After going on a mission trip last year to El Salvador I came home with a lot of questions. This is #2.
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in sharing our faith?
During my time in the Christian faith, I have observed many people desperately trying to convince others to say the magic words to get their fire insurance from hell. I've seen them bully and pressure. I've seen them withhold resources until they got a "conversion" or what I would call a forced submission. I've heard some major shaming for those who haven't been "working for the kingdom" and I've watched leaders greedily gobble up the numbers of "souls saved" to report back to their benefactors that their "ministry is effective."
It's been an ugly, embarrassing show; a twisted, emotionally abusive mimicking of our capitalistic society. Humans have been seen as resources worth exploiting and jewels in a crown worth collecting. I wouldn't call any of the above "making disciples."
My first question was about whether or not we were supposed to be sharing our faith. If the answer to that question is yes, the next question is logically how. The above experiences are evidence that humans are very bad at understanding their role in the transformation of souls. We know how to bully, manipulate, and coerce. But do we know how to humbly, lovingly lead?
If we are divinely commanded to do something, we undoubtably are given the resources with which to do it. This means there must be some bigger, more comprehensive, more beautifully compelling plan in place in which we get to play an appropriately sized small role, rather than the ugly, desperate, demanding role of "soul collector."
Is our faith big enough to allow transformation to happen without having to get our grubby little hands all over it? What if we could instead 1) ASK for guidance, 2) WAIT patiently for leadership from the God we profess to follow, and 3) humbly stand by to WITNESS Him. Doing. His. Work.?
And if the Holy Spirit is going to play the big role in designing, planning, and executing His plan of salvation, what does my small role actually look like? How do I stay out of the way when I am so desperately looking for significance in my own life?
Unsplash: Rafael Wild