Sunday, June 23, 2019

"What it Means to Experience 20/20 Vision in Your Gathering"Mark Virkler, Orlando, FL

    This is an excellent article on small groups by Mark Virkler.  I would love to be in a group like he describes!  Is there anyone living nearby, who would like to try creating one with us?

"What it Means to Experience 20/20 Vision in Your Gathering" Mark Virkler, Orlando, FL

When I established home groups in my church in the 1980s we took two years and worked our way through the Bible. Today, 40 years later, people from those home groups tell us that those two years were where they gained their foundational knowledge of Scripture. They read 15 chapters a week, examined Scriptures diligently to answer reflective questions, and journaled to hear what God was speaking to them through this section of Scripture. Our home meetings were times of sharing insights and revelations of what God had spoken to each of us. We also prayed for needs that were presented by the group members. We cast out demons, healed the sick and prophesied over one another.

I still hunger to be part of such a group. Close relationships are knit, love and compassion felt, revelation shared and personal needs met through prayer and helping one another in very practical ways.

What Home Groups Should Look Like
Paul tells us what these groups should look like: "...When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification" (1 Corinthians 14:26).

We all know that the one who prepares the lesson is the one who learns the most. Since every member is required to come with something they are prepared to share, everyone grows at an exponential rate! Everyone seeks God for a revelation to share. We don't come expecting a lecture, or as people offering things off-the-cuff. We come expecting a "Spirit-led and Spirit-anointed Body" ministry, where everyone participates and everyone receives.

Spirit-anointed teaching is where we practice truth together. When I taught at Buffalo School of the Bible, I designed my classes this way. Students were required to come to class with something to share, and that included me, as the instructor.

Here are some key definitions to help move us forward with this kind of training:
• Spirit-anointed teacher: The teacher must have a living relationship with the subject at hand (i.e. a love, passion and mastery of the area), and invite his students into that relationship as full partners, to experience their own living relationship with the subject.
• Spirit-anointed teaching: "To teach is to create a space where revelation knowledge is experienced and practiced."

What Should We Experience in These Gatherings?
1. Companionship – A compassionate touch (Matthew 14:14).
2. Hearts burning as He opens the Scriptures to us (Luke 24:32).
3. Inner healing as Jesus walks through painful memories (Luke 22:54-62; John 21:15-17).
4. Dreams interpreted so we receive God's counsel and wisdom (Psalm 16:7).
6. Deliverance and freedom as demons are cast out (Mark 16:17).
7. Miracles and healing as we pray for one another (1 Corinthians 12:28).
8. The nine-fold expression of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).

As a result, the fire of God grows in our hearts and we experience increased personal freedom. The opportunity to practice the exercise of the gifts of the Spirit in this safe setting results in increased boldness to step forward and minister by the Spirit in public settings.

Revival Through God's Revelation
God has used home groups to spread revival. China's house churches have grown the Church from 1 million to 60 million in recent years.

I believe that instead of focusing so much on addressing sin, the focus of a "Spirit Life Circle" (home group) should be on receiving of revelation from God (Ephesians 1:17-18). When His light comes in, sin and darkness flee as a natural byproduct, without us ever having to focus on it. Biblically speaking, our focus is to be on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). There is no command to fix our eyes on our sin. We become a reflection of what/whom we focus on. So we choose to focus on JESUS, and become a reflection of Him!

Dr. Mark Virkler
President, Christian Leadership University (CLU)
Communion With God Ministries

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