Today I will begin sharing some information about, and extracts from, Terry Virgo’s new book The Spirit-Filled Church which is appearing on Christian bookshops shelves in the UK as we speak. I cannot commend this book highly enough. Please buy it at the Newfrontiers Resources online shop, 10ofthose.com, Amazon.co.uk, or pre-order from amazon.com.
At the next 300 Leaders conference Terry will be teaching material from this book for the first time. Terry will also speak at a conference with Ed Stetzer in the USA later this year.
I count it as one of the highest honors of my life that Terry asked me to write the following forward for what I believe is his finest work so far:
Forward to The Spirit-Filled Church
Jesus promised that He would build His church. But He commissioned His disciples to go into the world, without Him. Despite Jesus’ return to heaven the church spread faster and became larger than any other movement in history. This was not due to the managerial skills and strategies of uneducated fishermen.
The disciples were not actually alone. Because of His death, resurrection and ascension, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to work in them in many remarkable ways. He was indeed continuing His work.
Nothing stated above is in any way controversial. Yet many today do not expect Christians to be conscious of the Holy Spirit’s activity. When He is mentioned it tends to be concerning His often hidden work in conversion.
The 21st-century Western church is struggling. We are under attack due to the growth of aggressive secularism. Established churches are shrinking at alarming rates. We might be tempted to conclude that the gates of hell are prevailing.
What hope is there? Will church management techniques save us? Will fancy websites inevitably produce growth? Should we be selecting the best entrepreneurs as our pastors?
The Apostle Paul would say to us, “are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (Galatians 3:3, NIV)
Because the Holy Spirit initiated our Christian lives, and birthed the Church, we need Him to complete the task. We must go beyond a mere theological acceptance of His work and pursue His power today.
This is a radical book that may demolish many of your current beliefs about the church. Its author has been convinced for decades that the church can resemble the model described in Acts. These are not the untested ideas of a young man who thinks he has all the answers. Terry Virgo has devoted his life to embracing both the Spirit’s power and the rock-solid foundation of the Scriptures. He founded a global movement of over 800 vibrant, grace-rooted, Spirit- filled churches in more than 60 nations, and on every continent.
All over the world in spontaneous groups that are often unaware of each other, people are embracing similar ideas. The growing global church is very conscious of being Spirit-filled. If you live where the power of evil spirits is very evident, you need a God who is alive and active. As cultural Christianity recedes, it is not just secularism that is seeking to replace it. Many in the West are seeking spiritual reality. Will they find it in your church? Or will they reject Christianity as powerless and search elsewhere?
I pray that this book will fuel a hunger in your soul to pursue a greater awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence. I ask this, not only that you will be personally blessed, happier, and more assured of your faith. I ask because there is no greater need in the world today than for an army of people filled with the Spirit.
Copyright. Used by permission of Monarch Books.