John 2:23 “Many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name."
Today I finished a book called Power Evangelism by John Wimbur, founder of the Vineyard Church movement. His basic thesis is that evangelism is most effective when accompanied by signs and wonders. Jesus preached, but he also healed the sick, cast out demons, prophesied and raised the dead. The demonstration of the power of God often draws people into a deeper desire for relationship with Him, so we should also look to leverage these gifts in our walk with God. Once, a Methodist pastor enrolled in Wimbur’s class at Fuller Seminary. “On the verge of retirement, he had initially enrolled in the course to gain credits that would improve his denominational pension. But by the end of the term, his life was changed – he had been empowered with the Holy Spirit, and it had radically changed his outlook toward the ministry.” The pastor wrote to Wimbur, “I serve on countless committees and do an endless amount of administration. I want to minister in the power of God, but how can I if I’m always going to district meetings, financial committees, and other sorts of bureaucratic gatherings?” Wimbur’s advice was simple: “It does not matter where you are but what you are. Like Jesus, we are called to do the Father’s bidding wherever He has placed us. Instead of looking to change things outwardly, we should let God change us inwardly.” This pastor took Wimbur’s advice, and wrote back. “Now I go to the committee meetings and ask God to lead me to meet people’s needs, to show me what He wants me to say and do. Rarely does a session go by where I do not pray over another pastoral leader or committee member.” The pastor explained how when he asked people how they were and they told him their problems, he prayed over them, with excellent results. So many of us in marketplace also feel bogged down by the constraints of our work. We long for that day, somewhere on the horizon, when we can shed these restrictions and truly get down to doing God’s work. Wimbur writes, “it is important that we are where God wants us to be. Yet I am convinced that Christians frequently use their situation in life as an excuse for not being used by God right now; that they too often think that if only they were in the “right place” they could do the types of things I have described in this book.” Lord, I want more of you. I don’t need to retire from my work to win souls. I need to retire my mindset and shed lies of the enemy. I can demonstrate your power exactly where I am. I commit to pray for one new person today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.