Friday, April 20, 2007

Pnuema

I came across the following article today. It really leaves me with more questions than answers. All I know is that I want to cooperate with the Pnuema. I think you do too.

Let's Go Fly a Kite: Cooperation with the Holy Spirit

Almost half the people who think they are watching high definition television (HDTV), aren’t! This is according to a recent study by Leichtman Research Group.

That means that people are inviting their buddies over for the big game and saying, “Check out my picture. Isn’t HDTV great?” Husbands are trying to convince their wives that all the extra money was well spent, and she doesn’t see it (for good reason). The problem is that the system is not properly set up.

I wonder how many church planters never use the capacity of a high definition life God intended them to have, because they are not cooperating with the Holy Spirit. The relationship is not properly set up.

The Greek word you often see in the New Testament for Holy Spirit is Pneuma. It means “current of air” or “breath.” It is from the same root we get the word pneumonia, which deals with our breathing or pneumatic tools, which are those powered by air. Throughout the New Testament we see the concept of the Pneuma. This concept is particularly noticeable in Acts 2:2, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting…All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:2, 4a; NIV). After being filled with the Pneuma, the disciples did miraculous acts and Peter boldly shared “and about three thousand were added to their number that day” (Acts 2:41b). That is high definition living! That is cooperation with the Holy Spirit!

Recently, while traveling, I saw a group of people flying kites in a grassy area alongside of the highway. They had beautiful kites that were soaring high in the breezy sky. The cooperation the kite flyers had with the wind painted a picture of how God desires for us to cooperate with the Pneuma.

There are a number of ways to fly a kite. Some people are kite runners. Kite runners grab hold of the string and run. The kite will fly and soar--as long as you keep running. But what happens when you stop running? The kite comes crashing down. Unfortunately, a lot of church planters are kite runners. They believe a church will be planted by their own effort. “I’m going to do it on my own. I’m going to make this church succeed.” You may be running well and your kite is soaring, but you can’t keep it up on your own. You weren’t meant to function in life this way.

On the other end of the spectrum are church planters who do nothing. They throw their kite in the air and say, “All right Pneuma, do your job,” and the kite falls back to the ground. Kite watchers think that if anything is going to happen, God is going to do it all and they are not actively involved in the process. The problem is the kite never flies and we make excuses. “If I only had a more committed core group. This community is spiritually dead and there is no hope. God must not be in this.”

If you want to fly a kite you need wind, but you have your part in the journey as well. When you understand how the wind (Pneuma) works, you see your kite can go higher than you ever thought and do things you never imagined. But you have to cooperate and do something. You have to tug on the string, turn the kite into the wind and sometimes run a little.

In church planting, there is cooperation with the Holy Spirit. You work together so people can hear the gospel in their context and lives can be transformed.

~ Steve Canter, Planter & Partner Enlistment Manager, Church Planting Group

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