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Christian Union
November 8, 2014

‘Life in the Spirit and Life of the Mind’

Christian Union: The Magazine recently interviewed Quincy Watkins, pastor of the Neighborhood Church in greater Philadelphia, on the topic of spiritual gifts. Rev. Watkins previously served with Christian Union as a ministry fellow and worked at McKinsey & Company after earning an MBA ('95) in business at The Wharton School.

CU: How did you become a Christian and when did you embrace spiritual gifts?
QW: At the age of 15, I became a Christian in a small Pentecostal church. My first experience with spiritual gifts (at the age of 16) was both powerful and overwhelming. After an intense season of fasting and prayer, I experienced many visions and prophetic words about people and their circumstances. Over the years, I've learned how to harness and cultivate my spiritual gifts. I still have so much to learn. I'm humbled that God would use someone like me. I believe strongly in the Hippocratic Oath for Medicine, "First Do No Harm." That's the motto I live by when I'm operating in spiritual gifts.

CU: How did your faith impact your time at Wharton Business School?
QW: The high performance culture and world-class curriculum strengthened my prayer life and stretched my faith. Wharton was truly a blessing.

CU: How did your faith and spiritual gifts impact your life as a professional at McKinsey & Company?
QW: My faith has always played a significant role within my professional career. At McKinsey, I had many opportunities to minister prophetically to colleagues and clients.

CU: What are some key scriptures in regards to spiritual gifts?
QW: The Scriptures are saturated with direct and implicit passages referencing the Holy Spirit's role in the lives of believers. 1 Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians 4:1-12, and Romans 12 are my foundational passages. The Apostle Paul does a masterful job elucidating the what, why, and how of spiritual gifts in individual and
corporate settings. Spiritual gifts are given to equip, edify, and comfort believers.

CU: How have you seen spiritual gifts operate in regards to inner healing?
QW: Inner healing is the process of emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual recalibration by the Holy Spirit. I've seen spiritual gifts (e.g., prophecy, word of knowledge, and healing) heal deep-rooted wounds, destroy addictions, and break generational curses.

CU: The theme of your church is Life in the Spirit and Life of the Mind. Can you elaborate on those words and their importance when it comes to ministry?
QW: Life in the Spirit is championing a vibrant proclamation of the Gospel through the free expression of the gifts and Person of the Holy Spirit, especially through healing the sick and confronting demonic powers. We minister on behalf of Jesus Christ through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Life of the Mind stresses salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through the new birth, the authority and inerrancy of the Bible, the priesthood of the believer, and the importance to the faithful reading, studying, teaching, and preaching from the Scriptures.

"Reformed Pentecostal" is a term that culminates my current experience and approach to ministry. A balanced approach can work well.

Today, even though more believers are embracing and operating in spiritual gifts, most churches are unbalanced. Churches either focus exclusively on the preaching and teaching of the Scriptures, at the exclusion of the power of the Holy Spirit, or they focus solely on the Spirit's power and presence to the neglect of theologically-rich Bible preaching/teaching and thoughtful exegesis.

CU: Just how important are spiritual gifts?
QW: Spiritual gifts are absolutely essential to the life of the Church. We worship a supernatural God. We possess a supernatural Holy Spirit. Our new life is a result of a supernatural transformation. And the Holy Spirit has given us a supernatural endowment of gifts, by which we can build and edify the Church.

God decides what gifts each believer receives. All believers possess at least one spiritual gift. We need each other because no believer has all the spiritual gifts. Our gifts are used exclusively to glorify God and to serve others. 
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