On Sunday there were so many other great things happening… the praise band playing while the chancel choir sang… kids coming up to lead us in our final song… that beautiful film I mentioned… all of you showing up…so many showed up for the fellowship meal that our overflow room was overflowing.
At the end of my remarks I mentioned seven areas where I believe we can anticipate the presence of the Holy Spirit. Take a look at all seven and consider where you might be called to give some input or where the wind of God is taking you.
- Create a Culture of Acceptance: How do we help each other, to believe in each other? How do we give others permission to be creative?
- Develop a Culture of Celebration. A culture of celebration means that we take the time to recognize what others are doing and when we experience a burst of the wind of the Holy Spirit in our sails.
- We are not all in the same place but we are all moving together at the direction of the Holy Spirit in this time: I’m concerned that we find language that speaks about how much we value each other beyond the us/them, new member/been here a while… distinctions.
- When we wanted to take a break God was ready to take off. This is what we, as a staff, observed happening last year. What would it be like if at our traditional times of slowing down, we instead had times when we anticipated God showing up.
- Challenges of Vitality: Last year we dropped the word volunteer. This year I want to suggest that whenever we have an issue to figure out around space or the number of people who are going to show up or anything else related to the culture of acceptance and celebration we are trying to build, I want to suggest that it is not a problem to be solved. I want to invite us to see these things as Challenges of Vitality that we are glad we have to face.
- Read the book of Acts: Read the book of Acts in the Bible… at your own pace. It is what much of my preaching will be based upon this year. Let me know when you’ve finished.
- Goosebumps. At our staff retreat all of us got “Goosebumps” as our leader told us that perhaps God has put us all together for such a time as this. Goosebumps are a uncontrolled bodily response to the experience of connecting to something beyond our own making. Let’s claim these experiences this year as a way God is moving among us.
It’s going to be a great year together as we “Open Ourselves to the Holy Spirit” together.
Keep the Faith,