God often has a different plan for churches becoming ‘mega’
In my early days of pastoring, I would sometimes complain to God, “How am I supposed to build a big church for You, Lord? Oh, God, please don’t let something weird happen today. Just let it be a normal service, please!” And invariably, some witch (and I mean a bona fide witch) would show up and start gagging and screaming during the praise and worship time. Yeah, that’ll make a good impression on the visitors.
I’d spend 15 minutes ministering deliverance to her; she’d roll around, foam at the mouth. The devil would go out and God would go in, and the witch would get saved. I’d bumble through the rest of the service and the moment the benediction was given, visitors would fly out the back doors, the windows; it was terrible. And I’d complain: “Lord, how can I grow You a big church if You let stuff like that happen? I can’t get people to stick around when we’ve got somebody foaming at the mouth!”
To which God would reply, “Well, you’ve got one new member.” I wanted the doctors and the lawyers; but He wasn’t interested in my desire to have the largest church in Small Town, USA. He was interested in a church that would turn that witch into a testament of His miraculous dominion.
Acts 4:33 says, “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.” Megadunamis (“great power”) is that explosive supernatural, miraculous power released in the church on a mega scale. Megacharis (“great grace”) is where we get the word charismatic—“God’s grace freely given [manifested] in the ordinary course of people’s lives.” As with Antioch, God is establishing a church today with great power and great grace. The apostolic spirit creates a grace-filled congregation that operates with impressive authority. God is creating a church that is attractive, involved, reproducing and multiplying.
Why people will come, stay and grow in your church will correlate directly to the level of mega-grace and mega-power that operates in your services. It’s not just about your community outreach programs (and, yes, those are vitally important!); or your rockin’ praise and worship (keep it up!); or your carefully constructed, three-month membership program (don’t stop that either!). Ultimately, working with all of the above, it’s your desire to permit the prophetic and apostolic anointing to have pre-eminence in your services. It becomes your passion to maintain a legitimate expression of God in your meetings.
God must peel off the exterior of your church and reveal the muscle underneath—that is His power moving apostolically and prophetically through the body. You must want to get back to the rawness of the Holy Spirit moving like a rushing, mighty wind. This only comes from church leadership having a sense of security in God. They know He won’t lead them astray, so they permit Him to move as He sees fit.
When that kind of operation is permitted, your congregation gains a level of recognition. The glory they receive in church rubs off on the people around them, at work, at home, at the grocery store. Powerful Christians become extremely attractive to the outside world. It’s divine magnetism, where people are drawn to them saying, “I want what you have!”
And sure, you might have to put up with a little foaming at the mouth at first as these new people come in. But once they’re set free, some of them become the greatest movers and shakers for the Lord. I don’t know about you, but I want those kinds of people.
James Maloney is president of The ACTS Group International and author of The Dancing Hand of God. He travels the world teaching the release of God’s supernatural power.