We all have the responsibility to contribute to the development of healthy congregations. Jesus Christ has invited us to be His partners in ministry. As we have been trained and nurtured by God, through the church, we also have an obligation to foster the spiritual welfare of the Body of which we are a part. Therefore, I will share five things that should disappear from Pentecostal churches in order to make us healthier churches.
1) Sermons with no Biblical Content – Dynamic preaching that is delivered with great passion must be governed by the imperative of biblical content. Without exposition, proper interpretation, and application of the biblical text, preaching can be exciting but ineffective. It can become an instrument of manipulation and serve for the glorification of the expositor. Only the Word of God has the power to transform and give new life. Let us trust in its effectiveness!
2) Counterfeit Manifestations of the Holy Spirit – The presence of the Spirit in the church is a fulfilled promise and its manifestations are many and diverse. Because the Spirit is invisible, we desire tangible and visible ways to perceive His presence. When these signs do not occur, as conditioned by previous expectations, there seems to be a tendency to fabricate or forge such manifestations. This is not only misleading but a poor substitute of the real Pentecostal experience. Such expectations must be surrendered to the Holy Spirit to allow His authentic presence and power to be manifested for the church to receive genuine edification.
3) An Anti-Educational Attitude – This sentiment seems to be the result of fear of the unknown accentuated by a limited vision of the work of God in the world. The rejection of education has different manifestations, some of which are very subtle. An unbalanced approach to teachings such as the imminent coming of the Lord, and the urgent need of workers for the harvest, may diminish the importance of sound biblical, theological, ministerial formation. The scarce resources committed by churches and denominations to educational programs constrain the importance of this imperative. Granting that changes are taking place, the eradication of the anti-educational attitude must be an accelerated priority.