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I believe we will experience a greater presence of the Holy Spirit in our corporate assemblies when we prioritize the following: 1) Ask the Holy Spirit to come and lead the church in worship and minister to the deepest needs of God’s people; do this in faith - with expectation and anticipation 2) Preaching - preach the words of the bible as the truth from God and apply it to our daily lives. The gospel is the power of God to transform our lives. Focus message themes on God’s solutions to the problems and challenges we face in life 3) Worship - use worship music that declares the truth of who God is and what he has done; exalt the name of Jesus; use music that engages the heart of worshippers 4) Repentance - include corporate confession of sins and allow a quiet time of reflection so people will hear from the Holy Spirit to lead them in repentance 5) Spiritual gifts - help the church family identify their spiritual gifts, provide training to use the gifts and launch people in ministry to serve one another 6) Intercessory prayer - provide an opportunity during our after the service for people to come forward for prayer to uplift their needs; engage pastors, elders and others trained in prayer ministry to provide this intercession 7) Fellowship - encourage people to remain in the church after service for heart to heart fellowship with their family and friends; provide social gatherings to strengthen the fellowship and deepen the love of people 8) Focus on developing ministries to those in need in our communities to show them the love of God God is pleased with all of the above strategies and will confirm his pleasure by pouring out the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the church family.
First off, let me say that this is a difficult question since we all experience the Holy Spirit individually, and it is hard to know what other people are sensing or feeling. That said, one of the ways I have tried to motivate larger groups of people regarding the Holy Spirit is to help them see the biblical metaphor used for the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, the dwelling place is an actual structure, either the Tabernacle or the Temple. In the New Testament, that structure turns into the church as a “structure” of believers. The community is the structure. We all become “living stones,” and the Holy Spirit dwells among those living stones. For example, in 1 Cor. 3:16, Paul uses the metaphor of a temple to help the believers at Corinth recognize that the Holy Spirit dwells in the midst of their community. It is important to note that the "you" is plural. Here is how the latest NIV (2011) updated their translation. Notice how they emphasize "you yourselves" rather than relying upon the reader to pick up that the "you" is plural: 1 Cor. 3:16 - "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?" Basically, Paul says, "all ya'll are the temple." The imagery of God’s presence dwelling among the people is found in the Old Testament: When the Israelites built the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the presence of God moved in! (Ex. 40:34-35) After Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem and dedicated it to God, the presence of God moved in! (2 Chron. 7:1-3) Arriving at the New Testament, the same metaphor is initially used. God’s spirit lived in His Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple as a “structure” is then transformed into the Temple as a community of “living stones” through Jesus and the events of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit can now dwell anywhere in the world that a community of believers gathers together in the name of Jesus. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem - is made up of thousands of stones. Each stone is cut perfectly for the position it is needed within the structure. Some stones are prominent, while other stones play a supporting role. Just like our churches today. The stones that make up the Temple Mount in Jerusalem are genuine masterpieces of stone masonry. We can imagine that Jesus is the master stonemason. He is building His church out of living stones and is shaping each of us to fit within the overall building. When we all come together in community – as God’s NEW Temple - the Holy Spirit dwells in our midst - plural. 1 Peter 2:5 summarizes this metaphor: “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit is felt most powerfully when it is manifested among a community of believers. A community of “living stones.” When a community can capture this metaphor, the power of the Holy Spirit comes more palpable among them. Hopefully, this adds to your journey of discovery!
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