Nature

Main page | Jari's writings

Preaching and the workers

 

 

Proclamation in the church; what does it contain and do people understand the gospel? The nature of the employee is also important for the job

 

 

1. Preaching
2. Workers in the congregation
3. Rest and nourishment

 

1. Preaching

 

In this chapter we deal with preaching in the Church and the character of workers, because they are key factors for the healthy development of a congregation. The purpose is to first study some points that belong to real preaching of the Gospel and are important to it. After this, we will consider the question of whether or not the preaching burdens people or whether or not it leads to spiritual freedom because many can be bound by legalism (the state in which a person is uncertain of his salvation and the approval of God). There are also other burdens that can bind people.

                   

What is preaching like? Preaching in the church is easy to some and difficult to others. Some are good by nature in that area, while others must do more work so that they can put their thoughts into words. They can be slow of speech and slow of tongue, as Moses was.

   However, whatever the faculties of speech are, it is good to pay attention to the next issues. They are useful to all speakers:

                                                             

Pointing out the main issues. The first issue in spiritual preaching is, that the most important issues concerning salvation in Jesus Christ are pointed out. Preaching must contain gospel about Jesus Christ; about who He is, and what He has done for us. People must be told that they are separated from God and how the atonement of Jesus has come to fix their relationship with God. Through Jesus’ atonement one can enter the kingdom of God and have their sins forgiven if they first repent their sins and want to give their life to God. In short, this is the most important thing proclamation of the gospel should entail. We can find an example of good gospel in the sermons of Philip and Paul, among other sermons. In their proclamation they brought up Jesus Christ and what He did for us:

 

- (Acts 8:5,6) Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ to them.

6 And the people with one accord gave heed to those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

 

- (1 Cor 2:1,2) And I, brothers when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God.

2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

 

People often deviate from this model, however. Oh, how common it is these days, especially in church organizations, for gospel to go unpreached, while the preaches focus on, e.g., the fight against human rights, fight against poverty and oppression, care and responsibility for one’s neighbors, inequality in society, commandments, values, money, and profound life. None of these topics are bad, of course, but they are not a part of the real gospel. They are topics that any humanist or atheist could discuss, which means they are not linked to the matters of salvation. They are important issues, but they will not bring anyone to God.

The following list refers to some important topics that should be included in proclamation. These things should be explained to people and their significance to the listener should be brought to their attention:

 

- The love of God towards sinners

- The will of God to save

- Man’s separation from God and being damned without Christ

- Salvation is a gift and grace

- Man cannot save himself by his works

- Conversion to God

- Giving up one’s life to God

- What repentance means

- Where does impenitence lead

- The responsibility of man

- God is creator and judge

- Damnation and Heaven

- God's wrath against sin

- The holiness and perfection of God and that sin will not get you to Heaven

- The atonement and vicarious death of Christ for us

- Jesus is the only way to God and Heaven

- Why did He come into the World

- His freedom from sin and perfect life

- His deity

- What becomes of you if you reject Jesus Christ?

- Faith or trust in Jesus Christ

- Receiving Jesus and grace, where rejecting leads

- Access by Jesus Christ into the state of grace

- Regeneration

- Judgement according to works

- Justification

- Good works are a result and fruit of salvation, not its condition

- Faith is not only theoretical belief but trust of the heart in Christ

- The purpose of the law is to show sin

- People must be guided to a place in which they understand that they need a substitute and a mediator, meaning Jesus Christ

 

Are the matters regarded too clear? One very common mistake in preaching is that we regard matters too clear, even though the same concepts can be quite faint and unclear to others. Such words as regeneration, salvation, righteousness, faith and so on can be perfectly strange to many and, therefore, guidance about these terms is needed, as Philip advised the Ethiopian eunuch on a deserted road. It is not enough that we say: “Believe, believe, believe” but we should also tell people what it means and in what they should believe.

   We can find the same model in the Acts. The Ethiopian eunuch read the Bible, but he could not understand everything. Philip taught him what the scriptures mean and what they are referring to:

 

- (Acts 8:30-35) And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understand you what you read?

31 And he said how can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray you, of whom speaks the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to him Jesus.

 

Charles G. Finney who lived in the19th century, has told how he collided with the same issue before his salvation. He heard spiritual speeches by priests in which many points remained unclear to him. He aimed later to speak as simply as possible so that people would understand the content of his speech.

This is a good model to this day. Many faithless people can be completely oblivious to the meaning of many spiritual terms. We take knowing these terms for granted, as we have been so accustomed to them, but for many they are unclear. That is why we need to bring up these terms and their meanings. Spiritual speeches need to be informative and rational, for them to have an impact on people. This was an aspiration of Charles G. Finney’s:

 

   (...) He seemed, as I said to him sometimes, to begin as if from the middle of his speech and to consider issues that I thought to need argumentation self-evident (…) But I have to say that to me, his sermons rather confused than built (…) So, I really did not get clear information regarding many terms that he used extremely often and conventionally. What did he mean by repentance? Was it only sorrow for sin (…) What did he mean by regeneration… faith… sanctification… I do not know, and neither he himself seemed to know in what sense he used these and other similar words.

   (…) Before my conversion, I aspired to another direction. In writing and speaking, I had sometimes used decorated language. But when I started to preach the Gospel, I was very careful to make people understand me, so that I – on the other hand – tried to avoid all too common words and say my thoughts as simply as possible.

   (…) First, as I came to England, I noticed that theology was handled there mainly from its dogmatic side and people lived under its authority. They had their “articles” and confessions of faith and their authority. People were not at all used to proving the views mentioned in these “norms”; they were considered self-evident truth. As I started to preach, they were surprised when I talked about them with people. And I was also told that this kind of argumentation had convinced them about what they had doubted before, and as my sermons were not dogmatic but appealed to the common sense, they met the needs of people.

   I myself had greatly wished for guidance and sense appealing sermons before my conversion. This experience greatly influenced my way of preaching. I knew what a thinking man felt as a priest regarded as self-evident issues that needed proving. Therefore, I went to great trouble so that I would satisfy the needs of people who had a similar mind. I knew my own former difficulties and therefore I tried also to satisfy the intellectual needs of my hearers. (1)

 

Does the speech lead to conversion and receiving grace? One great fault, especially in churchy preaching, is that people are never addressed directly as “you” and they are not advised to convert. The speech can be about telling stories and talking about the life of people but seldom is it spoken about how the hearers themselves must turn to God today to save themselves. People are often given the idea that they do not need to change and that they are in a good place in their life, even when that is not the case. Listeners will not understand how they are estranged from God and how they themselves must turn to God through Jesus Christ.  They will not see proclamation as anything that should hold a significance in their lives. That is when we know our proclamation has not had a profound effect on them.

   The goal of an ordinary spiritual speech should be that those who are still far from God will not be left in uncertainty but will understand the gravity of their situation. They must understand their guilt before God, that they cannot save themselves, and that they need grace to come through Jesus Christ to get to Heaven (mere instructional speeches are, of course, a different matter altogether, and it is true that not everybody is a natural evangelist). Charles H. Spurgeon has explained this:

 

There are many preachers who do not do enough to examine the heart and to wake the conscience by revealing how man has turned away from God and by expressing that selfishness and evilness, which hides such a state of affairs. People need to hear that if the grace of God does not save them from their hostility towards God, they will have to go eternal damnation. They must be reminded of God’s supremacy that He is not obligated to free them from their state; that He would be righteous and just if He left them to their current status; that they cannot refer to any merit before God and that they have no well-founded demands and instead, if they want to be saved, it must take place by grace and only by grace. The task of a preacher is to lead the sinners to an extreme helplessness, so that they have to look at up to Him who alone can help them. (2)

 

The truth in love. In Ephesians, Chapter 4, it is spoken about “speaking the truth in love” (Eph 4:15) and this is a good motto for all spiritual work. It means that you try to obey the truth of the Bible but love must not be forgotten, either. Both of them are needed, even though one or the other of them is often neglected. Especially in the present society it is common that love is emphasized but people do not want to know anything about judgement and responsibility. The truth of the word of the Bible has been wholly rejected in those areas.

   Regarding love, especially in preaching, Charles H. Spurgeon who lived in the 19th century pointed it out well. He emphasized how it is terrible if someone speaks coldly and indifferently about the judgement of the ungodly. Such persons have lost all humane friendliness and kindness and by that it is impossible to attract others. An opposite example of this was George Whitefield, a colleague of John Wesley’s and the most skilled preacher of his time, who was seen crying a lot during his preaches. He cried because he had so much compassion for other people. This kind of love that Whitefield had is rare these days. It is no wonder why spiritual speeches do not affect people anymore.

 

It is terrible when a man becomes so orthodox that he can speak coldly and indifferently about the judgement of the ungodly. Even though he perhaps does not praise God straight, he doesn’t feel heartache when thinking about the drowning of the millions of people. This is terrible!

   I detest to hear such men speaking about the judgements of the Lord whose cold face and rude voice express dry orthodoxy. They do not have any humane friendliness or kindness. A preacher who does not have any feelings cannot bear feelings in others. People sit and listen to such a dry and lifeless presentation until they start to criticize him “for healthy”. They too become “healthy”, and I do not need to add that they also sleep and see “healthy dreams”. The life that was in them disappeared when they noted deception and tried to make sinners from the devout men because of one word only. If only we never came to be immersed in that kind of spirit! (3)

 

Does mercy come into view? As people are in a congregation, it is ordinary that they have burdens from which they have not been freed. The majority of these have come as a consequence of their past lives and difficult experiences but it is also possible that wrong teachings in the congregation have added them or at least have not removed them. Legalistic teaching in particular, in which mercy does not appear properly, and against which it was fought in the early church, can be one such factor. Likewise, there can be some other factors, which add the burdens of people.

  

Law and mercy. Legalism and lacking teaching about mercy can so be one problem in the church. It can appear in the lives of people as factors like a continuous feeling of guilt, uncertainty about the approval of God, like a picture in which God is seen as an angry judge. These are all symptoms of a person who is so-called under the law:

 

In addition to Pasi and myself, I have met hundreds, perhaps thousands, of similar “Christians on hold,” depressed people who stare at themselves or who are persistently toiling “do it yourself” believers. The common problem of them all is that they search for the foundation from their innermost feelings, efforts, the change of life or natural kindness instead of seeking safety in what God has done for them by sacrificing Jesus and by speaking to us in His own words. What would help Pasi and us other “Christians on hold” in anchoring us to the unchangeable acts and truths of God, so that we would not try to search for the foundation from our own innermost? (4)

 

A good question is: do we teach in the church properly about mercy? Is the preaching such that it shows people how to be saved by mercy without any preliminary or following acts (it is true that acts and fruit can follow faith but they are not a condition for salvation). It is possible that people place conditions on salvation, which happened already during the formation of the early church when some people preached circumcision as a condition to salvation (Gal 5). People do not preach the sufficiency of Christ’s work alone but pay too much attention to dress codes and rules of behaviour, and speak about how people must also change, belong to some institution or pray more, so that God would give His approval. The salvation and approval of God is thus based partly on the work of Christ and partly on the efforts of people. It is a mixture of them.

   But, happily, this is not the message of the Gospel. We are either saved by mercy through belief in Christ without action on our part and salvation is a gift, or we won’t be saved at all. There is no middle ground.

   However, the lesson of the New Testament is that salvation is an act of mercy from beginning to end. It is immediate, starting from the moment of salvation. But it is also at the moment of a fall when a person who is in faith is unable and does not have the energy to obey the will of God, even though he would like to do that. His falls do not change the condition in any way.

   Congregation needs more explicit proclamation about what Christ has done for us, about the mercy that comes through Him and our continuous life in mercy. The benefit from such preaching is that people are freed from burdens, begin to produce more fruit, and are renewed in their spiritual life. Of course, it is true that this kind of teaching does not help unrepentant people. To them you must speak about what serious consequences will come from living in sin and rejecting Christ, so that they would understand the seriousness of their condition and turn to God to receive His mercy.

 

Veikko Pekki: When one preaches evangelically, that is, preaches about Christ and His work by which the sinners are accepted, a two-sided phenomenon takes place. Firstly, many people experience freedom from their burdens, legalism, and strictness. I have seen this phenomenon take place dozens of times: showing Jesus as a perfect and sufficient offering on our behalf in front of God brings about miraculous results. One must not think that preaching about grace is easy. Because the law for us is “in the flesh and blood”, our own nature and reasoning require more on people. The results are, however, continuously encouraging. A Christ-centered sermon of grace always has the anointment of the Holy Spirit, bringing freedom to its listeners.

   Again and again have people called or written or come to tell me how their lives have changed. These people have been in need of freedom. The thing that shocks me most is that they have not heard clear and correct teaching about the grace of God in their own congregations. (5)

 

You must be happy, healthy and successful! Just as this legalistic preaching can add burdens upon people, it is possible that emphasizing health and success can also lead there. The point made in such an approach is that people want to be healthy, happy, and succeed, and if this does not happen, there is something wrong in their faith life. Their faith is faulty or weak if they do not experience this. This is what may be emphasised.

   Donald Gee noticed decades ago how his own revivalist movement had drifted a bit into that direction:

 

Preacher Gee visited Finland, Sweden and Norway, and observed miraculous, growing awakening. It was light, joyful and happy, almost without weeping and breaking. He set for himself a serious question: "Possibly I have made a mistake, but there is one issue that I can see in this modern Pentecostal movement, namely that there is an apparent endeavour to get the congregation to become happy! They want people to smile and laugh. Usually, an evangelist asks people: "Are you happy? Are you all happy?" He waits until they shout ‘Amen’, and he encourages them there, and after one or two such meetings all of them shout amen, when they are asked if they are happy.”(6)

 

There is much good in teachings like those described above. Rejoicing is important because Paul urged us to do so in Philippians. There is reason to take it seriously because often we regret matters in vain when we could be happy. We are irritable or worried instead of happy.

   Healing and success are excellent things too. Those can come as blessings when you wait; renewal in your spiritual life can occur. If they are forgotten, we must leave much away from the Bible. That is why it is good to point them out when teaching people about the promises of God and about the atonement work of Jesus.

   But there is also another side to the matter, which is that we experience failures, and the Church is not a community of perfect people. If this is forgotten and people are not allowed to be sick and depressed (even Paul was occasionally depressed because of difficult conditions: Nevertheless God that comforts those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 2 Cor 7:6), we have drifted far away from the real Christianity in which the burdens of others are carried.

   What is the solution, other than that we must carry the burdens of others? It is surely that we must concentrate more on Jesus Christ who is the giver of blessings and faith, and concentrate less on our faith and blessings. From Him alone comes faith that can move mountains and help people, and that is why we must search for Him above all. An ordinary sense of faith and our own performance cannot bring about issues to which His work and faith coming through Him are needed (Hebr 12:2: Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith). Healing and other miracles are possible only when the Saviour Himself gives His faith and connects it to us according to His own will. The atmosphere in such meetings is not so hard and oppressive when people concentrate on Jesus instead of the blessings given by Him. Charles S. Prize, in whose meetings thousands of sick people were healed, has explained this:

 

There is a huge difference between what we call the faith in God, and God’s faith which God himself offers to a person. Such faith is not achieved through your own accomplishments or as the result of your own troubles.

   (...) I believe that it is easier for us to come to Christ and ask Him to give to us His faith than to work ourselves to bring about our own faith. If we do not see this, we are in huge danger of interpreting this issue the wrong way. We have to admit that the Master time after time mentioned the faith of those people who searched for His help, and pronounced His recognition for those who had it. But I don't ask, had they faith but from where they got it?

      (...) But do you know what I have noticed? Before all large healing meetings, days have been spent praying to the Lord. When the crowds have only rushed out to experience healing, the meetings have been hard and heavy. But when the Healer and not healing has been sought, His charming presence has broken the power of the enemy, and the sun of His face has melted hard and stone-cold hearts. Was it then pity towards ourselves or self-conceit, which took us at His feet, so that after coming there our attitude completely changed when we finally saw Him.

   (...) Occasionally, we are so absurd that we answer, "Yes, I can, for I have faith! I can use it and function with its help, for the Word of God says that we can have faith, so that we can move mountains.” To that kind of people I would like to say, “Go and try, and we shall see what is the result!” All things are possible to those who believe. But there is a large difference in what you believe. If you believe that you own the power that can move mountains, without the belief and mercy being connected to you divinely, it is a dangerous idea. I know many who in their own power and righteousness have tried to carry out such a program but instead of joy, a bitter grief has come to them. (7)

 

THE RESULTS. One important part of spiritual work and preaching are the results, the saving of souls. It is usually the principal objective and the largest motivating factor in all spiritual activity. If this does not take place, the work seems to be useless.

   So what if people are really saved and turn to God? Do we influence this in any way, and what is the part played by God? We shall look at this matter.

 

God’s share. Usually, people doing spiritual work excessively stress their own talent and energy. People think: “Others will surely be saved because I’m such a good speaker and writer”. People think that success completely depends on them. One’s own gifts have high value.

   This is not true. Gifts and eagerness are naturally good, and a person should have both of these traits. We need more vigor in spiritual work, like any other field needing talented people. We cannot take away the importance and significance of these traits.

   God’s blessing is much more important, however. We need the same kind of blessing as Jesus when he had the five loaves of bread and two fish: he was able to feed thousands with them because they were blessed by God. Talent and energy alone are not enough, as we need a heavenly boost to break through obstacles, otherwise the work will be rather fruitless and the results rather weak. Another illustrative example of this is Peter’s poor catch, until Jesus told Him to put his nets in another location. When Peter did what Jesus told him to, the nets were filled with fish:

 

- (Luke 5:1-10) And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed on him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

4 Now when he had left speaking, he said to Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

5 And Simon answering said to him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at your word I will let down the net.

6 And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net broke.

7 And they beckoned to their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, Fear not; from now on you shall catch men.

 

If we look at certain Bible verses, we can see the same thing: God’s blessing. Even if preaching were as good and clear as possible, it is not enough on its own because only God can save a man and give growth to the sown word. God is the only one who can save and open people’s hearts:

 

- (Acts 16:13,14) And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spoke to the women which resorted thither.

14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened that she attended to the things which were spoken of Paul.

 

- (1 Cor 3:5-7) Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

7 So then neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase.

 

Our share. Even though God’s participation is essential when saving people, we humans also have our own tasks. We need to preach the Gospel so that others will know how Jesus Christ did for us. God has entrusted this task to us. If God were to do all the work for us, the missionary command given to us by Jesus would be meaningless. The Bible says:

 

- (Rom 10:13-17) For whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias said, Lord who has believed our report?

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

We must understand the significance of prayer, sowing and reaping when doing God’s work. Sometimes we are only sowing and praying, and reaping very little. We may feel like we are faced with a wall all around and the work does not seem to lead anywhere. There have been many such times.

   What about the times when people are saved and the walls start to crumble? What is our share in this? How much can we credit to ourselves when people are saved?

   We should perhaps pay attention in the sowing and prayer work of the previous generations when studying this issue. It is true that our hard work may have some impact but the work done by the previous generations must also matter a great deal. It means that if somewhere there is born a revival in which many people are saved, it perhaps does not much depend on the preacher but on the work of people in earlier generations who prepared the soil through prayer and have been permanently involved in it. The current generation gets to enjoy the fruits of the labour done by these earlier generations. 

   The same thing can be seen in the New Testament: Jesus said to His disciples that they would get to reap what they have not worked for and that they would enter into labours of others. In other words, in the reaping work it was not a question of their special talent but that the reaping time had come and they got to act in the part of the reaper. Jesus had chosen them to the task (John 15:16: You have not chosen me but I have chosen you). The necessary sowing and prayer work for them had already been done, and perhaps Anna who already decades earlier served God by fasting and prayers night and day was one of those who prepared soil for the activity of God. This can be seen from the following verses:

 

- (Luke 2:36,37)And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

 

- (John 4:36-38) And he that reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to life eternal: that both he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together.

37 And herein is that saying true, One sows, and another reaps.

38 I sent you to reap that where on you bestowed no labor: other men labored, and you are entered into their labors.

 

Lastly, let’s study an account of Reinhard Bonnke about how he got to build on the work of the previous generations. He describes how the sowing and prayer work that had started over a hundred years ago was realized when the reaping time came. Bonnke had the privilege to be a part of the reaping, and he understood how the earlier generations had prepared the soil for God’s work. This ought to be remembered today as well, if our current congregation is given a chance to be an instrument of God’s blessing:

 

I quote the diary of Livingstone:

 

We are like the voice of one crying in the wilderness. We make way for the excellent future. The coming missionaries will get to see that each sermon pulls people to receive the salvation. We are their predecessors and assistants.

   Don’t let them forget the night watchmen, us who did work when all was bleak and when no proof of success could be seen on our road in the form of converts. They will undoubtedly have more light than us but we serve our Lord sincerely and we preach the Gospel, as they too will do.

 

Livingston died in 1873, and so we came there over a hundred years later. What about the prophetic word of Livingstone? Was it mere wishful thinking? I rejoice greatly when I get to tell you what we saw. The seed, which was sowed so long ago starts now to ripen for the harvest. The residents of Malawi heard about the same God about whom Livingstone spoke, about the same Saviour, about whom Paul spoke, and the same Gospel that Peter preached. We were there for sixteen days, and tens of thousands answered to the message of Livingstone when we preached it on behalf of him and Jesus. The message reached the whole country. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “You go on tears of the previous generations.”

   Abruptly, I saw this all. We have been connected in God to the movement that includes also all His earlier workers, and so we are one with them all. We belong to their team, to their missionaries. We reaped with joy where they had sowed with tears before us. We did not get that harvest because we were better than those men and women before us but only because the time of the harvest had come. Both those who have sowed and those who reap the harvest will draw their wages, for the Lord of the harvest, Jesus, promises this in His Word. He says, “And he that reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to life eternal: that both he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One sows, and another reaps. I sent you to reap that where on you bestowed no labor: other men labored, and you are entered into their labors.”  (John 4:36-38) (8)

 

 

 

2. Workers in the congregation

 

In this chapter we examine the nature of elders and spiritual workers, as they play a crucial part in the well-being of congregation. If the people were chosen by God and they are of sound character, it will have a positive effect and we can expect people to grow in their faith. In a contrary situation the opposite might occur.

Characteristics of an ideal spiritual worker can be found, e.g., in the third chapter of 1. Timothy and in Paul’s letter to Titus. These parts bring up several important characteristics that should be present in the worker’s life (the same characteristics should be found in everyone’s life). If one does not possess any of such characteristics, they should not work in highly responsible tasks.

The segments mention such aspects like the home life and that one should have good testimony from outsiders. The verses also talk about being faultless, sober, modest, hospitable and that one should not be greedy or hasty. Moreover, we receive a warning that an elderly of a congregation should not be one that is recently converted, as they are in danger of becoming prideful if they are put in such a notable task too early. It could make them fall. Another quality they should have is the ability to teach the word. It is challenging to be in the position of an elder or a spiritual worker if one is not able to teach even the fundamentals of faith. Of course, every elder or spiritual worker does not need to be spreading the gospel, but they should hold an adequate knowledge of the Bible, in order to be able to give advice to people:

 

- (1 Tim 3:1-7) This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

 

- (Tit 1:5-9) For this cause left I you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you:

6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

9 Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the disputers.

 

Bill Hybels has also discussed this issue. He does not directly refer to the elders of the congregation but to different types of working and how people’s characteristics and spiritual disposition are the most important things. These beat even qualifications and aptitude. They are similar characteristics as those mentioned by Paul above. If a person’s character does not show signs of honesty, humbleness, trustworthiness, devotion to duty, self-discipline, and other good traits, we ought to be careful with them. If they have not yet shown to have these positive traits, it is unlikely they will instantly change.

Furthermore, Bill Hybles’ list contains a third interesting aspect, in addition to character and talent: chemistry between people. It means that if certain people aim to work together for a long time, it is better if they get along. This might feel like a carnal criterion, but we usually choose our friends and our spouse this way too. That is why chemistry between people should not be overlooked. Spiritual work will function better if all members of the team work well together.

 

My selection process is based on three issues: disposition first, aptitude next and finally personal chemistry with me and other members of the group. Disposition. Aptitude. Chemistry. I have ended up with these three criteria in the order mentioned after having tried several others over the years.

   When I am searching for a person to join a voluntary group or start employment, I remind myself: disposition first. By this I mean that I must be able to trust that the person is walking with Jesus. I must know that he or she is committed to spiritual rigour. I must see evidence of honesty, the ability to teach, humility, trustworthiness, healthy work ethics and willingness to respond to requests.

   I have not always considered disposition more important than aptitude, but I do now. I have learned that random lapses of aptitude are alright in work done in a congregation but faults in disposition will cause problems that may have extensive results.

   (...) After thirty years of optimism I have had to admit defeat. I have been forced to face it. The disposition of each adult who is about to start in a key position has already been moulded for 25, 30 or 35 years. Not much will change after so much time. So, I am looking for a person with a positively moulded disposition.

   (...) This is why I work hard when selecting a person to study the person’s disposition. I check their recommendations. I speak with people who know them. I try to find weaknesses of character. It is better if I find contradictions at this point than if the group is forced to find them out later. (9)

 

Cares for people, not impatient. One characteristic of a good worker is that he or she cares for people. Nobody will be a shepherd or a worker because they are given the position: instead, people must show in practice that they care about others. This means that even though nobody has mentioned this to him or her, the person is willing to help people, win over souls, and he or she has a warm heart towards those who are left aside and renegades. This proves that the person has been called by God.

   In practice, we should have the same kind of attitude as God has had towards the humankind. He has loved all kinds of people, such as those opposed to the Gospel, Satan’s worshippers, homosexuals, the unrepentant and servants of the church who reject values that are important to us, and that is what we should do as well. This means that we should have a positive and appreciative attitude regardless of what people think. Watchman Nee has taught about this:

 

People doing the work of the Lord should love not only other Christians but all people. (...) Loving people and showing them love is an essential characteristic for a servant of God. All people who are irritated by people or disparage them are without doubt unsuitable for servants of the Lord.

   (...) Many people doing the work of God have the severe defect that they have no love towards the mankind. They lack the right kind of respect towards people and they also lack knowledge of the value of man in the eyes of God. (...) God must expand us so that we start to understand that all people deserve love and respect. Whether you succeed in your future work of God or not depends mainly on your attitude towards the value of people. The depth of your work will be measured by how interested you are in people and what you feel for them. (10)

 

What about soul care? One good characteristic of a spiritual worker is mildness and an ability to listen to the problems of people, and it is needed in soul care. A common shortcoming is that we are impatient when others present their viewpoints, thoughts or worries. Sometimes, we can be as cold as icicles when confronted by the problems of others, even accuse them and remind them of their faults. We do not encourage them but discourage them with our accusations. Especially people who are very disciplined and perfectionists are often guilty of this impatience towards others (these characteristics usually go hand in hand). We may also start to give people advice and teach them even before we have properly found out what is troubling them. This is quite common, and in such a case one cannot expect people to get any help. It is not in vain that James states (James 1:19): Why, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Coldness in soul care and in relationships can also play a role in whether people enjoy being a part of a congregation or not. It is not always sin driving people out, as the cause of leaving may be due to emotional coldness felt in their congregation. It has failed to create warm connections with people, and approach and help people in positive ways.

 

The physician of the soul must absolutely win the trust of a person. It must be done! Without it, we cannot speak about any kind of real helping. I say this despite all: many physicians of the soul have gotten themselves stuck into a rut of their role so that growth and mobility of life have remained unfulfilled in their life. They become cold moralists whose tolerance towards problems of people is restricted and solidified to its place. Many “spiritual deaths” have occurred because people have not gotten pertinent pastoral care. When a member has left from the connection of a congregation, it has been seen only as secularising and as a willingness to go back to the sinful life. The possible hardness and coldness of the physician has not been taken into account, which may have driven the person further off from the congregation. (In this context, one should note that in pastoral care it is not nearly always a question of sin.) (11)

 

Surely none of us have exactly the right kind of attitude towards others: we are far from perfect. Some people may have been blessed with an easygoing disposition: they are naturally kind, calm and appreciative of their fellow men without any major effort. They are skilful in this and able to tell about the Gospel in a natural manner.

   However, many of us may be eager but not skilled, and this may cause damage. If people are disappointed in us and our wrong attitudes, they will often also reject God (luckily, asking for forgiveness can right many wrongs). This can easily happen.

   The Bible gives yet again a good example of how we should treat others, in 1 Cor 13. This is what we should strive for. Paul is another example: he had a huge heart towards people, much larger than any of us.

 

- (1 Cor 13:1-4) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing.

4 Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs not itself, is not puffed up,

 

- (2 Cor 12:14,15) Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

15  And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

 

- (2 Cor 2:3,4) And I wrote this same to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have more abundantly to you.

 

- (2 Tim 3:10,11) But you have fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience,

11  Persecutions, afflictions, which came to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

 

- (Phil 3:17) Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample.

 

Not as being lords

 

- (1 Peter 5:2,3) Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint but willingly; not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind;

3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage but being ensamples to the flock.

 

A good feature of the worker is that he is a servant of Christ who does not bind people to himself, try to rule them and control their lives. Real leadership is about setting an example and shepherding the flock, not being a lord because only Christ is the head and Lord of the church (Col 1:18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.) Otherwise, the person steals the status of Christ from Him.

   Each worker should have as an example the good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who ”came not to be ministered to but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matt 20:28). He said that the greatest is he who serves. This is completely opposite to many non-Christian sects (for example, Sun Myung Moon’s movement), in which one leader controls the lives of others, using money, human relations or threatening the judgements if the others do not obey him and value his teachings. There can also be legalistic teaching and misuse of the gift of “prophecy" to control – issues, which do not belong to the role of a shepherd, about which Jesus taught. If these features are seen, they reveal a distortion. The Bible does not teach such a model:

 

- (Luke 22:26,27)But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that does serve.

27 For whether is greater, he that sits at meat, or he that serves?  is not he that sits at meat? but I am among you as he that serves.

 

- (Matt 23:11,12)But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

12  And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

 

In real leadership, the goal should not be to bind people to the leader but to encourage them to be dependent on God and to look for Him. This is the only correct way because Christ is the head of the congregation, not anybody else. If we comply with this model and let people grow in peace and the grace of God, and assist them in finding their calling in the body of Christ, we will usually build a healthy congregation. People will grow in a healthy way, and the atmosphere around such leaders is usually relaxed, optimistic and friendly. That is why we need more leaders who serve as true father figures, who strengthen people in their servitude, and help in moving forward. This is one of the key elements to healthy progression in congregation.

 

Give people space to make their own decisions. In your work and in your inner circle, do you meet newly become believers? Do you want to help them grow towards fullness? Here’s a tip: let them grow in their own way. Let them grow in their own pace, as you had the chance to learn from your mistakes and failures. If you truly want to awaken grace, do not demand more of them than you were demanded. Do not make decisions for them – give them plenty of space. Do not intrude their affairs, let them be. And never try to control or manipulate them to do your will. (12)  

 

… Young people are energetic conquerors who can achieve great things. But they are not fathers or team builders. They in their hearts want to be anointed in their servitude and be strong, but they do not have the heart to make other people’s servitude strong and fruitful. Only father figures possess such a heart. Oh, how much do we need father figures in the body of Christ! They are joyous when young people are freed, they do God’s will, and they succeed. Father’s not only concentrate on their own tasks, as they also pay attention to other’s tasks and mind the whole body of the Christ. They are true connection builders. (13)

 

 

 

3. Rest and nourishment

 

WORK AND RESTING. A need that is often overlooked and that can lead people astray is the need for balance between work and rest. Even though the Bible encourages us to be eager in doing the work of the Lord (1 Cor 15:58: Therefore, my beloved brothers, be you steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.), the right amount of rest is needed if we are to remain alert and able to work. Schedules that are too busy have led many astray from the work of God. This happened to Evan Roberts, for example, when he forgot to rest. During a revival he only slept two or three hours a night and ate very little; the consequence was that he burned out. He forgot that we must abide by the laws laid down by God that ensure we remain functional. We cannot go against these laws for a long time. Bill Hybels wrote about this problem:

 

If you speak with leaders who are no longer in the game, you will notice that remarkably many of them will sheepishly admit: “I should have spent more time in the sidelines. I should have delegated the responsibility for preaching. I should have gathered teams to help me. I should have asked for a raise. I should have acquired more training. I should have changed my daily schedule. I should have sought an advisor for myself. I should have joined a peer support group. I should have sought some pastoral care. I should have played golf.” (14)

 

The list below includes some precautions an overly stressed person should take to avoid this fate. These actions are useful in both spiritual life and work.

 

Trying to please others is one way people get burned out. For example, Evan Roberts considered taking a break from preaching to rest but changed his mind because others expected him to preach. In the long run, the consequences were not good.

   This means that being able to say no is useful in some situations. We don’t need to use it always but we should remember that it is possible for us to decline. Taking a break is useful, particularly if we are invited to do something that God has not called us to do. Naturally, we might temporarily assist others in their calling; however, we should try to limit ourselves to the area in which God has provided us grace to operate.

   The apostles served as good examples of this. Jesus called them to preach. At some point they realised, however, that they had too many other obligations to handle. This was resolved by naming reliable persons to take care of practical matters. We need to employ a similar model now: let practical people take care of practical tasks.

 

- (Acts 6:1-7) And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples to them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Why, brothers, look you out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

 

Tasks in the congregation and teamwork

 

- (Rom 12:4-8) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching;

8 Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

We can read in the Bible, for example in Chapter 12 of the Letter to Romans, that there are different kinds of people and different kinds of tasks to be done in the congregation. The idea is not for a few people to take care of everything. Instead, responsibility and work should be divided among many. Everyone should discover their God-given gifts and serve the body of Christ and the congregation with those gifts. Discovering one’s gifts is not an easy or simple process for people who have been born again. People often must actively seek to understand their gifts, and must through prayer ask the Lord to show them their calling. 

   In Chapter 4 of the Letter to Ephesians we learn that the leaders of a congregation are the people who should train people to handle different tasks. This is one way to avoid burnout: give responsibility to several people instead of one or two. This is the model God gave us and we should use it. The same model can be found in the Book of Exodus, where we learn about the advice given by Jethro to Moses. Jethro encouraged Moses to divide responsibility and tasks. Moses took the advice of his father-in-law:

 

- (Eph 4:11-13) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:

 

- (Ex 18:13-26) And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning to the evening.

14 And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that you do to the people? why sit you yourself alone, and all the people stand by you from morning to even?

15 And Moses said to his father in law, Because the people come to me to inquire of God:

16 When they have a matter, they come to me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.

17 And Moses' father in law said to him, The thing that you do is not good.

18 You will surely wear away, both you, and this people that is with you: for this thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to perform it yourself alone.

19 Listen now to my voice, I will give you counsel, and God shall be with you: Be you for the people to God-ward, that you may bring the causes to God:

20 And you shall teach them ordinances and laws, and shall show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.

21 Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for yourself, and they shall bear the burden with you.

23 If you shall do this thing, and God command you so, then you shall be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.

24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.

25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought to Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

 

Another model given in the Bible – for evangelism work in particular – is that Jesus did not send just one apostle or one worker; He always sent two of them. He did not send them to do their work alone. Instead, he always sent a team of at least two people. This model was seen when Jesus sent twelve His disciples out, and later when he sent seventy disciples to spread the gospel.

   What is interesting is that we can also find the same lesson in Chapter 13 of the Acts. This time, the lesson was about doing missionary work outside the congregation, i.e. the task given to Paul and Barnabas. The Holy Spirit sent them to do missionary work together.

  

- (Mark 6:7) And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

 

- (Luke 10:1) After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, where he himself would come.

 

- (Acts 13:1-4) Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

 

In modern times, the same model has been used for decades in China but on a much larger scale. Not only two but even more people have been simultaneously sent to areas where the gospel has not yet been extensively spread. In this way, responsibility and tasks are divided among several people and the work is efficient because there are experts in different areas – both spiritual and practical – on the team. The observations of practice have indicated this model to be very fruitful:

 

Our strategy is neither to send to field individuals or pairs of workers. We send teams. This method is based on the practice of Jesus, the apostle Paul and others described in the New Testament. Teams offer many advantages, especially in spiritually dark places where there are no Christians. As part of a team workers always have each other as friendsencouragers and people who shoulder the responsibility. Resources can also be shared. Over the course of years we have noted that sending groups will produce bigger fruit than sending individuals.

   God wants us to work in groups, not alone. Jesus had a team, as did Moses and David. Paul had many persons in his team. (15)

 

Food is one consideration that influences the physical health and emotional state of a person. It has been observed that an unbalanced diet containing lots of white flour, sugar and saturated fat (Lev 3:17: It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that you eat neither fat nor blood.) is harmful for a person’s body and even to a person’s mood. Several studies have proven that we eat too much of these ingredients in the Western countries, and they cause plenty of illness: heart disease, diabetes, cancer (...) They should be avoided because they are harmful for your health – as are cigarettes. The human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and it should be cared for:

 

- (1 Cor 3:16,17) Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

 

God does not want us to eat only vegetables, however. Maintaining a vegetarian diet is an important practice among Hindu and New Age followers. However, it is wiser to have a versatile diet that includes meat and fish. Rebecca Brown noted when working with occultists that those who turned away from witchcraft are greatly weakened and can even fall ill because they do not get enough protein from their diet.  If they were to also eat meat and fish, they could avoid this problem.

   What about fasting? According to the Bible, fasting is useful; believers in Western congregations should fast more often. This is another matter that has often been neglected.

   However, there are some occasions – such as when one is engaged in powerful spiritual warfare – when long-term fasting may be harmful. Some other indications that long-term fasting should be avoided include the presence of some physical disease, or the presence of some mental health issues.  Satan can easily pressure people who are not in good physical condition. Nicky Cruz described his experience in this area:

 

Another issue: both times when Satan pressed me forcefully I noticed that I fasted too much. I still fast under special circumstances but I have noticed an important secret in the life of a Christian: God wants us to be strong spiritually, mentally and physically. If one of these strengths weakens, Satan will try to take advantage of our lack of alertness and slip by. As important as fasting can sometimes be, the devil may even use it to overpower us. (16)

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

1. Charles G. Finney: Ihmeellisiä herätyksiä, p. 9-11, 75, 381,382

2. Charles H. Spurgeon: Sielujenvoittaja (The Soul-Winner), p. 15,16

     3. Charles H. Spurgeon: Sielujenvoittaja (The Soul-Winner), p. 16,17

4. Kalevi Lehtinen: Löytöretkellä, p. 27

5. Veikko Pekki: Päästäkää hänet siteistä, p. 21

6. Martin Ski: T.B. Barratt – helluntaiapostoli (T.B. Barratt – Dopt i Ånd og ild), p. 128

7. Charles S. Prize: Ihmeitätekevä usko, p. 68,78,82,108

8. Reinhard Bonnke: Evankelionti tulella käynnistää herätyksen (Evangelism by Fire: An initiative for revival), p. 68,69

9. Bill Hybels: Rohkea johtajuus, (Courageous Leadership), p. 72,73

10. Watchman Nee: Jumalan palvelijan luonne (Character of God’s workman), p. 24,25

11. Rainer Friman: Pakkolasku armoon, p. 92

12. Charles R. Swindoll: Armoherätys (”The Grace Awakening”), p. 147

13. Kristian Sand: Elävän veden virrat, p. 45

14. Bill Hybels: Rohkea johtajuus (Courageous Leadership), p. 208

15. Paul Hattaway: Takaisin Jerusalemiin, p. 99,100

16. Nicky Cruz: Juokse henkesi edestä (Devil on the Run), p. 87

 

 

 

More on this topic:

Be renewed in prayer! Prayer is the key to revival. All great revivals have come forth through enduring prayer. Read about this important topic and start praying

Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism and fullness of the Holy Spirit is necessary for spiritual work. What does the Bible say about it, and how is this important gift received?

ABC of missionary work. Eternity, hell, and heaven still exist. The goal of missionary work should be for people to be saved and to come in contact with God

Women and spiritual work. What is the role of women in spiritual work and in the church? What does the Bible say about the subject and the shepherd of the church?

Fellowship in church. Spiritual connection; on what should it be based and on what not? Mental blindness is one of the reasons why the connection does not work

Gifts studied. Spiritual gifts, or gifts of grace should be sought so that people get help. If a person does not feel his own weakness, he can be proud of the use of gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life

 

 

  

 

Grap to eternal life!

 

More on this topic:

Be renewed in prayer! Prayer is the key to revival. All great revivals have come forth through enduring prayer. Read about this important topic and start praying

Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism and fullness of the Holy Spirit is necessary for spiritual work. What does the Bible say about it, and how is this important gift received?

ABC of missionary work. Eternity, hell, and heaven still exist. The goal of missionary work should be for people to be saved and to come in contact with God

Women and spiritual work. What is the role of women in spiritual work and in the church? What does the Bible say about the subject and the shepherd of the church?

Fellowship in church. Spiritual connection; on what should it be based and on what not? Mental blindness is one of the reasons why the connection does not work

Gifts studied. Spiritual gifts, or gifts of grace should be sought so that people get help. If a person does not feel his own weakness, he can be proud of the use of gifts