#3: The Mission of the Creator Spirit #TaylorTuesdays

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We can see now the enormous breadth and range of the mission of the Creator Spirit. It embraces the plant-geneticist breeding a new strain of wheat, the World Heath Organisation combating bilharzia, the reconstruction company throwing a bridge across a river barrier, the political pressure group campaigning for the downfall of a corrupt city council, the amateur dramatics group in the new cultural centre, the team on the new oil-rig, the parents’ committee fighting for de-segregated schools in the inner city…

Our theology of mission will be all wrong unless we start with a song of praise about this surging diversity of creative and redemptive initiative.

The Go-Between God p.38

Where does your understanding of mission begin?

J.V. Taylor writes that our understanding of mission should begin with who the Holy Spirit is. After all, mission is primarily the activity of the Spirit in the world. When we look at how broad the creative work of the Holy Spirit is, we can’t help but also apply the same breadth to our understanding of what it means to join with the Spirit’s Mission. For Taylor, every act which is in some way creative or redemptive, is missional.

And the Holy Spirit is at the very centre of the mission, acting as a Go-Between, drawing all of the individual pieces of creativity together to play their part in the grand Mission of God.

For us, this may mean that we need to be open to broadening our definition of mission. It may mean that there are people or initiatives that we have previously disregarded, but now need to give our attention to. But it also means that whatever we have to bring, however small or inconsequential it may seem, will be added to the incredible redemptive work of the Spirit in the world.

Some questions to ponder:

  • What makes some things ‘mission’ and others not?
  • What new possibilities are opened up for you when you choose to see mission as the entirety of the Spirit’s work in the world?
  • Are there some people, ideas or initiatives that you’ve disregarded, but which you may now need to pay attention to?

 

What do you think? Join in the conversation by leaving a comment.

Each Tuesday we’re posting a quote from John V. Taylor with some thoughts and questions for reflection. John (or J.V.) Taylor (1914 – 2001) was the General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society, and Bishop of Winchester, and wrote several seminal books on theology of mission, including The Go-Between God: The Holy Spirit and the Christian Mission and The Primal Vision: Christian Presence Amid African Religion. Find all the Taylor Tuesdays posts here.
About the author: James Henley
James Henley
James has been with The Lab since 2007 and leads our team. He's an ordained pioneer minister in the Church in Wales.