Let’s review the steps to engagement as laid out in the Restore Minnesota Purpose Statement. They are:
- Encourage Holy Spirit-led …
Note: Please read Steps to Engagement – Part 1 that describes the first three steps.
Starting out by being educated on a topic can quickly lead to being equipped or prepared. That will produce a sense of empowerment which is knowing one has the freedom and confidence to do something. But then what? Our Steps to Engagement indicate that we are at the point of encouraging Holy Spirit-led engagement.
I have often described Restore Minnesota and our Community Action Teams (CATs) as being God honoring, Bible based, and Christ centered. It is vitally important to add to these foundational precepts that we are Holy Spirit led. Sad to say that being led by the Holy Spirit is too often missing from our day-to-day faith walk. It is also missing from many churches or denomination’s teaching of the practical application of theology.
An online search of the phrase ‘led by the Holy Spirit’ brings up an exhaustive number of links and videos. The purpose of this article is to highlight a few of those ideas that will help us move into that significant step of Engagement in our local communities … to help restore righteousness by bringing both civic and spiritual transformation.
So, how does this ‘led by the Holy Spirit’ precept work in the context of Restore Minnesota generally and Community Action Teams specifically?
Let’s start with prayer
Sometimes it is as simple as … we don’t know because we didn’t ask. James 1:5 says,
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (NIV)
However, there is an important deeper place to go with prayer and that is to seek God above all else, not just His answer to a specific question or need. Proverbs 3:5-6 gives us that insight,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (NLT)
You might say that developing a relationship of communication and trust with the Lord will potentially provide an awareness of His heart, His will, in all of the situations we face in our lives. The answer we need, the direction to go, and the path to take become clear as we focus on Him, not the issue(s) we are facing. It may be a soft awareness of an answer or direction seeming good or right. It may come as a more remarkable “knowing something in your gut” which some call an inner witness of Holy Spirit. There is an old saying to “trust your gut” … in other words, it’s simply trusting in the leading and prompting of Holy Spirit.
Within Restore Minnesota and our CATs, individual and corporate prayer is an absolute necessity. All of our organization’s activities should be covered with much prayer. Let’s face it, we all know that this cultural battle we find ourselves in is rooted in evil. Getting God’s direction and cover in prayer can be critical to successfully bringing spiritual influence into the civic arena.
This is also why we encourage CATs to develop an Intercessor Task Force early on in the formation of a new Community Action Team.
What does the Word of God Say?
What we may sense as the leading of Holy Spirit must be consistent with the Word of God, the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says,
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (NLT)
Spending time in the Bible will give Holy Spirit more to work with in our lives by increasing our discernment and wisdom.
Here’s one more scripture that ties back to knowing and seeing the right path … Psalm 119:105.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (NLT)
In Christian and secular vernacular, we use the phrase “open door” which could be defined as an apparently favorable circumstance presenting itself in light of an individual looking for and praying for direction or “which path to take.” The caution is that sometimes circumstances can be deceiving. Yet at other times, it may be Holy Spirit opening a door for us. It is important to not “depend on our own understanding” but be sure that we know the heart of God by the leading of Holy Spirit in this particular matter. Circumstances should only be thought of as a small indicator of whether or not we are being led by Holy Spirit.
So let’s bring this in for a landing as we finish our steps to … Encourage Holy Spirit-Led Engagement
We all know that Encourage means to help someone feel more confident so they will be more likely to do something or think a certain way. In our current context, that encouragement can be from another individual, from a group like the CAT, or internally, which often comes from the leading (prompting) of Holy Spirit. However the encouragement may come, we know that now it’s time to put it all together as we take a deep breath and step into …
The two definitions of Engagement that apply here are involvement and to encounter as in a conflict or battle. Both come into play as individuals in the Community Action Teams follow the leading of Holy Spirit.
These individuals have started going to School Board meetings, County Board meetings, City Council meetings, library board meetings, candidate and elected official Town Halls, BPOU meetings, and more. For many, it may be the first time in their life that they attended some form of Grassroots Government meeting. Others have taken the further step of speaking out at these meetings through whatever public forum is available within that meeting. Whether Holy Spirit leads a person to speak up or not, just being present at these government meetings has significant effect.
Then there are those who took the involvement part of Engagement to the next level by running for public office and many of them won, including: a MN State Rep, County Commissioners, and School Boards. Others have put their name in the running for BPOU Executive Board positions, and again, many have won with the goal of replacing the establishment status quo with honesty, transparency, and accountability.
Sometimes Engagement has been more the encounters of conflict or the battle against evil in the public arena. Examples of this include:
- dozens of CAT members showing up at County Commissioner meetings in protest of the corrupt Dominion Voting Machines
- showing up and speaking out at a regional library board meeting against the pornographic books on the shelves in the children’s section
- protesting outside a club hosting a Drag Queen show for children
- praying or being a side-walk counselor in front of an abortion facility
- and more
At the Engagement step, our CAT Task Forces take what they’ve learned, planned for, and strategized about and begin implementing action steps that reach into and touch the community in some specific area. The Task Forces will also enlist the full Community Action Team to mobilize in ways that will have the most effect to interact, influence, and impact the community in those areas of concern.
As we continue to follow these Steps to Engagement and apply them to all the Mountains of Cultural Influence, Holy Spirit will lead us in God’s ways to have more and more impact, both spiritually and civically – county by county, community by community, and family by family – to help restore righteousness and bring needed transformation.
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. (NIV)