic stream of the church.
Stephen Hill tells how he has seen the Lord anoint ministry before and during his ministry at Pensacola where over 100,000 have indicated their commitment to Jesus Christ as their Lord.
Kevin Pate describes powerful ministry in Mexico City. Raju Sundras, Nepalese pastor and evangelist, tells of strong moves of the Spirit in Nepal.
Mike Bickle gives guidance in the use of the prophetic ministry gifts of the Spirit. Australian Phil Marshall points out the emerging rise of biblical apostolic gifting in ministry.
Historian Richard Riss shows the close parallels between ministry issues in former and current revival movements, and I give an overview of the charismatic impacts of the Spirit in evangelical ministry in revivals. You can read more about that in my books Flashpoints of Revival (2nd ed., 2009) and Revival Fires (2011). See further details on renewaljournal.com.
Heidi Baker wrote a challenging article on the Primacy of Love in all ministry and mission, now added to this 2nd edition of this Renewal Journal 13: Ministry.
Anointed ministry is simply the ministry of Jesus in and through us by the anointing and empowering of his Holy Spirit within us. This is available to us all. Without him we can do nothing. With him, all things are possible.