The Church Needs to Embrace Speaking in Tongues, says New Life Pastor
Last Sunday, mega-church Senior Pastor Brady Boyd of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado admitted unashamedly in part 11 of his sermon series “The Supernatural,” that New Life is “one of those tongue-talking churches.”
Boyd, 43, not only admitted that he often speaks in tongues, but encouraged his congregation of thousands to ask God for their own “spiritual language.”
“If it’s possible that this spiritual language could lead someone to Chirst, strengthen your friends, the people you worship with [and] help you communicate better with God…wouldn’t it at least be worth the risk today to ask for it one time?” he challenged his flock.
In preaching through the first 10 weeks of “The Supernatural,” Boyd has covered other mysterious topics and issues in Scripture, including miracles, demons and prophecy. However, he admitted that no other subject has resulted in such a frenzy of questions from his congregation, both before and after his message.
But for Boyd, speaking in tongues has been a normal part of his life since childhood.
“I thought everybody had that [the gift of tongues] at birth because of the way I grew up,” he told his congregation.
During his message, Boyd dispelled four common myths about the gift of tongues and was careful to note that an individual is not necessarily a “mature Christian” because they speak in tongues.
“There are different signs of maturity and tongues is not one of them. I want to know how you’re treating your wife. I want to know how you’re handling your finances. I want to know if you’re kind to people. That’s a sign of maturity. Talk in tongues all you want, but I want to see some real fruit in other areas of your life, besides just your ability to speak in tongues.”
He also added that speaking in tongues does not and should not cause the speaker to fall into a trance and lose control.
“This is a pretty common belief by people who have never experienced it,” said Boyd. “The Holy Spirit never ever asks us to lose our free will in order to do anything on His behalf. Everything we do for God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is an act of our free will. God is not looking for someone He can take over.”
As for the purpose of tongues, Boyd believes the “gift” should be used to “communicate the Gospel to unbelievers, to strengthen fellow believers, to personally communicate with God and to strengthen ourselves.”
The pastor repeatedly stressed that he would not “stretch Scripture” and added that, as Christians, we should just “let Scripture interpret Scripture.”
In keeping with this mindset, Boyd pointed out that the first recorded church service (see Acts 2 in the New Testament) featured 120 people speaking in tongues, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
“If I were reading the Bible for the very first time, as a young believer, and I was trying to make sense of this tongue thing, I think that would jump off the page at me and go ‘wow, if in the very first church service everyone there spoke in tongues when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, it should be fairly common among us today,” said Boyd.
“I think that’s a safe assumption on all of our parts.”
Referencing the words of the apostle Paul, Boyd was also careful to note the need for certain boundaries, including the Scriptural requirement of an interpreter’s presence, so as to avoid becoming overly fascinated with tongues as this can easily lead to confusion and an ignoring of the Scriptures.
Boyd ended the service by giving New Life attendees an opportunity to pray and ask God for the “spiritual gift of tongues.”
“Oftentimes I just find myself praying out loud or silently in the tongue that God’s given me,” he said, “and I find an amazing reservoir of strength from Heaven that I never could tap into in the natural, but it’s certainly available in the spiritual.”
Boyd took the senior pastor position at New Life in 2007. You can view, listen to or download his series on “The Supernatural” at New Life’s official web site: www.newlifechurch.org.