The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
Our understanding of anointed ministry should be rooted in a thoroughly biblical understanding of the work and person of the Holy Spirit.
The language of anointing gets used in some circles more than others.
Essentially it is pointing not to the practice of anointing a minister with oil, but to the experienced reality of a preacher being full of the Holy Spirit, resulting in tangibly powerful preaching.
While this will vary from one church tradition to another, there is a myth that flows from a theological error in thinking about anointed preaching in the church.
The error is that God is a distant source of power for the disciplined spiritual elite who do the work necessary to get close to Him. It is a modified form of Dionysian Mysticism, although this post is not going to get into what that is.
The myth that sometimes grows up from that errant thinking about God is that the anointed preacher is in some way unapproachable, disconnected and elite.
Here are seven healthy realities to ponder:
1. Unapproachable, disconnected, elite … these are descriptions reflecting either a pagan religion or a sinful preacher’s ego, more than a Christlike ministry
2 Relational, loving, humble … these are some of the marks of genuinely Christlike ministry
3. Preparatory prayer is about humble dependence on God, loving stewardship of the privilege of ministry and care for the flock, it is not about super-charging the batteries for impressive performance
4. A preacher speaks with more impact if they know and love the listeners
5. A preacher speaks with more impact if they servant-lead the listeners
6. A preacher speaks with more impact if they honour the ministries of the church
7. A preacher speaks with more impact if they recognise the creative role of preaching – we are creating an environment in which the other word ministries in the church can thrive
Our understanding of anointed ministry should be rooted in a thoroughly biblical understanding of the work and person of the Holy Spirit. He has no desire to feed your ego, divide clergy from laity, or promote neo-pagan mysticism.
The Spirit is concerned about Christ. He wants your preaching, your character, your ministry, your relationships, and your church to really magnify Jesus.