In my experience the evangelical church has a bit of an integrity problem. No, I am not talking about the issues that just popped in your head. I am talking about the Holy Spirit. The last time I checked he was still part of the Godhead, you know the Triune God we Christians believe in? Yeah that guy. Our creeds give him second billing. In seminary our professors tack him on at the end of a course and seemingly never get to him. Yet, it is because of him that Jesus said it was better for us that he return to heaven and be with the Father.
It is to the person of the Holy Spirit that we now turn in our quest for missional discipleship as outlined for us in “Untamed” by Alan and Debra Hirsch.
The Hirsch’s spend much time discussing the abuses and problems surrounding our understanding of the Spirit and for that discussion I encourage you to read the book. I want us to focus on the heart of the issue in the chapter which is the carrying out of holiness with the Holy Spirit.
First, there is a comment made that I think is worth repeating. Holiness is not a list of “don’ts” but of “dos”. This is imperative for us in discipleship. The Holy Spirit is not a cosmic kill joy but one who spurs us to creativity, joy, passion, and mission. He also leads us into truth and reminds us of all that Jesus taught.
How does this translate into missional discipleship? Check it out…
Let there be creativity: The Holy Spirit is the Creator, and he lives in us. The on who created the platypus can surely stir our hearts and minds to creative action.
Let there be risky mission: The Hirsch’s remind us that God is a sending God. He sent the Son and the Spirit. He has also sent the church. The Spirit of God is leading us on the Mission of God. Will we boldly and faithfully follow?
Let there be communitas: Community without mission is a social gathering. Communitas is developed around a mission. Is your community on mission? If not, then you don’t have communitas and you might be missing out on what the Holy Spirit is doing in your midst.
Let there be lots of little Jesuses: The process of discipleship is to become like our rabbi, Jesus. If we are not looking more and more like him and there are not lots of “little Jesuses” running around then we are missing the work of the Spirit in our lives.
Let there be love: Romans 5:5, “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." To love well means that we are in step with the Spirit.
Let there be learning community: The Spirit of God leads us into all truth. We can pursue a quest for knowledge and knowing and ought to because of our relationship with the Spirit.
Let there be some miracles: Embrace the miracles of God that happen and let it be OK to do so. We can set aside our enlightenment rationalism and rejoice in the working of God.
Let there be spiritual maturity: The Spirit is the means of spiritual growth, he brings us toward spiritual maturity, as we keep in step with him, we will see this growth.
Let there be a lot more discernment: To engage in the mission of God requires us to be in step with the Spirit so that we can discern between Spirit-led engagement and foolish absorption into the world.
Let there be unity around Jesus: I think this makes sense on its own.
Let there be ecstasy and intimacy: I have been reading some in the life of Abraham Lincoln and his counterparts. I am noticing that there is a great sweep of emotion and intimacy in their writings. This is largely lacking from our communities today. If we are in step with the Spirit then we will begin to experience this more and more.
Let there be liberation and transformation: As we engage more fully with the Spirit we will experience his transforming power in our lives and in the lives around us. This will be demonstrated through our being freed from the sin that entangles.
So, which of these do you question? Doubt? Struggle with?