I am preaching this weekend, and i thought i would post the first draft of my sermon. Its a bit long and needs a good edit - but you can give me your feedback and suggestions anyway ...
This year, 2006, is the 100 year celebration of the Azusa Street revival that birthed the pentecostal movement. Less than 100 years later, we are told that Pentecostal and charismatic churches now represent over 620 million people, and are found in every continent and over 230 countries around the world.
Now – I am an ecumenist – I love the whole church. I’ve studied with Wesleyans and Anglicans, and I completed my PhD with the Australian Catholic University. I know that God is at work in all the church but, at the same time, I am also proudly Pentecostal. I wouldn’t swap our radical and sometimes strange brand of Christianity for a more conservative church. I love being a Pentecostal, because to be a Pentecostal is:
- to desire Baptism in the Spirit
- to be open to the move of God’s Spirit
- to expect that God’s presence will be manifest
- to be optimistic that the Spirit can make a difference
- to be empowered by the Spirit to proclaim the Kingdom
- to know that the Spirit can use me however unimportant others think I am – and despite my own failures and problems and weaknesses.