The Out Of Control 21st Century Church Where The Holy Spirit Is In Control


A Look at Kent Hunter’s “The Future Is Now: How God Is Moving In The 21st Century Church

I came across an ebook by Kent R. Hunter of Church Doctor Ministries entitled “The Future Is Now: How God Is Moving In The 21st Century Church.”  I would like to quote from this source since it is so good, and then add a few of my analysis to it. 

From Chapter 16 – Snapshots of Tomorrow Today, Hunter says: “The church of the future will be willing to be out of control, humanly speaking. The New Testament Church was literally out of control. The church was very much under control of the Holy Spirit, but New Testament Christians were willing to trust God to control the church. Our Bible still says that Christ is the Head of the Body, the Lord of the Church. Our performance often shows we control, or try to control, too much. This leads to a high-maintenance style of doing church. By trusting God, and recognizing the church can be a chaordic structure, we can begin to reshape the way we do church. We can allow the church to be, humanly speaking, out of control. However, it will remain under the control of the Holy Spirit. It is not our job to be the Head of the Body!"

My manta has been recently: “Can you trust the Holy Spirit?  Is it safe to trust the Holy Sprit?  Really, Can you trust the Holy Spirit?  How safe is that?  I am serious about asking, but can we trust the Holy Spirit?”  If the answer is yes, then let’s trust Him!”  Often we don’t trust the Holy Spirit because of the unknown. We fear the unknown rather than embrace it in faith.  What will he do?  The followers of Jesus decided to trust the Holy Spirit and meet in an upper room expecting “the promise” of the Holy Spirit to come, but had no idea how that would happen or how the Holy Spirit would manifest himself.  He showed up as tongues of fire which foreigners understood, with a boldness that replaced the running and hiding mentality, with authority though the believers were not religiously trained that shocked the Sanhedrin, the trained religious leaders of that day, and with power where people yearned just for Peter’s shadow to pass them!  A little group in the upper room is manageable.  Three thousand saved in one day: it looks like an unmanageable situation, but the Holy Spirit leads and provides, and the new Church manages, in fact thrives. What looked like chaos was manageable.  An institutional non-bending structure fears chaos, fears the loss of control, fears the “weird”.  A chaordic structure is fluid, creative, with out the boundaries that holds one back, and is fresh.  It can handle the changes caused by revival or by a movement of God.  Controllable chaos is learning to go with the flow of the Holy Spirit.

In my 20’s, just baptized in the spirit, visiting a Prayer and Praise service at Lower Octorara Pesbyterian Church under James Brown only the night before, I was thrust into a leadership role to head six weeks prayer and praise services prior to a Dave Wilkerson Crusade.  I admit: I had no idea what I was doing or suppose to do, so I just let the Holy Spirit develop it.  Develop it he did as spiritual life grew among the few of us who first attended to 75 people who came the last night.  During that last night the supernatural broke out in the form of tongues, but something was wrong, but I did not know what. Then a second person broke out in tongues, forcing the first to stop. Now I knew scripturally that that wasn’t right, but an interpretation came follow the second tongue which basically rebuked the first for being out of order.  The Holy Spirit, whom I had to trust, was in control bringing correction in the midst of my ignorance.  Order was restored, and the Holy Spirit moved mightily that night!  Lives were changed, our faith arose, and the Holy Spirit came through. After the meeting, exhausted, laying against the fire pit wall, is the only time I have ever heard the audible voice of God who said, “Son, well done.”  What joy and satisfaction filled my heart and spirit, but wait. Didn’t He know that I did not know what I was doing? Yes, He did, but He knew that I would trust Him in spite of my ignorance in spiritual matters.  He knew that I knew that I was not the “head” of that meeting; the Spirit of Jesus Christ was! Even though to some, revival looked “out of control” and messy that night, the Spirit was in control and brought correction and control back into the situation with fruit to prove it the rest of the night!

As I am taking this journey with the five fold, I have often asked, “Is the Holy Spirit really in control here?” wanting to take over the control.  I have learned to die to self in order to yield to the Holy Spirit.  I personally have not seen the five fold manifested in the way that I teach it, so I question myself, “Is this really of the Holy Sprit or my imagination?  Who is in control, the Holy Spirit or my imagination?  Actually this journey for me is all about faith, believing in the unseen as if it was seen, and trust, relying on the Holy Spirit for direction, insight, and revelation.  So it has gone full circle and comes back to me:  Can I trust the Holy Spirit?  Every believer in Jesus Christ must answer that in the affirmative if they wish to seek the advancement of the kingdom of God in their life through revival or a movement of God.

The question should be “Can God trust you?”  Can He trust you to trust Him?  In spite of chaotic control on His part, doing things differently than we would, I ask you, as I ask myself, “Can you trust the Holy Spirit?”  If so, then Holy Spirit, bring it on……