What does the use of the spiritual gifts look like in the world today? How can we grow the body of Christ in the use of the gifts? How do we carry the use of the gifts into our everyday lives?
At this year’s Winter Conference, Father Dave Larlee of All Saints Dallas will moderate a panel discussion called “The Corinthian Initiative,” a conversation about growing the Church in the use of the gifts of the Spirit. Lay leaders and clergy alike are invited to come hear stories from church leaders and ask questions during this Friday afternoon session.
We recently sat down with Father Larlee to learn more about the panelists and the goals of the Corinthian Initiative.
What is the Corinthian Initiative?
It’s an opportunity for people to hear from practitioners and leaders who are pressing into growing the body of Christ in the spiritual gifts. Together we will look at how we can nurture the expression and ministry of the Holy Spirit in our congregations.
Why is it named “The Corinthian Initiative”?
I chose the name because for the past 3 years at All Saints we’ve been studying the book of 1 Corinthians during “First Fruits”, a prayer and healing service we hold the first Friday of the month. At each service we’ve explored what the different gifts of the Spirit are and what using these gifts in the church looks like today.
What we’ve seen is the use of the gifts is one of the primary ways of working out the calling God has given use, whether we are seeking to be evangelists, pastors, or teachers.
What is the format for this session?
I will be facilitating a panel of four guests who have experience in this area. This is not a plenary talk and not a workshop exactly. It will be a chance to hear the panelists’ stories and to ask questions. I’ve intentionally asked people to speak who are not a part of the Anglican Mission so we can see how other people are doing things in God’s kingdom and how we can learn from them.
Who are the panelists?
Bishop Todd Atkinson, John and Ann Coles, and Howard Espie.
+Todd is the Bishop of Via Church Lethbridge and Via Apostolica in Canada. He recently came to All Saints and spoke about the gift of faith. He would be the first to tell you that the gifts of the Spirit are absolutely essential to their movement of church planting, and aren’t simply add-ons or a special interest.
The Coles have led a renewal movement in the UK that has reached across denominations and really sought to empower the local church in the things of the Spirit. When I worked in the UK, our congregation attended their leadership conferences and training for teaching on healing prayer and prophecy. It was really helpful and informed how we went about our everyday life in the parish.
Howard is a lovely Scotsman and businessman with extensive training in dream interpretation. He has wonderful stories of talking to people who don’t know Jesus about dreams they’ve had as a means to lead them to faith.
Why the panel format?
We all learn in different ways, and I personally love the format of hearing an open conversation and having the opportunity to ask questions. In some ways, this session is to begin a conversation that we hope to carry on during the rest of the conference.
Who should attend?
Everyone. This is for people of all ages, and in many ways is especially for lay people. Our parishioners are the ones who are in the front lines of Kingdom ministry. We want to share and recapture a vision for how a person can live out a life filled with the Spirit.
This session is for people who have a heart to see the Lord break into their school, workplace, churches, and family. For people who are hungry for more.
When will it take place?
The session will be held Friday afternoon. We’ve intentionally scheduled it before the Prayer and Healing worship service that take place later that evening. People will have a chance to ask questions during our session and then that evening we will call on the Holy Spirit to manifest His presence.
What do you hope people will get out of this session?
The aim is that people would walk away with ideas, insights, and courage to step out in faith to ask for a fresh impartation of the gifts. We want people to get a glimpse into how God is moving across the globe and how we can do this where we are. We also hope this will lead other churches to put in a place a regular moment in the life of their congregation where they are gathering together to seek more of the spiritual gifts.
The Corinthian Initiative Panel will take place Friday afternoon, January 27, at Winter Conference 2017. To register for Winter Conference visit: http://www.theamia.org/winter-conference.html