Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.
Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the Living God fall fresh on me.
The words to this song captured the essence of the May 23 Pentecost Sunday online prayer gathering called Together: Filled and Sent.
With deep love for our Lord, his Church and those people still without Jesus, a few dozen people with The Wesleyan Church (TWC) from around the world led this purposeful event. Worship teams from Maryland, Alabama and Colombia, South America, sang heartfelt songs of surrender to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, churches and communities. We heard 13 personal testimonies from a wide variety of experiences, all with the common thread, “If God can use me, he can use you.” Several brought Wesleyans worldwide to God’s throne through inspired prayers.
The testimonies and prayer flowed from five themes:
- Fill and lead me
- Use me for breakthrough witness
- Workers to unreached people
- Disciples making disciples
- Churches multiplied
Dr. Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church, and Rev. Debbye Turner Bell, leadership development pastor at Kentwood Community Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, hosted TOGETHER while hundreds of Wesleyans and gathered congregations from every continent, 54 countries and 552 cities united as a denominational family in humility and openness before God praying and worshiping together. The accompanying chat room was alive with strong and joyful connections as everyone had opportunity to write comments and truly experience Christian fellowship. Some of the comments describing the overall atmosphere of God’s presence and Kingdom Force unity include:
“So great to hear these testimonies. Strengthens my faith!”
“When I hear worshiping in another language it gives me chills to think of what heaven must sound like!!!!”
“So exciting to see how God is working all over the world.”
“As men are transferred from prison to prison, they take their discipleship training with them.”
“’no longer broken…but gifted’ AMEN”
“People aren’t looking for a friendly church; they are looking for friends.”
“What if our Wesleyan churches around the world began to include more testimonies in our worship services?! Invite God’s power in a different kind of way. It serves as a confession, a witness ‘if God can us me, He can use you.’”
“Amazing how many ordinary and unschooled folks God uses to accomplish His purposes…”
“I think of the Kingdom Force that was present that day [the first Pentecost],” said Schmidt during TOGETHER. “It was filled with ‘multi everything! Multinational, multicultural, multilingual, multieconomic, multigenerational — women and men, lay and clergy — not unlike what we are experiencing in this TOGETHER event. And the Holy Spirit came and the Holy Spirit filled them.
“For the first time in history, groups of individuals were filled with the Holy Spirit‘s power to accomplish the mission. After they received the Holy Spirit’s power, they were made new and sent home to tell his story. They had to tell others about Jesus. They had to make disciples who would make disciples — that’s miraculous! The Church was born because those first followers were filled and sent.”
This gathering was a special glimpse of heaven as we remain committed to make disciples of all nations. Here, near, far, and no matter how hard, the Spirit’s filling changes everything, not for us but that no one should perish. Kingdom Force, gospel-bearing fruit around the world — if God can use me, he can use you.
But it doesn’t stop there. Now, it’s time to take action.
Many received a renewed focus and fervency for the ministry to which God has already called them. But what about you? Are you ready to take a next action step to find your expression for making disciples?
A very practical, intentional next step has been designed to walk you through that discovery process with God, called Live Sent.
“Live Sent helps you think through and articulate how God has been actively growing you as a disciple, serving with and through a community of believers,” said Dr. Ed Love, TWC director of Multiplication. “Then you can grow in your understanding and use of your gifts, strengths, and talents in order to help see people far from God enter into the kingdom of God.”
This free, online six-session cohort-based program (https://www.wesleyan.org/gso/livesent) will relationally walk you through discovering your missional calling. The cohorts will be organized during the summer months and will kick off in August. If you would like to join the 30 people who registered during the event, register click (https://www.wesleyan.org/gso/livesent).
We invite you to pray for those who are connecting with a follow-up cohort and exploring their calling to reach those who are far from God. Pray that they truly hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Pray grace and perseverance for those of us who are already in the fields of harvest. Pray that we bear much fruit and cause that fruit to remain. Imagine the day when there is a transforming presence in every ZIP code.
May God use our earnest prayers to spark a Wesleyan renewal!
Dr. Anita Eastlack is executive director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship for The Wesleyan Church.