by Joel Comiskey
“How did the apostle Paul win the world without PowerPoint?” These were the words I twittered last Friday, March 05, when my PowerPoint presentation failed before 500 people. I was forced to depend on the Spirit of God during my presentation, and everything worked out wonderfully.
Sometimes we depend too much on technology. I know I do. God wants us to depend on Him.
Last Friday in Guatemala, I was prepared to speak with PowerPoint, having received repeated assurances that all I had to do was plug my computer into their system, and my PowerPoint slides would instantly appear on their screens. Five minutes before my opening talk to initiate the seminar, the bewildered tech person came into the room with bad news: nothing worked. We tried nervously to remedy the situation with zero success.
God drove me to trust His guidance. I gave my talk more spontaneously in a personal way, as I depended on God to give me the words. I remember thinking to myself, “God, I trust in Your sovereign grace to lead and guide every word.” Afterwards, I was flooded with compliments. The lead pastor of the host church said, “You have to share that message tomorrow when my elders are here.”
God does want us to diligently prepare, and I do love the added benefit of PowerPoint. However, I was reminded once again that God’s anointing is far more important than human techniques and often God rearranges our circumstances, so we’ll depend on Him completely.
Cell ministry demands the same dependence. I wrote in my book, How to Lead a Great Cell Group Meeting,
Logic and technique, while necessary, can’t teach the when and how of small group dynamics. The Holy Spirit works inside the cell leader so he or she can minister from the overflow of the heart. You can know all the practices and techniques of small group dynamics and fail to meet the deep needs of the group. You need a guide-The Holy Spirit. Do yourself and your group a favor. Cease all cell preparation at least one-half hour before the cell begins (e.g., lesson, refreshment preparation, etc.). Take that time to prepare your heart before God, asking Him to fill you with the Spirit. So many unexpected things happen in the course of a normal cell group: the ringing phone, the unexpected non-Christian visitor, the forgetfulness of Susan to prepare the icebreaker, the broken guitar string, and John’s job loss. When John shares about getting fired during the ice-breaker, should you pray for him immediately, give him more opportunity to share, or wait until after the lesson (perhaps you know John has the tendency to talk a lot)? You’ll need the Spirit’s wisdom.
The best cell leaders and pastors allow God to lead them.
God has been showing me lately that I need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide every thought throughout the day. I realize that I can’t perfectly hear the voice of God every moment, but God’s grace is sufficient to overcome my own failures and shortcomings.
Let us commit ourselves afresh to allow God to have His way in our lives, families, and ministries. Let us allow Him to change our plans and guide us through the difficult times, as we depend on Him to work through us.