empowered by the spirit for mission

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5 Tips on How to be Empowered by the Holy Spirit for Mission

Here are a few tips on I’ve jotted down on how I have found the baptism and the gifts of the Spirit helpful in missional living – that is helpful in both chatting about Jesus and serving others in his name:

1. The Spirit can help and guide you in conversations

Genuine two way conversations with those who don’t share our faith are important. Often it is when you chat with someone one to one perhaps over a coffee, a beer or a meal that you can have a deeper conversation. This is where making an effort to develop relations outside your small circle of Christians is important. Communicating your Christian convictions is vital but conversations are not about winning arguments or having all the answers. Conversations give you opportunity to listen and explore a spiritual topic together. Trust the Holy Spirit to lead you together into God’s truth.

In a larger group it sometimes can be difficult to speak up with a Christian perspective. Praying silently can help prepare you particularly praying in tongues. But there are times when you need to cease the moment and open your mouth and say something. If people are not interested there is wisdom in knowing when to shut up. If someone does have any thoughts or questions on spirituality they may be the ones starting a conversation with you in the future.

2. The Holy Spirit brings answers to our prayers

Answers to prayer are another way that the Holy Spirit works. If someone tells you about a need or some illness you can offer to pray for them. People often appreciate an offer to pray or getting your church group to pray. You may offer to pray for them audibly in front of them and lay hands on them but you don’t have to. It can be very encouraging when a friend or colleague thanks you later and tell you something amazing that happened as a result of your prayer.

3. God speaks can speak through us by his Spirit

This isn’t something I’ve got that much experience of with those outside the church but there are times when you may feel that God is speaking to you about a person. You may have a sense that the Holy Spirit has giving you something specific to say. This is what the Bible calls prophecy but I have found it is better to raise the point naturally in conversation rather than to start with ‘God has told me…’!

4. The Spirit motivates us to serve in mission

Not everyone finds conversations like this easy. For some it is a lot easier to be involved with two or three other Christians reaching out, chatting and serving a few others people. Perhaps your workplace has a Christian Union. There could be a church outreach project you could help in. As a small group or a family you could invite neighbours or friends for a meal. You could join a street outreach, help at a drop in centre or find a Christian charity that is looking volunteers. These activities can give you a focus, a reason to start conversations and to show God’s love.

Local mission is about serving with other Christians in your workplace or local community. But be prepared to mix with people that you don’t normally mix with or go places that you wouldn’t normally go to. God has a habit of moving you out of your comfort zone. But never forget he has promised to go with you by his Spirit. A couple of years ago I found myself running a prayer tent at a local community fun day – praying for people and anointing them oil.

It is the Holy Spirit who motivates us to serve. As you read the Bible the Spirit may give you revelation and insight into God’s heart and mind. God is on a mission not just to get people to heaven but to impact people’s lives and influence our culture for good. As the Spirit guides you he shows you how he is working out his purposes and calls you to join him.

God may want you to set up a project yourselves. You may become aware of a need in your community and feel that there is an opportunity to serve as Christians in that area. He may want you to invest time, effort and maybe even cash. It may involve working with others but it may also mean setting up a charity or social enterprise yourself and all that goes with it. Whatever you do when it gets tough you may need God given faith to keep on going.

5. The Spirit meets our needs when we make costly choices

It is great when God prospers us and calls us to be an influence by getting a job that pays well. But in order to fulfil God’s mission God may want you to make certain lifestyle choices that actually cost you financially. God may call you to work part time, rather than pursuing a full time career, so that you can give more of your time to your family, your church or your community.

He may also speak to you about your shopping habits. At Greenbelt this year a student responded to an appeal to do their bit for the world by committing to buy fair trade coffee and eco-washing up liquid even though it would cost her more and mean travelling further to do her shopping. Decisions like this are not easy to make.

You may find yourself short of cash for other things. But this may also mean that you see God meet those needs in miraculous ways. It is amazing when you get anonymous gifts just when you need it. Such experiences can build up your faith to pray for others. But they are wonderful in themselves.

That’s the Holy Spirit at work empowering you for mission.

September 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm
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