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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Replacements

By Ken Horn
June 12, 2011

For an expanded version, see Ken Horn's blog.

Today is Pentecost Sunday, and I’m wondering whether some key aspects of Pentecost have been replaced in some Pentecostal churches.

Every generation faces change. Changes are necessary to be sure we reach people who see things differently. But I think some churches are replacing things we can’t afford to lose. The following questions deserve some thought:

• Is entertainment replacing preaching?

• Is a “word of prayer” replacing extended seeking after God?

• Are worship teams becoming “designated worshippers,” thus replacing a worshipping congregation?

• Are lone rangers replacing team players?

• Is imitation replacing genuine revival?

• Is talent replacing anointing?

• Is a whole new approach replacing Pentecost?

These problems are occurring, of course, only in some places. But there are definite trends, such as:

Less participation in worship. One cause of this is indeed the generational divide. But I think there’s a bigger reason. Many worship teams have become the main event — crisp, polished, designated worshippers. People watch them as if they are presenting a special number instead of leading the congregation into praise. It’s a huge blessing to have gifted worship leaders. But the focus of singing praises must always be Jesus, not the talents and presentation of the leaders.

Less prayer in the assembled body. Some attendees have never experienced the Spirit-charged atmosphere of a large group of people meeting God together — in a prayer room or at an altar — like the 120 did on that first Day of Pentecost.

What can we do?

We can honor the variety of gifts. Not every individual or every church should be the same. But we can also:

• Spend more time teaching the Word than reviewing the culture.

• Place only godly individuals in leadership (regardless of giftings).

• Point toward Jesus.

• Pour out our hearts to the Lord together.

• Seek the Holy Spirit’s power in all we do.

We must always make sure we are truly in tune with the Holy Spirit and not among those who only have “a form of godliness” but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5).

Ken Horn

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