Free Expression During Worship
We believe, as the Bible teaches, that all things are to be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40), but key to our worship services is a belief that the scriptures direct God's people to worship Him with great joy and enthusiasm. As a result, we are not overly formal or ritualistic and we consider our services to be times of celebration and rejoicing. We encourage everyone attending to be free to worship the Lord with flags and in song and dance. Our goal is to experience the manifest presence of the Lord during all of our services and since God tells us through the scriptures that He inhabits (is present during) the praises of His people-we endeavor to praise Him.
The Raising of Hands
The apostle Paul admonished believers by saying, "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting hands, without wrath and doubting" (1 Timothy 2:8). Psalm 134:2 says, "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord." We lift our hands in worship as an outward expression that we are lifting our hearts and lives to the Lord.
The Laying On of Hands
Speaking of believers, Jesus said that they "would lay hands on the sick and the sick would recover" (Mark 16:18). The Bible also admonishes to "... pray one for another that ye may be healed ..." (James 5:16). When Jesus and others administered healing to people, it was often done through the laying on of hands. Also, when people were sent out into ministry, hands were laid upon them to formally separate them unto the work to which God had called them (Acts 13:2,3). There are any number of situations in which we practice the laying on of hands at Sword and the Spirit Christian Fellowship. We may ask members of the congregation to lay hands on and pray for those around them who request such prayer. At other times the pastors or other members of our ministry team may lay hands on people who desire to receive ministry.
On occasion we may lay hands on and pray over prayer cloths that may be taken or sent to sick people who are not able to be with us. The Biblical precedent for this may be found in Acts 19:11,12: "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them."
Manifestations of the Holy Spirit
The primary aim of the Pastors and the ministry team of Sword and the Spirit Fellowship are to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Although we have a basic structure to our services we are open to change as directed by the Lord. Because of this openness you may see things that would normally be considered unusual. Our purpose is to minister to the Lord and to His people. We are open to, and actually desire, that all of the gifts described in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 be experienced in our services. Because of this "a word of knowledge" or a "word of wisdom" may be given someone in the congregation. Or possibly a prophesy (which edifies, exhorts or comforts) may be given to an individual or the congregation in general. The Bible describes different kinds of tongues available to believers. One kind of tongue that is available to everyone is a devotional tongue; the other kind of tongue requires a public interpretation. Both kinds may be experienced in our services.
We invite you to attend one our services. If you do decide to come relax and enjoy yourself and if you are looking for a church we hope you will consider attending regularly. If you do attend a service and have any questions on any of these things or other aspects of our services/ministry seek out one of the Pastors with your questions. On the other hand if you have any questions you would like answered before attending, send us a note and we'll do our best to respond to your inquiries.