The first Pentecost was participatory as the power and presence of the Holy Spirit fell on all the people present in the place and they all spoke up and praised God as prompted by the Spirit. Pentecost was not a prearranged program presented from a pulpit but an outpouring of the Spirit on praying people. Even Peter’s message was Spirit-prompted, rather than planned and prepared ahead of time.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” –Acts 2:4
When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, every believer present was prompted to speak words directly given by the Spirit. This released so much spiritual power that 3,000 people became passionate Christ-followers that day. So why did the church get away from allowing everyday believers to speak Spirit-prompted words and replace Spirit-led spontaneity with pulpit-led programs, liturgy, and tradition?
On Pentecost Sunday we need more than a religious remembrance of Pentecost. We need a life-transforming experience of Pentecost.
“Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire today.”
–William Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army
Would you like to get back to Spirit-led participation? Check out The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, Tennessee every Sunday at 10:45 am. — where ordinary people show and tell what God has done as prompted by the Spirit — 225 Berry St., 37207.