Eddie is a good man who is deeply committed to serving Jesus. I have watched him with his family and he likewise is a great daddy and has a great relationship with his wife. You can tell they dearly love him and he they.
It was amusing watching people look at me as Eddie spoke and ministered, I am sure, wondering what I thought of the whole thing. Afterward, some of our leaders even asked me "So what did you think, Pastor Bobby..?"
Anyone who knows me even 1 iota (is that a word??) would know that much of what went on last night deeply cut across my grain, as well as the grain of our DNA at Harvest, stylistically speaking at least. The loud, finishing most sentences with "and-aaaaa" style of preaching is not something we do. We talk normally, by and large, in a less "preachy" style, talking with more than at the people God has entrusted to us.
But I am a pastor, not an evangelist. One is not better than the other, just different in flow and expression, and from what I have seen, evangelist are a different breed altogther!
Beyond that, the (what I would call) "more physical style" of praying over people......blowing, etc..etc.. is not something that we have or will be doing. Our Pastors met with Eddie before the service to reign in anything that could be received as pushing or physically manipulating, as we are not out to endorse something that we dont see in Scripture.
But make no mistake about it: We absolutely embrace the fulness of the Holy Spirit and all the wonderful gifts He brings. Our mission, "turning spiritual seekers into Spirit empowered servants of Jesus Christ" is something we are deeply committed to. And believe me, it is far from easy, as we are always walking on a tight-wire, trying to stay the course God has led us on and is blessing. And per last night?
It can be incredibly messy.
But we keep on swinging, trying to reach the seeker, trying to expose people to the power of the Spirit.
Back to last night.....
As deeply uncomfortable as I was with the style, there is no denying that real, substantial things happened. 6 people were genuinely converted. Dozens were delivered from life controlling bondages. You could see it on their faces: Countenances were changed.
As much as I dont want the other, I will take the above all day long and more. For most of these people, more happened in them in 10 minutes than could happen in 10 years of church.
Beyond that, when I myself layed my hand on Eddie's head to pray for him at the end,.... no kidding and no imagining,..... the power of God was literally radiating off of him. If you have ever touched an electric fence and know that tingling sensation that kind of holds you to it to where you cant let go, that is what was running up my arm up almost to my elbow. Strange, I know, but there is no denying it and I am not someone to just make something up. Power really was radiating off his body.
People have no idea how risky it is to have this kind of meeting. Misunderstandings, you name it can and will come with it. As I said, I myself have to struggle with my discomfort with a lot of the outer displays of styles and methods. But, we have to have the "net results", period.
So we will keep on swinging, desiring the power of God and all that it brings. Sure it is messy. And I definitely do not have all the answers. And in case you are wondering, I am not going to start being an "and-ahhh" style preacher. :) I believe Harvest is mature enough to be able to every so often bring in other styles of ministry not our own, eating the meat, spitting out the bones, if that makes sense.
To Jesus being glorified in every way,