False beliefs about ministry

God won't do anything exciting in our church




You cannot take to church what you do not have for yourself.



Joel ch 2 v28 & 29  NIV "And afterwards, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days." 

Pre conditions

I know, because some of you tell me, that you feel that God isn’t doing anything in your churches. I wonder if you have thought about what the pre conditions of His working are?

In our verses today from Joel, God is making a promise that He will pour out His Spirit. The beginning of that pouring, which continues today, was at Pentecost. I wonder if you believe it. The Spirit was not just given to the twelve disciples but to 120 who had gathered to wait for it. Not just the twelve with special training, but ordinary folk who wanted what Jesus had. Their waiting was not a passive sitting about but an active engagement in prayer and seeking God.

The Holy Spirit is an enabler. The One who makes things happen. So if we want to see things happen in our churches we need to be seeking the Holy Spirit in our lives—seek for that promise of Joel 2 to be fulfilled in your life.

Starting Point

For some of you this is a starting point. You do not, or have not recently, been seeking the Holy Spirit to fill your life and to lead you to Jesus. Begin today. You cannot take to church what you do not have for yourself.


For others of you, I know it is because you see God in action in your own life and you want that for your church too. You want this because you know from experience that there is no other way.

When my husband was at college, training for ministry, we sometimes had discussions about what we believed and why with a couple who held a more liberal theology than ourselves. I hope that I would not be being unfair to them to say that they felt that believing was enough and they would minister from this belief. We weren’t all that close as friends and didn’t keep up contact once our ways had parted but a couple of years later we received a letter from the husband. He was now a minister and he was humbly saying that he had come to realise in ministry that he could not “do it” himself as a believer only and yes, like we had been saying all along, he had found that he needed the life led by the Holy Spirit that we had been talking about.



Talented people

God has made all people talented and it is possible to achieve much through our own talents and efforts but we cannot change the spiritual make-up of our world through effort alone. What makes life exciting is the extraordinary, and it is only when we step out of our own level of operation into that of the Holy Spirit that we can see the extraordinary happen. If God isn’t doing anything exciting in your church, now is the time to be releasing the Holy Spirit there.

The Holy Spirit is in your church. What He is waiting for is the invitation to work there.

Seal of ownership

Every believer receives the Holy Spirit when they come to faith. It is that receiving which marks us as belonging to God; the Bible used the term “seal”. Like a contract being marked with the wax seal and signature of the participants in that contract, we are marked with God’s seal of ownership under a contract He has entered into with us. So we all have the Holy Spirit and wherever we go, including to church, we take Him there. The Holy Spirit is in your church. What He is waiting for is the invitation to work there.

Some of the songs we sing invite the Holy Spirit to come, when what we should be singing is, “yes Holy Spirit you are here and we want You to have Your way.”

God won’t do anything exciting in your church without your inviting Him to do so and your believing that He will. Begin releasing Him to work there today.

Holy Spirit dwelling in me, 

I release you this day to begin a new work in my life. Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Wherever I go, and whatever You have called me to be a part of, I invite You to transform for the glory of Jesus. Come and change my church. Make us a body of believers where You are free to work, where You bring the Kingdom of God into reality. Encourage me to seek the promises of God in the Bible and to believe them for myself and my church. Give me the eyes to see where You are in operation so that I my bring appropriate praise to God.

I ask these things in Jesus name. 


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This article © Linda Faber 2006-2009.