Pastors' Forum

Question:

How the Spirit Helps

Can you describe a couple of ways the Holy Spirit specifically helps you in your ministry? What difference does he make, and what do you do to make sure that you are partnering with him in ministry?

Responses

Pastor Phil Curtis – Franklin, IN

Without the Holy Spirit, I would have no ministry. Acts 20:28 states that He put me where I am. He’s my ability to carry out the Father’s plan for my life. He’s the most important Person in my life that is molding me to be who I should be. He’s my Teacher (John 14:26), my ability to get rid of what displeases to God (Romans 8:13), the One who reveals to me what Jesus purchased for me (1 Corinthians 2:12), the Strengthener of my spirit (Ephesians 3:16), my ability to operate in His gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11), etc.

I stay in partnership with Him through acknowledging what He does for me each day, by communicating with Him, by building myself up spiritually through speaking a great deal in tongues and by sharing His value with other believers. He’s literally my Best Friend.

Pastor Bill Anzevino – Industry, PA

The Holy Spirit’s ministry is essential to the success of any ministry. The help He provides is so necessary that Jesus instructed His disciples to be empowered by the Spirit before stepping out into the work He called them to do.

Personally, the Holy Spirit has helped me in ministry by doing exactly what Jesus sent Him to do:  by guiding me into all truth, speaking to me what He hears of the Father, and showing me things to come; by being my comforter, counselor, helper, advocate, intercessor, strengthener and standby. He gives me the unction to function and imparts the anointing needed to do what I’ve been called to do. Without His giftings, it would be impossible for me to do what I’ve been called to do. I vowed never to speak in front of people ever again after dropping out of college because of being humiliated when I had to give a speech in my communications class. When I was Spirit-filled, the fire of God came upon my tongue, along with the teaching gift, and I’ve been speaking in front of people for forty years; not in my own ability, but by the ability the Spirit gives.

What I do to make sure I’m partnering with the Spirit involves two main things—staying in the Word, and praying in the Spirit. Without the true anointing and equipping of the Spirit, the church is reduced to religious formalism. The value of the Spirit’s ministry can never be overstated. We need it just as we need air to breathe.

Pastor Thom Fields – Kennewick, WA

How does the Holy Spirit help me with my ministry? HE DOES ALL THE WORK!

Without allowing the Holy Spirit to perform His work, all I can do is offer information and make suggestions regarding behavioral modification. Our role (making disciples) is an impossible task without the Holy Spirit getting involved.

Judas spent a lot of time with Jesus, just like the other disciples. However, his willingness to sell out his leader was a glaring example of a life filled with information without the power of transformation. He saw the miracles, listened to the teaching, and even experienced the unbelievable—yet he never surrendered his heart and allowed real transformation to occur.

The rich young ruler was another example of an untransformed life. He was pretty good with behavior modification—at least in his own opinion. However, he didn’t get to follow Jesus and sadly walked away because of his unwillingness to offer full surrender. He was more interested in his own kingdom than in God’s.

A ministry devoted to transforming lives REQUIRES the Holy Spirit’s constant involvement because ONLY the Holy Spirit has the power to transform. We can educate. We can model God-life. But you and I…we CANNOT TRANSFORM.

The Holy Spirit helps me specifically by performing continual transformation in my own life. He leads, guides, strengthens, nudges, and much, much more. But the best thing He does for me is that He refuses to leave me alone. He refuses to leave me the same. He is ALWAYS interfering with my will. Without the Holy Spirit actively getting in my way, I’d probably think I was accomplishing great things. In reality, though, they would be great things with NO MEANING. Trust me. I know this to be true. I’ve done it. A LOT OF IT!

The Holy Spirit can take an adulterous heart that is currently beating inside the chest of a murderer and transform it to the point that it becomes the poster-child of all hearts that is chasing after God’s own heart (see David for more info). I CAN’T DO THAT!

The Holy Spirit does ALL THE STUFF that I can’t do. When I do everything possible in my power and strength for the glory of God, the Holy Spirit causes it to actually work! It’s sort of like being on a sail boat. I can tie some fancy knots. I can lift some heavy sails. I can aim the tiny rudder, but The Holy Spirit…He’s the wind. Without Him, it doesn’t matter what I do or how well I get it done. Without Him, I’m going nowhere.

Pastor Mark Clements – La Crosse, WI

The Holy Spirit helps me in several notable ways:

  • With wisdom and counsel—like Solomon and the ways he helped people
  • With supernatural recall of the Scriptures in preaching

With revelation and guidance through the Word both during study and during teaching.

Pastor Jann Butler – Tacoma, WA

The HOLY SPIRIT is the only way!! Without HIM there is no ministry!

God gave us the HOLT SPIRIT as a guarantee.

Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

2 Corinthians 1:22 MEV
who also has sealed us and established the guarantee with the Spirit in our hearts.

2 Corinthians 5:5 NKJV
Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

Pastor Craig McCune – Salt Lake City, UT

The Holy Spirit helps us coordinate our messaging for Sunday service. Without exception, and without discussion, all personnel involved in any way on the platform, say, do, or refer to something that connects each segment of Sunday’s service—worship, announcements, offering and message. It always amazes me how this works. People often comment on how organized we are and how well we flow together. I always laugh and say, “thank you, Holy Spirit.”

I believe one thing that influences this flow is our pre-service prayer time. We don’t really ask for much, instead we pray in—and with—the Spirit to see what He wants us to declare and go that direction. Sometimes it has to do with the service, but usually not. Thank God for the Holy Spirit!!

Pastor Jane McDonnough – Tampa, FL

The Holy Spirit is such a help in decision-making and in determining direction in ministry. There are so many decisions in ministry and I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in helping me to make the right one or adjusting if I’ve made the wrong one. He is always present to counsel me in decision-making—I’m never alone.

Also, it is His leadership that guides me as far as the direction of the church. He assists me in knowing the direction of the church in every season. I can follow His lead and His promptings and know we are heading in a good direction. Weekly, He is my helper as I prepare my message for Sunday. He teaches me so I am able them to teach the people.

Lastly, thank God He helps me pray out beyond my ability so I can pray about things that I don’t even know about; problems and challenges that are up ahead can be solved through praying in the Spirit. He is an ever present help in every way and ministry simply couldn’t happen for me without Him.

Pastor Craig Basler – La Grange, KY

The Holy Spirit is absolutely vital to me in all of life. He helps guide me in so many ways. In ministry, I depend on Him to show me what the Lord Jesus Christ wants to say to our church. The Holy Spirit helps me prepare every message that is preached, so that I am confident that our congregation is receiving a current, accurate word from the Lord. The result is that people are being healed of physical, mental, and emotional issues, and they are growing spiritually.

There are two things I do to make sure I am partnering with The Holy Spirit. One, I constantly tell Him how much I need His help. And two, I pray in tongues often and write down what He tells me.

I can’t imagine life without the help and empowerment of the Holy Spirit! Thank you, Lord, for The Holy Spirit!

Pastor David Kibben – Cheyenne, WY

Let me say this at the outset, that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help and leading of the Holy Spirit. I have seen Him not only direct me in what I should do, but what I shouldn’t do, and even where I should not go.

When I decided it was time for me to step down at a church in Nebraska nine years ago, we were offered a position at a good church in a larger city in Nebraska. It had been our desire to pastor in a larger city, as we felt that this is what the Holy Spirit was leading us to do. My wife and I set aside time to pray about the offer; it was a bigger church, bigger salary, and plenty of opportunities to grow. After two weeks of praying separately about the offer, we took time one evening to pray in the Spirit to get the Lord’s direction. I remember very distinctly what He told us: “This place (the larger city in Nebraska) was not the place.” He went on to say, “The place you are going is not where you will end up.” This last part was a little unusual, but we just trusted in what we had heard. This was seven months before we stepped down at the church we had been pastoring. We ended pastoring a church in my wife’s home town in Canada for one year, and then the Lord opened the door for us to come to the church in Wyoming. So what the Holy Spirit had spoken to us, “The place you are going is not the place you will end up,” came to fruition. To be perfectly honest, we wanted to go to the larger city in Nebraska, as we liked that city and we enjoyed living in Nebraska. However, it pays to obey and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

I have seen obeying Him pay off in so many ways. It had been on my heart for quite some time to live-stream our services, but the timing wasn’t right. At the beginning of 2017, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart that now was the time. My AV department did all the research of what we would need to get live-stream up and going. Within two weeks of presenting the vision to our congregation, we had raised more than enough money to purchase the equipment needed to begin live-streaming. We live-streamed our first service on Easter of 2017, and it has been a tremendous blessing. We have several truck drivers in our church that tune in every Sunday so they can stay connected with the church body.

Just last week when I was in Guatemala with a team from my church, I was scheduled to preach at a church in San Lucas. I had a message on my heart to share with the congregation, but Sunday morning the Lord spoke to my heart to teach on something different. The translator, who hadn’t translated in quite some time, shared with the missionary and I, with tears in her eyes, that it was exactly what she needed to hear.

These are just three specific instances of how the Holy Spirit has helped me in ministry, and the difference He has made. He has saved me from making wrong choices, and He has helped me to make the right choices. I spend time every morning in the Word and prayer, and I try and commune with Him throughout the day so that I keep in tune with what He desires for me to do and to make sure that I am partnering with Him in ministry.

As I shared at the beginning, I would not be where I am today in ministry if it weren’t for the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and endeavoring to follow Him as best as I know how.

Pastor Barry Fredericks – Newtown, CT

We pray in tongues for the services and the leading of the Holy Spirit for specific direction. In our prayers, we always declare that we are a born again, Spirit-filled church, and that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. The pastor who is teaching the Word prays, asking the Holy Spirit to help in laying out the message. We pray and share with the congregation that the Holy Spirit and His power and presence are here (visitors always tell us they sense the Lord when they enter the church). We do all we can to see that the services are decent and in order, desiring the vocal gifts.

We teach that Jesus healed by the power of the Holy Spirit as an anointed man. The Lord uses me and the healing anointing seems to be growing (I pray for that daily). At our weekly healing service, I have six healing techs that lay hands on those in need of healing. We stress the power of the Holy Spirit to minister. We have pre-service prayer. Those we know in the congregation, who are strong spiritually, join us and we always pray for Spirit-filled and Spirit-led services.

I pray daily for revival, and we have weekly and monthly prayer greatly desiring the Holy Spirit to convict the lost if they have not made Jesus their Lord as of yet. We close every service offering the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and we emphasize that GFC is a born again, Spirit-filled church.

Pastor Wendy Preston – Aylesbury, England

Thank you for this question—it fills my heart with divine glee. It’s a loaded question and I’m not sure I know where to start!

The Holy Spirit, to me, is the same in my daily life as He is in ministry. I personally don’t see a separation. The Holy Spirit is not just my helper, but to me (and more importantly), He is my companion in life. It’s a love relationship.

Ministry to me is an overflow or an extension of my relationship with the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t turn on or turn off. I don’t do life alone, and I don’t do ministry alone. I believe for me that it’s the power of ‘Expectation’—what do we expect from Him in ministry (Ephesians 3:20)?

God desires to be intimately acquainted with us. Through intimacy in private, it will produce a trust—an expectation—that He will not only accompany you in the work of the Gospel, but He will demonstrate His goodness among His people. We have to allow Him to do so, and one of the ways is through expectation. Whether in a miracle service, a time of teaching, or encouraging a single soul, I expect Him to speak, to operate, to heal, to guide and direct.

So a partial answer to this loaded question for me is the following:

  1. Get to know the Holy Spirit personally first.
  2. Understand that God is always present in the Holy Spirit (we don’t have to get into His presence; it’s our awareness of His presence that changes through cares, feelings, or simply life. But He is always present). His presence is always with us for everything—including ministry.
  3. Calling on Him in all that He is personally will produce confidence in ministry for us to hold back the curtain and let Him deliver God’s weighty goodness.
  4. Develop great expectation. He always wants to move and confirm God’s Word.
  5. Work on knowing that He is always with you. Appreciate His ministry and He will show up in yours. 😀

Pastor Jack Yurus – West Harrison, NY

I’ll start by answering the second question. What do I do to make sure? When I had a question early on as a pastor, I asked to meet with a seasoned minister. I started by saying, “I have a question.” Before I could say anything else, he said, “I have the answer: more minutes with God.” I’m not saying that you can’t get advice or learn from a seasoned minister, but many times the answer is as simple as, “more minutes with God.” I would say in this case, it is definitely the answer. The more time I spend with God, the more sensitive I am to His leading.

His leading is the most important benefit and greatest help. He lets me know that something is not quite right when everything in the natural seems like the best deal, or the most logical thing to do. He also lets me know what is the right thing to do when you don’t have enough or don’t feel gifted or qualified to do it. One of the best examples of this is when I was asked to be a district director for RMAI. My first thought was that I didn’t know enough. God reminded me that He knew everything and that if people would honor and respect the position, no matter how much longer they have been in ministry or how much more they knew, He would give wisdom and answers just like He did in my position as pastor. I had a thought, I can’t say it was God, but it was something like, “you didn’t think you were smart enough to do all that you do and say all that you say as a pastor?”

The only thing that limits God moving in our lives is what we can believe for. I heard someone say that God told them that it wouldn’t be a problem for God to bring a billion dollars to you before the day was over. God is certainly able and has enough money and power to do anything we can believe for. The Holy Spirit reminds us of that often.