pic credit: bling bling ©2022 by crisbaj. Used with permission


Real ‘Holy Spirit’ churches are the ones who make the space and take the time to ‘go after’ Holy Spirit ‘stuff’ in their gatherings and life together… regularly… weekly… daily, even!


That means:

   ^long times of intense, un-interrupted God-focused worship

   ^worship-leading that doesn’t talk to the congregation, or take an offering in the middle, but ‘presses into’ a focused pursuit of Manifest Presence… ‘Presence pursuers’…

   ^regular times for healings, miracles, signs and wonders

   ^regular times of calling out Holy-Spirit inspired invitations for specific healings in the room, both physical and emotional

   ^’waiting times’ for prophetic words, space for the prophetic people to share what they hear the Lord saying

   ^‘harp-and-bowl’ times [see the Adore The Lord post], which means Scripture + prophetic direction + prayer + worship + music + intercession + prophetic declaration + time + response…

    ^‘body ministry’, meaning a called-out time to ‘pray after’ what the Holy Spirit has spoken out through the prophets or leadership for people in the room, with people praying for each other and trained prayer teams available for intense ministry

   ^Overall, there is space and time for supernatural visitation by God in the midst of His expectant people.

   ^Wise management of time-schedules, especially when a church has multiple services… actually planning space for services to ‘go long’…

   ^Frequently, a willingness to ‘have church’ that goes for long periods of time… hours and hours… sometimes, even into the dawn… and a hunger for gathering together WAY more than the ‘weekly hour service and that’s it…”

   ^Expectancy that the Holy Spirit will actually show up in manifest Presence, and that exciting things can and will happen

Yes, there is also:

   ^Times of inspired preaching and teaching from the Scriptures

   ^Announcements and taking of an Offering

   ^Times of invitation to ‘give your life to Christ’ for those who came as non-Christians and are moved upon by God for repentance

However, THE distinguishing characteristic of a ‘Holy Spirit church’ is in the DOING, and giving TIME to actual Holy Spirit stuff.

(Maybe the better qualifier would be ‘Holy Spirit pursuing Church’)


One Charismatic leader told me, years ago, ‘quite simply… tick-tock… how many minutes in your time together is spent pursuing the Holy Spirit? What percentage of time are ya’ll ‘goin’ for it??’

Back in the 1990’s, I was blessed to be in a ‘Leaders Weekend’ with Jack Hayford, a true Grandfather of the Renewal. He told us that when he is invited to ‘get involved’ in a church, the first thing he would do is request all the pastoral staff day-planners, the church calendar and tapes from the last months of services. ‘How much time you spend pursuing something is the revelation of your values’ he told us; skip all the ‘mission’ and ‘vision’ statements… where your treasure (time) is (spent), there your heart will be…


What a church does, not ‘says’ or ‘believes’ is the distinguishing difference.

Does always translates into time spent.

Historically, the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements focused on the ‘gift of tongues’ {glossolalia, in the Greek New Testament wording] as a distinguishing watermark of Holy Spirit presence.

In this era of an emerging REVIVAL, it appears that the watermarks are what the Holy Spirit does during supernatural visitations… just as He did during the events found in the Scriptures.


Many, many, many churches and pastors/leaders SAY they are a Holy Spirit church. Many have clearly articulated STATEMENTS OF BELIEF that claim this to be true. Some are even part of movements or denominations that have deep historic roots in Holy Spirit visitations, revivals and renewals.

However, in many cases, you can spend a month at all the gatherings of that church, and you won’t find any real time spent pursuing Holy Spirit manifestations, gifting or visitation.


Many Evangelical and Liturgical churches have energetic song-services led by a skilled band, a high-octane presentation with professional sound and lights, great visuals and art, a beautiful sanctuary, encouragement spoken to the congregation, and then, the main event: solid, skillful preaching with a service-closure by the expert musicians during an invitation.

This, of course, is rooted in the modern American Evangelical ‘liturgy’.

Many Liturgical churches are trying to ‘modernize’ their gatherings, to incorporate the elements of the more–progressive movement churches, but saying “we’re a Holy-Spirit church”.

“But… our ‘worship time’ is so up-lifting and vibrant!

“But… the songs are very God-focused!

“But… there’s so much energy in the room!

“But… many people close their eyes and raise their hands… even tears!

“But… hand-raising is OK in this church!

“But… many people have a heart-felt response to the preaching!

The summary statement is then usually “see, we’re a Holy Spirit [or Spirit-led] church!”

Well, those attributes, by themselves are encouraging, and healthy for churches… but… doesn’t make for a ‘Holy Spirit-pursuing Church’.


Yes, the Evangelical and Liturgical church believes in the Holy Spirit. They have Him written into many Creeds and Doctrinal statements.

Yes, they historically believe the Holy Spirit did all the things the Bible says He did, both Old and New Testament.

[Note how I say ‘historically’…]

Yes, they agree that healings, miracles, signs and wonders happened, especially around the life of Jesus on earth.

There is overlap in these beliefs for the Evangelical and Liturgical with the Pentecostal/Charismatic flow.

However, this is where the road takes a distinctive fork.

The modern-day Pentecostal/Charismatics more than believe the historic, but they embrace a real-time PRACTICE to go after these things [see the list above], and take the time together to do so.

Meanwhile, the Evangelicals and the Liturgical flows… don’t.


Charismatics and Pentecostals go after Holy Spirit/supernatural in real time.

Experiential. Emotional. Hard to program. Messy. Noisy.

Evangelicals and Liturgicals prefer going after Holy Spirit through structured and historically-connected ways.

Intellectual. Liturgical. Creeds and Doctrines. Orderly. Dignified.

We’re all siblings together, Charismatics and Pentecostals and Evangelicals and Liturgicals. We are all King’s Kids living out our callings and identities, living in the same Mansion of the Father.

The rooms inhabited by Evangelicials and Liturgicals are clean and tidy.

Charismatics and Pentecostals… kinda messy, but way more fun!


‘Reality is what’s left over when you stop merely believing something to be true’

Today, many-many-many Evangelical and Liturgical churches are trying to ‘brand’ and ‘advertise’ themselves as ‘Holy Spirit Churches’… especially in Social Media and the Internet.

[Interestingly, today’s lava-hot Holy Spirit Churches don’t really go there in their advertising… they don’t have to!]

The rush of on-line church services during the COVID Pandemic has created a significant ‘open window’ into the actual, unfiltered practices and DOINGS of many, many churches. Their Live-streams clearly reveal what they value and spend time on.

Many in the church-world have hopes of a massive post-Pandemic return of people to ‘face-to-face, live church’ coupled with the desire to use the new ‘on-line presence’ many churches now have as a draw for new people. However, the data [check out Barna and other number-crunchers] is now showing FAR LESS people returning than anticipated, and FEW new attendees, even though there’s thousands of internet ‘hits’ on web pages and YouTube services during Pandemia.

Is your church a ‘Holy Spirit’ pursuing church?


Are you sure?

Don’t tell me. Show me.

Don’t worry. I’ll look at your historic YouTube streams and see what’s up.


Oh, yeah… there is always the kaboom factor… when you pursue Holy Spirit, HE shows up and things happen… unexplainable things except ‘God’…

‘God did a miracle!’

‘God healed me of this terminal disease!’

‘God delivered me from that addiction!’

‘God showed up… the voices are gone…!’

‘God took the pain away… so many years… it’s gone!’

Then the praises start… loud, messy, energetic, emotional…

“There’s no sound louder than the captives set free’**

written by crisbaj


© 2018-2022 by crisbaj/AdoreTheLord.blog 

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**Lyric line from ‘Let The Redeemed Say So’ by Josh Baldwin, copyright Bethel Music Group.