Pentecost – So Now What?
June 11, 2020
By Dr. Carey Akin
I hope you were able to join us for the special Pentecost Service on Sunday, May 31. If not, I hope you will take a moment to hear the testimonies and sermon online. If you were able to join the service, I hope you experienced what I did–the sense of being part of the kingdom of God all over the world! Songs were sung with partners from Africa, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America, to name a few, as well as testimonies shared about how through working together, we are helping people in our community and around the world! I felt the Holy Spirit’s touch that morning as we worshiped, prayed, shared His word, and heard testimonies of what His Spirit is doing in so many different ways, even in the midst of Covid-19.
This morning as I was praying, I was left with just one question, “So now what?” I love a great worship experience, and I love being part of what God is doing in the world, but that is now in the past, and God is always doing a new thing. (Isaiah 43:19) So what is next?
On Pentecost Sunday, we were all challenged in a couple of ways. First, we were invited to ask God to receive the Holy Spirit or ask for a fresh infilling of His Spirit in our lives. You were also asked if you would seek His Spirit and respond to the opportunities to “Pray/Give/Go” as God would lead you.
As you saw at the top of this post, you can respond by going here. You can check from one box to any or all of them to “Pray/Give/Go” to receive information and participate in our mission community.
Some of you have already responded by signing up to receive more information on how you can PRAY or GO, and a number of you went to the GIVE link and donated almost $15,000 so far. These funds will be used to assist with relief efforts like the ones you heard about on Pentecost Sunday for people who are desperate for basic needs to live and who are in need of a message of hope!
We set up “Pray/Give/Go” for Pentecost Sunday so that we – as a whole church – can engage in missions, whether it is in praying for the many needs in mission to the world, giving to so many worthy causes for Christ, or finding little or big opportunities to GO when the time is right and God calls you to take a step of faith! We did not prepare the Pentecost Sunday service so that some new people would engage in missions, but we prayerfully prepared it with the hope that the entire church would be stirred by the Spirit and would choose to step out in faith in mission to the world in whatever way God calls us!
I have a confession to make; I am not a very good salesman. I have never been very good at convincing people to buy something or try something, but I have decided that it is actually a good thing. I have heard it said that “if someone can talk you into something, someone (including yourself) can talk you out of it just as easily.” So if you have not had a chance already, or have been meaning to give it more thought, I would like you to take just a moment to turn to God and ask Him to speak to you through the Holy Spirit about how you might PRAY or GIVE or GO in the name of Christ so that God’s love will be spread throughout the world. God can use your faithfulness to grow your relationship with Him!
In talking with Jody and the other leaders in our church, we are longing for the Holy Spirit to stir and empower our church so we will raise up an army of disciples that go beyond a worship experience or attending church functions, but who will step out in faith as God calls them! I am praying that God will show me the next step in mission and ministry in my life, and I am also praying the same for you. Here is a great opportunity to get started as we go there together!