In the past weeks we’ve covered The Already and the Not Yet, Everyone Gets to Play, and The Main and the Plain. This week I’m going to be talking about Come, Holy Spirit, our invitation to the Holy Spirit in all that we do. The following is from Vineyard USA’s website:
“In the Vineyard we believe that God works often from the inside out, not demanding new moral character over night, but rather gripping our hearts and changing our desires to his own. For this reason, we create ample space in our gatherings for the Spirit of God to speak to individuals – and to change us in ways we cannot change ourselves.
Our corporate worship experiences seek to create an intimate place of encounter with God where his Spirit can touch us and speak to us. We are not in a “rush” to simply perform before God; we value the moments where the Spirit speaks to us and changes us in profound ways.
This means that in what we call “ministry times,” or times of prayer for one another, we seek to cultivate a listening posture before we speak. This kind of praying that begins by listening together to what the Spirit might be saying has resulted in some incredible stories over the history of our movement. Catalyzed by times of Spirit-led, non-hyped prayer ministry to one another, churches have been planted, bodies have been healed, broken minds have been set free, innovative business ideas have been inspired, and thousands around the world have been empowered to live like Jesus.
When we pray “Come, Holy Spirit” in a time of corporate ministry or personal prayer, it is not because we don’t believe the Holy Spirit is already present and active among us. This prayer is a petitioning of God, a crying out for him to have his way in our gathering. We also work to neither hype up a time of ministry, nor be afraid of how people respond in their humanity to the Spirit’s activity in their lives.
In our Core Values material, we say, “We distinguish between the Holy Spirit and the human response which shares in all the beauty and brokenness of our humanity. We also believe that as we experience His presence through Christ by the Spirit we will be made more fully human and better reflections of the God-image that we were created to be.”
Without the Holy Spirit active in our churches, and without our willingness to allow the Spirit to work in various ways in the contexts of our local churches, we believe we have nothing to offer to the world. As one leader has said, “…The Church of God needs the power of God to fulfill the mandate of God in the world.”
Come, Holy Spirit with Phil Strout, National Director of Vineyard USA