Leading Change in the Spirit-Empowered Church

by | Mar 14, 2012 | Blogs, The Strang Report

I’ve been to more networking meetings than I can
count. Sometimes I leave discouraged over what I see and hear: leaders with
their own agendas whose lives don’t match the New Testament because they
tolerate compromise.

But a week ago my
reaction at Converge21 in Virginia Beach, Va., was opposite. Instead, there
were leaders who see the problems in the church and who are committed to
getting the church back on track. Several hundred even signed a resolution
articulating this commitment. Keep reading to see the entire resolution.

Converge21—held at
Regent University—included many significant leaders like Dr. George Wood of the
Assemblies of God, Robert Morris from Gateway Church in Dallas, Billy Wilson of
Empowered21 and Pastor Jack Hayford from The King’s University. It was really
three meetings in one: the Society for Pentecostal Studies, which held its
annual meeting; there was a small invitation only meeting of mostly older
charismatic ministries; and Empowered21, which brought in “younger leaders.” Any
time you get young people together who are eager to learn and be mentored,
there is a tremendous energy!

The energy reminded me of Empowered21 two years ago in Tulsa, Okla. Now
Empowered21 is helping lead the way with it’s vision: “That every person in the United
States of America and on earth would have authentic encounter with JESUS CHRIST
through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033.”

The younger leaders
seemed to thrive on the environment as I did 30 years ago when I tagged along
to networking meetings with Jamie Buckingham and got to meet leaders such as
Dennis Bennett, Derek Prince and David du Plessis. Now I’m happy in these
situations to “give back” and I had some great meetings with younger leaders
like Matt Sorger, Sam Rodriguez and Sami Awad from Bethlehem, Israel. As I’m
able I’ll blog later about some of the things I saw and learned, especially
about the situation with Pentecostals living in “Palestine.”

I believe this resolution
focuses on the problems and the solutions starting with a “commitment to the biblical teaching of the holiness, immediacy and power of the Spirit of God and
the Spirit’s empowerment of the Christian life and community.”

If you agree with this resolution, leave a
comment below.


EMPOWERED
21 USA RESOLUTION
—March 2, 2012

WHEREAS
a major contributor
to the erosion of biblical Christianity in America has been the loss
of a clear understanding of and commitment to the biblical teachings
and practices of the person, immediacy, and power of the Holy Spirit;
and

WHEREAS
some Pentecostal and
charismatic Christian communities in America are experiencing and
increase in biblical illiteracy, a decreased desire for holiness, a
lack of the fear of God, and significant moral and leadership
failure; and

WHEREAS
a significant gap
exists between the aging leadership of many Spirit-empowered
communities and the leadership formation and empowerment of students
and young adults; and

WHEREAS
a separation
continues to exist between scholarship on the Holy Spirit and the
praxis of Spirit-empowered communities; and

WHEREAS
many Pentecostal and
charismatic Christian communities report a decrease in
Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, mission awareness and involvement at
home and abroad; now

THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED
that
the Empowered21 USA gathering of scholars, Christian leaders and next
generation voices held at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va.,
Feb. 29-March 3, 2012, affirms its unmoving belief in and commitment
to the biblical teaching of the holiness, immediacy and power of the
Spirit of God and the Spirit’s empowerment of the Christian life
and community (1 Corinthians 2:13); and

BE
IT RESOLVED
that
we recommit ourselves to humbly seeking the fear of God (Acts 9:31)
by immersing ourselves in His Holy Word (Hebrews 4:12) and
cultivating the desire for a renewed holiness that His Spirit brings
(Romans 1:4); and

BE
IT RESOLVED
that
we will endeavor to answer the cry of the next generation for
spiritual fathers and mothers by serving them through training,
guidance, and modeling a complete surrender to the work of the Holy
Spirit (Habakkuk 3:2); and

BE
IT RESOLVED
that
we will seek to further our understanding and cooperation with the
Spirit of God through a commitment to both scholarship and practice,
recognizing that they both are empowered and guided by the same Holy
Spirit (2 Timothy 2:15); and

BE
IT RESOLVED
that
we will revere and utilize Pentecost Sunday of each year for teaching
and preaching on the Holy Spirit, inviting every generation to
experience the Spirit; and

BE
IT RESOLVED
that
we will discern and develop a framework for Spirit-empowered
discipleship, which will include age and stage outcome-based
benchmarks of what a Spirit-empowered, Christ follower “looks like”
and “lives like”; and

BE
IT RESOLVED
that
we will boldly obey the call of Christ to make disciples of all
nations (Matthew 28:18-20), proclaiming God’s Kingdom, God’s
liberation, and God’s justice to the “least of these” (Matthew
25:40), while affirming that it is not by might nor by power but by
God’s Spirit that God’s mission is fulfilled (Zach 4:6, Mark
16:17-18, Acts 1:8), and

BE IT FINALLY
RESOLVED
that we
will unite together around the vision: That every person in the United States
of America and on earth would have authentic encounter with JESUS CHRIST
through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033.

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