This subject is far too big to treat in a single presentation, be it in person or on paper. Yet, because of the absolute crucial relationship of the Holy Spirit to any healthy church planting I must share some basic truths which the Bible teaches and I have experienced. This is not a theological treatment of the person of the Holy Spirit and church planting, but a personal one. In full reliance upon His leading I approach the subject.
He leads each step of the way.
From the beginning to the end of the church planting precess, He leads. Paul knew such intimate leadership. We read of the general direction of the Holy Spirit in Acts 13:4 Having been sent by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul went...
Then we see the leading of the Holy Spirit in the detailed steps: Acts 16:6-8, They traveled through the region of Phrygia and Galatia because the Holy Spirit did not let them preach the message in the province of Asia. When they reached the border of Mysia, they tried to go into the province of Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So they traveled right on through Mysia and went to Troas.
In Acts 8 we read the beautiful story of Philip and the eunuch. (Acts 8:26-40) We see the way God gives general direction in verse 28, An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get ready and go south to the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This was a very broad, general directive. But when Philip was immediately obedient we see the detailed guidance. In verse 29, the Bible says, The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to that carriage and stay close to it.”
This is enough to help us see without a doubt that the Holy Spirit prefaces each Godly victory with His presence and guidance.
In each church plant the Lord has allowed me to be a part of, there has been a supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit to lead me to cross some person’s path-someone waiting for the Good News. I still can hear the man in Manila who said, “We have been waiting for you to come,” and the man in Missouri who said, “We were hoping someone would come.”
At the beginning of the trail, God is there. On the other side of the general directive, God is there. Paul said concerning one of his journeys, When I arrived in Troas to preach the Good News about Christ, I found that the Lord had opened the way for the work there. 2 Corinthians 2:12
Paul was not surprised when he arrived at the creek bank outside Phillippi to find, One of those who heard us was Lydia from Thyatira, who was a dealer in purple cloth. She was a woman who worshiped God, and the Lord opened her mind to pay attention to what Paul was saying. Acts 16:1
Victories and miracles are prevalent in the church planting process when we follow the Holy Spirit’s leadership.
Godly power is related to the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:8 is a classic Bible reference to the power that comes with the Holy Spirit. But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power and you will be witnesses for me ...
Peter had a new Power when he preached: Peter, full of the Holy Spirit answered them... Acts 4:8
Peter and John had a new power when they stood boldly facing opposition. For we cannot stop speaking of what we ourselves have seen and heard. Acts 4:20
The apostles had new power when sharing their faith, With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God poured out rich blessings on them all. Acts 4:33
We could go on to Stephen, Philip, Paul and yes, right down to you and me today—it is the same power. And how very great is his power at work in us who believe. This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength which he used when he raised Christ from death and seated him at his right side in the heavenly world. Ephesians 1:19-20
Power to plant, power to germinate, power to birth, power to grow is not in our strength. It is in His.
The Holy Spirit and the Word work together.
The planter sows the Seed in the power of the Spirit. In Ephesians 6:17 Paul said, And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. And in 1 Corinthians 2:4, and my teaching and message were not delivered with skillful words of human wisdom, but with the convincing proof of the power of God’s Spirit.
The Holy Spirit and the inspired Word relate in a special way. This is the reason we must always maximize God’s Word. Our degree of success hinges on God’s Word illuminated by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the key to growth.
The secret of all church growth is found in the following Scripture.
And so it was that the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. Through the help of the Holy Spirit it was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord. Acts 9:31
He guides in the sowing, in the birthing, and in the growth of the church.
Paul said, The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all. I Corinthians 12:7
Jesus said concerning the Holy Spirit, When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own authority, but he will speak of what he hears and will tell you of things to come. He will give me glory, because he will take what I say and tell it to you. John 16:13-14
But as for you, Christ has poured out his Spirit on you. As long as his Spirit remains in you, you do not need anyone to teach you. For his Spirit teaches you about everything, and what he teaches is true, not false. Obey the Spirit's teaching, then, and remain in union with Christ. 1 John 2:27
The Holy Spirit is truly the Comforter that Jesus promised.
To have the Holy Spirit actualized in the routines of daily life frees the church planter from loneliness and impotence. The Holy Spirit is the driving force which allows the planter to sow, trust, relax and expect.
No doubt the secret of the rapid expansion of the early church in New Testament days is found in the believers’ commitment, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God. If a church planter would be free from frustration and discouragement, these three elements must be alive and foremost in every venture.
Scripture quotations are from TEV
Submitted by Charles Brock