Come Holy Spirit: Naturally Supernatural
Mike Turrigiano explains his first encounters with the Spirit and how John Wimber and the Vineyard helped him with being a 'naturally supernatural' Christian.
Respected Vineyard Teacher and Leader
A Strange But Powerful Experience
I first became a Christian in a Pentecostal chapel service. It was loud, lively and very expressive. Coming from a quiet Roman Catholic background, this Pentecostal style took some getting used to. Particularly strange was the way they prayed. Folks shouted, waved their hands and jumped around! I was told this was what it looked like when the Spirit showed up and did his thing.
At first, this boisterousness didn’t matter to me. I was desperate for whatever contact with the Spirit I could get, and if it meant getting a little weird, so be it. And God did meet me and began changing my life. But as time went on, I grew more uncomfortable with what seemed to be showy, strange and sometimes manipulative behavior. I loved Jesus and the people in the church, but I didn’t like the package. It wasn’t me. Eventually, I became gun shy and avoided the Spirit and anything that might smack of weirdness – like prophesying, praying for the sick or casting out demons. I may have been more comfortable – but I lost something.
A New Perspective
When I ran into John Wimber, I saw something different. John wasn’t interested in wowing the crowd. There was no hype, weirdness or manipulation. When he ministered, he was relaxed, comfortable, real. I was impressed with how he remained normal while worshiping and praying. John called it being ‘naturally supernatural.’I could just be myself and God would still show up! - Mike Turrigiano #naturallysupernatural Click To Tweet
John was the same person during ministry time that he was during dinnertime. I learned that I didn’t have to put on some spiritual persona, change the tone of my voice when I prayed, or get frenzied in order for the Spirit to move. And the most significant and liberating discovery was that I could just be myself and God would still show up! I could respond to the promptings of the Spirit in my own, authentic way. That was huge! My response to this freedom was, ‘I can do that! I want to do that!’ I was off and running, ‘doing the stuff’ of the kingdom, and I haven’t stopped since.
It’s Who We Are
Being naturally supernaturally has become a Vineyard distinctive. It’s fundamental to who we are for several reasons:
- It means everyone gets to play. You can be uniquely yourself, and God can still use you.
- It relieves the pressure to perform. You can act normal, and God will still show up.
- It opens up ministry opportunities out in the marketplace of life, not just inside the Church.
- Outsiders don’t feel intimidated or put off by prayer because there’s no weirdness, hype or manipulation. Receptivity to God increases dramatically.
- And finally, being naturally supernatural paves the way for people to actually experience God’s loving and healing presence in a way that feels neither threatening nor embarrassing.
In our secular world, where often a person’s only reference for the supernatural is Hollywood fantasy and reality TV weirdness, the comfort of God’s Spirit being exhibited in naturally supernatural ways is, for many, the start of a faith journey of their own.