Recently, the two of us had a discussion about spiritual growth and the Holy Spirit. Do we want to experience the same thing each week? Do we want everything to be the same routine? Or do we want to see something different?
Lately, we have seen a lot of “different”.
In June, we prayed to God that He would lead us to what He wanted us to do next in marriage ministry at Chapel Oaks. We didn’t have to wait long for His answer. The first weekend of July, Pastor Mike asked us to be in charge of a parenting seminar that would be held during Vacation Bible School two weeks later. This seminar was not planned by us, but we knew that God was behind it.
There were six sessions to the seminar but only four nights available during the week of VBS. There was a faithful group of parents who attended each night. Due to other commitments, we were only able to attend two of the four nights (other volunteers covered the other two nights for us). At the end of the week, we asked the group if they wanted to finish the last two sessions on a Sabbath afternoon. They eagerly said, “Yes”.
We made arrangements to finish the parenting seminar over the last two Sabbaths of July. There were six parents who attended the final meeting. As our discussion neared the end, they collectively asked for more parenting help. We offered to start another parenting seminar in August to which they also eagerly said, “Yes”.
These parents decided to make a group using What’s App to invite their friends to the new seminar. In just ten days our group increased from six participants to thirty-two. Praise God! The group said, “We have been praying for something like this.” To which we replied, “Wow! We prayed that God would bring us people interested in learning about marriage and family.” Truly, this had nothing to do with us. This was all through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We set up a time for the first meeting of the new parenting seminar. Not everyone on the group list attended but we had ten families represented, each one hungering for God’s wisdom and Spirit. During our discussion, we emphasized the importance of a great marriage for our children to witness. Then, the question came up: “Do you have a seminar on marriage?” We looked at each other and said, “Yes, we do!” Now, we are in the process of planning a marriage seminar for this group of eager believers.
God answered our June prayer in an amazing way. In a way that was so different from anything we expected. Instead of just one group, we have two groups that we are serving in our (God’s) marriage and family ministry. Plus, one of the couples said they want to take the information we give them and start a small group of their own! All of this happened because of the Holy Spirit.
According to Shane Anderson, Head Pastor, Pioneer Memorial Church, “You cannot be a mature Christian unless you are in some way actively and intentionally seeking to reach someone else for Jesus Christ. As a church we have institutionalized the idea that if you show up and give a little money, and you don’t do anything terribly wrong, that you’re a good Christian. You cannot truly know Jesus unless you are actively helping someone to know Him. If Jesus came to seek and save the lost, then how can we be close to Jesus if we are not actively doing the same thing?”
Do you want to be a mature Christian? The two of us believe that each of us must earnestly pray for the Holy Spirit, surrender to His will, and seek to follow Christ’s example of service. If we want to see God’s kind of “different”, we must hunger for and ask for His Holy Spirit. We encourage everyone to pray for God to open your eyes to see where the Holy Spirit is already at work and boldly go there.
Then, get used to different. - Jonathan and Kori Borne