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The Spirit of God Hovered Over the Waters: Creation, the Local Church, and the Mentally and Physically Challenged, A Call to Spirit-led Ministry

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What does it mean to be created in the imago dei? Are all created in God's image? To whom should the Spirit-filled Church minister? Contemporary Pentecostal/Charismatic practical theology seems obsessed with cultural relevance and worldly success that is often keyed to a particular pre-packaged program rather than to God's creational and redemptive concerns. In answering the questions about God's creation, God's image, and true Spirit-led ministry, this article will point the Pentecostal/Charismatic Church to the biblical witness that calls for ministry to all people in all states of their creation. Spirit led laity and professional ministers can resist compliance with popular ministry models of 'success' and find ways to develop a practical theology that includes ministry to all for whom Christ died as the Spirit leads and empowers. The Spirit of God still hovers over God's creation. If that is true, then those who are mentally and physically challenged must be included in the life of the local church. People afflicted with debilitating illnesses cannot be excluded. Those who have been broken by caring for disabled or ill family members must be remembered. As a local Pentecostal/Charismatic Church develops a Spirit-led practical theology, the members may imagine a different way of 'doing ministry' from popular models of success. Instead, as the Spirit of God still hovers over all creation, local Spirit-filled lay leaders and professional ministers can courageously and sacrificially minister to all created in the imago dei.

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