By Jay Pathak
Have you ever wanted to be a superhero? Flying through the sky, wind blowing in your hair, bending steel bars in your hands – admired by everyone and feared by your enemies? Maybe you weren’t into comic book characters. Maybe rock musicians are your cup of tea. Or the walls of your room were covered with sports heroes. We all have someone that we look up to and admire. We admire them because we believe that they are different than us, and with some of our heroes, they seem unreachable.
In churches that believe in the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit, and want to see the kinds of miracles we see Jesus and the apostles doing, we create a whole different kind of superhero. We stand in rapt awe watching the ‘man of God’ on the platform delivering prophetic words proclaiming healing into the microphone. They exude such confidence and charisma, they seem far removed from the petty doubts and fears that normal people experience. They have stories that amaze and power that is obviously from God himself.
Just like the gifted athletes we watch on television, we begin to watch these leaders with awe and admiration. The more we watch them, the more convinced we are of their other- worldliness. We are more convinced with every moment that what they do they do easily – and we should never even attempt to try.
The phrase that John Wimber was known to say often was ‘everyone gets to play.’ His goal was to create opportunities for normal people to do extraordinary things. The action wasn’t always on the stage, but all around the room. In those Vineyard meetings he would give opportunities for people to learn how to pray for one another and begin discerning how to hear God’s voice.
As that practice built confidence, faith would spill out of the room, travelling everywhere those people went. The goal of the Vineyard has always been to ‘equip the saints for the work of ministry’ (Eph. 4:12a). To train ordinary people to do extraordinary things – that has always been the idea behind the calling of the Vineyard movement in the world.
That sense of confidence and faith must have been the same feeling that the 72 felt after being sent out by Jesus (Lk. 10). These ordinary men and women came back amazed at what God had done through them. They couldn’t believe that it worked. The sick were healed, and even the demons submitted when they prayed in Jesus’ name. And Jesus’ response to their excitement? Joy. Pure joy.
I bet he still feels the same way. He loves watching normal people do extraordinary things in the power of his name. Everyone gets to play.
This article is reproduced from the booklet 'Everyone Gets To Play' with permission from Vineyard USA.
The complete booklet and other booklets in this series are available to buy from Vineyard Resources.