Basic Tools 11: Teach a Spirituality that Empowers Member Mission

Beware kinds of spirituality that can block our missions to bring love and justice. We are God’s co-workers.

  • collaboration vs. submission
  • God’s co-worker vs. God’s child

Beware especially, a literal substitutionary atonement – it dominates the media so much that we must be intentional about questioning it:

– Jesus died for your sins

– just accept what he has done for you

It’s all done for you – little talk of what is expected of you – little talk of joining Jesus in the struggle against evil. A television preacher one Sunday said, “I am telling you the Gospel. You listen and you can be set free.” Free for what?

When we join Jesus in the struggle with evil, we need power. We cannot overcome evil on our own. Jesus has overcome evil – in his ministry, in his rising from death after it looked like evil had triumphed. He is Christus victor – Christ, the victor over evil, sin, and death. He alone can help us to carry out the missions we have undertaken in his name.

The Spirit will bestow her gifts to sustain us. [Shorten this section if you have already used Basic Tools 4 on discovering God’s gifts for our missions.] Take a look at one of your crucial daily missions from our previous work [Basic Tools 2 and Basic Tools 3 on our daily arenas]. Look for the special skills and insights you are already using to carry it out. These are your “spiritual gifts” for this mission. Do not hesitate to call them spiritual gifts. Paul’s list from Romans (12:6-8) and First Corinthians (11:4-11) were the gifts he saw at work to preserve and to nurture the Christian community. And he used the words that fitted to name them – prophecy, leader, wisdom, interpretation of tongues. We, properly, do the same being free to use the words that fit in our situations. [Richard Broholm has done some pioneering work in this direction.]

Let’s try it. Will one of you share one of your crucial missions? As you describe it, the rest will tell what gifts they hear being used. [Describe; listeners make notes as needed.] What did you hear?