Pentecostals are the fastest growing segment of religion in the world. While the Day of Pentecost is the official start of the church and also the spirit filled movement, it wasn’t until 125 years ago that the modern Pentecostal movement begin. The modern Pentecostal movement was a sign that we were entering the final season of the last days. It took Islam 1500 years to grow to 1 billion but the Pentecostal movement has grown to 1 billion in only 125 years.
The power of the Holy Spirit has initiated a global spiritual revival that is sweeping the world today. Among the Pentecostal distinctives is passionate worship, altar ministry, soul winning and operating in the gifts of the spirit. Most Pentecostal churches witness many healings, miracles and divine outpourings of spiritual renewal. The gifts of the spirit were given to the church to perpetuate ministry and reach every culture with the gospel of Jesus. Most of these churches have a strong worship culture, altar ministry culture and word centered pulpit.
However, among the spirit filled movement, are also those who try to operate immaturely in spiritual gifts. A prerequisite to spiritual maturity is to grow and develop the fruit of the spirit. Some of the most dangerous people in the church are those who attempt to operate in the gifts of the spirit, without first developing the fruit of the spirit. They become mean spirited, pride filled and arrogant in their attempt to use a spiritual gift. This group brings a reproach on this great movement of the Holy Spirit. True mature believers are full of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control. (Galatians 5:22 NKJVS)
Immaturity simply means – “underdeveloped.” It doesn’t mean irresponsible, just under developed. There are many good people who have been filled with the Holy Spirit but never developed spiritually in order to properly use their spiritual gift. Immature spiritual people treat ministry like a “talent show.” Mature believers always want Jesus to be center stage. Immature spiritual people want to be seen, while the mature believer understands the difference in the public spiritual gifts and private spiritual gifts. All spiritual gifts are not always appropriate in a worship service. The edification gifts are only appropriate if the “body” can be edified. Immature spiritual believers make the spiritual gift about themself and many times do not understand how to flow in a corporate anointing. The corporate worship service is for corporate gifts that edify the entire body of Christ, unless they are ministering one-on-one in the altars. All of the gifts are necessary and appropriate, but some are used best in a small gathering of believers, in order to be effective.
Finally, every person operating in a spiritual gift should be accountable to the church. There are “pirates” who come through churches to loot. They have no accountability, no covering and take no responsibility for there “words.” The gifts of the spirit were disbursed in the Body of Christ to bring unity and create interdependence. The gifts were given to the entire body of Christ, not just to ministers and apostles. For this reason, we should not ask only the ministers to do the altar ministry. People who have the gift of healing, should pray for healing. People who have the discerning of spirits should be used in questionable circumstances. Churches need to give priority to identifying spiritual gifts and placing the appropriate people in the key roles where these gifts are needed. Depending only on paid staff to ministry does not always allow the gifts of the spirit to be maximized. Many pastors are great preachers and equippers, but may not operate in all of the gifts of the spirit, therefore the body of Christ must be developed.
When used properly, the gifts of the spirit will create a nurturing, healing culture in a church and will cause a church to be organically generous and evangelistic. That is the trademark of the Pentecostal movement that is sweeping the world today and the reason that they are the fastest growing churches in the world.