Our sermon series on the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts is designed to show us how God works in the Church. We need to once again visit these stories of the early church and how the Empowering Presence of the Holy Spirit wants to work among us and through us.
Recently I have been captured in my thinking and prayers about the concept of the Healthy Church. We have seen much progress in recent years with Ridgewood becoming healthier, yet we still need to improve. On the Council, we have begun a process to assess our church’s health. We are looking at Ridgewood’s strengths, opportunities and barriers.
According to Stephen Macchia, in his book, “Becoming a Healthy Church,” he lists ten traits of a vital ministry. Once of the key traits is “the healthy church actively seeks the Holy Spirit’s direction and empowerment for its daily life and ministry.” He suggests in seeking to understand and implement God’s will, the church:
- Articulates a clear understanding of who God is
- Teaches the whole counsel of God and relates it to today’s church
- Emphasizes a supernatural reliance instead of self-reliance
- Creates enthusiasm about being part of God’s Kingdom
- Prays for God’s initiative and anticipates that God will act
- Encourages its leaders to be change agents under God’s guidance
- Desires members to display the fruit of the Spirit
- Seeks the gifts of the Holy Spirit within the body
We definitely see the difference the Holy Spirit makes as the early church began and continued to make progress. My hope is He will make a huge difference in Ridgewood in this year and the coming years.
I wonder how you might see the first trait in Ridgewood’s ministry. Do you see God at work through his Spirit at Ridgewood? How is the Spirit at work in your life? Please feel free to let me know what you are observing, thinking and seeing.
From my viewpoint, I can see God at work on many levels. Recently with our Easter Celebration, we have seen newer families in our mix. We have seen incredible answers to prayer; but we need to continue to pray for God’s initiative. I would ask you to be in prayer about God’s empowering presence and how He wants to work in, among and through us this season.