Whether you are part of a small group, a ministry team, a discipleship relationship or a coaching relationship, you will need to be intentional about listening to the Holy Spirit. That’s how we help others growth: not by telling them what to do but by listening to the Holy Spirit alongside of them and encouraging them to listen for themselves as well.
Consider these three Rs in the context of some of your ministry relationships:
- Recognize where the Spirit is at work.
- Respect the Spirit’s work in the lives of others.
- Respond to what you are hearing from the Spirit.
Pay attention to the world around you and what you see going on in the lives of others, looking for where you might see the Holy Spirit at work. Respect what he is doing in the lives of others and what they sense they are hearing from him. God speaks to everyone; he is resident inside us; no one person has the inside track. Then respond to what you are hearing and encourage others to respond to what they are hearing. Sometimes the first few steps of faith in response to the Spirit will further illuminate the way forward.
Holy Spirit theology in practice
Curiously enough, some that have a strong theology of the Holy Spirit do not have a strong practice of this theology when it comes to working with others. These leaders hear from God themselves, then tell others what to do. The implicit belief is that God speaks only to the leaders, not to the common people. It’s much better to come alongside others, help them hear from God for themselves, discern his voice together, then facilitate doing what God wants us to do. This approach recognizes the role of God in the lives of all people, as well as recognizing that we are not the ones with all the answers.
So as leaders, practice the three Rs: Recognize, respect, and respond to the Holy Spirit.
- When are you most aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence?
- How do you discern the voice of the Holy Spirit?
- What do you think God is calling you to do?
- How will you respond to that call?
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