Church starts with the Holy Spirit.
Most church services start with a worship song, or maybe some announcements regarding upcoming events. And that’s fine. But there is a precedent in this chapter that many people ignore.
Before Jesus exits earth (the first time), He reassures the disciples that He’d be providing a mysterious “Helper” to guide them through their journey – much of which they misunderstood until Acts 2.
After Jesus leaves (the second time) the Holy Spirit reveals Himself, and strange things begin happening.
First of all, a sound resembling a “rushing mighty wind” fills the house they were in. Soon afterward, some “tongues of fire” divide up and sit on each of the disciples’ heads. And then a controversial event occurs: they all begin speaking in other tongues.
The controversy lies in this passage’s interpretation. Many people think the disciples began speaking nonsense, or an unknown language between themselves, but the previous verses clearly point out that they are speaking in each other’s languages.
If you have the Holy Spirit, are you required to have the ability to speak in tongues? No. Will God give you the ability to speak in tongues as needed? Of course. But the primary purpose of this scene is to show that, when you have the Holy Spirit, you are able to communicate the truth of God with power. That’s it.
But there’s more to it. The church originally started with this event, which is a precedent for us to follow today. While this scene might not ever be duplicated, church should always begin with the Holy Spirit. That means an earnestly seeking God’s plans for church instead of what works or what seems comfortable, every day.
This comes down to the individual as well. What compels you to make decisions? I think a lot of people find the ways of God too inconvenient to adhere to, and the Holy Spirit becomes exempt from the equation. It’s like that diminutive kid everyone skips over when picking basketball teams on the playground, only discovering his true skill once he’s given a chance.
Give God a chance. Start with the Holy Spirit. It might be a little bit strange, but it is only through the Holy Spirit that we’re able to operate as churches and Christians empowered by God.