Men on Fire Retreat Level 3: Spirit Empowered Disciples
Slide 1 Men on Fire
Slide 2 Spirit Empowered Disciples
It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the power, the skills, the gifts, the abilities to accomplish all our Lord Jesus commands us to do. It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to become holy and to grow in personal holiness. And it is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to do ministry. I will say spiritual gifts and Holy Spirit gifts interchangeably, because spiritual gifts are Holy Spirit gifts.
Slide 3 Slide Do I Have a Spiritual Gift?
1 Peter 4:8-10 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Each one has received a gift to minister to one another. Clearly, some people have many gifts. But, rest assured, we all have at least one.
Slide 4 Saint Paul and Spiritual Gifts
Saint Paul provides several lists of Holy Spirit gifts. The curious thing, though, is that he is not teaching about the gifts. His focus is on Unity and Diversity. He uses the diversity of spiritual gifts to make his point. In his different lists, he names a few gifts more than once. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that never does Paul claim to be offering us an exhaustive list. He doesn’t say, “These are all the gifts. There are no more.” Since Paul is not teaching on the gifts, we can conclude that there are many more gifts that aren’t named by Paul, and may not be named anywhere in the Scriptures.
Slide 5 Concerning Spiritual Gifts
First Corinthians 12:1 - Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.
The objective of this presentation in to inform you concerning Holy Spirit gifts.
Slide 6 Diversity of Gifts
First Corinthians 12:4-7 - There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different ways of administering them, but the same Lord. There are different outcomes, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
How many species of flowers are there? Any idea?
There are about 391,000 species of vascular plants currently known to science, of which about 369,000 species (or 94 percent) are flowering plants, according to a report by the Royal Botanic Gardens in the United Kingdom. 5-12-2016
Why do you suppose God made so many different types of flowers? He could have just made roses and daisies. That would have been enough. We wouldn’t know the difference. Again, why? He likes diversity.
There are different kinds of gifts. I’m not going to describe them to you. You can look in the Retreat Handbook.
There are different ways to administer the gifts. For instance, when I pray for physical healing, I have my style. When Nick prays for healing, he has his style. Our styles are different. That’s okay. But it is Jesus who does the healing. There are a variety of ministries in a community. The application of the spiritual gifts will be different from one ministry to the next. That’s okay. The variety is good.
There are different outcomes when we pray. Let’s use healing as the example again. I’ve prayed for people for the healing they asked for. Sometimes they are healed. Sometimes they are not. Sometimes God does something wonderful we didn’t even pray for. There are a variety of outcomes, but always the same God who is good and loves us completely.
Slide 7 The Charismatic Gifts
Charismatic Catholics tend to get a narrow view of spiritual gifts because we focus on the 1st Corinthian 12 list of gifts, the power gifts: prophecy, miracles, healing, word of knowledge, supernatural faith, discerning spirits . . .
These are the signs and wonders. Jesus went about doing these things. All who came to Him were healed. The gifts are linked to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Before Pentecost, the disciples were mystified by what Jesus could do. He told them they would do all these things, and even greater things. I’m sure they couldn’t imagine it. After Pentecost, they did all these things, just like Jesus.
In the early days of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, we adopted some wrong understanding concerning this list. We taught that these gifts were given and possessed by the believer. One guy would claim to have the gift of prophecy and another would say that he had a gift of healing.
Slide 8 The Gift of the Holy Spirit
What we’ve learned is that the Holy Spirit is the gift. Anyone of us, with the Holy Spirit, can operate in any one of these gifts. Listen to the Scripture:
First Corinthians 12: 7, 11 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
What does manifestation mean – to become tangible. Through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit became tangible to us. We experience Him. He is real. That’s the great gift. All these signs and wonders gifts are His work in us and through us. Furthermore, who receives the gift? If I pray for you to be healed and you are healed, who has received the gift of healing? It’s the same with prophecy. The prophet speaks a word, but the gift is received by the one who has ears to hear. These are the works of the Spirit and He distributes them as He determines.
Slide 9 Unity in Diversity
If one suffers, all suffer. If one is honored, all are honored.
First Corinthians 12:26-31 - If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.
Slide 10 Body Parts
Romans 12:3-9 - For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Let your love be sincere.
Slide 11 Unity Depends on Tolerance for Diversity, Disagreement and Dissent
Unity depends on tolerance for diversity, disagreement and dissent. If there is insufficient tolerance for diversity, disagreement and dissent, there is no unity. Any effort to impose control is an attack against unity.
Unity versus uniformity versus conformity. Unity is good. We want to be “As one”. Uniformity is good also, in the correct application. Everyone on the same team wears matching uniforms. Within the Church, we have a uniform code of morality. Within Community, we have uniform teaching. Conformity is okay if you are injection molding plastic parts. It’s not okay if you’re pressuring people from the outside to change. Spiritual awakening and on-going growth are directed by the Holy Spirit from the inside of a believer. From the outside we invite, encourage and inspire. We don’t force.
It’s clear to see that we need a lot of love, compassion, patience and grace to make a safe place for disagreement in a community. Can people disagree without becoming enemies? Only love makes this possible.
Hans Ur von Balthazar – Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is. While it’s desirable to have agreement, it’s not a command, “Thou shall agree!” But we must love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 - Lack of love renders a gift ineffective. Without love we are annoying . . . a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.
Slide 12 Fivefold Ministry Gifts
Ephesians 4:11-13 - So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
The Ephesian 4 gifts are referred to as the fivefold ministry gifts. These are leadership gifts. These differ from other gifts in an important way. In this situation, the person doesn’t have the gift. He is the gift. Christ gives apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelist and pastors. If a community wants these gifts active, the gifts that bring a community to maturity, they must receive the ones who are the gift. If we don’t like the package the gift comes in, that is the brother or sister who is the gift, we will close ourselves off from the gift. And this is what we would be missing, the ones who:
- Equip the Saints
- Build up the Body of Christ
- Bring to the Unity of Faith
- Bring to the Knowledge of the Son of God
- Bring to Maturity
- Bring to the Full Stature of Christ
Slide 13 Other Gifts
Discernment 1 John 4:1-6
Willingness to face martyrdom1 Corinthians 13:3
Missions 1 Corinthians 9:19, Acts 13:2-3
Intercession Romans 8:26-27; Colossians 1:9
Hospitality 1 Peter 4:9
Voluntary Poverty 1 Corinthians 13:3
Celibacy 1 Corinthians 7:8
VirginityMatthew 25:1-4; 1 Corinthians 7:1
Music Psalms 100 and 150
Arts and Crafts Exodus 31:3-11
Slide 14 Identifying and Developing the Holy Spirit Gifts
After identifying my gift, how does it develop? As with the virtues, the ministry gifts mature by being used with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He will teach us how to use the gift and where and when to use it. It would be nearly impossible to identify a nascent ministry gift in a person if that person is not involved in ministry. Likewise, if the community doesn’t have experience with or knowledge of a particular gift, who would identify and appreciate that gift if it every showed up in a member? I’m certain this situation exists in our community. Members likely have gifts that we have never understood to be gifts; therefore, we don’t have eyes to see the gift. That situation would be very frustrating.
(Share personal testimony)
Slide 15 Discussion Starter
- Review the list of Holy Spirit gifts. Which do you think are your spiritual gifts? (page 78 in Companion Resource)
- What is your experience using the spiritual gifts?
- How can you develop your gifts in order to be more useful to the Lord?
Slide 16 Building a Culture of Honor
Affirmation, Prayer, Service, Trust and Accountability. We all know what these values are. We accept that they are necessary for a community to be healthy and we recognize when they are broken or missing.
What does it feel like to be unaffirmed, unappreciated and unnoticed? What happens when many of the members aren’t keeping their prayer times and aren’t joining the community in worship? How frustrated are you when you can’t get anyone to help you, or when you ask for volunteers and everyone takes one giant step backwards? You ever have a brother break your confidence or betray you? Do you ever feel like you’re the only one keeping commitments, showing up on time, or showing up at all?
Spiritual gifts will not flourish unless we build and maintain a culture of honor. With the next few slides we will consider how a community culture of honor can breakdown and then we will discuss what we can do about it.
Slide 17 Why Aren’t Holy Spirit Gifts Flourishing?
Some reasons why spiritual gifts don’t flourish: Insecurity and Envy
Fr. George Rutler - Brothers in Christ should nurture and promote the various talents of their fellows for the prosperity of the Gospel. Such is not a habit among all of the brethren. Insecurity prefers mediocrity over excellence. Crisis Magazine, August 7, 2017
Fr. Rutler says here that we should encourage, promote and appreciate the various spiritual gifts in one another. In a culture of honor, we celebrate the success and accomplishments of the others. But such is not a habit among all the brethren. If I’m insecure in my own gifts and abilities, I may have a difficult time rejoicing in yours. But if I am secure, I realize that your accomplishments subtract nothing from me. They don’t diminish me. With envy, I don’t want you to get more honor than I get. In a truly honorable community, one person’s accomplishments benefit everyone, they raise up everyone and we all rejoice.
Slide 18 Ineffective Pastoring and Training
What do we do when a brother screws up. I’m not speaking about moral issues, but rather, in the operation of the spiritual gifts. For instance, in the situation of pastoral care gifts: is he being too lax or too involved, to the point of controlling? What about hospitality? Are the members on the lookout for guests? Are we showing appropriate honor to our elderly? Are we instructing new members?
In terms of spiritual gifts gone bad, is the leadership doing anything productive to instruct, identify and raise up the spiritual gifts? Let’s say someone gave a messy prophecy. I’m going to make it worse. Let’s say someone routinely gives messy prophecies. In the past, I’ve known of leaders to forbid that prophet from coming to the microphone. Is that helpful? Does that honor Jesus in the prophet? Does it build up the prophet or grow the prophetic gifting in the community? No. It would be better to pair up the messy prophet with a more mature prophet. Better yet would be to form a school of prophets, which is what we did. The mature prophets identify, raise up and train the new prophets. For many years, on Thursday nights, we practiced prophecy, word of knowledge, preaching and healing. We did exercises, read books, watched videos, brought in speakers and created opportunities for the folks to practice the gifts. This is a culture of honor. The gifts were promoted and the people matured in the operation of the gifts. And the community benefited. The same goes for all the gifts. Consider pastoral care teams, teaching teams, service teams, hospitality teams, evangelization teams. It’s all possible. Someone with a gift identifies another person with the same gift and they start meeting together, praying for the manifestation of the gift in the community, looking for others with the gift and raising them up, learning about the nature, purpose and application of the gift and practicing the gift. It’s doable. It just requires someone to be an advocate for the gift.
Slide 19 Ignorance of the Gifts
The gifts must be taught. Then they must be identified, raised up and trained. It concerns me that only a few of our young adults exhibit the gift of prophecy, for instance. Do we believe that the Holy Spirit is still calling prophets? Certainly. So, once again, this is a leadership problem. You know what another leadership problem is? That more of you aren’t leading. Quite a few of you have been given leadership gifts. But you sit on them. You don’t lay your gifting on the altar of personal sacrifice. The whole community suffers.
Let’s get back to Fr. George Rutler’s quote - Brothers in Christ should nurture and promote the various talents of their fellows for the prosperity of the Gospel. We’ve already looked at one reason why we don’t. My insecurity can’t rejoice in your success. Here’s another reason why we don’t nurture and promote the spiritual gifts – we don’t understand them well, so we don’t teach them and we don’t recognize them in others.
Think about this: how many believers go through life thinking that they have no Holy Spirit gift? In a Church that underemphasizes the Person of the Holy Spirit, many folks think only the clergy and religious have spiritual gifts . . . the professional Catholics. They’ve never been taught that their daily work as teachers, engineers, craftsmen, laborers, etcetera, can be Holy Spirit gift infused. Their lives are compartmentalized. This is my religious activity and this is my secular activity, and never the two shall meet.
This confusion exists in the movements and even in our community. We went through a lengthy list of spiritual gifts. Before today, had you considered the whole list and asked the Holy Spirit what He has given you?
Slide 20 Discussion Starter
- Affirmation, Prayer, Service, Trust and Accountability. Consider these values and discuss why they are important in community and what happens if they are broken or missing.
- Discuss: Brothers in Christ should nurture and promote the various talents of their fellows for the prosperity of the Gospel. Such is not a habit among all of the brethren. Insecurity prefers mediocrity over excellence.
Slide 21 Honoring Each Other
Honor - (Noun) high respect, admiration, esteem. (Verb) to glory in, to promote, to elevate another’s status, to lend prestige to somebody
Synonyms: distinction, recognition, privilege, glory, kudos, cachet, prestige, merit, credit; more importance, illustriousness, notability; respect, esteem, approbation "a mark of honor"
Kabad, the Hebrew word for honor is used 116 times in the Old Testament. Time (tee-may), the Greek word is used 43 times in the New Testament.
Slide 22 Everyone Deserves Honor
Not everyone deserves honor . . . according to my standards. The Lord disagrees. We are commanded to honor everyone. 1 Peter 2:17 – Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the ruler.
Slide 23 Freedom to Honor
1 John 4:18-19 - There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
Where there is insufficient honor, people are afraid. When people are afraid, they want control.
Love casts out fear. But fear can make love unwelcome. Thomas Jefferson said, “A free people are the most difficult to rule.” First John tells us God is love and Second Corinthians tells us that God is spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Therefore, where the Spirit of love is, there is freedom. We all know that freedom is risky in community. What if people misbehave. Some people will misbehave. We accept that truth and we learn how to be more capable pastors so that we learn how to handle misbehavior with wisdom.
We must not give in to the temptation to control each other. Control creates fear, diminishes love and destroys freedom. Freedom includes the freedom to fail, the freedom to screw up, to bring scandal and bring embarrassment. But freedom also allows for success, accomplishment, exploration and greatness. Dare I say, saintliness?
This can create a great difficulty. If you are free to not do something good for me, what will motivate you? If I don’t have the power to punish you and cause you suffering, motivate you from the outside, if I don’t have the power to do that in our relationship, or I don’t choose to manufacture that in our culture, what will motivate your goodness towards me? What will motivate you to protect what is important to me? When you are free to choose, what will you choose?
The culture of honor is so vitally important because it comes right out of heaven. It is supernatural. It is borne on the Spirit of Freedom. We must protect freedom, if we are to create heaven on earth. If we do not know how to protect freedom as a culture, we won’t know how to bring heaven to earth as a culture, and keep it here. Honor thrives in freedom.
The Scripture commands us to honor: God, Jesus, kings, parents, wives, widows, all people. So, who gets honor from me?
“Those who deserve it. I only honor honorable people.” But the bible says to honor all people . . . even those who don’t deserve it.
How do we do that? We need to rise above the character defects in others. I must never allow your character defects to influence me. I cannot allow the way you behave to impact the way I behave. I cannot allow your conduct to conduct me.
Weren’t all of us taught that honor is earned, respect is earned, and even love is earned. “I will give love to those who deserve it.”
In a culture of honor, I will not allow how respectful you are dictate how respectful I am. I will not allow how honorable you are dictate how honoring I am. I’m not going to let how much you love me determine how much I love. Your character defects will never control the essential core issues of who I am.
Slide 24 Jesus Honors
I don’t care if you are a child, a leader in the community or a terrorist. Your presence will not remove my freedom to be who I am when I’m around you. We watch Jesus remain Jesus everywhere He goes. Everywhere Jesus goes, He’s on. It doesn’t matter if He’s in the bar with the tax collectors and the prostitutes. It doesn’t matter if it’s Judas skimming money off the till. It doesn’t matter if it’s Pilate saying, “You better talk to me. Do you know who I am? I have the power to set you free.”
Jesus isn’t afraid. Jesus isn’t afraid. Jesus isn’t afraid. So, Jesus can be Jesus everywhere He goes. My freedom allows me to be me. It allows my essential core values to extend towards you, without fear. A culture of honor begins to be something I cultivate everywhere I go. As a leader, it’s all the more important because leaders create culture. Leaders are the ones who are responsible for the culture around them. If you lead in strength, honor and passion, you lead other men to live in the same way. It’s for freedom Jesus has set us free. Have you known a man who has lived honorably towards you? That man doesn’t threaten or cajole. He doesn’t punish. Rather, he invites, he welcomes you to come as you are. And then he inspires you to want to understand why he is so different. And then he helps you become a free and honorable man.
Slide 25 Honor Begins with Leadership
Honor comes from God and flows back to Him through our praise. Honor begins with leadership.
Psalm 133 – Behold how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell in unity. It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.
The precious oil is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is poured on the head, the leaders, and it runs down on to the beard, a symbol of wisdom, and then to the garments, a symbol of the body . . . the people. The honor of God runs down and then flows back to Him through our praise and worship.
Honor changes us. People constrained by the fear of correction and punishment learn to keep their heads down, avoid attention and keep out of trouble. Fail, fall, make a mistake, overlook something, screw up – and you’ll be punished. That’s behavior modification from the outside in.
Honor is behavior modification from the inside out. A culture of honor makes room for mistakes, because the discipleship process, the learning process requires risk taking that will lead to mistakes. “Hey, I want you to know that you’re making a really good effort. I appreciate your courage and faithfulness. Let me share with you something I learned that you might find helpful.” The greater blesses the lesser. The one with honor imparts honor to the one who needs honor. Honor elevates the status of the one you honor. Some of you have never experienced a culture of honor or have experienced it only inconsistently.
Slide 26 Look for the Image of God in Those You Relate With
So, how do we honor someone that is not honorable. We begin by looking for Jesus in that person. All of us are created in the image and likeness of God. Look for the image and likeness of God in the people you relate with. Recall the Woman at the Well. There is an example of Jesus finding something to honor. Here’s the account:
John 4:16-19 - Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly." The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
You have well said. In that you spoke truly. Jesus identifies honorable characteristics and He shines a spotlight. He is able to draw out into the light the cause of her deep shame in such a way that doesn’t shame her. It’s amazing. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to do this.
If I were in this situation, I would have avoided the woman in the first place. Why? Because I wouldn’t be drawn to her. She is so unlike me. I’m drawn to people who are like me. I only join groups full of people like me. I’m attracted to “the me” I see in the other person. “You know what I like about you? I like the me I see in you.”
If the Holy Spirit doesn’t create a capacity in me to care for people who aren’t like me, I will be of little use to the Kingdom. Where do we go next? “Jesus, please show me what it is that you love about this person.” “I want to see You in him.” Why? Because I love Jesus. I love Him more than I love myself. If I can learn to see Jesus in the other person, I can then love and honor that person. What will Jesus look like in the other person? He will look like virtue. Look for virtue and you will find Jesus.
Listen to this quote from Former President George W. Bush from a speech he gave a week ago.
“Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions — forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.”
That’s the essence of honor. Who is deserving of all honor? Jesus. When I honor the Jesus I see in you, I’m also honoring Jesus. It’s legitimate.
Slide 27 Raising Up the Holy Spirit Gifts in a Culture of Honor
Growing in virtue is an interior work of the soul that brings great fruit to the individual and the community. It’s odd that an unhealthy community can actually give the man of God more opportunity to practice virtue. Think of some of our great saints who were often envied and abused by the communities they belonged to.
But this isn’t true with the development of spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts, like growing vines, grow out in the open because their purpose is to make visible the power and compassion of God so that people believe and lives are transformed. A person who newly discovers a Holy Spirit gift is both excited and afraid. There is a responsibility to use it well. We are all fragile mortals. How can we wield such power? If we are serious about our relationship with the Lord, we understand that we must be obedient to the call. (share story here)
Communities must work to provide a culture that honors the variety of gifts and the diversity of the gifted ones. The community is like the trellis that a vine grows on. It is our privilege to help people embrace their gifting and grow in its operation. The Old Testament introduces us to a couple dozen prophets, each one with unique personalities and approaches. In our own community, our prophets are similarly unique. We must avoid the “That’s not the way we do it!” attitude. The Lord has told us that He is giving us new gifts in the Tsunami of Grace. We are to be New Wineskins, filled with New Wine. To get this right, we are going to need a new gift: supernatural flexibility and forbearance.
Slide 28 Pursue Love
Last item: Pursue love and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, above all that you may prophesy. He who prophesies strengthens, encourages and comforts people.
Slide 29 Discussion Starter
- What have been your attitudes concerning honor?
- Discuss: A lack of love renders a gift ineffective.
- Look around the table. Find a virtue to honor in one of the brothers.
- What is a practical thing you can do to encourage spiritual gifts?