Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Primacy of the Holy Spirit in MIssion

I was invited to attend a church planting consultation. I guess the main purpose of the meeting is to convince the local pastors, missionaries and church leaders regardless of denomination, organization, and whatever. However, the goal was not accomplished because most of the Pastors and church leaders did not stay to respond to the invitation. The presentation focused on the incredible accomplishments of the movement in Asian countries (some of them are statistically impossible).
I believe that church planting or mission for that matter is never truly a human accomplishment. And thus, we do not really need to brag about it. It is because it is accomplished by the Holy Spirit through his servants. As Luzbetak says:
The mission of the Church is essentially a spiritual activity--the work of the Holy Spirit. Effectiveness and true success in mission, we maintain, cannot be measured except in terms of the supernatural. Behind every human effort there must be the Power and Free Gift of God (the Holy Spirit and and his Grace). We wish, therefore, to emphasize and declare loudly and clearly, leaving no doubt behind whatsoever, that the scientific planning so strongly emphasized in our approach to mission is in no way meant to be a substitute for the Holy Spirit. Rather, we acknowledge the truth of the Lord's warning that "apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Without the Holy Spirit, the Church would be but a lifeless body, a corpse, and at best a "noisy gong, a clanging cymbal" (1 Cor. 13:1) and not the vibrant Church of the Acts of the Apostles. Not the scientific planning, however cleverly executed, ever force the Holy Spirit to act in any particular manner. (Lumen gentium, no 1-5; Gaudium et spes, no. 2) Such a task can be carried out only in and through the Spirit (Evangeli nuntiandi, no. 75).
The Church and Cultures: New Perspectives in Missiological Anthropology by Louis J. Luzbetak, S.V.D.

No comments: