This past week I attended what is called Mark T. Barclay’s National Holy Spirit Conference. Apparently, it is held every year in Midland, MI—the home of Mark Barclay Ministries. Since this blog is all about the Theology of Mark T. Barclay, I want to take time in this article to report what I witnessed and experienced.
Before I deliver my field report on this “Holy Spirit” conference, let me be very transparent concerning my background so that you will understand the perspective from which I experienced this series of meetings. Perspective is so critical when it comes to interpreting and reporting what one has observed. Show a city-slicker a picture of a cow calving with the help of a ranch hand and they may state, “That farmer looked like he was pushing something into the cow.” A farmer or a vet would have the more precise interpretation of the same photo: “That farmer was helping to deliver the calf. He was pulling.”
I have had the privilege of worshipping and serving among many different denominations in the Kingdom of God. I was brought up in many different denominations, not because my parents were church hoppers, but because we moved around due to my father’s career. I’ve been among the Methodists (black and white), the Baptists (black, white, African, South American, and Eastern European), the Catholics (American, Central American, South American, and Eastern European), Covenant, Presbyterian, Church of God in Christ, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Church of God Prophecy, Apostolic Faith Mission (Southern Africa), countless non-denominations, etc., etc. I share all of this to say, I’ve been able to see how so many members of the Body of Christ serve and worship Jesus Christ based on where they are at culturally, geographically, doctrinally, and denominationally. I have never agreed with everything I have seen, but I have always found the hearts of the people to be sincere and desirous to please the God of the Bible. Certainly, every church has its problems, and those problems are the people that call that church, “Home,” but I have found Peter’s sermon ringing true everywhere I have travelled, ministered, and served: “But in every nation he that feareth him [God], and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:35).
Allow me to be the interpreter of what I observed at Mark T. Barclay’s 2015 National Holy Spirit Conference.
Upon arriving to the ministry headquarters of Mark Barclay Ministries, you can’t help but spot a big silhouette statue of a bird (I later gathered it was a dove). And by large I mean it’s every bit of 15 or 20 feet tall. As it turns out, it’s the same silhouette Barclay uses for his ministry logo. The headquarters appears to be on a quaint acreage with very modest buildings out in the middle of nowhere Midland (but about 500 yards from an Islamic Community Center—go figure!).