Discerning Church Learning to discern the movement of God's Spirit


Yesterday, our worship arts director emailed me; He asked for direction in choosing someone to share a testimony in an upcoming service. I left the email in my inbox, planning to deal with it later.

Last night, I was at a prayer group. I thought about a student who is on a summer mission trip in Chicago while praying. As the prayer group disbanded, I quickly sent her an email asking about her summer. She responded later that evening informing me of her intention to email me that day, but was unable to find my address. She was glad that I contacted her.

Enthusiastic about her summer, she related that she had much to share. Her first Sunday home was the exact Sunday we needed a testimony. The preaching schedule has me in Acts 17 that Sunday. The text relates the story of Paul in Athens. Paul is proclaiming the Gospel in a highly idolatrous city. Paul’s experience corresponds to the mission experience of the student.

This encounter reminds me that Spirit of God is moving in our worship planning. He knows the liturgy long before we engage the text. The rubric is formed in His mind before we begin the planning process. Perhaps our task is to listen, to sense His movement, to engage Him in the process. Worship planning must be more than creative thinking. It must be discerning the movement of the Spirit.

What do you think?