I had an interesting conversation with a friend over lunch a few months back.
We’re both in the process of joining with other believers in our area to form missional communities and to live out the gospel in community together, so we were getting together to encourage one another and share stories and learn from each other. We got on the topic of processes though, and my friend noted that their community was trying to stay away from all processes whatsoever and really just listen to and be led by the Spirit as to what to do, and where to go with their community in all things.
He noted that this is mainly because many of their leaders are very process driven people (industrial engineers and such), and they feared greater allegiance to the process, than to Christ. He noted that the word organic is getting thrown around a lot these days, but that that was really what they were aiming for.
While I see a lot of wisdom in that thinking, I still wonder if it’s exactly what Christ intended when he told us to “go into the world and make disciples and teach them to obey everything I’ve commanded.” I love that a lot of the language around the missional community movement is the language of discipleship. Making disciples who make disciples, but the follow up question is always, “Okay, so how do we do that?”
Because, as I wrote a while ago, even organic things, or rather especially organic things, go through a process. But then again, most organic things aren’t aware of that process, it just happens naturally, as it was designed to–Mankind being the exception to the rule.
The more I think about this, the more I am amazed by the wonder and mystery of God. He has created us with minds to search through history and scripture and see how He has worked in the lives of countless believers throughout the long river of faith that we belong to. But he has also given us his very spirit, and Jesus said of Him:
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” Jn. 16:13
At WDA it’s our aim to help people grow into Christlikeness; and if you’re interested in reading some more about the complex balance between our involvement and God’s involvement in the growth process, then I would suggest checking out our document Disciple Building: A Biblical Framework.
As I grow myself, I’m learning (or having to be reminded) that this building of disciples is more an act of listening than it is speaking or following a plan.
Is it just me, or do you ever forget to take time to listen to the Spirit of Truth and ask him for guidance in all things?