We learned some lessons the hard way. In 1988 we started out as a Baptist Church on the road to reform and today we are a non-denominational (but not independent) church with apostolic values and with relationships and connections all over the world. We have many connections to people of both similar and different backgrounds and we love a lot of people and are loved by a lot of people.
We started out as a church who hadn’t as yet embraced much of the Charismatic movement, other than a few catchy choruses during worship time. Many things changed along the way, not least the embracing of apostles, prophets, and a huge change in the way we saw each other, saw other believers and the Body of Christ. And along with these changes we have learned about the necessity of teaching values.
Jesus spent 3 years teaching values to His disciples and apostles, and initially this didn’t seem to have had an effect on them. Even after all of this teaching they still were unable to love each other, or practice the kind of Christian lifestyle which we consider right and correct. They were self-interested and were quick to flee Christ at the sign of trouble.
However, on the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out, there was dramatic change in the apostles and disciples. The Church was formed. And this was when the power of the Holy Spirit was added to the years of teaching of Christ and produced tremendous change which lasted.
Some people think that teaching is needed and emphasize the quality of good doctrine. However, as evidenced by the disciples themselves, good teaching (even from Jesus) is not enough to produce change that is powerful and long lasting. If you have been a preacher in church any length of time you will know this to be true.
The other side is that some believers emphasize just the moving of the Holy Spirit only as the requisite for change, but this is also not completely accurate. If this were true, Jesus would not have spent 3 years teaching His disciples.
If the work of God is to be long-lasting (that is permanent) and rooted in genuine power that changes lives, it must be based on both the teaching of the right values and also a move of the Holy Spirit. Both are important and church leaders should be involved in both teaching and prayer.
Good leaders know that to make changes in their churches. Change comes easily and best to most people when they are informed about it, there is a good explanation of why it’s needed, and it happens slowly and consistently, giving people time to think and adjust. That was why Christ taught for 3 years.
Values must also be modeled. A pastor cannot say how important something is without doing it himself. Prayer will never be important in a church (no matter how many good sermons) if the leaders of the church are not prayerful people. Values are seen, but must be explained too. This is why some children growing up in the home of believers leave the faith. They know the facts about God, but see the “real values” of their parents who apart from going to church once a week, do not live lives with any real regard for Christ. They learned the values.
For there to be a genuine move of God, there must be the proper teaching (and modelling) of the values of unity, community, love of the brethren, prayer, and seeking Christ. This combined with prayer for the release of the community anointing will bring much and large change.