The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland begins this weekend (22 May), which is Pentecost Weekend. I believe this is significant and the basis of my appeal asking you to pray for the church to be filled to overflowing by the Holy Spirit. We need Spirit filled, Spirit driven, Spirit inspired, and Spirit empowered people to lead and serve in our church, in every church!
“The church that is man-managed instead of God-governed is doomed to failure. A ministry that is college-trained but not Spirit-filled works no miracles. The church that multiplies committees and neglects prayer may be fussy, noisy, entertaining, and enterprising, but it labours in vain and spends its strength for nought. It is possible to excel in mechanics and fail in dynamic. There is a superabundance of machinery; what is wanting is power. To run on organisation needs no God. Man can supply the energy, enterprise, and enthusiasm for things human. The real work of a church depends upon the power of the Spirit.” (Samuel Chadwick: The Way to Pentecost)
The sad thing is that the above was first published in 1932, and not in 2021! It is profoundly relevant for us here today! We have the same Holy Spirit who birthed, inspired, and empowered the New Testament church. The Holy Spirit never abdicated His authority or withdrew His power. Yet it seems the church in our age is powerless, lost her direction, and is just tossed by the waves of populist secularism.
We simply have forgotten the Holy Spirit. As William Fitch puts it, “He is the great forgotten one in all the work we do within the church.” When the church needs radical change, presbyteries need reforming, congregations seek their future in hubs, and clusters we desperately need the godly wisdom, guidance, and power of the Holy Spirit on every level, General Assembly, Presbyteries, Kirk Sessions, congregations, individual Christians!
So, in this season of Pentecost and General Assembly, pray for the fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us all, so that we all will be filled with the Holy Spirit for the glory of Christ and the coming of His Kingdom!