I believe God has heard the cry of His people; we are living in the time of a new awakening. Those of us who are heeding the call for this new awakening must understand how God orchestrates His mighty works if we want to be a participant in His plan. In order for us to reach our generation, we must recognize our plan should not be how to give the world what they are looking for, but we should use the tools God has given us in the manner He prescribes.
What Tools Do We Have?
The Apostle Paul, the most effective preacher of all time, gives us the word and an example. As he ministered he said:
…we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)
Wait a minute, Paul. Didn’t you read the polls? Don’t you understand if you want to win someone to your point-of-view, you have to survey the market and come up with a marketing scheme?
Paul wasn’t following modern day marketing programs because he understood a very important principle of the Kingdom of God: we are not called to win the lost, but to find the lost!
We Are Not Called to be Salesmen, but Fishermen!
In Matthew 4:19, Jesus called out to His disciples and He said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” This is why the Apostle Paul went on to say, “But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” The premise of evangelism is to fish for the called, not to win the lost! With this in mind, we need to adapt our methods accordingly.
How Do Our Tools Impact Our Strategy?
Many people think the goal is to win the lost and so they create environments for convincing people to accept Christ. The idea is to create a “seeker-sensitive” environment then use modern methods of technology and even secular music to win them over. This method has been more effective in gathering casual Christians than truly winning the lost.
“Casual Christianity” will not produce an awakening in the world in which we live!
We must remind ourselves of the power of the gospel! The Apostle Paul believed in the power of the gospel. He wasn’t ashamed to proclaim it because he understood it to be the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16).
I am not speaking again instruments, technology, or even amazing presentations. At our church, we have invested millions of dollars into technology and a have a very skilled worship arts team, so I am not at all opposed to cutting-edge presentations. However, I am convinced we need to remind ourselves the power is not in the electricity, but in the Holy Spirit and the preached word!
We Need To Be More Than Sign-Seekers!
On the other side of the spectrum are those in the Spirit-filled movement that promote “power evangelism.” Our church believes in the power of the Holy Spirit and the tremendous benefit of spiritual gifts demonstrated in the lives of believers. We actually have a miracle service as a part of our weekly church schedule. One of the amazing signs of this service is the fact my mom leads it and is still ministering in her eighties. Talk about believing in the power of God to bring health to His people⎯my mom is a testimony to this. If you have a spiritual gift, you should use that gift whenever a need arises. It is very important, however, to remember the power God has given us to bring salvation to our world is still the Gospel.
We need to be very careful not to think we have a better plan than God to change the world. I personally flow in prophetic ministry and believe in the miraculous, but we do the Body of Christ a big disservice when we make people believe they don’t have power unless they have a “power gift.” Jesus indeed worked signs and wonders because He came to the Jewish people knowing what they were looking for. In the middle of His ministry, Jesus encouraged the sign seeker what they should really be looking for.
Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:28-29 NKJV)
Answering The Call of The New Awakening will Require Change
I am convinced that we are in the midst of a new awakening and it will challenge our mindsets. We cannot water-down the message and lose the power of God. At the same time, we cannot be so “manifestation-centered” that we miss the “Manifestor” Himself. Today, I am asking you to confront yourself! Will you ask the Lord about your own heart? Have you compromised the truth and power to sell Christ? Let’s reflect the fullness of the Kingdom and be His “fishermen”!