Southern Baptists got a late Pentecost lesson on Monday from a preacher who's best known for founding the Passion Movement.
As someone who grew up in a Southern Baptist church and received a Master’s degree from a Southern Baptist seminary, Louie Giglio knew he was speaking to a crowd that wasn't exactly keen on Pentecost celebrations or embracing the Holy Spirit, for that matter.
"I've never ever been to church on Pentecost Sunday when there was a Pentecost Sunday celebration in 53 years of my life," Giglio said at the 2011 Pastors Conference. "I didn't even know when it was for quite a while."
Pentecost Sunday – which some churches celebrate as the day the Holy Spirit descended some 2,000 years ago – was just this past Sunday.
Giglio took the opportunity on Monday to tell Southern Baptist pastors just how significant the Holy Spirit is.
"God always accomplishes His purpose through the person of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit," he stated. "We are a little nervous about the last part of the trinity. We're so nervous that someone will always interject the phrase 'if we get too involved with the Holy Spirit, before you know it people will be swinging from the chandeliers.'"
There's a weird misconception, he said, that if Christians get too concerned with the Holy Spirit then things will get crazy or "go all bonkers."
Looking at the reality of churches today, Giglio observed that certain churches (the ones with the dove on the exterior) embrace spiritual gifts while others have maybe "that one Holy Spirit person" or none at all.
But "aren't the gifts supposed to be for the whole church?" he posed.
According to the New Testament, Giglio cited, the Holy Spirit isn't just for one person or a select few but for everybody.
Moreover, he added, Jesus spent a considerable time talking about the Holy Spirit with his followers, telling them that somebody was coming and that he would "absolutely rock your world."
Yes, the Holy Spirit is a person, not an it, Giglio asserted.
And what the Holy Spirit does is lead believers to truth. "He doesn't lead us to crazy stupidity," the Atlanta, Ga., pastor said.
What Christians should remember is that the Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus, Giglio noted.
"This is how you know the Holy Spirit really shows up: When the Holy Spirit comes, he doesn't really want to make it about the Holy Spirit," he explained.
In a "Holy Spirit-filled church, you're not talking about the Holy Spirit but Jesus."
Ultimately, it's all about Jesus.
"When the city starts hearing Jesus' name and not your name, then the Holy Spirit has come on the scene," he said.
Giglio currently leads Passion City Church. He was among the last speakers of the 2011 Pastors Conference, which took place June 12-13 in Phoenix, Ariz. It is held every year for pastors just ahead of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting, which opens Tuesday.