The Forgotten Foundation: Bringing Back Holy Spirit in Pentecostal Churches

Church Support Australia

Pentecost is approaching this Sunday and this message has weighed heavily on my heart for months. Having spent most of my life involved in Pentecostal churches and working with them, I have witnessed changes and movements come and go. I felt as though I was sitting on the sidelines, with my Bible open, observing what was happening within the Churches. As someone in my 50s, I may not have seen as much as others, but I have noticed a decrease in the emphasis on the Holy Spirit compared to the early days of Pentecostal Church denominations in Australia.

Over 12 years ago, I created a Facebook group specifically for Australian Christians, called Aussie Christians on Facebook. I once posted about Pentecostal churches and a man responded by saying he attends a “Pentecostal-type” church. I inquired which church he attends and was surprised to learn it was a Baptist one. A Pastor, last week, told me in conversation that the Church down the road from theirs is more Pentecostal looking than theirs and a totally different denomination. In today’s world, you cannot accurately determine a church by its denomination. When you enter some Pentecostal churches, they may resemble Baptist ones, while some Anglican churches may resemble Uniting ones. It’s like you can’t judge a book by its cover. In other words, you cannot determine a church solely based on its denomination.

Pentecost Church’s emphasis on the Holy Spirit and Pentecostalism has a long and rich history in Australia. The movement has played a significant role in shaping the religious landscape of the country, particularly through the Assemblies of God (AOG) denomination, now known as Australian Christian Churches and the C3 (Christian City Church) movement.

The AOG in Australia has its roots in the Pentecostal revival that swept through the United States in the early 20th century. In 1906, a group of believers experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, marked by speaking in tongues, at the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. This event sparked a global movement, and Pentecostalism quickly spread to other countries, including Australia.

The first AOG Pentecostal church was established in Australia in 1909, and by the 1920s, several Pentecostal denominations had formed. In 1937, these different groups came together to form the Assemblies of God in Australia, with a strong emphasis on the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.

However, as the AOG grew, some churches began to shift their focus away from the Holy Spirit and towards more traditional and institutional approaches to church. This shift led to a decline in the emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit in many AOG churches in Australia.

The C3 (Christian City Church) movement, which was founded by Pastor Phil Pringle in 1980. In its early days, the C3 church was a hub for the Holy Spirit’s power and presence, with miraculous healings and outpourings of the Spirit being a regular occurrence in their services..

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, many Pastors in Australia have expressed a desire to bring the Holy Spirit to the forefront of their churches. This call has been heard in Pentecostal churches and many other denominations. These Pastors have acknowledged the decline in their churches and believe that the solution is to refocus on the work of the Holy Spirit, rather than relying on human reports, which they found were band-aiding the situation.

This renewed emphasis on the Holy Spirit is driven by the belief that His presence and power are essential for the church to operate in its full potential and to effectively carry out its mission of spreading the gospel.

Many pastors and leaders within the Pentecostal movement in Australia are recognizing the need to return to the roots of the Pentecostal denominations and prioritize the work of the Holy Spirit. They are seeking to create an atmosphere where the gifts of the Spirit are encouraged and allowed to operate freely, and where individuals are empowered to live fully surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit. People cannot be bored or turned off from being in the presence of God.

This renewed focus on the Holy Spirit is vital because it not only brings back a core aspect of Pentecostal belief, but it also has the potential to revive and reignite the church in Australia. The power of the Holy Spirit is transformative, and when it is at work in individuals and communities, lives are changed, and the kingdom of God advances.

It is also essential for the Pentecostal church in Australia to not only prioritize the Holy Spirit within its own walls but to share this message with others. The power of the Holy Spirit is not limited to a particular denomination or group, but it is available to all who believe and are willing to receive.

We need the Holy Spirit again. People cannot be bored or turned off from being in the presence of God. If He is in the house, people will come.

The Kingdom of God is not going to be advanced by our churches becoming filled with men, but by men in our churches becoming filled with God.

Duncan Campbell

As we reflect on Pentecost and the significant role of the Holy Spirit within it, let us also heed this call to bring the Holy Spirit back into the forefront of Pentecostal churches across the country. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us in all that we do, and may we see a fresh move of God’s spirit in the church and in the nation.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the FELLOWSHIP of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

2 Corinthians 13:14 New American Standard Bible

Author

  • Karen Stuckey

    Karen Stuckey is a dedicated church administrator Pastor with a passion for technology and closely supporting pastors. With over 25 years of experience in Church Administration, she founded Church Support Australia in 2011, offering Virtual Pastoral Administration and website creation services. Karen is a proud wife to Gavin and mother to three children, two in-loves, and grandmother to four adorable grandchildren.

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