Categories
Hearing God Holy Spirit Learning

Follow Holy Spirit and Improvise?

https://achristianpilgrim.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/following-the-leading-of-the-holy-spirit-acts-413-21/

How do you start a small business successfully, minister successfully when the unexpected happens, adapt to changes in the classroom or with a family member – and deal with other situations no one can figure out in advance?

(I know small businesses are told to use linear business plans like large businesses, and this works out well only in certain instances. That’s another story.)

You improvise. Or follow Holy Spirit. Or best of all, do both!

How do you give a prophecy? Often, by opening your mouth and starting. Follow Holy Spirit.

How do you follow Holy Spirit?

  • One or two steps at a time. Discover, then walk more. Like moving in the dark with a candle.
  • In a non-linear way. You cannot figure it out in advance.
  • God loves to give us wonderful surprises!
  • God seems to make it up for you as you go along.

How do you Improvise? Here’s a start:

  • Agree. Don’t say, “No”. Don’t block what is going on.
  • Do something new, add to the action.
  • Don’t ask open ended questions.
  • Focus on the hear and now.
  • Establish where you are.
  • Be specific and add details.
  • Do something different – change!
  • Make it up as you go along, following in flow with your partner.

Make it up as you go alone. Pay attention and add something specific and clear. Focus on the here and now, being where you are. Be specific. Add something different!

You cannot work for linear plans to do improvisation. They just won’t work. Respond to what is in front of you, one step at a time. You cannot figure it out in advance.

Notice the similarity?

When following Holy Spirit, learn about and then forget the “rules” of improvisation. See how it goes, what you can learn, how you can do even better next time.

Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep listening and paying attention. Act on what you are learning, seeing and hearing.

I believe this is what Jesus did:

6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, [and] being made in the likeness of men

https://biblehub.com/nas/philippians/2.htm

You will be successful when you follow Holy Spirit and are willing to improvise.

Categories
Conversation with God Discipleship Hearing God Holy Spirit Joy Learning Ministry Miracles

Rest and Dream

Rest and dream. Be inspired. Like Jesus.

Artwork by Greg Olson

Pause. Just rest and watch the sky.

Categories
Discipleship Getting Help Leadership Learning Ministry Prayer

Discipling like Jesus

Jesus had a pattern for making disciples. We can see some of it in Scriptures, and we can make educated guesses to fill in some details. How he taught was common to Hebrew teachers, rabbi’s, in those days.

I’ve spoken with seasoned disciple makers and missionaries who’ve done this, and they helped me get an even better practical picture.

First, as with everything, get guidance. Then pray. Pray with clear prayer targets – such as successful disciple making of disciples who make yet more disciples.

The basic pattern is simple: show, tell, and do. Probably even explain, show, discuss. Repeat until they are ready to do.

When you care, being a disciple is easy. (Good Friday by Anita Brown.)

The pattern is not classroom instruction, reading about or learning about things. It’s being shown, discussion before and after. It’s learning to do what you do. With an explanation. It is not learning about things. Theory isn’t nearly enough.

It might have worked something along these lines:

  • First, discuss what you will do, what they will see, especially so they know what to look for, what is significant.
  • Demonstrate in front of them, so they can see.
  • Third, discuss how it went. How it was as you’d hoped and expected, things that were different. Issues and complications, if any; and especially how it went well.
  • Let them ask questions as part of this discussion. Answer.
  • Maybe show them several times. Is often a good idea, especially with something new.
  • Send them out to go do as you did.
  • Have them report back to you. Let them ask questions. Make comments so they learn even more. (If they rejoice that even demons do as they command, give them the perspective that yes, this is good, and that it is even more important that their names are written in heaven – for instance.)
  • Send them out again.
  • Repeat this cycle until all are satisfied that good learning has taken place.

Disciple making is demonstration with explanation. Then they demonstrate, and ask questions, and you give additional perspective as is useful.

Disciple making is not a classroom activity. It is not talking about things. It’s being shown and then doing as shown. With explanations as is useful.

Additional notes:

  • Train disciples in how to make disciples. They will demonstrate. Disciples multiply by themselves, making disciples.
  • Disciples normally go out and minister in pairs. Ministry is normally in pairs. Always minister in pairs when you can. The more senior is making a disciple of the less experienced person. The less senior person assists and helps the more senior. This gives them something useful to do and provides practical help.
  • When ministering, when one talks, the other prays for the one ministering. Results are much better this way.
  • Grab someone out of a crowd who is watching, if you have no one else. Let them assist you and pray for you while you minister. Help them learn and discuss what happened. Not just ministering, always teaching.
  • A prayer support group is even more helpful. Set one up. If nothing else, find local people who are sympathetic and ask for their prayer support.
  • Prayer support is primarily for the minister, so they are more inspired and do well. They will do better. The people praying will pay more attention as they are invested, and they will learn more. Prayer is not primarily for the person being ministered to, as tempting as this may be. It could be helpful, but not nearly as helpful as praying for the person ministering.

Go, and make disciples. Make mistakes. Admit them and discuss them, so everyone can learn from them: we learn a lot through mistakes. Share the learning, and do not hold back such a wonderful opportunity. And of course celebrate what goes well!

This is the pattern that Jesus used. Go, and do the same.

And, there is a next step….

Categories
Church Life Conversation with God Discipleship Joy Learning

The Discovery Cycle

Why does joy come so easily in the morning? Because it’s a fresh day, a fresh start. New discoveries are waiting to be made.

In Christian gatherings, new discoveries are made from time to time. New to the people who are present. Then the discoveries are explored.

This is a time of increasing attendance, with more people eager to learn what’s next. To explore and practice what is being learned about.

The Jesus Movement, re-discovery of Holy Spirit, practicing Spiritual Gifts, growing in the use and application of Spiritual Gifts. Prophecy that encourages and edifies and speaks with the passion of a full heart holding back nothing. There have been many more, and thee will be yet more, I promise.

Each individual can go through such cycles. Entire groups can experience such cycles together.

After a while, what was new to you becomes taken for granted – in a healthy way, it’s becoming a part of your life, now.

You may even become a bit bored. Try not to get stuck or bitter because learning is going so well and freshness is waning.

Not to worry. God has you covered. New discoveries are coming again.

The cycle is always refreshing itself, the cycle of discovery and learning goes on…for eternity!

You get to know who God is more and better. You get to learn your own identity more deeply and in new ways. You get to exercise and learn new gifts, grow more familiar gifts into greater maturity and skill.

Learning and discovery cycles go on…they come, and the newness seems to go. Another one is coming soon. I wonder what this one will be like?

Categories
Discipleship Jesus's Communication Learning

We Miss What Jesus Didn’t Say

In our culture, we notice things thing spoken. This is especially true of the more left-brained among us, the more verbally oriented.

We too often miss things that Jesus shows us but does not put into words.

We need what he speaks about, and we need what he shows us: we need both!

He tells people, not infrequently, that it was their faith that made them whole (healed them). Yet it was their faith touching his Anointing that resulted in the miracle; that’s when miracles often happen.

He shows us exorcism, but does not tell us it’s the same underlying process used in healing!

He tells us to heal when preaching The Good News of the Kingdom. He shows, but does not tell us it’s the same underlying process.

He tells us to free the bound, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and make disciples of all people groups. He shows, but does not tell us it’s the same underlying process.

I believe if the dead were unwilling to be raised, they would not be: it needs agreement.

Miracles involving people being healed or freed seem to require some agreement; it takes some decision.

Miracles involving things such as calming a storm – he commands. Yet we hear not of water being turned into wine – was it implicit? (He told his mother what to do – was that enough? The rest implicit? I wonder….)

He commanded a storm, commands material things & demons – neither of which have their own authority and are under his authority. Now our authority, too. I do not recall him explaining such differences. He showed us differences.

I can’t claim to know every example and that I can even explain every example. What I can tell you is this: watch what Jesus shows us and listen to what he tells us with words. You may learn something new and even something wonderful.