We live in a time where there are excellent resources for the development of healthy organizations including the Church. Books, conferences and coaches are resources for the growth of leadership and for understanding of effective systems and cultures. Rose and I work regularly with our churches in developing a compelling vision and mission as well as leadership team development. This is important to the effective ongoing expression of the Church within the local community.
We also live in a time where our lives are full with family, work, children, church and more. There seems to be a shortage of time in our days, weeks and months. The thought of adding more activity to an already full life seems exhausting. It is challenging to be present to our families let alone our neighbors who are also overwhelmed.
However, before and within all of this, is the absolute necessity of our Vineyard USA core value, “Partner with the Holy Spirit.” Jesus told us, “…the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing…” John 5:19. This may seem overwhelming to us, the workers on the frontline of God’s mission. Our church might not be large and may be short on resources, yet we can pray and ask the Spirit how we can partner in our neighborhood or city.
The need and the opportunities that surround most of us are many. We must not be intimidated or paralyzed by this overwhelming need. It is essential that we pray and discern as individuals and as a church, asking God, “What are you doing right now that we can join with?” Lasting effectiveness without burnout is found in our core value, Partner with the Holy Spirit. From the Vineyard USA website:
Partner with the Holy Spirit
We are not simply implementing the best church strategies and trying to accomplish what is humanly possible. Rather, our mission involves praying and finding power from God Himself to accomplish what humans could never accomplish on his or her own. We pray for the sick, we confront injustice, and we seek to hear the voice of God on behalf of others. This involves partnership with a Person beyond us.
God is at work. His kingdom is here. He is present in every aspect of the place we live. In neighborhoods, businesses, schools, city hall, the very places we live, work and play. The Holy Spirit is actively working in the lives of those we come in contact with on a daily basis. Partnering with the Holy Spirit is not for developing another program within the church although it could be. It is more about recognizing what God is already at work doing within our regular daily life.
So, we pray. We ask God to open our eyes to see where the Spirit is working. We join in and participate with the Spirit’s work. Rather than asking God to bless our plans or new programs that we develop on our own, we posture ourselves to join God’s plan. It might be when a neighbor or co-worker tells us of their back pain or a family crisis. We stop and say, “May I pray for you here and now?” It might be saying “Yes” to a friend or acquaintance to help with yard work or transportation to an appointment. So, how are you asking the Holy Spirit to guide you in filling the needs within your community?