> @StickyJesus 6) Holy Spirit: The Power Source

holy spirit powerIn celebration of Internet Evangelism Month, this is the sixth in a 15-part blog project discussing the book, @stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online.

God has not given me the gift of writing and so I thank Him for the gift of my editor/proofer, Terri, when I do blog projects like this. I kept praying about how He would want me to respond to the chapter about the Holy Spirit in @StickyJesus and He just kept telling me to be myself.

I do have the gift of mercy and teaching and what I learned in File 6 was that it is important to use your gifts online as well as off. We do this “by remembering—at all times–who you are and whose you are” (p. 75). I don’t know about you, but my heart was stirred while reading this chapter. It made me remember the first time the Holy Spirit entered my life and became my “global positioning system” (p. 76). Thank God, because I was royally messing things up by trying to do things on my own and relying on the world to guide my steps.

The Gospel is Good News (it is to me), but really I was timid about expressing that online, because I was not plugging into the “heaven’s power source.” This File (and all the subsequent Files) has helped me to live out my faith online. I now feel confident about using my gifts online because I know that God has called me to show them here and now and in this digital age. I am also a very social person and what better way to live out my faith than through social media.

“Ask the Holy Spirit to help you grow and deepen your circle of influence online, and direct you to the right people, tools, and topics. Make it a habit of daily asking the Spirit to help you. Then listen, really listen.” (p. 78)

Big takeaways in this File are the ways that we can wisely engage online (my related scripture is added in italics).

  • Learn the Culture: Acts 17:16-34
  • Listen: James 1:19
  • Be Tolerant: Romans 2:11, Ephesians 4:32
  • Seek Common Ground: Romans 12:4-5
  • Be Present: Romans 8:10
  • Keep it Simple and Powerful: John 3:16
  • Be Original: Psalm 139:14
  • Keep Your Words in Check: James 3:9-11
  • Respond Well: Galatians 5:22-23

@StickyJesus says that “you can’t give what you don’t have” and by using your own God-given spiritual gifts and taping into the ultimate power source by using the models of wise engagement (listed above), then the digital world is sure to light up. “The Holy Spirit is your always” (p. 77).

  1. What are your spiritual gifts and how do you use them online?
  2. When you “engage online” what is the most challenging things to remember from the list above?
  3. How do you align yourself with God’s attributes?

[image by Peter Kaminski]

@stickyJesus 5) Jesus: King of content" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/13/stickyjesus-5-jesus-king-of-content/">5) Jesus: King of content <– @StickyJesus – The Group Blog Project" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/02/introducing-stickyjesus-group-blog-project/">@StickyJesus project –>@stickyJesus 7) Christ followers: the game changers" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/18/stickyjesus-7-christ-followers-the-game-changers/">7) Christ followers: the game changers

Sarah Holbrook is the Communications Director for Cypress United Methodist Church (a suburb church in North West Houston). She has been married to Brandon for 14 years and has two boys. She believes whole heartedly that she is a work in progress and is happy to have Jesus mold her, she shares ideas at her blog God Is My Gardener. In her spare time, she loves to teach adult Sunday school, cook, create jewelry and garden.

22 Responses to “> @StickyJesus 6) Holy Spirit: The Power Source”

  1. Wanda Simpson May 16, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Sarah, thanks for the post. Our church Bible study group finished up a session on the Holy Spirit through the middle of April. It was a very powerful experience. The challenge is putting that same energy online. I rely heavily on Twitter and Christian bloggers to find quality resources to share with our community. I have been blessed to find some very powerful videos on YouTube just when I need them, and I know that is no accident. The most challenging thing to me from the engagement list is "be original". I am working on that and participating in this project was my first step. God has definitely given me a heart for this and asking for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide is my lifeline!

    • Wanda, It is also hard for me to "be original" online, thank you for that honesty.

      I use to facilitate an Alpha course and their is a whole weekend devoted to the Holy Spirit. I find it amazing when I see the Holy Spirit entering someones heart, it is like chains are broken. I am glad you found your Holy Spirit bible study helpful and powerful. Isn't God great?

  2. Sarah – Thanks for going in deeper and adding scriptures to the action points. Well done!

    I am mindful of my gifts when I go online. I always ask the Holy Spirit to guide and stretch me in them. I also know where I am weak and ask for His covering and help in those areas. Praise God for filling the gaps in our spiritual resumes! Either way – He makes His presence known in ways I seldom expect.

    I've found that keeping this list present is helpful and builds discipline. I know I am on track when the urge to simply react is resisted. There is wisdom waiting to surface in the space between reaction and response. I need God's help each day to find it. Digital conversations move quickly, but I want my speed in synch and regulated by my Guide.

    • Tami, I like what you said when you mentioned your weak areas and asking for God to cover you in those areas. I will remember that.

      I think I am going to print out the Wise Engagements for the Cypress UMC staff. I have been sharing a lot of the great nuggets from your book.

      BTW, thanks for the follow :)

  3. Great list and additional Scriptures Sarah – thanks!

    I know sometimes social media allows us to be different people than we are in person. By nature I am more introverted, and I generally defer in larger settings. However, while online, I feel more bold, and willing to share Jesus as windows and doors open.

    So often the Holy Spirit points to an opportunity to share Jesus with a person struggling, or hurting, and who has shared that to me via Facebook. People will be much more open on Facebook with their status updates than with a pastor at a church service. That's why I seek out and befriend as many as possible who show up for one the services at my church.

    Listening is often the hardest for me. I'm a guy who likes to fix everything vs. just listen at times. Knowing the truth, and waiting to share it at the appropriate time, can cause struggles in my life. It's a constant source of attention.

    • Bruce, I find it so interesting that you feel more bold online, I love how God has worked that out for you.

      Thanks for your insight.

    • PaulSteinbrueck May 16, 2011 at 11:54 am

      >>By nature I am more introverted, and I generally defer in larger settings. However, while online, I feel more bold, and willing to share Jesus as windows and doors open.

      Bruce, I can relate. I think I'm in a similar boat, and I know a number of other bloggers and social media users who are too. That's probably why this sentence in the book jumped out at me and why it was this mornings inspirational quote on @OurChurchDotCom:

      "[God] is turning introverts into dynamic Kingdom connectors online."

  4. Christie Weatherby May 16, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I too feel more bold online. I am also more truthful and real with people online. Not so guarded.

    I am pretty good at listening, not so great at being tolerant, and I get so into responding well that sometimes I hyper-focus. Sounds like I have some things to work on.

    Looking forward to studying the verses more that you related to your list.

    • Christie, my favorite verse is the Acts 17. I love how Paul takes time to walk around and look carefully at the Athenians objects of worship and then address the altar of the "Unknown God" and connects that unkown god to Christ. Brilliant!

  5. Bravo, Sarah. I love how simply and powerfully you brought this chapter into focus. And how you pulled those action points into a concise list–with supporting scriptures. I need those right next to my ‘puter.

    My spiritual gifts are also teaching and mercy. I also “score high” in encouragement. And writing is the vehicle He’s given me to use them. So blogging is a perfect outlet.

    One of the most challenging points from the list for me is responding well. That’s one of the areas I have to ask Him to cover me.

    The only way I know to align myself with God’s attributes is to keep my focus on Him and let Him transform me from the inside. I’m best at showing His compassion. I think. Maybe.

    I had some “original” fun with this chapter on my first go round.

    http://sandraheskaking.com/2011/01/reflections-on-stickyjesus-chapter-6/

  6. I agree Paul, there have been many times where the Holy Spirit has prompted me to respond and put the brakes on and said "NO way girl!" or "Not now!"

  7. The hardest thing for me to remember is to keep my words in check. Often our impulses are 180-degrees from what the Holy Spirit would have us do. So I physically take my hands off the computer, pray and wait. If I feel the Spirit's approval and lead, I write a response. If I don't, I don't write. Sometimes just because something is clever or funny, does not mean it's something that Jesus would post or comment on. I have to fight the impulse to "keep a joke going" or joining in on celebrity bashing because I love humor and the wit that accompanies a great script or a fantastic joke that is truly more of a cutdown than anything. If that wit has no eternal value attached, I don't want to be the one caught "chatting up" the benign and meaningless when Jesus walks in. So I ask the Lord to keep me on a very short leash in this area. And, He teaches me along that rocky path everyday in a land where words can compell or REPEL someone toward or from heaven's arms. Great post Sarah, thanks for taking the time to dive in. This is my favorite chapter. Without the Holy Spirit—we are SUNK. :)

  8. I commented earlier. Come back . . . come back . . .

  9. i very much love this chapter and find it one of the most challenging/inspiring/encouraging… isnt it so good to know the Holy Spirit empowers us and is at work on not only OUR behalf but OTHER peoples too and sometimes WE are the vessel He uses to connect people to Himself. such a priv!

    hers my post on this awesome chapter: http://onepassiononedevotion.wordpress.com/2011/0

  10. It's great to be back with you all and caught up on the posts…I was in Haiti last week. Great conversations going on over this great book.

    Sarah…great post. The thing that struck me about the majority of your takeaways is that the majority of them are strengthen by a simple (but very hard!) discipline:

    Ask Questions. Jesus was a master at asking questions…in fact, I sometimes imagine him getting under our skins by answering our questions with another question, which he does all the time. But…I think there is a method to his madness. Questions convey several things to us: care, concern, interest, desire, and so forth.

    Thanks! Great stuff!

  11. Marilyn Wadkins May 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Sarah – great post. I am now looking forward to reading the book. My biggest challenge is "learning the culture". This social networking takes even more time than communicating ever has. I thank you for all the tips you are sharing with our staff here.

  12. Article quality very much.

  13. You are very beautiful blog.

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