In the mid 1970s I attended Melodyland School of Theology in Southern California for a year. While there I was blessed to be taught by many powerful men and women of God. Here are 8 powerful lessons that I learned from 8 different people:
1) Obey God and do what is morally right no matter what anybody thinks about it or what the consequences are. Because of their love for Christ, Corrie Ten Boom and her family hid Jewish people from the Nazis during World War II. They were eventually caught and sent to concentration camps. All of them died in the camps but Corrie. When she was released, she forgave her captors and traveled the world beautifully sharing God’s love.
2) The Spirit-led, passionate expression of your love for Christ will deeply touch many lives, crossing cultural and racial barriers. Andraé Crouch was a passionate Gospel singer and songwriter. As an African American in the 70’s, he crossed racial barriers and performed at Melodyland many times. His music was powerfully from his heart, anointed by God, and overcame walls between people
3) The Holy Spirit can move mightily in any church if we will set aside our traditions and begin to obey His promptings. Dennis Bennett was an Episcopalian priest who experienced speaking in tongues through the Holy Spirit. He boldly shared his experience with his Episcopal congregation and many of them experienced the Spirit’s gift of tongues. This was the beginning of the Charismatic Movement that swept through traditional, mainline churches impacting every denomination.
4) Love and embrace people with the love of Christ, whether you agree with them or not. David du Plessis was an early Pentecostal pioneer from South Africa. He began an ongoing dialogue with the Catholic Church in Rome, making friends with many Bishops and Cardinals and helping to inspire the Catholic Charismatic Movement.
5) Share God’s truth in contemporary ways. Chuck Smith embraced the hippies, started the Calvary Chapel Movement, and helped start the Jesus Movement and the Contemporary Christian Music Movement.
6) Flowing with the Holy Spirit and obeying His promptings is much more powerful than preaching a sermon. Kathryn Kuhlman conducted monthly healing meetings in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles for years. Rather than preaching a traditional sermon, she just moved around the platform and said or did whatever she felt prompted to do by the Spirit. As a result, many people were touched by the living, resurrected Jesus and healed both spiritually and physically.
7) Ordinary people can powerfully minister to one another in church if they are given the opportunity. Jack Hayford pastored The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California. During the Sunday morning service he would get the people into small groups and have them pray for one another.
8) Know the Bible. Discern and refuse to accept or follow false teaching. Walter Martin wrote the book The Kingdom of the Cults which exposes the errors of some of the largest and most influential cults and taught believers how to speak the truth in love.