Leaders carry the responsibility to promote, discern and facilitate the ministry of the Holy Spirit among His people. This calls for leaders with purity in heart, boldness and trained discernment. So how can we grow in this skill?
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Observation and reflection questions
1. In a general sense, what does it mean to “not quench the Spirit”? What within an individual or assembly could “quench the Spirit”? (verse 19)
· What does this suggest of the task of leadership in promoting and facilitating the ministry of the Holy Spirit?
2. What does it mean to “test everything”?
3. How do you think verse 19 and 20 relate to each other?
· What does this suggest of the task of leadership in promoting and facilitating the ministry of the Holy Spirit within an assembly?
4. Consider the context of the instruction to “not despise prophesy”; how do you think verses 20- 22 relate to verse 19?
· What does this suggest of the task of leadership when individuals starts ministering in the group?
· What does this suggest of the responsibility of leadership in facilitating the work of the Holy Spirit within an assembly?
Personal Reflection and Application
The responsibility of leadership is to promote, discern and facilitate the ministry of the Holy Spirit among His people – because there are false prophesies stemming from wrong motives or deceptive spirits – yet leaders should never allow tradition, competition, fear or control to quench the Holy Spirit within an assembly. This calls for leaders with purity in heart, boldness and trained discernment.
1. Do you frequently bring words of prophesy to your congregation or small fellowship group? Why, or why not?
2. Do you recall a time when the Holy Spirit prompted you to share or speak or do something, yet you resisted and quenched Him? Pray about that now and ask the Lord to forgive you for quenching his Spirit.
2. When last were you corrected when bringing a word of prophesy (either directly or indirectly)?
- How did (or would) you feel when being corrected?
- How should you feel when being corrected?
- Pray for a love for discipline leading to life and growth, and a resistance towards offence.
3. Think of your own fellowship group.
- How do you promote prophesy and other Spirit-directed ministry? How could you promote it?
- How often do you make time to wait on the Lord for prophesy and Spirit-directed ministry?
- How do you test prophesy? How should you test prophesy?
- How do you obey these prophetic utterances? How should you?
Pray about your answers here – ask the Lord to help you fan the flame of the Spirit in your fellowship group, and to not quench Him.