Drawing from John Wimber’s book Power Evangelism and the teachings in the New Testament we will explore how God can empower us with the Holy Spirit to provide a presentation of the good news of Jesus that Wimber defined as "rational and that also transcends the rational … a spontaneous, Spirit-inspired, empowered presentation of the gospel (that is) preceded and undergirded by demonstrations of God’s presence.”
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth” ACTS 1:8
(1) FORGOTTEN GOD - Sunday June 2nd
Powerful. What is the last time that someone used that word to describe you?
God puts his Holy Spirit in us so that we can be known for power (Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:7) so why is it that most churches are known for their talents or intellects rather than their supernatural power. Could it be that we have forgotten the One who distinguishes us from all other world religions and cults?
(2) THE KINGDOM HAS COME - Sunday, June 9th
The good news that Jesus proclaimed was the gospel of the Kingdom of God. "The time has come,” Mark summarized Jesus as preaching at the beginning of His public ministry. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15). Jesus was telling His Jewish audience that his Father’s promise, to their father, Abraham, was about to be fulfilled. He was proclaiming nothing less than the hope of Israel’s long awaited salvation. God was coming to bless both Israel and “all peoples" on the earth. He was finally coming to redeem and bless Israel and establish his kingdom's reign.
(3) THE POWER ENCOUNTER - Sunday, June 16th
A power encounter is what happens when there is a conflict and a resulting release of energy.John Wimber stated that a power encounter is when the “Kingdom of God comes into direct contact with the kingdom of the world (when Jesus meets Satan),” and there is conflict. He also stated that, "The crucifixion of Jesus was the ultimate power encounter, two kingdoms hit head on and through his resurrection and ascension, Jesus came out the winner, and Satan the loser." In the present age that we live in this victory over Satan needs to be applied. Though Jesus’ victory is irreversible, it’s application to life events is ongoing, and we must work out the salvation that Jesus’ provided us with in our lives daily.
(4) POWER EVANGELISM - Sunday, June 23rd
Wimber defined power evangelism as "a presentation of the gospel that is rational but that also transcends the rational (though it is in no way “irrational”)." Power evangelism at its core is a spontaneous, Holy Spirit inspired and empowered, presentation of the good news of Jesus which is often accompanied by signs and wonders. Through these encounters with the Holy Spirit, people experience both the presence and power of God. In power evangelism we do not add to the simple gospel message of salvation because as Paul states that message in itself is already“the power of God." Rather, in power evangelism we turn to and rely on the Holy Spirit in our efforts to share the good news of Jesus and then we consciously cooperate with his leading.
(5) THE DIVINE APPOINTMENT - Sunday, June 30th
The Scripture contains several examples of divine appointments, the most famous of which is Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (John 4:4-30). In this encounter Jesus used the water in a well as a "launching point” to describe spiritual truths to the Samaritan woman.The result of her divine encounter at the well with Jesus was an eyewitness that believed she had discovered the Messiah. Once she returned to her hometown she brought others to meet Jesus.This is an example of how simple obedience to a divine appointment can have a catalytic result and impact entire households or groups of people.
(6) POWER WRAPPED IN LOVE - Sunday, July 7th
Our worldview exerts a powerful influence on our minds and our interpretation of Scripture, including our thinking on such issues as power evangelism with signs and wonders. In order to shift our Western materialistic worldview and adopt a new view of God’s power and action that is necessary to participate in power evangelism we need a new view of His love and power.Jesus used power in a loving way and never as an end to itself. His power was always an active demonstration of His love. Jesus saw no dichotomy between power and love. We also need to adopt a view of God’s power as a way of advancing His love for "all people".
(7) THE WORKS OF JESUS - Sunday, July 14th
Jesus' signs and wonders were His calling card. His demonstrations of the power of God that we call miracles demonstrate to us what the kingdom of God is like and reveal to us glimpses of God’s love, peace and joy. Signs and wonders are both the “already” foreshadowing of our coming redemption and a demonstration of the “not yet” fullness of the kingdom of God.Casting out demons signals God’s invasion of the realm of Satan and Satan’s final destruction. Healing the sick points to the coming end of all suffering. Miraculous provisions of food foretells the end of all human need. Stilling storms and withering trees points forward to the coming victory over nature and the restoration of man’s dominion of the earth. Raising the dead announces that death will forever be done away with in the coming age.
(8) EVERYBODY GETS TO PLAY - Sunday, July 21st
A major part of Jesus’ ministry was devoted to training His disciples to do the Father’s works and then preparing them to lead the early church that was created at Pentecost. His method of teaching the disciples followed the rabbinic model oriented toward learning a way of living by doing versus through the accumulation of knowledge. The disciples learned from Jesus how to do His works of both power and love. Jesus would demonstrate signs and wonders wrapped in love as the disciples watched Him and then they were sent on short missions to practice until they were formed in His way of life (rabbinic style). Once formed Jesus commissioned the disciples to teach others through the same process and to be His personal ambassadors carrying His authority and power.This “everybody gets to play” style of transferring ministry stands in sharp contrast to the current church models we see in Western Christianity.