Winds of the Spirit
Posted on March 26, 2012 by VMMissions Staff
The Spirit blows at will we are told. We do not fully know its direction nor can we ever adequately predict its affect. We can, however, see some of the results.
About 100 years ago, the Spirit blew Virginia Mennonite Conference westward into the highlands of Virginia and West Virginia. Later this same Spirit moved among the colony of Denbigh prompting witness in the neighboring cities. North Carolina, Kentucky, Washington DC, Florida, Ohio, and Maryland would all become locations, at one time or another, where the Spirit moved Virginia Conference.
Then the Spirit blew even further. It always was blowing elsewhere, but eventually Virginia Conference got caught up in this movement of God’s Spirit: in Italy, in Jamaica, in Trinidad, and today in more than 20 countries around the world. Sometimes we are left breathless by this Spirit! Where next? We’ll pay attention.
A place to pay special attention is here in our own North America. We are told that regular church attendance, as one measure of spiritual fervor, is at a low point of 18%. I don’t celebrate that fact even as I recognize that one single statistic is an inadequate measure of God’s Spirit. Still, North America is resembling more and more the “mission field” that we once went far away to find. That may be precisely the place where one might expect the Winds of the Spirit to blow.
In April, 27 persons from Virginia Conference and the Mennonite Church of Trinidad will attend Exponential, a large church planting conference in Orlando. Attended by several thousand people, leaders and observers of the Spirit who pay attention to where the Wind is blowing and try to learn better how to align our own efforts with God’s. Small church and mega-church pastors and leaders reflect self critically but hopefully about the direction of the Spirit’s Wind.
While not fully knowing the Spirit’s direction or affect, we have been told what fruit to look for. We do well to continue to look for “love, joy, peace” as evidence of where the Spirit is blowing.