For several years, I was part of a four-man team that made an annual trek to Kenya to provide theological and pastoral training to pastors. Kenyans had an eagerness for the gospel, new churches were popping up, and men were stepping up to preach and lead these churches. Schools were founded, and we were happy to support and train these eager men and women.
When I first arrived in Busia to teach, I was pleased to see they had a library with two key components:
- Books. A retired church leader donated his entire library to the school, and it was significant.
- A computer. Someone else had donated a PC. With this computer, students could have an electronic catalog of the library, as well as access to other electronic books and the Internet.
Only problem was the school had no electricity.
We love our computers and electronic gadgets. I imagine these Kenyan pastors would’ve happily taken advantage of all the computer could do for them, but they would have to wait until power came to the school.
The early disciples faced a similar experience. After Jesus had ascended to heaven, 120 of His followers were ready—and waiting. They had followed Jesus—many of them from the very beginning. They had heard His teaching and message. Jesus had now turned that teaching and message over to them (Matt. 28:18-20), but they were lacking the one thing they needed.
So they waited. Jesus had told them:
“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5).
The Holy Spirit did come, and this rag-tag group changed the world.
Today in America, we’ve got more churches than fast-food restaurants. Christianity can be found by channel surfing and cruising the Internet. I’m guessing that every three seconds, someone on Facebook posts some form of a Christian image or message with the obligatory “Share if you agree.”
So why is the church in America not growing?
Maybe we need to stop. Wait. Let the Holy Spirit take over. We’ve got all the right tools, but we’re powerless to bring about change. But when we surrender to the lordship of Christ and give His Spirit free reign in our lives … wow.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life” (1 Pet. 1:3).
The church is unstoppable when we rely on God’s unstoppable Holy Spirit.
This post is based on the study “Unstoppable Mission” in Bible Studies for Life.
A printable version is available to share with others: When You Need Power