Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Holy Spirit in Your Holy Church

We need to be reminded frequently of the role of the Holy Spirit in bringing about renewal in the church.  I distinctly remember a pivotal moment in a D-Min class on Missions and Ministries after we had jointly studied numerous renewal/revival movements in Christian history, seeking some sort of commonalty.

Essentially, we were looking for a way to engineer the movement of the Holy Spirit.  After much study, reading, and discussion, we came to the conclusion that we don't get to demand that the Holy Spirit show up on our time schedule.  Like the wind, the Spirit will blow as the Spirit wishes.

All the techniques in the world (even the five basic practices!), even applied perfectly, may lead to an institution where the numbers look great, and the pats on the back come with admiration, perhaps mingled with some jealousy for such accomplishment, but those techniques do not mean that real holiness is present and real transformation is taking place.

I also learned that most, if not all, of those movements were indeed grassroots movements and most, if not all, very much upset the established religious authorities.  If a real renewal movement were to show up in the UMC, we would come out on the other end very upside down.  How many, especially those with seats of power, authority, and comfort around them, really want that?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Part of a little prayer, I had my children use each Sunday as I served as Acolyte mom, was "Come Holy Spirit and fill our hearts with love, as we carry the symbol of your light. And, let us take that love back out into our world".

The children I worked with are now young adults, and sadly I don't have that much contact with them. I would like to know if they still remember that little prayer. And most of all if they still know that it's not all about the short time we spend in worship service, but how we live our lives the rest of the time.