Friday, July 01, 2005

The Enthusiasts

ENTHUSIASTS...Loving God with Mystery and Celebration

DESCRIPTION
“Excitement and mystery in worship is the spiritual lifeblood of enthusiasts. …enthusiasts are inspired by joyful celebration… cheerleaders for God and the Christian life. Let them clap their hands, shout ‘Amen!’ and dance in their excitement, that’s all they ask. …They don’t want to just know concepts, but to experience them, to feel them, and to be moved by them.”(28)“

Enthusiasts enjoy a celebratory form of worship as well as many of the more supernatural forms of faith. …like to let go and experience God on the precipice of excitement and awe.” (152)CAUTIONS“The necessity of maturity will probably lead virtually every enthusiast through (the) canyon of unanswered prayer, where expectancy runs dry and the only mystery seems to be where God is hiding.” (162)“In the midst of a celebration it’s easy to forget how fearful and awesome God is. Without reverence, however, celebration degenerates into shallow triviality.” (165)“

Just because we feel good during a time of worship doesn’t mean we have offered up our will in an appropriate manner…just because we feel down or ‘flat’ doesn’t mean we aren’t effectively worshiping God.” (170) “Enthusiasts by temperament are particularly fed by such experience (and) long to preserve the mystery of faith. Accepting the mystery of faith has both its strengths and its dangers, for while there is much mystery and supernatural activity in Scripture, there are also strong warnings against improper manifestations of what is popularly called ‘spirituality’.” (154)

WELL KNOWN ENTHUSIASTS:
Ann Kiemel Anderson, King David, Graham Kendrick; Zig Ziglar; Barbara Johnson; James Robertson; Swindoll; hayford;

SCRIPTURES TO PONDER
I Chron. 13:8; 15:16; 16; II Chron. 29:26; Luke 19:37-40; Acts 16:25; Eph. 5:18-19; Acts 3:7; I Cor. 14:40; Acts 8:9-24;

SONGS TO ENHANCE WORSHIP

Jason Upton songs
JoAnne McFatter songs
Graham Kendrick songs

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES
1. Keep track of your dreams. Write down any that seem significant. The meanings should be fairly obvious to you. Talk with someone about them.

2. Spend time just listening to God. Write down what you hear Him saying.

3. Cultivate the mystery of expectancy: ask God to bring someone in your path to whom you can minister; Start a conversation with a stranger.

4. Spend time with children: lead music at children’s church; act out Bible stories for them.

5. Use your imagination to put yourself into the scene when you are reading Bible passages. Try to understand how the participants were feeling, thinking, acting.

6. Use your imagination to consider how you might act on the teaching of the Scriptures, e.g., the Beatitudes; teachings about forgiveness; tithing.

7. Be part of a strong church that holds its members accountable. Ask for a prayer partner or a mentor.

8. Take a course; learn an evangelistic method to give you a witness structure.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

1. Think about unanswered prayer in your life. To what do you attribute this? How do you respond when God says, “Wait.”

2. What are you expecting/wanting from God right now. Talk with Him about it. What does He tell you?

3. In what ways does God speak to you in your daily life? What forms does it take? What does He say? How do you react?

4. How do most like to celebrate God? What are some other ways you might like to experiment with?

5. How do you feel when others around you don’t sing at all or sing softly throughout a song service, don’t raise their hands or move at all during worship?

6. What changes would you like to see in the worship services at your church that would make worship a more satisfying experience for you?

RESOURCES
Carothers, Merlin R.. Answers to Praise: Letters to the Author of Prison to Praise. (1972). Bridge-Logos Publishers. ISBN: 0882700154

Carothers, Merlin R. Power in Praise: Sequel to Prison to Praise. (1993). Bridge-Logos Publishers. ISBN: 0912106263.

Carothers Merlin R.Prison to Praise. ISBN: 157748343X.


Kiemel, Ann. I Love the Word Impossible. (1976). Tyndale House Publishers. ISBN: 0842315756.

Kiemel, Ann. It’s Incredible. (1980). Tyndale House Publishers. ISBN: 0842318186.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

wow, this is definitely me, I am infamous for being a "feeling" person, so I do need to be cautious of whether or not my emotions take over BUT I get the most fulfillment in life when I'm celebrating what God is doing and seeking the mysterious things I see in His character. God doesn't want to hide His nature to us, but sometimes we have to really seek and dwell on what He truly is in our hearts. Worship and praise is a huge attack against the enemy and dwelling on good things of the Lord and thanking Him for just being Him is worship. I suppose that's what being a worshiper on the platform at church is all about... standing out and stepping forth saying, "I am not afraid to attack the enemy with my praise!" That's who I am... cool survey thingy!