The Holy Spirit Grows the Church (Visiting Church #34)

Today’s destination is a tiny country church. Their pastor resigned a couple months ago and some families left as well. Another church from their denomination (some forty miles away) has come alongside them, providing assistance in their revitalization. Three couples from this other church now rotate in leading their Sunday services. “We’re in a rebuilding phase,” says one man.

The service begins with singing five songs, ably led by today’s assigned couple. The message, about revival, connects the birth of Pentecostalism in the 1900s with the early church, as portrayed in the book of Acts. I’m glad to hear our speaker acknowledge and celebrate the Holy Spirit’s role in God’s church.

In Acts 1, the people wait and pray; this is part of their preparation. In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit shows up, just as Jesus promised. The church is born. Nineteen centuries later, the Holy Spirit again takes a lead role, as exemplified with the Azusa Street revival in 1906. Their denomination traces its roots to that event.

Unfortunately, “the church got complacent.” We need to “expect God to do miracles in our lives.” Our speaker shares an example from his own life, as well as from some of the pillars of the charismatic movement. He concludes by quoting William Booth. “I don’t pray for revival; I am revival.”

Through the Holy Spirit, this tiny church can grow, just as it did in the book of Acts.

[Read about Church #33 and Church #35, start at the beginning of our journey, or learn more about Church #34.]