If you’ve stuck with me this long, you’ll love today’s topic. It’s one of the most difficult of those intangible aspects of church planting that we’ve come to name “spiritual dependence”. This week, we’re working on anticipation of the miraculous.
Human Effort vs. Spiritual Dependence
A friend of mine in the industry once said,
“Too many of us no longer anticipate the miraculous. There are abuses, of course. I’ve seen people arrogantly proclaim what God will do, and that falls back on them. But I more often see people who have reduced this work to mere human effort. They no longer anticipate God moving mightily.”
I think that’s true. I saw so many power encounters as a church planter, but in the indirect ministry of leading church planting movements, sometimes I would no longer truly lean into God. I believe that one of the most important elements of our calling is to create a culture among our teammates and constituents which says, God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20).
However you look at it, we have the capacity to amaze God with our lack of faith, and sometimes we choose how much of His power is exhibited. “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.” Mark 6:5-6.
Here are some ideas:
- Train and remind your church planters of the biblical imperatives to lay on hands, anoint with oil, and prayerfully seek the physical, emotional, and spiritual healing of their people. Whatever theological or stylistic moorings we may have, we know that the struggle is not exclusively one of flesh and blood. There are ways to normalize dependence on God without being sensationalistic.
- Tell, video, and publicize stories of conversions, baptisms, life changes, and power encounters. Enlist someone in your movement to hunt down stories these stories and help make them known.
- As a leader, personally expose yourself to those people and things which increase your faith. Read biographies and historical accounts where the power of God was evident. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
How do you practically anticipate the miraculous? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.