Seven "WOW" Factors of Exciting Churches
“WOW!” is an exclamation, spoken spontaneously when an exciting thing seen or heard defies description. In a “WOW!” factor church exciting things can happen at any time. “WOW!” factor churches are packed with people eager to be involved in what the Spirit of God is doing. These churches are exciting for many reasons, and the seven “WOW!” factors listed in this book are some of them. Expect God to touch you as you read, and give you a personal “WOW!” experience!
“WOW!” factor #1 -- Overruling Authority
When Jesus demonstrated his power to forgive sins by healing a paralyzed man, the unprecedented act drew from astonished onlookers the exclamation, “We have seen strange things today!” (Luke 5:26) They had witnessed a miracle that defied explanation. In declaring the man’s sin forgiven and in healing him to prove beyond doubt that he was forgiven, Jesus had introduced a “WOW!” factor.
Jesus demonstrated overruling authority after four men had lowered the paralyzed man through a hole in the roof and into the presence of his healing power. His authority on earth to forgive sins overruled the strong protestations of the scribes and Pharisees that only God could forgive sins. The miracle stunned those who witnessed it and demonstrated that whatever Jesus loosed on earth was loosed in heaven. This authority was vastly extended after Jesus rose from the dead and received all authority in heaven and in earth (Matthew 18:18).
Authority legitimizes power. When the miracles of Jesus could not be denied the enemies of Jesus questioned his authority to perform them (Luke 20:2). The first chapters of the book of Acts reveal how the apostles’ authority to work miracles in the name of Jesus was also challenged. The ruling authority that challenged Jesus during his ministry tried to stop them from using his name, but the apostles overruled it. The authority of the name of Jesus is still challenged by those who refuse to accept “the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).
The name of Jesus is his reputation and identifies him with his accomplishments. “A good name is better than ointment.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1) Jesus of Nazareth is the greatest authority in heaven and in earth. Our authority to do the works that Jesus did is one that overrules all others.
We pray and act every day in the name of Jesus, but tend to forget that his name is a synonym for his authority. All too often the name “Jesus” comes to our lips as a proper noun, rather than as a name that carries the utmost authority.