As we prepare for the launch of The Forgotten God around here, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Holy Spirit.
Which, for the purposes of this blog, moves me to ask: who are those people who have most shaped my understanding and experiences of the Holy Spirit?
While he didn’t make this list, Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God has inspired our series. You can order it here.
So here are the top five:
5. Derek Watson. Derek was in my graduating class in college and was one of the first people I knew relatively well who identified himself as “charismatic.” More importantly, during our senior year when I had a serious shoulder injury, Derek was the vessel God used to lay hands on my shoulder, praise the name of Jesus, and call out healing into my life and body.
4. Steve Harper. I came to know Dr. Harper at Asbury Seminary, and even though I never took a class under him, I longed to “catch” what he had. And what he had — conveyed in his preaching and in his interaction with students — was the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
3. Jack Hayford. As the long-time pastor of The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California, Jack Hayford is perhaps the leading voice for Spirit-filled teaching in the U.S. I love the way he combines theological savvy with charismatic enthusiasm. Through his writing, lecturing, and preaching, he has given me the boldness to be honest about my own experiences with praying in tongues and healing.
2. John Wesley. I think it’s sad that contemporary Methodists are rarely thought of as “Spirit-filled,” because the founder of our movement certainly was. In fact, the more radical we become at Good Shepherd in calling people to a Spirit-filled life, the more “Methodist” we really are.
1. (Tie) Luke and Paul. No last names given. Or needed. To see Luke’s influence, read Acts. To see how Paul shapes our understanding of the Spirit, read Romans 8, Galatians 5, and I Corinthians 12-14.