Last week, the following phrase rocked us—“The problem with the Church today is that our experience is too far beneath our theology, and that has lowered our expectations. This becomes a vicious cycle.”
In evaluating myself and our church, I have to admit that this has been too true. We believe that God is powerful, Almighty, still heals people’s diseases and works miracles, but we have to conclude that we don’t see it near as often as we do in the Scriptures. So, Tammy and I decided to “get around” some people who were experiencing what we were lacking. As the Apostle Paul told some young believers in Romans 1:11, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to that you may be established.” We needed some impartation from the Holy Spirit! We came back Sunday recognizing that God had imparted His Spirit! Within 72 hours of Sunday’s services, we had already received 19 reports from people who received a miracle or healing!
God extended His grace to each one, by the display of His power, to show His compassion towards and love for each one. This helps me to BELIEVE what I believe! My expectations are higher and my awe of God is refreshed. I eagerly await our next time together as a church.
After 24 years of ministry at Delphi, my family and I were able to take a 4-Sunday vacation in July. It was a much needed, much appreciated break. We had some great family time, and were specifically seeking God through prayer and reading, as to the days ahead. We attended church each Sunday morning. Three of the four Sundays were refreshing. Grace Community Assembly, Branson, Missouri (Pastor Dave Betzer), Destiny Church, St. Louis (Pastor Jim Stern), and Cross Tabernacle, Terre Haute, Indiana (Pastor Keith Taylor) were churches where we experienced the Presence of God.
We were able to talk with each of these pastors, and found them to be warm, godly, humble, and hungry for a move of God. Any of those churches would be ones where I would go back again. God spoke to us differently in each church. Then, was the church from Tennessee. A 2000 member church that started off the “service” with a non-religious country song, followed by a song from the movie “Despicable Me.” My spirit was grieved early in the so-called service, where we experienced no prayer, no Presence, and no altar call. A nice motivational session... but I don’t call this CHURCH! Our country desperately needs a spiritual awakening—and it’s not going to happen by man-centered, man-designed motivational sessions. Oh God, pour out your Spirit in your Church today!!!
Pastor Brent Oliver grew up in Kokomo, Indiana and is an Ordained Minister through the Assemblies of God. Before embarking on God’s plan to establish a church in Delphi, Pastor Brent served in both Peru and Logansport, Indiana encompassing over 29 years of fulltime ministry. His vision and creativity has been the benchmark for the growing ministry at Delphi First and after 23 years, his passion and leadership could not be stronger.