Renewal Journal 19: Church
The Voice of the Church in the 21st Century, by Ray Overend
Redeeming the Arts: visionaries of the future, by Sandra Godde
Counselling Christianly, by Ann Crawford
Redeeming a Positive Biblical View of Sexuality, by John Meteyard and Irene Alexander
The Mystics and Contemporary Psychology, by Irene Alexander
Problems Associated with the Institutionalization of Ministry, by Warren Holyoak
Church in the 21st century is changing. Previously the rate of change has been gradual, spanning many generations. Now change is rapid in all areas of society, including the social expressions of “church.”
Charismatic renewal and revival continue to powerfully transform church and community life. Home groups, cell groups, interest groups, and mission groups proliferate. They can thrive without budgets, salaries, or church buildings.
China and Africa lead the world in radical expressions of being the church – often without church buildings, salaries, and traditional services. Latin America provides increasing examples of community transformation and Christians celebrate together in fiestas and all night united prayer and worship festivities. Local governments often underwrite the cost of these celebrations because of the enormous impact for good they have on the whole community.
This issue of the Renewal Journal explores some growing edge challenges emerging now in being “church” in the new millennium.
Ray Overend finds fresh hope for “The Voice of the Church in the 21st Century” because secular university culture is beginning to change and throw bright light on the very foundations of Christianity, and on just why the Church has lost spiritual authority in the world.
Sandra J. Godde, Founder and Director of Excelsia Dance Company, calls for Christians in the Arts to give the church a prophetic voice in her publication, “Redeeming the Arts: visionaries of the future.”
Ann Crawford examines the presuppositions and processes that distinguish Christian counselling from other forms of counselling in her article, “Counselling Christianly: implications for pastors and church-based counselling professionals.”
John Meteyard and Irene Alexander engage in “Redeeming a Positive Biblical View of Sexuality,” showing how human sexuality and spirituality are very close to another, both dealing with intimate relationship, deep desire, and being known for who we truly are. They outline theological principles for a positive and integrationist perspective for human sexual experience and expression.
Irene Alexander explores the relationship of “The Mystics and Contemporary Psychology” to show how the mystics experienced God’s reality in the depths of their being and have often passed on profound truths that can enable us to be close to God.
Warren Holyoak examines “Problems Associated with the Institutionalisation of Ministry” particularly the difficulties imposed by hierarchical structures, inappropriate distinctions, and inappropriate roles in leadership and ministry.
Most of these articles were presented and discussed at the 2002 Contemporary Issues in Ministry conference held at the School of Ministries of Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Australia.
The Renewal Journal Publications in the 21st century include inspirational books on renewal and revival on www.renewaljurnal.com. The books continue to explore stories of renewal and revival. Here is another.
Miracles in PNG
Matt Ransom tells of the beginnings of new ministry for Fr Charlie Kape.
I have to tell you of the amazing story of Fr Charlie Kape, a Papua New Guinea Catholic Priest.
In Feb. 1998 he visited our church, St Thomas the Apostle Canberra, to take part in a school of evangelisation. At the same time a number of revival meetings with being held with Randy Clark and his team. Fr Charlie got absolutely blasted as a result of Randy’s ministry and went back to PNG full of God’s FIRE.
The day Fr Charlie returned, he was at a meeting and he prayed with a woman with a broken arm. Her arm was instantly healed. The next day he was asked to go and visit a man with tuberculosis, he was bedridden. He too was instantly healed.
As a consequence crowds began to seek him out, and again many were healed.
At one meeting, Fr Charlie was in an area where he didn’t know the language. So he spoke in tongues. All the people understood him speaking to them eloquently about Jesus Christ.
Early in 1999, he organised the procession of a cross around his part of the country, to evangelise people. It ended at Port Moresby, the capital (and ravaged by violence and poverty). The procession travelled through an area where any cars that travel are held up, and many killed. The young men who conducted these crimes were touched by the worship, the cross and the message of Jesus. As a consequence, 50 turned to the Lord, handed over their guns and weapon, and stopped their violence. There have been no holdups in that area since. The police superintendent went to visit the young men, burned up their criminal records and invited the young men to become police cadets. 30 said yes!!!!
Fr Charlie has also suffered much attack. In June of 1999, he was attacked by a group of young men. One attempted to pierce him with a sword and another bashed him with a sword. He ended up in hospital and showed us the scars in his head.
He has a lot of support from his Catholic church and is training up his people. But he needs our prayers.
Finally, Fr Charlie told us how at one powerful meeting of 3000 people, at one stage, he felt to extend his hand toward the people. As he did so, power came from him. People just fell over under the power of the Holy Spirit, and many were healed. (he didn’t even lay hands on them). Praise God.
© Renewal Journal #19: Church (2002, 2012) www.renewaljournal.com
Reproduction is allowed with the copyright included in the text.
Renewal Journals – contents of all issues