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What’s Missing?

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What’s missing in the churches, pastors?  There are plenty of praise and worship, choirs that sing like angels, solo artists who rival the best the world has, bands that can take on anyone from the pop world, speakers with plenty of feel good messages, and large convention centres.  So what’s missing?

Consider how our Master ministered.  He had no solo artists, no bands, no choirs to introduce Him, no praise and worship time to set up the atmosphere, no large comfortable convention and entertainment centres, and no bodyguards who barred the way to Him.  But just miracles… just the noise of dumb people shouting, lame people breaking their crutches, blind people seeing, deaf people hearing and lepers looking at their cleansing.  Yes, the noise that accompanied Jesus, aside from the complaints of the Pharisees, were noises that are missing in our churches.

Years ago, I watched an evangelist walk past a man in a wheelchair and laid hands on the people seated behind the cripple, and by the ‘anointing’ caused them to laugh so loud and hard that they fell out of their chairs.  Unfortunately, the poor fellow in the wheelchair could not join in their laughter as he was still crippled, even though the ‘anointing’ was oh so strong, as the evangelist claimed.   Later I watched a ‘prophet’ from Nigeria make a beeline for a man doing a poor imitation of another evangelist with his white suit, ignoring the cripples who have been waiting for him in front of the stage.  The ‘prophet’ had a lot of fun prophesying over the man in white, while the cripples remained crippled and limped out of the meeting on their crutches, until a few businessmen stopped them and laid hands on them and healed them.

So what is missing in our churches?  It is the sound of a blind man seeing, a lame man walking, a deaf man hearing, a dumb man speaking and a dead man raised.  They all make a most unique sound that does not need expensive electronics.  So when you next go to church, when you next hold a service, silence the solo artist, silence the band and the choir, silence the noise of your intercessors, and try to hear.  Can you hear your blind people seeing, your lame walking and your deaf hearing?  Can you?

So why is there no such sounds in the churches?

One reason may well be that believers are not allowed to speak in their new tongues, not allowed to drive out demons and not allowed to lay hands on the sick unless the pastor allows.  As it is most churches do not believe in the signs that Jesus said will accompany those who believe.  Perhaps the truth is this:  They are not really believers, but rather, they are congregations of unbelievers.  For how can you prove to yourself that you are a believer if you cannot speak in new tongues, have never driven out a demon, and have never laid hands on sick people and had them healed?  If and when the believers are allowed and encouraged to manifest the signs that Jesus said will accompany His believers, then you might start to hear what has been missing in our churches.  If Jesus were to drop by at your church, would He hear believers speaking in tongues?  Would He see believers driving out demons and healing the sick by a simple laying on of hands?  Or will He see a concert for those who are not sick while the cripple, the blind and the lame remain where they are?

Another reason may well be the absence of disciples in our churches.  How many pastors actually make disciples nowadays?  Running a bible college is not making disciples.  A bible college is an educational institution of which anyone who can pay fees can join.  A disciple does not choose his teacher; it is the teacher who chooses the disciple.  And to make a disciple as Jesus did, you have to be with them, teach them and show them all you can do.  Discipleship is not the teaching of theory, but a demonstration of the practice so that your disciple can do what you can do.  That is why Jesus said to His disciples, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing.” [John 14.12]  However, how will you know who is a suitable disciple when you do not even know who is a believer in your congregation?  And how can there be disciples unless you are prepared to make them?  If there no are disciples, then how can there be witnesses?  For it is to the disciples that Jesus said they too must testify.

And the final reason for the silence in our churches is the absence of testimony, in particular The Testimony of the Holy Spirit, and the testimony of disciples.  If there is no testimony, then there is no need for the power.  And if there is no power, there is silence, for the blind will remain blind, the lame will remain lame and so on.

So, if you want to restore what is missing in your church – the sound of blind men seeing, lame men walking, the deaf hearing, the dumb singing – I suggest you make sure you have a congregation of believers who are confirmed by the signs that accompany them.  And from those believers, you choose some whom you can make disciples of, who can testify together with the Holy Spirit.  Then you will see and hear what you have been missing all these years.

But before you start, you should check and make sure the signs that accompany a believer, as Jesus said, are already with you.

Hr. Ed Kwan, manager of the Holy Spirit’s Workshop

Copyright Information:  NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION [NIV]  All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®,
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