Dignify and Deploy 39: Kingdom for All
“’Pray for my ministry, John.’ ‘Nah, I’ll just ask Jesus to give you a share in His.’” John Wimber
We just finished a year of renewal nights at my Catholic parish called Fresh Fire. Surrounding its Eucharistic core (adoration and priestly blessing) was pure Kingdom, a la Wimber: Worship, Word, Works of Jesus (worshipping Him throughout with sweet songs all could sing, Jesus’ word through a humble witness who believes Jesus can do what He says, then His works: a large team of men and women praying intently according to the Spirit’s lead for each hungry soul.)
What most excited me? Young men and women who gave up their Friday nights to pray for others. Wimber activated us, and we activated them in their agency: ‘The Father delights in giving you a share in His Kingdom. On you, yes, you, Kingdom authority burns to set captives free. Come extend His rule and reign!’
Each week the Spirit rested on us; He touched people deeply through us. We left refreshed and upbeat after a long week. Kingdom joy beats Netflix any day.
Sure, a few of us had to cast vision and provide context. Most had done Living Waters throughout the year in different churches. We humbled ourselves in weakness, prayerfully exercised spiritual gifts, and summoned each other’s best.
It is easy to encourage people to become more than they think they are. Except for a proud few, most of us settle on a diminished view of our agency. Wimber provoked us to invite workers exuberantly into God’s fields. ‘Everyone gets to play!’ he’d roar. This was one of John’s great gifts: ‘taking the profound and putting it in simple language’ (The Way It Was, p. 135) so that all could ‘get’ the invite and act on the Kingdom call.
We did. We do. Each Kingdom agent is clean and weak. We don’t rely much on our current ‘feeling’ state. We know God can use us in sun and storm. It is His river, not ours. We just need to quiet ourselves enough to listen for the sound of His waters, deeper than our highs and lows.
That’s why I fast on Fresh Fire or Living Waters nights. He moves more mightily in empty vessels. When I am tempted to overpower or to control, fasting helps: it makes more room for His movements. It’s not about me: it’s all Him! I love Carol’s description of the early Vineyard: ‘It was such a relief to let Jesus run His Church!’ Relief indeed.
I can’t wait to rally the troops for more Body-building in 2023. I share John’s joy in the Kingdom our Father entrusts to us (Lk. 12:32). Nothing satisfies me more than extending that Kingdom with my friends.
‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty’ (2 Cor. 3:17).
“Thank You Jesus for giving us a share in Your Father’s Kingdom. We love the joy and refreshment of moving in Your river and applying it deeply, sensitively, in ways that change lives. You make our joy full. Thank You for fathers like John who helped us to own our agency. May we activate others accordingly.
Come Holy Spirit, liberate what is true and beautiful from what debases us. May we not settle but aspire to the dignity of our sexual humanity. May we grow into ‘mature expressions of the gift’ by helping others do the same. Deployed to dignify, we ‘harness the John force.’”