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Leadership of the Spirit

Liberal mission theology talks about the church or Christians taking part in the mission of God. They shift the common emphasis of the ministry or mission of the church to an emphasis on the activity of God and the role of the church is subordinate and almost an add-on to the activity of God. The role of the christian or church in this model is to figure out what God is doing and then join in. This is an important re-discovery for the church. However there is then a tendency to fail to re-ground this model into the concept that the mission of God is about the extension of the kingdom and making disciples.

With these two emphasis: taking part in the mission of God and that the mission is about extending the kingdom, we have a very different model of church governance and leadership. I feel, in my reading of Acts, that this is very close to the understanding that Luke presents as the driving force for the expansion of the church.

1) Acts 2:1-4, 14,41

· What was the ministry of the disciples like before and after Pentecost: hidden, mouse like, courageous, lion like?

· What was planned?

· Whose ministry or mission got the success?

2) Acts 3:1-10, 11-12

· Who orchestrated this event?

· What was planned?

· Whose ministry or mission got the success?

3) Acts 4:23-31

· Who empowered and motivated the disciples?

4) Acts 5:17-25

· Who planned this episode?

· What was planned?

· Whose ministry or mission got the success?

5) Acts 8:4-8

· Who planned this missionary trip?

· What preparation was made?

· Whose ministry or mission got the success?

6) Acts 8:26-40

· Who was planning Philip's itinerary?

· What preparation was made?

· Whose ministry or mission got the success?

Legend has it that the Ethiopian went on to found the Ethiopian church. That kind of flow on from ministry can only be planned by one person.

7) Acts 10:1-6, 9-16,24,28-29,44-48

· Who planned this missionary trip?

· What preparation was made?

· Would it have happened if the Holy Spirit hadn't intervened?

· Whose ministry or mission got the success?

8) Acts 13:1-4

· Who planned this missionary trip?

· What preparation was made?

· Whose ministry or mission got the success?

· What was the result of commissioning Paul?

I could add more. It seems like the people of the early church could achieve more simply walking down the street than we can with a full-blown missionary program. I find this teaching confronting. I am convicted to spend more time in prayer and less time in organizing.