Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. —1 Peter 4:13
At the end of the day the anointing will have a stigma. It will offend. John Wesley was offended by George Whitefield’s preaching because it was done in the fields instead of in a regular church building.
My congregation at Westminster Chapel was offended when I started our Pilot Light witnessing program on Saturday mornings. I had no idea of ever being a witness on the streets. I was always glad for somebody else to do that. It just wasn’t my anointing—or so I thought!
But my thinking changed when I invited Arthur Blessitt to preach at Westminster Chapel in May 1982. The plan was for us to take pamphlets and questionnaires to nearby Page Street, knock on doors, and talk to people about the Lord. But we never made it. Arthur began witnessing to some youth who were standing in front of the chapel, and within a short time, several of them got saved.
Arthur said to me, “Dr. Kendall, I don’t know where this Page Street is, but you don’t need to leave the steps of your church. The whole world passes by here.”
In that moment I had a vision. I saw a pilot light, like that in an oven, that stays lit day and night. I said to Arthur, “Why couldn’t we have a ministry talking to passers-by right here outside the Chapel?” In that moment the Pilot Light ministry was born.
I never looked back—but the cost was terrific. All I had preached for the previous five years suddenly came under attack. The invitations to preach, which averaged one every day, came to a halt. Ministerial friends distanced themselves from me. Members of the Chapel began resigning their memberships right and left.
Those were hard days. But I have never been sorry I walked in the light God was giving me then. If you ask me, it was my finest hour. And yet it wasn’t easy to have some of my best supporters tiptoe away from me because my obedience embarrassed them. It is part of the stigma.
Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).