“One day while they were worshipping God and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘I want Barnabas and Saul set apart for the work to which I have called them.’ After the church members had fasted and prayed, they laid their hands on the pair and sent them along.” - Acts 13:2-3
The Spirit speaks to us through Christian community. Here Paul and Barnabas had their calling to preach to the Gentiles confirmed by the Christian community they were worshipping with. We hear the Holy Spirit through Christian community, too. This happens when we are worshipping together, in Bible studies, prayer groups, and committees, and also during times of fellowship. We can learn from and be encouraged by each other. We can also learn through the wider Christian community through reading books. Even better if we can read books in a book study with others! When we are discerning where the Holy Spirit is leading us, our Christian community can help us with this discernment.
I remember when I was discerning my call to ministry, it was difficult to feel certain on my own that this was what God was calling me to. The Christian community at my church in Pittsburgh was instrumental in confirming my call to ministry. They recognized the call of God on my life and the Holy Spirit working through me in their lives. They could see things I did not see. The Holy Spirit worked through them to confirm God’s call to ministry for me.
Our church community is an important part of our life of faith, especially when it comes to discerning the Acts of the Holy Spirit in our own lives and in our church community. I encourage you to reach out to members of our church community. We receive encouragement and consolation from each other. We also participate in witnessing the Acts of the Holy Spirit in each other’s lives.
Grace and peace,