HAVE YOU EVER had a defining moment in your life? A time or place where everything changed? Jim Montgomery had two such moments.
The first came when he read Kenneth E. Hagin’s book The Believer’s Authority in the late ’70s. This book set Jim’s life on a completely different course. He read The Believer’s Authority in one sitting. Afterwards he told his wife, Stephanie, “This is the message our hearts have longed for ever since we’ve been Christians.”
Jim’s second defining moment came after he and Stephanie graduated from Rhema Bible Training College in 1991. Narhari and Lata Thorat, who are now the directors of Rhema India, were in the same class. Jim was part of a missions team that helped the Thorats reacclimate to their native soil and regain momentum in India.*
“India is where God put the world in my heart,” Jim says. “Just seeing the hopelessness, suffering, bondage, and despair—that’s really where the Lord expanded my world vision.”
That six-week trip changed Jim’s concept of Christianity. “Up until that time,” he says, “I had a westernized version of a comfortable, air-conditioned Christianity. That is, we go to church, hear sermons, and come back home. It wasn’t Christianity being a radical transformation where we make the goodness of God known to every person we come in contact with.”
For Jim and Stephanie, waking up a sleeping church and getting believers to rediscover what made the Early Church great has become the heartbeat of their ministry. Jim sees the Book of Acts as God’s blueprint for how the Church today is supposed to operate.
In looking at the contemporary church, Jim says, we can easily see a big disconnect between the Early Church and today. In many corridors of Christianity, the Church has become sectarian, he notes. “Denominational theology is followed more than the red words of Jesus in the Bible! We’ve become a religion instead of a life-giving flow,” he says.
- Wake Up the Mighty Ones!
To embolden believers to get back to their roots, Jim and Stephanie have been holding Will the Real Church Please Stand Up? conferences across the U.S. and around the world. They’re sounding a trumpet—calling out into the wilderness of dry-bones Christianity. They are encouraging believers to wake up the mighty man inside them and begin living in power and victory. That’s the way God always intended for the church to live, Jim says.
“We should be outshining what they did in the Book of Acts,” Jim adds. “They didn’t even have the completed Bible!”
- Wherever Jim and Stephanie go, they’re striking a spark in the hearts of believers, igniting a fire that cannot be quenched! They’re seeing normal, everyday people realize that they are called to step out and do the works of Jesus.
The Montgomerys are seeing believers become visible representations of their Lord and Savior. People are no longer satisfied with just going to church. They are moved with the same compassion Jesus had and are powerfully sharing the Good News.
“It’s awakened a lot of Christians to their calling,” says Jim.
They’re seeing normal, everyday people realize that they are called to step out and do the works of Jesus.
“In every church we’ve gone to,” adds Stephanie, “members have become stirred. They’ve realized that they, too, are carriers of the Lord. Christians can lose sight of this because it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day life and not realize that the Lord is depending on every person to be that supply and joint.”
God has opened doors outside of the “faith camp” for the Montgomerys to share this message. They’ve been asked to minister in traditional denominational churches and in Charismatic fellowships. Wherever they go, people are hungry and receptive.
Ministering the Holy Spirit
Although the Montgomerys know they are called to American churches, the Lord has opened doors for them to minister in 13 nations on six continents.
One time Jim and Stephanie were ministering in Karmiel, Israel, at the same time an international arts festival was taking place there. Some Korean evangelists were at the festival giving out Bibles.
The Koreans “just happened” to be using as their home base the same church the Montgomerys were ministering at. One night, Jim taught on the woman who was bowed over with a spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:10–13).
At the end of his message, Jim gave an invitation for those who needed healing. As Jim and Stephanie prayed for people, the Holy Spirit’s presence was tangible. People dropped like bowling pins when hands were laid on them! The Koreans watched in amazement.
Jim then gave an invitation for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. All of the Korean evangelists quickly came forward and were filled with the Holy Spirit! “We’ve never seen anything like this,” one man exclaimed. “Now we’re really ready to go!”
Go—Be an Ambassador for Christ
Christians come in contact every day with people who desperately need to know how much God loves them. The lost also need to experience the tangible power of God that will set them free from chains that hold them in bondage.
Jim and Stephanie are committed to empowering Christians to do this—to become beacons of hope, help, and healing to everyone they meet. As believers realize the tremendous power and ability of the Holy Spirit that’s in them, they’ll step up to the plate and do the works that Jesus did. And as He said in John 14:12, they’ll do even greater works than that.
* To learn more about Narhari and Lata Thorat and Rhema India, go to khm.com/mission15.
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