8 Ways To Encourage the Flow of the Holy Spirit

J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, Grady has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House.

In this article from Charisma magazine Grady offers advice on how to push back against trends in a culture that has pushed the Holy Spirit to the edges. After you’ve read it, feel free to offer your comments below.
          Eight Ways to Encourage the Flow of the Holy Spirit

Water in His Name

Steven Mayanja, Foreign Mission Director of the World Outreach Ministry Foundation, reports on multiple projects currently underway in seven East African countries.

This photo essay gives a glimpse of just one project in Burundi, providing clean water for remote villages. In some cases before WOMF provided wells, people—even young children—were required to walk distances of several miles to fill canisters with water.

The efforts of WOMF not only bring the community together in a cooperative project to improve conditions in the village, they also provide a tangible expression of the love of God reaching to a people in need. The water projects (and other WOMF projects) are part of their overall mission to bring Jesus to meet the deeper, spiritual needs of people.

Mixing concrete for mortar to support the sides of the well being dug.

 

Woman carrying rocks for the walls of the well—just some of the many members of the community who get involved with the water project.

 

Organizing the volunteers is key to helping community members who are working to improve the conditions of their own village.

 

Shoring up the sides of the well with rocks from the area so people may safely access the water.

 

Clean water is finally piped to the community. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.” (Mark 9:41)

 

A New Class of Ministers

Long-time missionary, Nathan Rasmussen, recently spoke in Uvira, Congo, just over the border from Bujumbura, Burundi, at the graduation ceremony for one of their 20 diploma-level Bible schools in East Africa. Pictured here are just 30 of the graduates. Nearly 25 percent of the graduates were sick and unable to attend, with three students dying of their illnesses before graduation.

“Life in Eastern Congo is rough,” says Rasmussen. “People live day to day with war, sickness—and now Ebola.” The Congo, however, now has a new president and people are hopeful that things will improve. Noting that physical conditions have changed little since he first visited the Congo 36 years ago, Rasmussen also pointed out that the Gospel has continued to spread and churches have continued to grow despite all the turmoil.

Rasmussen reports that the work of training East African ministers has expanded, especially in the area of missions mobilization and training—as has the need for additional resources and finances. “Somehow we need to increase the net as the work continues to grow,” he said.

On his way to visit Uvira, Rasmussen conducted a 2-day seminar for 13 prospective missions school students from Burundi. So far he has seen 97 graduate from their missionary training schools, 28 of whom are now working among unreached people groups and 4 others working in the African churches, stirring them to do their part in answering the Great Commission.

Church Goes to the Dogs

Riverside Christian Assembly in California has pulled off something few churches have ever done, building an evangelism team affectionately known as the “Dog Wakers.”

Not Dog “Walkers. Dog “Wakers.”

The neighborhood near the church, it turns out, has a large canine population—and most of the dogs bark incessantly when the team canvasses the area. “I bear a scare on my right index finger from a pit bull,” laughs Pastor Drew Brattrud. “He didn’t enjoy our wake up call and got his teeth through a gate.”

The evangelism team has contacted their neighbors in multiple ways. To date: 300 postcards, 324 emails, 1,057 app notices, and 100 door hangers—all of which have contributed to 1,000 website views. The theme of their effort is appropriately named “Bombard the Back Yard.”

Each member of the evangelism team has had a role. Carol Bennett has been a tremendous help with labeling mail and sending out invitations. The “Dog Wakers” also do their part, visiting homes in the area.

While they have kept boots on the ground, the church has also released daily short clips of preaching on Facebook and Instagram, spending a little extra to boost the posts and put them in front of more than a thousand viewers.

Brattrud has challenged members of the congregation to invite their friends and not just rely on “cold-call” neighborhood contacts. “Nine out of 10 people visit a church because a friend or family member invites them,” he reminds them, “so let’s invite more of our friends.”

Though the campaign is not yet finished, they have already seen results. Several have visited church services, and three families have continued to attend. An amazing baptism took place. “On average you must invite someone seven times before they will attend an event,” notes Brattrud. “With six contacts in the can, now we have to be ready meet them.”

Riverside Christian Assembly’s ongoing outreach will next include a local coupon mailer, reaching 5,000 area residents—1,100 of whom have already received postcards from the church. Their message will be on the middle front page once a month for four months. And they are improving their video message posts, even experimenting with some drone footage!

“We are proud of our church,” Brattrud says. “We no longer want to be the best kept secret in Riverside.” He notes that the 1,176 residents who live in their target area have, for five weeks in a row, received a postcard from the church.

And their dogs received a wake-up call.

 

Convention Hotel Filling Up

The convention hotel is filling up fast! 

The Quality Inn / Georgio’s Convention Center is already 75 percent full with reservations for Rev’D Up, the FCA convention this April 30 – May 3. If you haven’t already reserved your place, don’t delay. Especially if you want the convenience of staying right across the road from Christian Hills Church in Orland Park, Illinois — our convention hosts.

But it’s about much more than the convenience. It’s also the savings.

It’s only $89 per night for a room — and that includes a breakfast! Once the Quality Inn is full, we will need to connect you to a second hotel — most likely the Wyndham, three miles away and about $129 a night.

Check out the convention website.

You’ll find an overview of convention speakers and events — as well as the details you’ll need to register for the convention and the hotel. If the link above doesn’t work, copy and paste this into your browser: www.2019fcaconvention.com

Pastor Mike McCartney,
Christian Hills Church

Host pastor, Mike McCartney, says, “I’m looking forward to a great time of fellowship and encouragement this spring with our Fellowship pastors, missionaries, and a number of global ministers.”

With a great slate of speakers and workshops planned, convention goers can all expect to receive something to bless them in their ministries.