The following letter to Dr. Doug Clay has come out of discussion I have had with pastors, professors and missionaries within the Assemblies of God. It also has come out of a place of prayer for the Assemblies of God.
The bottom line is The Assemblies is a much more serious crossroads that many realize. The crisis is not leadership that Dr. Doug Clay and about everyone in Springfield thinks is the issue. We are set in a matter of weeks to go to yet another General Council that will be about leadership and church business. Here is where the problem lives.
The great need in our Assemblies is a return to complete dependency on the Holy Spirit and a return to biblical revival. There is little that marked Pentecostal churches from Charismatic churches these days. Many of our pastors simply teach the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as “more of God.” We have pastors who actually discourage messages of tongues and when they do happen, explain it away.
When I was at Central Bible College, I remember reading about times the Assemblies of God has 12 weeks long revivals and longer. They were not planned; they just happened. Whole areas was swept into the Kingdom during these revivals. It was basically Brownsville on a more localized scale. Today, we have replaced those with a weekend conference about being a better leader.
Dr. Doug Clay, you know as well as I do the numbers. Our churches are full of people who are not baptized with the Holy Spirit. It is up to 90% of our members do not pray in tongues on a daily basis. It is also believed up to half our members are not biblically baptized in the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4. This is the state of the Assemblies of God currently.
As we go into another General Council, this should be our top concern and nothing is more important. The question should be “How do we get the Holy Spirit back in our churches?” It should be followed up with “How open is our churches to biblical revival?”
The answer to our church growth problem in small churches is the same as it was a century ago: wholesale Holy Ghost revival! The book of Acts is our blueprint and it was about the leadership of the Holy Spirit, not the leadership of men.
As a personal note, I respect Dr. Doug Clay as a leader and he has a hard job to do. I just feel very strongly we are moving in a wrong direction as a cooperative fellowship.