Fan the flames | Gospel Spice Podcast with Pastor Jim Cymbala

Oct 03, 2022

Invite the Holy Spirit to ignite your faith anew! Stephanie welcomes Pastor Jim Cymbala from the Brooklyn Tabernacle for a powerful conversation about the essential power of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers. There is no life in Christ apart from the Spirit, and this is deeply transformational. This episode releases on October 1, 2022 which is the official anniversary of the Gospel Spice podcast! So we are gifting you a very special bonus episode that Stephanie is particularly giddy about.



 Watch this conversation on VIDEO and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for free here: 


 In his new book FAN THE FLAME, Pastor Jim calls us to a return to a holy experience and study of Scripture and a renewed dependence on the Holy Spirit. We need a heart that searches after Him – the heart of the truly “poor in spirit” from Jesus’ Beatitudes. How do we then keep up this spirit of “Lord, I need you today and every day”? It starts with listening to God as He speaks to us through His word. It’s daring to pray, “Lord, whatever you want me to do, I will do it.”

In the context of our Gospel Spice series GOD'S GLORY, OUR DELIGHT, Pastor Jim describes for us today the essential nature of humility and dependence on the Holy Spirit. Pastor Jim's first book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, was one of those books that deeply influenced Stephanie and her theology and approach to the Holy Spirit in the days of her young faith. She still reads it every few years, so she is celebrating the release of this new book for a new generation of believers.

Pastor Jim says, “The Holy Spirit watches carefully how we treat the Book He Himself wrote.” Everything has to be judged by the Word of God. Amen! Pastor Jim shows us how the enemy of our soul works in the extremes – emphasizing either only Scripture or only the Spirit – and how balance is essential.

Pastor Jim clearly spells out the illnesses that plague the church today. He says, “God uses people, not programs, to bring about his kingdom on earth.” He addresses Pastors and people in roles of spiritual leadership to call for a return to our first love and passion for Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He calls away from burnout and discouragement, from greed and self-interest, and towards humility, love, and other-centeredness.

Pastor Jim reminds us of the essential nature of unity in the Spirit, and the bond of peace. We discuss the works of the enemy to cause slander and division, and the healing power of the Spirit in unity and against discord. “Once there is discord, then you know Satan is working. And God is the God of peace. We are not all going to agree on the secondary matters. But take the essential things, like discrimination and racial tensions. It is just shameful, we need to repent, so we see people the way God does.

Pastor Jim reminds us that we are all influencers, which comes with privileges as children of God, but also with the responsibility to steward this influence well. How do we as Christians enter this stewardship? He says that we are to be full of His Spirit and of His love so that our very presence will lead people to seek Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Pastor Jim and his wife Carol began serving at the Brooklyn Tabernacle when just 20 people attended, and today thousands attend weekend services. The Cymbalas have seen seasons of discouragement become gateways to spiritual revival, and Jim longs to encourage weary and disheartened pastors to stay the course. Cymbala began working on his first new book in a decade, Fan the Flame: Let Jesus Renew Your Calling and Revive Your Church, while counseling pastors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The book’s message is crafted for both pastors and church members. “We Christians are all on the same team. If one hurts, we should all feel it; and if one is blessed, we should all rejoice,” writes Cymbala. “Fan the Flame is my heartfelt endeavor to bring encouragement to the body of Christ and especially to church leaders. It has no magic formula or personal vision I wish to communicate. It’s just a sincere attempt to review what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, in light of God’s Word.”

Pastor Cymbala focuses on Acts 20 as he guides pastors and church leaders toward renewal and revival, including:

• How to improve spiritual leadership

• How to develop a deep and authentic practice of prayer

• How to lead others into the presence of God

• What pastors should and shouldn’t be doing as leaders of a church


go to for the bonus content!


Pastor Jim Cymbala was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, where he enjoyed a successful career playing basketball in both high school and college. Upon graduation from the University of Rhode Island, he entered the business world and married his childhood sweetheart, Carol. Although unforeseen by them, it wasn’t long before God called them into ministry.

Arriving at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Jim and Carol found a congregation of less than 20 people meeting in a rundown building located in an impoverished part of downtown Brooklyn. Over the years, God has shown his faithfulness to them and their congregation in many miraculous ways. Their present campus includes a large renovated theater in downtown Brooklyn, where thousands of people come each week to hear the good news of Jesus.

During his early years of ministry, the discouragements and challenges nearly led Pastor Cymbala to resign. He desperately sought the Lord for a breakthrough in the church and in his ministry that would reflect what could be seen in the early church of the book of Acts. God clearly spoke to his heart that prayer was the source of the power and breakthrough that were needed. As a result, the Tuesday Night Prayer Meeting became the most important service of the week for the church. Today, Pastor Cymbala’s ministry is still characterized by his emphasis on prayer in the church and a dependence on the Holy Spirit for his leading and power.

Pastor Cymbala has a strong burden for the local church and has been blessed with the opportunity to encourage thousands of pastors around the country and world with what God has taught him throughout his 50 years of ministry.

Pastor Cymbala is the author of several books, including Spirit Rising; Breakthrough Prayer; and Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, which earned a Christian Book of the Year Award from ECPA. He has also done a number of sermon series and other video series on prayer and other important topics for the Christian church.

His wife Carol directs the six-time Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, whose music has blessed people around the world. Pastor Jim and Carol Cymbala continue to serve as senior pastors of the Brooklyn Tabernacle and have been blessed with three children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

find Pastor Jim:

find FAN THE FLAME with Zondervan or on Amazon.


Pastor Jim Cymbala is known as a man who listens to God and faithfully teaches His Word, and in his book, Fan the Flame, he has a powerful message for all who struggle in their ministry. If you are a leader in the church and feel the depths of discouragement and defeat because of the challenges you face among God’s people, this book is for you. Throughout these pages, Pastor Cymbala speaks as a wise and godly mentor, confronting the pain of fruitlessness and rejection, teaching essential principles for successful ministry, and recounting his experiences of God’s faithfulness. I pray that those who are tempted to abandon their calling will read this book, embrace Pastor Cymbala’s wise counsel, and be strengthened to carry on in God’s plan for their lives.

Dr. Charles Stanley, Founder, In Touch Ministries, Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Atlanta

In Fan the Flame, my friend Jim Cymbala confronts head-on the crisis facing pastors and leaders across America. You will find it biblically sound and spiritually inspirational!

--Tony Evans, President, The Urban Alternative; Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

Jim Cymbala has the rare gift of being able to cut through all the clutter and get to our hearts as ministers and Christian workers. Fan the Flame is written to encourage and redirect those who are weary and confused amid the increasing pressures and expectations of our culture. You will be blessed to read these pages and then be sure to pass the book along to your pastor or anyone who wants to fan the flame flickering in their hearts.

--Erwin W. Lutzer, Pastor Emeritus, Moody Church, Chicago

We are reminded that God is Sovereign and in control of it all. You will find solace, practical advice, and strength to step out of the way so God can re-ignite your passion, so your God-given call to Kingdom Service will flourish once again. Follow Jim Cymbala and the Apostle Paul through the pages of this powerful book, as they follow Christ and show us the way to put the guard rails of the timeless truth of Jesus Christ back into the church today.

--Ron Brown, Executive Director/CEO of Teen Challenge of Southern California

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