In the Simple Seminar and the last blog I emphasized how structures, how we get things accomplished, is vitally important in how a church makes disciples. Understanding this can lead to a lot of practical talk on how we make connection cards, arrange the chairs on Sunday morning, and the discussing details about the order of the worship service on Sunday morning. To be honest sometimes all this talk doesn't seem all that... spiritual.
So I ask the question, "How does the Holy Spirit fit into our structures?" Or maybe a better question is, "How can we create our structures so the Holy Spirit can be effective?"
Right now two operating thesis are running through my mind. One is what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit. He told Nicodemus that the Spirit is like the wind. "You cannot tell where it coming from or where it is going." - Jesus. Now you can get all scientific and say the wind comes from this weather system and all that. If you do that you miss the point. Jesus' point is wind is unpredictable. Wind can be a gentle breeze that is refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. Other times it can so violent that it levels entire towns. Wind is unpredictable and constantly changing.
The other operating thought in my thinking is God works through systems. The universe is a system. So is a baby. Your body works through different systems. You have a nervous system and a pulmonary (sp?) system to name a couple. The law in the Old testament is a system. Governments are a system. Nature is full of all kinds of different systems.
So my thought is how does God take something predictable, like a system, and mix that with the unpredictable Holy Spirit? What systems work with the unpredictable Holy Spirit on a practical level?
This is the question I am seeking to answer. So far I have come up with a couple of answers and it's nothing exotic. First, Jesus said specifically to go pray in your closet, a private place. It seems if you have a system of prayer where you go to the same private place everyday God is apt to reward you. To me, it would be logical to deduce this is a system where we can feel the wind of the Spirit.
Secondly, I see the church as the second structure the Spirit works through. Jesus died for the church and there is something special about Christians gathering as a large group to worship God through spirit and word. God has chosen to work through the system of the church. I have felt the wind blow through the church many times.
And I just thought of one more item, the institutions of the church: Baptism and Communion. In Acts 2 Peter says notes that baptism brings about the gift of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was baptized scripture notes that a dove from heaven descended upon Jesus. It seems there is a deep connection between baptism and the Holy Spirit. Then communion. Whenever we remember our Lord's death and we honstly examine ourselves I would attest that God is there. That is a structure that favors the Holy Spirit blowing through our life as well.
This is what i'm thinking about this morning....
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