How are we doing? This is a question that I have been asking myself and those around me in the congregation recently. At our Monday Session meeting, we took time to talk about some of the vital signs of Life-Changing Transformational Ministry from Stan Ott of the Vital Churches Institute. The vital sign we focused on was the most foundational. We talked about the fact that our ministries must be built upon a bedrock of being Spirit-driven.
In our discussion, we discussed the other things that may drive church ministries. A few of the more shocking drives that were mentioned were: ego, culture, conflict, political issues and excuses. I asked the session if they thought that most churches would identify themselves as being Spirit-driven. Not surprisingly, most felt that a majority of churches would identify themselves as something other than being Spirit-driven.
Of course, some of this comes from the fact that many fear the working of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God often calls us to work and ministry that is outside ourselves and our comfort zone. This also points to the harsh reality of our sinful nature. It is the norm of our society to look at self and our own desires before we look at God’s.
This discussion encouraged me to remind our congregation of where we are in this paradigm. What is the state of our congregational life and how are we doing? I thank God every day that, for the most part, we are able to say that we are a congregation that is living out our lives in such a way that we are doing pretty well. In fact, I believe that we are a congregation that seeks to be Spirit-driven. Of course, we need to put a caveat on this affirmation. We must remind ourselves that our congregation has a lot of spiritual growth still to come. I would like to point out some of the ways I see Christ Presbyterian Church being a Spirit-driven Ministry.
- Worship – Our worship has a quality about it that is able to be responsive to the Spirit. We aren’t so locked into our traditions that we shun other experiences.
- Music – Our music program is one of the most theologically thoughtful and Spirit-led I have experienced. Sure, we may have times when we struggle with opinions on form, but each week the music of our congregation is deeply Spirit-led. If you would like an example of this, just ask a choir member about their experience singing in worship. I personally will testify to the fact that on many occasions I have seen God’s Spirit bring a musical offering together no matter how hard I have tried to foul it up.
- Leadership – We have been blessed to embrace a leadership structure that is intentionally fluid, so as to allow it to respond to the leading of the Spirit. We have also called forth leaders from the congregation that continue to surprise me with their willingness to explore the possibilities and debate, while remaining squarely in a spiritual mindset.
- Prayer – The life of prayer that Christ Presbyterian shares is one that is immersed in the Spirit. Not only in our worship, but in all other forums, prayer has a central place. Whether it is the men’s and woman’s groups praying for each other or our session during hard decisions, the importance of prayer is always there. Beyond that, the heart of our prayer is focused on opening our lives up to the leading of the Spirit.
How do you see Christ Presbyterian Church being a Spirit-driven church? Share your thoughts on my blog, drop me a note, or give me a call.