Healthy Culture – A Life of the Spirit

Essential to having healthy sons and daughters is the notion that we should have healthy parents and a healthy environment to grow in. Today, fewer children can say they grew up in a healthy environment with parents who are loving, caring and attentive to their needs. In the Cross & the Switchblade, David Wilkerson describes the culture and his envisioned future for the Teen Challenge Center (C & S, p. 129):

     “The Teen Challenge Center would be located in the heart of the roughest part of the city. It would be headquarters for a dozen or more full-time workers who shared my hopes for the young people around us, who saw their wonderful potential, and their tragic waste.Kevin & Sandy with girls2 Each worker would be a specialist: one would work with boys from the gangs, another with boys who were addicted to drugs; another would work with parents, another with Little People. There, in the Teen Challenge Center, we would create an atmosphere that was so charged with this same renewing love I had watched on the streets, that to walk inside would be to know that something exciting was afoot. They would live in an atmosphere of discipline and affection. They would participate in our worship and in our study. They would watch Christians living together, working together; and they would be put to work themselves. It would be where they were prepared for the life of the Spirit.

To sum up the TC culture – it is an environment preparing our sons and daughters to live the life of the Spirit. When Wilkerson awoke from his first night at Rev. Ortez’ home, he said ” the next  morning I spent in prayer; what was going to happen now, I could not imagine, but I wanted to hold myself as flexible as possible, ready to step out in whatever direction the Holy Spirit should point” (C & S, p. 77). This is the life of the Spirit.

The Life of the Spirit is one spent in prayer –  talking to God, listening to Him and meditating on His Word. Prayer is the work. “I had long ago discovered that too much running around, without a base of quiet meditation, produces little value” (C&S, p. 143).

How can you slow the pace at your center to allow everyone time for prayer, reading the Word and meditation?

The Life of the Spirit is one that is flexible – listening to the Holy Spirit and being open to…well just about anything. “We were driving slowly along when suddenly I had the most incredible feeling that I should get out of the car. “I’ll be back in a while, Miles; I don’t even know what it is I’m looking for.” “Hey Davie. Preacher!” A group of six teen age boys were leaning against the side of a building.” If you want to meet the gangs, why don’t you start right here?” (C&S, p. 28-30).

You don’t need to know what you are looking for necessarily, only – “where is God leading me right now?”

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The Life of the Spirit is one of action – demonstrating the power of our faith by acting out our belief. We believe God for the miraculous. “I decided to take a first step toward making my dream come true” (p. 64). “I would speak to these boys, trusting the Holy Spirit to reach them where I could not” ( C &S, p.65).

Ask yourself “how can I partner with God and be a vessel for the miraculous?” What are some indicators that you are producing sons and daughters prepared for the life of the Spirit?

“A strong working culture helps to create satisfied people who feel cared for, trusted and respected, which increases engagement and ultimately leads to better productivity.”

~ Ken Blanchard (Ken Blanchard Companies)

Yoked up with Jesus

While doing my devotions this morning the Lord reminded me of this well known scripture in John 15:4-5 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (NASB). Another version says “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” (TM). Years ago I read a little book by Bruce Wilkinson Secrets of the Vine. The entire book speaks to what happens when we remain connected and yoked-up with Christ.

Abiding goes deeper than a superficial “hi” or “hello, nice to see you” relationship. It speaks to remaining, dwelling – to continue in lasting relationship with someone. When we are joined in intimate, organic relationship with Christ we grow and bear much, more fruit. Practicing God’s presence (consistently connecting with Him in the holy place) is essential for us as spiritual coaches. When we are joined with Christ, He gives us spiritual intelligence and insights to care for the students and emerging leaders as He would. Apart from this, we will not produce sons and daughters who remain.

Recall our acronym responsibility:

Recruitdownload
Equip and Train
Spirit-filled
P
raying
O
ptimistic
N
ext-Generation Leaders
who lead Self well
I
nfluence others
B
uy into our vision
I
nvest time and resources
L
ove the Lost
I
nspire others to action
T
reat others with dignity

And are Yoked-up with a mentor/coach

Our desire is to raise up the next generation of leaders who are yoked up with Christ and are responsible to the call on their lives. In closing I want us to reflect on 3 questions:

  1. How can I improve the quality of my relationship with the Lord?
  2. What situation(s) am I facing that requires spiritual intelligence that only God can help with?
  3. How can I model being yoked-up with Christ to my ESL’s?