I was in one famous cell church that back in 1996 rejoiced in the fact that they couldn’t control what was happening in their midst. The Holy Spirit was moving so mightily that I was told that even if they attempted to write it down into a manual, the Holy Spirit would change things within weeks. I remembered the words of Dr. Paul Pierson, my professor of church history, who said, “revival is always messy.” But then this same church fell into the trap of trying to control everything in a systematic model that everyone had to follow. You can guess what happened to the church . . . .
Roland Allen says about Paul’s ministry and the spontenous expansion of the church:
by spontaneous expansion I mean something which we cannot control. And if we cannot control it, we ought, as I think, to rejoice that we cannot control it. For if we cannot control it, it is because it is too great not because it is too small for us. The great things of God are beyond our control. Therein lies a vast hope. . . the moment that we think of ourselves as establishing self supporting, self governing Churches in the Biblical sense we are met by this fear, a terrible, deadly fear. Suppose they really were self-supporting, and depended no longer on our support, where should we be? (Roland Allen, The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church: and the Causes which Hinder It. London: World Dominion Press, 1956. p. 17).
Do we desire the messiness that comes from the work of the Spirit of God? Or do we prefer more of a controlled religion of rules and order. And ministry does get messy. We here at Wellspring have dealt with many problems in one particular couple. Yet the Holy Spirit is using this couple to reach more people for Jesus than all the rest of us put together. God likes to blow our minds! My prayer is that I would allow God to work in a powerful, spontaneous way.