Tom is one of my heroes. He became one of my heroes when I heard about all he has been through in his ministry and personal life. He is open, accessible, approachable, sincere, real, he’s been there, done it, and back again. I’d like to think that I can call him a friend as well as a hero.

This year’s senior pastors conference theme is “Continuing in the Spirit” and the speakers will be taking us through various portions of the book of Acts. Tom had the first session. Here are some quotes from my notes.

Tom Stipe, Acts 1:1 – 2:4

  • Can we finish in the Spirit?
  • It doesn’t matter where you are in your course, the question applies.
  • CC began in the Spirit, and the Spirit doesn’t change.
  • Finishing means looking at the beginning.
  • Luke is the gospel of Jesus, Acts is the story of the Christians church. If you have an experience with Jesus you will have an experience with the church.
  • If the HS hasn’t commanded you to go into this line of work, don’t do it.
  • Faith in the resurrection was crucial to the early church. They had to argue the official position all the time. Easter was everyday for them.
  • Everyone knew about the crucifixion. The resurrection was very private.
  • Ordinary people were about to do extraordinary things because of the Spirit of God in their lives.
  • Did they miss Jesus between his departure and the baptism?
  • Witness is used 29 times in Acts. It is someone who shares what they have seen and heard, not just what they know. Witnessing is putting your faith on display.
  • Expectancy drove the days of beginning in the Spirit (early CC days)
  • The HS is not the church janitor, He is the driving force of everything.

On a personal level, I was a excited. This is something that has been on my mind for years and I was excited to hear someone else with a voice speak it loudly for all to hear. My only concern was that there were/are ears who head the same thing and thought to themselves, “Yes, I know that, we all know that, now move on to something else more important.” I’m sure there were those thinking along those lines.

On a pastoral, take-it-home level, I want the people in my church to hear this, to know this, to do this. My church has been through much healing and growth in depth over the past three years. My church should not have survived the events that brought me here in the condition that it was in at the time. I didn’t salvage it, the Holy Spirit of God did. While we have come a log way, we still have not caught fire. There is more that the Lord wants to do and it can only be done by the power of the Spirit. We need that fresh wind and fresh fire that Jim Cymbala talks about. And it only happens through, prayer, surrender, waiting and faith. Asking. Seeking. Knocking. It needs to be real in order for it to be real.

Best 36 minutes I’ve every heard on the Holy Spirt.