In yesterday’s post I shared my frustrations at being Pentecostal in a town with no Pentecostal churches. Today I thought I would share how we have survived this experience and continued to grow.
1. Become a miner
Not having a suitable church more than any other experience has caused us to become miners for encouragement. We search far and wide to be encouraged. YouTube, churches that stream their services, podcasts, websites, blogs, books, Bible commentaries, Christian radio and TV and more. You need to dig and keep digging to find encouragement.
2. Be Pentecostal at home
At home we live Pentecostal. We pray together, we talk about the Bible and our faith everyday, we believe God can do anything, we exercise our gifts, we pray in tongues, we prophecy over each other as God leads, we pray for healing. We have a fire lit at home and we keep it stoked. We can’t let it go out. It would be easy to conform to way things are done here.
3. Visit Pentecostal churches
When we go to Perth or are away we try to visit Pentecostal churches. This may only happen two or three times a year, but it can “pump” you up enough to last months. When I go to a service where God’s presence is and the Holy Spirit is moving it feels like home.
4. Have Pentecostal friends
I have a friend who really encourages me. He is a mighty man of faith. He is always talking about God, believing God for great things and he lives out his faith in the world. I don’t see him very often, but I follow what he does. He is always the first one to text me when he picks up things are not going right with us. He is always encouraging. This is priceless.
5. Consider planting a church
This is something I have thought long and hard about over the years. But as I said yesterday, it has not felt like the right time in God. I still pray and hope it will happen one day. I know if someone else planted a Pentecostal church I would want to be a part of it.
6. Keep studying the Bible
I did my first Bible college studies in 1994, then again in 2008 and finish in 2012. My ministry studies are done, but I still want to keep learning and growing. Recently I enrolled in a external course at a Pentecostal Bible college. It is at a lower level than my previous studies, but it helps me to keep growing and on fire for God.
7. Keep focussed on Jesus
This sounds simple and straight forward, but it is so true. Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith and He promises to never leave and forsake us. He tells us to seek first the Kingdom and all things will be added. I trust that He has things under control and in time He will let us know what we need to do. In the meantime we trust and obey.
So there you have it. My tips for surviving in a town or region where there is no suitable church. It has been one of the hardest things to do in my faith journey, but I know God is with us and we are growing in our faith.