Prayer Meetings Credited for Start of Charismatic Movement, Charles Simpson
It is exciting to know that God is about to pour out His Spirit mightily upon the Earth. Looking back at past moves of God in history is just an appetizer to the great and mighty things that God is about to do. It is important to recognize how God has moved in generations past because it provides precious wisdom for the days ahead. One of those mighty moves of God’s Spirit was the Charismatic Renewal Movement that took place in the 1960’s & 1970’s. Charles Simpson was one of these leaders in that explosion of God’s Spirit. Simpson recently sat down with VFNtv and shared about his experiences in the epicenter of God moving in his generation.
Reminiscing about his early days, Simpson recalls of his fond memories when the Church would gather in each other’s homes. “It takes some clarity, and preparation, and understanding, and it’s gotta be more than a program…It’s gotta be real. You gotta have real relationships. This is not just a program or a system.” Simpson’s continuing words echo what Jesus called us to walk out as family. “It’s where two or three are gathered in His name, and love one another, and deal with issues…” As he explains, during the late 1960’s, home groups were becoming more and more prevalent. “In fact, the Charismatic Movement was really started out of home prayer meetings.”
As the conversation continues, Simpson emphasizes how the Church thrives on these authentic relationships that are found in families. “This is a natural thing that is happening all over the world, and the more persecution, the more it’s happening, because we need support. We need spiritual family.” It is in this revelation that Simpson expresses how spiritual family does not necessarily mean natural family. “Sometimes, in some of these areas, natural family is not supportive, and so, you need spiritual family.” It is the ingredient of close personal spiritual relationships within the Body of Christ that is an integral step after one receives the Gospel.
In parts of the world where persecution is present, and increasing, the Body of Christ is growing more and more as they relate to one another in home groups. “Well the networking of small groups was a big factor, and the revival created more of it, and it’s somewhat subsided, I think, I may be wrong, but I think it’s coming back.” Simpson points to what is taking place in Iran as an example. “In certain countries, where there’s persecution, it’s massive. The biggest, largest, fastest growing Church in the world is in Iran. And, there are other areas where Christianity is burgeoning under persecution.” The reality of persecution brings clarity to our choices. Either we are for Christ or not. When people are being arrested for following Jesus Christ it brings instant awareness of the reality of consequences that can soon become your reality. As Simpson describes, “your discernment level moves up a few notches, and you start knowing people in a different way; and you begin to tell whether they’re believers or not, or whether they’re hungry or not”.
It is so important that we heed these words and understand them because this is how Jesus told us to relate to one another, as family. Be sure to see the whole conversation with Charles Simpson, and so much more. Also shared in this segment: The Church as family, spiritual family, natural families, prayer groups, prayer meetings, persecution, Iran, and love. Greg Lancaster and Charles Simpson shared in this segment.
Image courtesy of Storyblocks.com
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